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7 Best Phablets You Can Buy in 2016

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OnePlus 3T

What’s the best phablet on the market in 2016? There are a number of excellent models to choose from, all with different key strengths. We've rounded up the best phablets available right now.

Phablets aren’t quite as distinctive as they once were, with an increasing number of handsets now coming with 5.5-inch screens and larger. For those looking for something more affordable, the new OnePlus 3T is also a strong contender. At £399, this buys you a handset with a 5.5-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 821 processor supported by 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage.

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If you want a true phablet then the Huawei Mate 8 is an excellent option, with a huge 6-inch screen and a decent-sized battery. If you’re happy to opt for something smaller, in the 5.5-5.7-inch range, then there are far superior options currently available.

There was of course the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, but that is no longer on sale. If you happened to buy one, read our Note 7 recall FAQs piece on how to return your exploding phablet. The Google Pixel XL has taken it's spot and that's great.

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge is a gorgeous device, with a superb display and best-in-class camera, while the Nexus 6P is stock Android at its finest. Both are up there with the best Android phones you can buy today, and they happen to be phablets.

If budget isn’t such an issue, and for those specifically wanting iOS on a larger display, the iPhone 6S Plus is a good bet. It might only have a 5.5-inch screen, but it feels much larger.

What's the best phone you can buy?

Best Phablets – Why should you buy one?

Why have phablets become so popular? Many think it’s because people don’t want to buy a phone and a tablet, but there are a number of other clear advantages.

Screen Quality

Over recent years we’ve seen smartphones become larger in size. Phablets are generally regarded as handsets measuring 5.5-inches and above, and right now they’re immensely popular. The fact that Apple, which was once so opposed to big-screen phones, has joined the phablet fanfare demonstrates just how in-demand they are.

The most obvious benefits of owning a big phone come by way of the screen. Usually blessed with stunning displays, phablets are great for watching movies, playing games and reading. As such, they’re hugely popular among commuters.

While LG and Samsung were quick to embrace super-sharp QHD panels, Full HD on a large screen still makes for a superb viewing experience. 4K could also start to appear, especially on virtual-reality-based phones.

Performance and Battery Life

Since phablets are also more likely to be used for gaming than smaller smartphones, they tend to come with more powerful hardware. Almost all of the mobiles in this roundup can handle complex 3D titles without issue.

Phablets are also well endowed in the battery department. No longer will your concern be whether your mobile phone will make it through a day. The majority of phablets last around two days between charges; some can last even longer.

Other Things to Consider

Design and ergonomics are always important areas to consider when buying a smartphone, but they’re particularly important when buying phablets due to their size.

The majority of manufacturers put every effort into making their large-screen devices as user-friendly as possible, whether that’s through a slim frame, a dedicated stylus, centrally positioned soft keys, or a one-handed operation mode. However, we’d still recommend trying one out in a shop first, especially if you have small hands. This will also provide an opportunity to test the “pocketability” of the device.

Extra features such as fingerprint scanners, NFC and microSD card slots can also have a huge effect on the overall user experience.

Daniel Acosta

March 29, 2015, 9:20 am

And nexus 6???

MANthrax

July 7, 2015, 11:26 am

How about making the Note 4 in a 6.7" version for us Mega 6.3" devotees?

Rob C

July 27, 2015, 10:58 pm

> "... continue to polarise opinion ... Why have phablets become so popular? Many think it’s because people don’t want to buy a phone and a tablet, but there are a number of other clear advantages to owning one." .

Each area of the World has different trends.

In North America and from what I can see in Videos made in many other Countries, a 1080P Phone with less than 5.5" (diagonal measurement assumed, but width is the primary consideration and no other dimensions) Screen size is preferred for carrying; Phablets are RARE, but Tablets with LTE (a Tablet that is a Phone) and almost never seen.

Another factor is that when 1080P became popular (here) a couple of years ago, and people made the HUGE (their feelings) jump from 'just a Smartphone' to the _enormous_ 5" sized Phone they would not then go on to purchase another Device that certainly would NOT squeeze into their pocket, instead a 'real' WiFi Tablet would be purchased (with no LTE or 3G).

People here were not offered the Exynos, and the SD 810 was not a big upgrade (and too hot).

So basically we do not see people with Phablets (here), perhaps they are Closet Phablet Owners.

Johnny Walker

October 20, 2015, 12:56 pm

I have a LeTV Max from China, where's that in your review? It's an awesome super specced 6.33 inch phablet.

Steve

October 22, 2015, 6:39 pm

I think I would rather have the Alcatel Idol 3 over the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6. The specs are about the same but the Idol 3 has JBL speakers.

Steve

October 22, 2015, 6:42 pm

Also I would hardly call the Huawei Ascend G7 cheap at $425

Simon Baxter

October 30, 2015, 10:52 pm

None of these are phablets- Sony z ultra user

joseph taylor

November 19, 2015, 5:04 am

Also z ultra user.Call us when you realize what a real phablet looks like.

Lieba Bettencourt

November 19, 2015, 8:32 am

Sorry you all - but these aren't really phablets - I have the ASUS 8
INCH Fonepad which I love!!!!! and its half the price of all the
others; the only issue with it is the charging pin which is a bit loose.
I just wish the fix it. or one of these big companies make something
similar so far no contenders

BritishGuy94

November 19, 2015, 12:43 pm

8 inches is a tablet dummy, Anything 7 inches plus is tablet - Fact!

BritishGuy94

November 19, 2015, 12:43 pm

Of course they are, anything 5.5 inches above are.

BritishGuy94

November 19, 2015, 12:44 pm

Wouldn't even be in the 2014 list so why would it be on this? The real question is where is the Note 5

Omar

December 1, 2015, 9:01 pm

Why is the Nexus 6P the only phone rated 10/10, yet it's 4th??

Jose Enrique Brito Mendizabal

December 4, 2015, 7:07 pm

The Iphone 6S+ has only 5.5 and yet it is basically the same size as the Huawei Ascend Mate 7. It is also ridiculously overpriced How is it the number 1 phone on this list??

dana champion

December 9, 2015, 1:48 pm

I was thinking the same thing. I have the HTC One Max & these don't compare in size. Sebastian "the expert" needs to do some research. I am here looking for a new phone & it's disappointing to see what qualifies as a phablet.

Napoleon Valerian

January 15, 2016, 1:28 pm

I'm really curious to see how big manufacturers want to make 2016's phablets.I mean, they're already at 6.0, going beyond this means they're already entering tablet market...I don't get it. By the way, if anybody is interested, I've made an more in-depth approach on my blog: https://samsungrumorsblog.word... (it's just a school project, nothing much).

Samsung, for example, had a 6.3" phone, the Galaxy Mega. I wonder how people talking at it were looking like...

ANGUS 4277

February 18, 2016, 2:03 pm

Sorry Sebastian Bartlett but your thinking is incorrect. If that is the way you feel then fine go get yourself a micro-phone with a 4" screen and leave us phablet enthusiasts who want a 7" phablet alone.

ANGUS 4277

February 18, 2016, 2:06 pm

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is a loser because they took away the removable back, the SD card slot, and still made it the small sub 6" screen size. In short they tried to make their flagship phone more like an iphone which was a big mistake in my opinion.

BritishGuy94

February 18, 2016, 2:54 pm

What are you talking about? 7inch is a tablet, fact! Why would I want 4 inches when i clearly mentioned 5.5 inch as a phablet. Please get a grip and stop making a fool of yourself, you fool

BritishGuy94

February 18, 2016, 2:59 pm

Removable battery is pointless and take better design anyday. I do agree the sd card slot should stay but it doesn't define the handset. Stuff such as display, camera, software features etc are much more important. 5.7 inches is by no mean small but near ideal size. Also its the iphone thats trying to be more and more like a galaxy actually. Check you history and don't come across as so stupid.

ANGUS 4277

February 18, 2016, 8:45 pm

people may call a phone with a 5.5 inch display a "phablet" but that is not correct. The term "phablet" implies a phone\tablet device. A device with a 5.5 inch display is not big enough to use as a tablet so it is just a phone. The ideal size for a "phablet" would be something with a 7" dislpay. big enough to use as a tablet but not too big to use as a phone. Also just because you say something is a "fact" does not make it so... it makes it your opinion which I choose to disagree with. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 LTE device is used by many people as a phone and it has a 7" display. I as a matter of fact am looking for such a device with newer hardware specs that will work on Verizon so I can replace my Galaxy Note 2 since it is a bit long in the tooth and has a small screen. Therefore I am no fool. You just do not know how to think outside the box. That is why one of those tiny iphones from Apple would be perfect for you... so you can follow the herd. It is not Moo or Baaah... not exactly sure what sounds cattle make but you get the point.

Blue88487

March 12, 2016, 1:18 am

I have the Note 4 and will not be purchasing a Note 5 for the exact reason Angus suggested. The lack of a removable battery and SD card are huge drawbacks for me. Nearly every phone I have ever purchased has had problems with the batteries (only holding a charge for about half a day) about 3/4 of the way through my contract. Being able to purchase an aftermarket battery and pop it into the phone is a nice option to have. This was the number one reason I moved away from HTC after the desire when they changed their phone designs without a removable battery.

Bobbie Fenton

March 19, 2016, 10:18 pm

None of you guys seem to understand the difference between a tablet and a phablet. - It has NOTHING to do with size. It's a tablet that also works as a phone. Not all tablets work as phones. If they did - Kindle would have put all these crappers out of business a long time ago!

Atanas Ctonlob

March 31, 2016, 4:08 pm

Because the list is crap. The nexus6P is 10/10, has way better specs than Iphone, yet its 4th on the list.

Susanne Cunningham

March 31, 2016, 11:21 pm

I have the Sony z ultra that's 6.4" and love it

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