Everyone thought Samsung was totally nuts when it launched the first Galaxy Note, but now phablets have become so popular that Apple’s gone and made one. Love ’em or hate ’em, phablets are here to stay.
While the definition of the phablet is somewhat ethereal and hard to pin down, for our purposes, we’re going to say that smartphones with displays sized 5.5 inches and up are considered phablets and everything else is just normal. In truth, the standard flagship phone is now about 4.7-to-5.3-inches in size these days. Based on that criteria, we’ve rounded up our favorite king-sized phones into this convenient guide.
Samsung’s Note series returned with a bang in 2016 with the Note 7, a high-end flagship that packs the Korean company’s latest innovations. The handset sports a showstopping dual-edged, 5.7-inch Super AMOLED Quad HD screen with a 2,560 x 1,440-pixel resolution, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, and whopping 64GB of internal storage. But the undisputed highlight is its iris scanner, which uses a scan of your eye’s unique tissue pattern to unlock your phone’s screen, secure your apps and data, and, in the near future, authenticate payments. The Note 7 ships with Samsung’s proprietary stylus, the S Pen, which can perform such tasks as jotting notes and enlarging images on the Note 7’s screen. The phone is a bit more durable than your average phablet, too, given it features Corning’s cutting-edge Gorilla Glass 5 and an IP68-certified dust- and water-resistant unibody. The Note 7 is the best of both worlds, combining both the Edge panel of the S7 Edge and the lauded S Pen of the Note series. Read our hands-on impressions.
After sticking to the 3.5-to-4-inch phone size for years, Apple finally entered into the world of the phablet with the iPhone 6 Plus. Now, it’s updated the phablet with the iPhone 6S Plus. The Plus dwarfs every iPhone ever made — even the 4.7-inch iPhone 6S — with its 5.5-inch display. It has the same aluminum body, but now it comes in rose gold, too. Apple also upgraded the rear camera to 12 megapixels and the front-facing shooter to 5 megapixels. The speedy A9 processor and 2GB RAM keep things moving, and iOS 9 looks as bright and colorful as ever while 3D Touch takes iOS to another level. It’s a truly incredible device for iOS users who’ve always wanted a phablet. Read our full review.
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