The 10 best phablets in the world today

Bigger is better

The 10 best phablets in the world today

Our hands might not be getting any bigger but our phones certainly are. As flagships like the LG G3 and OnePlus One creep up to 5.5 inches, 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 is a growing selection of phones to suit and these are the ten best.

1. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung was one of the first companies to jump on the phablet train and its most recent one, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, is not only one of Samsung's best phones but the best phablet money can buy.

The faux-leather rear is divisive at best, but with a powerful 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 3GB of RAM it's one of the highest performing handsets around, while its 5.7-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display is sharp and impressive.

Galaxy Note 3

It's also on the small side, at least as far as phablets go, which makes it easier to hold than some competing devices, while the inclusion of a stylus makes it a joy to use.

Add in an impressive battery life and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 really is a phone that has it all. Great as a phone, even better for media and productivity, high powered and it keeps on going all day.

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 2

While the Galaxy Note 3 now sits at the top of Samsung's phablet range it's still worth considering the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

At 5.5 inches it's a little smaller than the Note 3, in fact with the likes of the LG G3 now rocking 5.5-inch displays it's debatable whether this can even still be considered a phablet, but it was certainly thought of as one when it launched 18 months ago.

Note 2

Its screen is only 720p and its quad-core 1.6GHz processor and 2GB of RAM are starting to look more upper mid-range than high end, but in practice its performance is still impressive while the Super AMOLED screen produces vibrant colours.

It also has great battery life, just like the Note 3, and with a microSD card slot and 4G support it's well equipped. More importantly though, while the Note 3 retails for around £450, the Galaxy Note 2 can now be had for just £320, making it a comparative bargain.

3. Nokia Lumia 1520

If you want a Windows Phone phablet your options are limited, so it's a good thing that Nokia delivered the complete package with the Nokia Lumia 1520.

With its massive 6.0-inch 1080p IPS LCD display it's a beast for media consumption, while a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM ensure slick performance whether you're watching an HD movie or playing a demanding game.

Lumia 1520

While it's made of plastic it feels very solidly built and comes in at a slim 8.7mm thick, giving it an attractive, premium look and feel.

In typical Nokia fashion it also has an impressive 20MP camera and before long it should get an update to Windows Phone 8.1, which should keep it feeling fresh and up to date for a while longer.

At 6 inches it's undeniably on the large size. One handed operation will be a non-starter for most people and it can feel a little unwieldy as a phone, but that makes it superb for media and web browsing, so it's arguably worth it.

4. Sony Xperia Z Ultra

While no other phablet has managed to match the might of Samsung's Galaxy Note range, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra certainly comes close.

At 6.4 inches it's monstrous in size and that's both a blessing and a curse. It's a true tablet replacement, as it's not all that much smaller than a 7-inch slate, but that of course makes it wildly impractical as a phone.

Still, if you really want an all-in-one device this will do it and size aside there's a lot going for it. The Xperia Z Ultra has a premium build with a glass back and it's super slim at just 6.5mm, so it looks good and compared to most other phablets it looks very good.

Z Ultra

It's also water and dust resistant and has a powerful 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, so it's almost as beastly as the Galaxy Note 3.

Its screen makes it a great portable movie player too, not just because of its size, but also because it's high resolution (1080p) and has natural colours.

And with all that movie watching you're going to be giving the battery a workout, so it's a good thing that its 3050mAh juice pack is up to the challenge. The only real let down is the camera, in fact, to quote our review we're "astounded with how bad it is". If it weren't for that there might be a new phablet king on the block.

5. Oppo N1

While all the aforementioned phablets are great, they're also all big names. If you want something that no-one else has and that's a little different then consider the Oppo N1.

It ticks all the boxes that we'd expect from a high-end phablet, with a 1.7GHz quad-core processor (albeit a Snapdragon 600 one), 2GB of RAM and a 5.9-inch 1080p screen. Plus it has great battery life, so you can comfortably use it as both a communications device and a portable media player without fear of it dying.

Oppo N1

But it also stands out in various ways. Aside from being made by a little known company there's the fact that its 13MP camera swivels, so you can use it for selfies as well as other things and the results are impressive.

Then there's the fact that it's packed with various gesture-based shortcuts, which can be entered from the screen or from a touchpad on the back. The N1 also officially supports CyanogenMod, so you can install a full featured version of the Android-based OS with ease and without voiding your warranty.