Which is the best phablet?
On the market for a new big-screen smartphone for Netflix bingeing and gaming? You’re in luck, as 2019 has seen some of the best phablets ever made hit the scene.
If you’re a gamer there are also bespoke phones like the super-charged ROG Phone 2, which looks as though it’s one of THE most powerful phones ever made.
For iOS fans, the latest plus-sized phone comes in the form of the iPhone 11 Max. More interested in a top-end big-screen camera phone? If the rumours turn out to be true, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro may be the phablet for you.
Related: Best Android phones
There are a number of great phablets available for purchase, covering a variety of different budgets. Whether you’re looking for an affordable entertainment hub for your kid or a top-end work phone, there’s a phablet for you.
Our summary below lists our top picks, and you can scroll down to see full reviews of the best phablets we’ve reviewed.
- Best phablet: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
- Best for photography: Huawei P30 Pro
- Best for entertainment: iPhone 11 Pro Max
- Best for display: OnePlus 7 Pro
- Best for gaming: Asus ROG Phone 2
How we test phablets
Every phablet that passes through Trusted Reviews undergoes a stringent set of tests. These include benchmarks to gauge their gaming, and general performance and screen tests to judge key factors including colour accuracy and maximum brightness.
From there we take a series of preset camera shots to gauge overall imaging quality and run it through a series of battery burns to see how things like video playback and gaming affect it. After all that, we use the phone as our main blower to see how it handles daily use.
Related: Best smartphones
1. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
The best true phablet
- Lovely big screen
- Very quick to charge
- S Pen is useful
- Versatile cameras
- Camera isn’t quite up there with the best
- Dodgy Live Video bokeh mode
- 65w charger not included
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is the true successor to the Note 9 and the company’s true flagship phablet for 2019. It’s a brute of a phone with a lovely display, plenty of grunt and a huge battery. There isn’t a whole lot new compared to the S10 – but this still stands as the true high-end Samsung phone for the end of 2019. Features include a lovely screen, versatile cameras, very quick Qi charging and water resistance – and USB-C buds are included.
It’s Samsung’s most feature-packed phablet yet, thanks to a whopping 6.8-inch display, a huge 4500mAh battery and, of course, that all-important S Pen stylus. As its name suggests, the Plus is a larger, more feature-packed take on the standard Note 10, complete with optional 5G.
This is a great phone and one of the finest all-round Android devices we’ve reviewed this year. It’s powerful, has just about every feature going and doesn’t skimp at all. It’s big – though you should already know this if you’re even considering a Note – and expensive, but if you want the best of the best there isn’t much better out there.
2. Huawei P30 Pro
Best for photography
- Great cameras
- Massive battery
- Slick design
- EMUI needs an overhaul
- Screen lacks the sharpness of the S10
Huawei has somehow managed to oust the likes of Apple, Samsung, Google and even its own Mate 20 Pro from the best smartphone-camera pedestal. Not only does its first 2019 flagship, the Huawei P30 Pro, pack a periscopic 5x lossless optical zoom camera, it also wields a 40-megapixel main sensor and an ultra-wide snapper to boot – not to mention that it offers unprecedented low-light photography skills.
Beyond imaging, there’s also a stunning 6.47-inch HDR-compliant OLED display, stupendous battery life attached to a super-fast-charging battery, with fast wireless charging thrown in for good measure. There’s also a Kirin 980 chipset powering things along.
Not everyone will gel with the company’s EMUI user experience but that’s easily fixable when you consider what else the P30 Pro offers.
- Huawei P30 Pro Review
3. iPhone 11 Pro Max
A glitzier, flashier version of the iPhone 11
- A lovely, supremely bright display
- One of the best camera systems on any phone
- There’s a quick charger in the box
- Design hasn’t changed much
- 64GB still the base storage option
- The iPhone 11 is, for most people, a better pick
For the extra outlay you get various extra features, such as the XDR Retina display, a triple-camera array on the back and higher-end materials. Apple has seriously improved its photographic output with the iPhone 11 range and it now stands level with the best out there.
The Pro versions are absolute performance beasts, with the new A13 Bionic chipset speeding things along. Paired with the A13 is a completely new U1 chip. This is able to communicate direct with other iPhones packing the U1 to transfer files through AirDrop, without the need for a connection.
When it comes to battery life, Apple claims a 5hr improvement for the Pro Max compared to the XS.
No 5G might seem like an omission to some purchasers, but it’s not like Apple to jump on a bandwagon before it’s proved its worth.
4. OnePlus 7 Pro
The best display currently available
- Oxygen OS user experience
- Stunning 90Hz HDR display
- Top-notch performance
- Great battery life
- Underwhelming cameras
- No wireless charging
- No water resistance
- Large and unwieldy
The OnePlus 7 Pro has the best display currently available on a phone, the latest internals and a design that takes a lot of inspiration from the Samsung Galaxy S10. It’s also the priciest OnePlus phone yet, moving away from the company’s idea of offering high-end specs for a bargain price.
With the OnePlus 7 Pro, the Chinese company is shrugging off the start-up, underdog image that it’s carried since its inception, and hopes to be taken more seriously in the high-end space with its most ambitious and audacious phone ever.
The OnePlus 7 Pro feels sturdy and well-built, has one of the nicest displays you’ll find, is a superb performer, offers great battery life and the camera is always improving. Even though wireless charging and water resistance aren’t part of the equation, it still manages to undercut the majority of the competition on cost.
5. Asus ROG Phone 2
The best gaming phone around
- Sensational screen
- Excellent battery life
- Plenty of power and storage
- It’s a big phone
- No telephoto camera
- No waterproofing
Asus has knocked it out of the park with the ROG Phone 2. Not only is this the best gaming phone money can buy, it’s also a great phone across the board. If its aggressive looks are to your taste, and you don’t mind the lack of wireless charging or water resistance, then nothing else comes close when it comes to gaming and battery life.
The ROG Phone 2 is loaded up with a giant 6.59-inch AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s also packing Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, overclocked to 2.96GHz, paired with 12GB RAM. Need storage? The ROG Phone 2 has 512GB by default, and a 1TB version coming down the line, complete with a matte black finish. It also has the biggest battery on the block – 6000mAh – and supports fast charging, up to Quick Charge 4.0 (30W).
Asus has overloaded its latest phone with gamer-specific highlights too, from L and R AirTriggers to squeezy sides which activate an overclocked X Mode, and there’s even a clip-on fan in the box. This isn’t just a phone – it’s a totally over-the-top joyride.
This phone has the smoothest screen around, the biggest battery and so much RAM, it keeps games and apps open in the background for hours. With all its gamer-centric enhancements and accessories, it’s a joy to use for giant geeks who want a phone that looks as though it fell off a Klingon warship.
You might miss having a telephoto camera, especially if you’re coming from a phone like the Mate 20 or P30 Pro, but its wide and ultra-wide cameras are both solid performers, making it a decent phone whichever way you look at it.