Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fabulous Phablets!

Fabulous Phablets: The 5 Best Big-Screen Smartphones You Can Buy

Fabulous Phablets: The 5 Best Big-Screen Smartphones You Can Buy

By Mihir Patkar
Big-screen phones are awesome. These aren’t smartphones you can use easily with one hand, but if you’re comfortable being a two-handed user, then they give you more real estate and a fantastic large screen to get more stuff done.
Mobile phone screens are rapidly getting bigger and bigger. Just three years ago, the flagship handsets had a screen size of 4.3 inches, and it’s now increased to 5-5.2 inches. And somewhere along the line, a whole bunch of “phablets” (phone-tablet hybrids) popped up.
If you’re going to buy a big-screen phone now, and by that, we mean something that’s larger than a 5.5-inch screen and smaller than a 7-inch tablet, these are your best options.

Best All-Rounder: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – $625.99

Big Screen Smartphones Samsung Galaxy Note 3   Fabulous Phablets: The 5 Best Big Screen Smartphones You Can Buy
There’s no competition, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the absolute best phone you can buy if you are looking for a phablet. It’s the only one to include a built-in stylus and custom software to make the most of that feature, letting you easily take notes, draw, and perform other tasks. Plus, it’s kitted with top-of-the-line hardware and the new faux leather back makes it feel good to hold. Samsung’s got a winner on their hands and if you can afford it, this is the phablet to buy. You can read more about it in our Galaxy Note 3 review.
  • Screen: 5.7-inch Super AMOLED (1920×1080 pixels) with Gorilla Glass 3
  • Processor: Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 / Octa-Core Exynos 5 Octa 5420
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • Camera: 13 MP rear (1080p videos), 2 MP front (720p video)
  • Memory: 16/32/64 GB internal, microSD up to 64 GB
  • Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4, NFC
  • Battery: 3200 mAh
  • OS: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (Upgradable to 4.4 KitKat)

Waterproof: Sony Xperia Z Ultra – $470.55

Big Screen Smartphones Sony Xperia Z Ultra Waterproof   Fabulous Phablets: The 5 Best Big Screen Smartphones You Can Buy
If you want a big-screen phone that’s not going to be damaged when using it in the rain or out by the pool, the Xperia Z Ultra is your best bet. As long as the protective flaps for ports are sealed, it’s completely waterproof and you have nothing to worry about. But be warned, the camera is atrocious and the battery life is substandard. You really, really need to want that waterproofing feature to choose this over the Note 3.
  • Screen: 6.4-inch IPS (1920×1080 pixels) with scratch-resistant glass
  • Processor: 2.2GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Camera: 8 MP rear camera without LED flash (1080p videos), 2 MP front camera (1080p videos)
  • Memory: 16 GB internal, microSD up to 64GB
  • Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4, NFC
  • Battery: 3050 mAh
  • OS: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (Upgradable to 4.4 KitKat)

CyanogenMod & Selfies: Oppo N1 – $669.89

Big Screen Smartphones Oppo N1 Cyanogenmod   Fabulous Phablets: The 5 Best Big Screen Smartphones You Can Buy
Not everyone is a fan of how companies like Samsung modify Android’s interface. You could just install Cyanogenmod on any Android, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. So if you want something that’s closer to stock Android and assured of updates, then check out the Oppo N1. This is the first phone to come with CyanogenMod built-in. It features a rotating camera so you can click selfies with the same high-quality snapper as regular photos. There are a couple of other neat additions, like a rear touch panel and a keychain dongle, but these don’t work as well as advertised. You can read our full Oppo N1 review for more details.
  • Screen: 5.9-inch IPS (1920×1080 pixels) with Gorilla Glass 3
  • Processor: 1.7GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Camera: 13 MP with rotating lens (1080p videos)
  • Memory: 16/32 GB internal, no microSD slot
  • Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4, NFC
  • Battery: 3600 mAh
  • OS: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (Upgradable to 4.4 KitKat)

Budget Buy: Huawei Ascend Mate – $299.98

Big Screen Smartphones Huawei Ascend Mate   Fabulous Phablets: The 5 Best Big Screen Smartphones You Can Buy
The Huawei Ascend Mate is not a new phone, but that also means it’s one of theaffordable Android phones that don’t suck. At just above $300, you get good hardware (quad-core processor, 2GB RAM) and long battery life (4050mAh). There are two issues, though. First, you probably won’t be getting updates beyond Android Jelly Bean. Second, the customized Emotion UI skin doesn’t look too great and doesn’t auto-rotate.
  • Screen: 6.1-inch IPS (1280×720 pixels) with Gorilla Glass
  • Processor: 1.5 GHz Quad-core Huawei K3V2
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Camera: 8 MP rear (1080p videos), 1 MP front (720p video)
  • Memory: 8 GB internal, microSD up to 64 GB
  • Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4
  • Battery: 4050 mAh
  • OS: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean

The Non-Android Choice: Nokia 1520 – $559.89

Big Screen Smartphones Nokia Lumia 1520   Fabulous Phablets: The 5 Best Big Screen Smartphones You Can Buy
If you don’t fancy Android but still want a large-screen mobile phone, Nokia has you covered. The new flagship, the Nokia 1520, features a 20-megapixel PureView camera to take sharp photographs and is packed with hardware that rivals any Android phone. Of course, this runs on Windows Phone 8 and has some awesome apps that will make you buy a Nokia phone.
  • Screen: 6-inch IPS (1920×1080 pixels) with Gorilla Glass 2
  • Processor: 2.2GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Camera: 20 MP rear with Carl Zeiss optics (1080p videos), 1.2 MP front (720p video)
  • Memory: 16 GB internal, microSD up to 64 GB
  • Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4, NFC
  • Battery: 3400 mAh
  • OS: Windows Phone 8

Your Thoughts On Big Screens?

With televisions, it’s always been as simple as “the bigger the better” when it comes to screen sizes, but that’s not everyone’s opinion with mobile phones. So what’s the right size, according to you? Would you buy a big-screen mobile phone and why? Let us know in the comments!

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