Our hands might not be getting any bigger these days, but our phones certainly are. Ever since the Samsung Galaxy Note was released – and proved a success – in 2010, phablets have been growing with lots of companies around the world jumping up their flagship phone sizes.
Flagship phones such as the OnePlus 3, Moto X Style and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge are now sat at the 5.5-inch and up mark. Other phones are breaking the 6-inch mark as some phablets are starting to resemble small tablets, arguably filling the roles of both a smartphone and a slate.
If you think that one device is better than two, or just have really big hands, then there’s a growing selection of phones to suit… and these are the best.
8. Moto G4
The fourth generation Moto G is here
Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 153 x 76.6 x 9.8mm | OS: Android 6 Marshmallow | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 617 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
Bright Full HD display
No fingerprint scanner
The Moto G4 is one of the best cheap phones you can buy right now and it just so turns out the latest Moto G handset is also a phablet.
It features a 5.5-inch Full HD display – a jump up from a 720p screen on the last Moto G – and it’s impressively powerful too with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chipset and 2GB of RAM under the hood.
It doesn’t feature NFC or a fingerprint scanner, but for this price you wouldn’t usually expect those features on a phablet. If you want a phablet on a budget, go for the Moto G4.
Read the full review: Moto G4
7. Moto X Style
Customisable and affordable
Weight: 179g | Dimensions: 153 x 76.2 x 11.1mm | OS: Android 5.1.1 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 808 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16/32/64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 21MP | Front camera: 5MP
Bright, vibrant screen
Big and heavy
The Moto X Style is one of three pretty high-end handsets Motorola has released back in 2015, slotting in between the Moto X Force and the Moto X Play in terms of specs and price, but with a 5.7-inch screen it’s the largest of the three.
It runs nearly pure Android too, so for fans of unadulterated versions of Google’s OS it’s a strong alternative to the Nexus 6P.
As the name suggests the Style is pretty stylish and hugely customisable, with a metal frame and a wood, leather or plastic back. It’s not quite as much of a looker as the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ or iPhone 6S Plus, but it’s not far off.
The battery life could be better and it’s a bit of a handful, but with solid performance, a decent camera and a reasonable price tag it’s well worth considering.
Read the full review: Moto X Style
6. Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
The world’s first 4K screen in a phone
Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 154 x 75.8 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 5.1.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 2160 x 3840 | CPU: Snapdragon 810 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3430mAh | Rear camera: 23MP | Front camera: 5.1MP
Huge 4K display
Impressive finger scanner
Poor battery life
This is Sony’s latest phablet, and it’s a pretty darn nifty one at that. Its main feature is the 4K screen it’s packing on the front – and it’s not as mental as you’d think.
It’s a brilliant display – there’s nothing more pin-sharp on the market at 806ppi density. We’re not convinced you’ll be able to SEE those extra pixels, and they’re not turned on all the time, but it’s there.
The Xperia Z5 is already a good phone, and that’s been supersized here – with the same brilliant camera, waterproof chassis and good Hi-Res audio.
Battery life could be better, but it’s no worse than a lot on this list – if you want to try something different, the Xperia Z5 Premium could well be it.
Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
5. Nexus 6P
Google’s second-generation phablet is here
Weight: 178g | Dimensions: 159 x 77.8 x 7.3mm | OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 810 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32/64/128GB | Battery: 3450mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP
Great specs for the price
Ugly rear camera bulge
No optical image stabilization
With an all-metal build, a fingerprint scanner, front-facing stereo speakers and high end specs the Nexus 6P is far and away the most premium device yet in the Nexus range.
The screen is big at 5.7 inches, though actually slightly smaller than the 5.96-inch monster on the Nexus 6. It’s a great display though, with a QHD resolution and vibrant if not quite true-to-life colours.
The Nexus 6P also runs Android Marshmallow. It’s one of the first devices to do so and it’s the stock version, which is superior to most manufacturer skins. Being a Nexus device it’s also promised quick updates to new versions of the OS, so it should stay fresh for longer.
It doesn’t quite feel as full-featured as some rival, as there’s no wireless charging for example, but it’s also a little cheaper and for the most part it feels every bit a flagship.
Read the full review: Nexus 6P
4. iPhone 6S Plus
Just as big, but a little better
Weight: 192g | Dimensions: 158 x 77.9 x 7.3mm | OS: iOS 9 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Apple A9 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/64/128GB | Battery: 2750mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
3D Touch has exciting potential
Bright, vibrant display
Big and heavy
Apple’s second phablet is a modest upgrade on its first one, but given the iPhone 6 Plus was one of the best phablets of 2014 that still makes this a great handset.
The iPhone 6S Plus takes all the good things about its predecessor, like the stylish metal build, TouchID fingerprint scanner and bright, vibrant screen and adds to them.
We get a new 12MP camera capable of taking great shots, we get a boost in power and we get whole new features like 3D Touch, which has the potential to really change the way we operate our phones.
The 6S Plus isn’t a cheap handset, especially in larger storage sizes (up to 128GB), but it does a good job of justifying every penny you’ll spend, with slick performance and that overwhelming sense of premium quality that we’ve come to expect from Apple.
Read the full review: iPhone 6S Plus
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Putting the phab in phablet
Weight: 171g | Dimensions: 153 x 76.1 x 7.6mm | OS: Android 5.1.1 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Exynos 7420 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64/128GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 5MP
Slick glass-backed design
No microSD card slot
Samsung’s Note 5 isn’t the easiest phone to get a hold of in the UK, but it’s readily available in the US and is the best Galaxy Note yet.
The S Pen is better than ever with more features on the stylus and the design of this phablet is better than the Galaxy Note 4.
You won’t get the curved screens of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, but it’s still a worthwhile purchase if you’re a fan of the Note brand.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 5
2. OnePlus 3
OnePlus finally has a genuine flagship killer
Weight: 158g | Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4mm | OS: Android 6 Marshmallow | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 32/64/128GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP
Plenty of power
Only 64GB, no microSD slot
Full HD resolution
The latest phone from OnePlus is the real flagship killer the company has been looking for since 2014. With a metal uni-body design and a powerful processor set up this is one of the best phones money can buy.
What’s especially great is the price. Compared to other flagship phones, the OnePlus 3 is much cheaper and won’t cost you anywhere near as much as the number one on this list.
If you’re after a cheap yet high-end smartphone, the OnePlus 3 may well be the best choice for you in 2016.
Read the full review: OnePlus 3
1. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The Edge screen finally reaches the top spot
Weight: 157g | Dimensions: 150 x 72.6 x 7.7mm | OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3600mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
Slight plastic feel
Samsung now has two entries in the best phablet list, with the Galaxy S7 Edge reaching the top spot. The new curved handset is a beautiful 5.5-inch phone that includes even more functionality on those side screens than we’ve seen on past iterations.
It’s one of the more expensive handsets on this list, but it’s worth the extra money for such a gorgeous looking phone.
Plus the design is even more impressive when you realise this is the first waterproof Galaxy Edge product. If you want a top of the range phone that looks a little different to every other square slab out there on the market, the Galaxy S7 Edge is probably the choice for you.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
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