Best big phones 2022: which phablet should you buy?

A selection of the best big phones, including Samsung, OnePlus and Apple
(Image credit: Samsung, OnePlus, Apple)

The best big phones are more than handsets that offer expansive screens – they're also great handsets in their own right. 

In this look at the best big phones, we've focused on truly large handsets. That means phones with at least a 6.5-inch screen, but usually more. Thanks to that, you can enjoy plenty of space for all your apps, movies, and games. A screen this large even means you can work or create, although one of the best tablets may be a better option here.

All the phones listed below - from the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to the iPhone 13 Pro Max - are great smartphones for other features too. 

We've only included the very best big phones here so these tend to have great cameras, fantastic performance, and excellent battery life, all while looking good too. Count on them being expensive but worth every penny.

Read on while we take you through overviews of each of our picks, along with pros and cons, and a link to their full review to learn more. If you're on a tighter budget or want something smaller, check out our best cheap phones and best smartphone guides too.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Samsung)
A top tier smartphone in every way

Specifications

Release date: February 2022
Weight: 228g
Dimensions: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.8-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3088
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 / Exynos 2200
RAM: 8GB / 12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 108MP (wide) + 10MP (telephoto, 3x optical) + 10MP (telephoto, 10x optical) + 12MP (ultrawide, 120-degree)
Front camera: 40MP

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible cameras and zoom
+
Gorgeous screen

Reasons to avoid

-
No microSD slot
-
Battery life could be better

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is arguably the ultimate phone for someone looking for speedy performance, a gorgeous screen, and fantastic photo taking abilities. 

Its ultra-high-resolution 6.8-inch screen is gorgeous with brilliant colors and smooth motion thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate. With plenty of screen space, you can get a lot done in style.

For those more relaxing moments, the fantastic cameras which make it possible to snap the moon and anything else below it are a dream to use. 

The phone also has an integrated S Pen for getting more tactile with your work, while speedy performance thanks to Samsung's own Exynos 2200 chipset (or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset in the US) ensures it's ideal for gaming and multitasking.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review.

An iPhone 13 Pro Max in gold, against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)
The best Apple iPhone

Specifications

Weight: 240g
Dimensions: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.7mm
OS: iOS 15
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1284 x 2778
CPU: A15 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: Up to 28 hours
Rear camera: 12MP+12MP+12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Useful camera upgrades
+
Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
120Hz screen is minimal upgrade
-
Cinematic mode is quite basic

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is among the biggest iPhones you can buy, and at the time of writing it’s certainly the best of them, being the newest and most powerful.

With its 6.7-inch 1284 x 2778 screen it’s certainly large, and that display is sharp too, but where it really beats its predecessor is in the addition of a 120Hz refresh rate, making it feel smoother than ever in operation.

Elsewhere, the iPhone 13 Pro Max also has an improved camera, with a new macro mode and better low light performance, among other changes. iPhone cameras are always great, and the snappers here are among the best.

The battery life meanwhile really is the best – at least that we’ve ever seen from an iPhone, and with a smaller notch plus a powerful new A15 Bionic chipset, this really is a top-tier flagship. Like most big flagships – and particularly big iPhones – this costs a lot, but it’s worth every cent of the money.

Read more: iPhone 13 Pro Max review

OnePlus 10 Pro

(Image credit: OnePlus)
Beefy with a screen to match

Specifications

Release date: January 2022
Weight: 201g
Dimensions: 163 x 73.9 x 8.6 mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3216
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256/512GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 50MP + 8MP
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic display
+
Speedy charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Cameras aren't perfect
-
Chunky

The OnePlus 10 Pro has a gorgeous 6.7-inch AMOLED panel that is both bright and beautiful to look at. A maximum brightness of 1,300 nits means it looks just as great outdoors as it does indoors, with a refresh rate of 120Hz ensuring silky smooth browsing. 

The camera array may not be perfect but its main camera is delightful with a 48MP main sensor that offers bright and colorful images, along with natural-looking depth for close-up snaps. It's only the ultrawide camera that leads to some fun but impractical ultrawide snaps. 

Performance wise, the OnePlus 10 Pro is snappy too with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset ensuring fast performance at all times, even if benchmarks don't reflect that. 

Cheaper than much of the competition, the OnePlus 10 Pro sneaks up on you well.

Read more: OnePlus 10 Pro review

iPhone 12 Pro Max

(Image credit: Apple)

4. iPhone 12 Pro Max

A big and brilliant iPhone

Specifications

Weight: 228g
Dimensions: 160.8mm x 78.1mm x 7.4mm
OS: iOS 14
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1284 x 2778
CPU: A14 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: Unknown
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Long battery life
+
Powerful rear camera

Reasons to avoid

-
Feels too large
-
Very, very expensive

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is no longer the best big iPhone (that's the iPhone 13 Pro Max), but it matches that one for screen size, and it's still great.

It has a 6.7-inch 1284 x 2778 OLED screen with 458 pixels per inch. So it’s sharp, as well as being clear, bright, and offering excellent color reproduction. It’s also durable, with a Ceramic Shield coating that should make the display less easy to damage than most phone screens.

The camera also impresses, with 12MP main, ultra-wide and telephoto snappers, along with a LiDAR scanner for judging depth. The numbers here might be lower than on some other phones, but the results are remarkable, even when the lighting isn’t.

You also get cutting-edge power, respectable battery life and all the benefits of iPhone ownership, such as access to the App Store. That said, this phone is very expensive, and screen size aside it’s not much different to the cheaper iPhone 12 Pro, so consider how much you value the extra space.

Read more: iPhone 12 Pro Max review

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Samsung)
Larger with great performance

Specifications

Release date: February 2022
Weight: 95g
Dimensions: 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6 mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.6-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 / Exynos 2200
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 12MP + 10MP
Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful performance
+
Useful Portrait camera modes

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Awkward to hold

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is the middle child of the Samsung 2022 family but still offers some potent performance. It's not the most comfortable of phones to hold but it's far from heavy for a big phone. 

Its 6.6-inch display offers a full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2340 with a refresh rate of 120Hz. Its resolution is a little average but its max brightness is an impressive 1,750 and it offers some remarkable contrast.

Four cameras including a 50MP f/1.8 main, 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide and 10MP f2.4 telephoto at the front, along with a 10MP f/2.2 selfie camera means plenty of options here. It lacks the versatility of the S22 Ultra but there are still some great features including a Portrait mode that is second to none. 

Packing in the same chipset as its pricier sibling, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus offers up some reasonably speedy performance too, especially when gaming. 

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review

Sony Xperia 1 IV

(Image credit: Sony)
The best for movie watching

Specifications

Release date: June 2022
Weight: 185g
Dimensions: 165 x 71 x 8.2mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.5-inch
Resolution: 1644 x 3840
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256/512GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP + 0.3MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic display
+
Great battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Temperamental fingerprint scanner

The Sony Xperia 1 IV is long and thin which makes it a great device for watching movies and other streaming content while on the move. Its angular design may take some time to adjust to holding, but its 6.5-inch OLED display offers all you could want. 

It has a 120Hz refresh rate to keep up with fast moving scenes, along with a 4K resolution and 21:9 aspect ratio. The phone is smart enough to hit 4K resolutions when needed such as playing games or watching videos. 

Elsewhere, the Sony Xperia 1 IV's camera is a delight thanks to its continuous 3.5x-5.2x camera zoom while you can use it to record 4K video at 120fps. 

Read more: Sony Xperia 1 IV review

Asus ROG Phone 6

(Image credit: Asus)
The best big gaming phone

Specifications

Release date: July 2022
Weight: 239g
Dimensions: 173 x 77 x 10.3mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.78-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2448
CPU: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
RAM: 8/12/16GB
Storage: 128GB/256/512GB
Battery: 6,000mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 13MP + 5MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful performance
+
Bright screen

Reasons to avoid

-
No wireless charging
-
Weak camera for the price

If you like to game on your commute, the Asus ROG Phone 6 is the phone for you. Its 6.78-inch AMOLED display is bright and vibrant with a wide, full HD resolution that looks great when playing a game. A smooth refresh rate of 165Hz further helps matters with motion smoothness exceptional here. 

The Asus ROG Phone 6's camera selection is a little weak despite offering a 50MP primary camera with IMX766 but in terms of sheer performance, the phone is fantastic.

It uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 while staying cool due to some smart design work by Asus. A gaming centric UI rounds off a package that feels more gaming device than phone at times. 

Read more: Asus ROG Phone 6 review

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus in black

(Image credit: Samsung)
A slightly larger version of the Samsung S21, but is it for you?

Specifications

Release date: January 2021
Weight: 200g
Dimensions: 161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 4,800mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 64MP + 12MP
Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Gorgeous  design

Reasons to avoid

-
No microSD support
-
Expensive

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus isn’t Samsung’s biggest phone or its best one, but it’s close on both fronts.

With a 6.7-inch screen it’s just one inch smaller than the Galaxy S21 Ultra, though its display is nowhere near as high resolution, at 1080 x 2400. Still, it uses AMOLED, has a 120Hz refresh rate, and supports HDR10+, so it’s a great screen nonetheless.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus is also if anything even more stylish than the S21 Ultra, with its smaller camera block and contrasting rear glass and camera block colors. You also get plenty of power, from either a Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 chipset (depending on which country you buy the phone in), and it has an impressive triple-lens camera too, with a 12MP main sensor, a 64MP telephoto one and a 12MP ultra-wide.

Its issues are similar to the Galaxy S21 Ultra – there’s no microSD card slot, charging tops out at 25W, and there’s no charger in the box. But since this is a cheaper phone those complaints are even more forgivable.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus review

xiaomi 12 pro

(Image credit: Xiaomi)
Well balanced in every way

Specifications

Release date: December 2021
Weight: 204g
Dimensions: 163.6 x 74.6 x 8.2 mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.73-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3200
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 4,600mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 50MP + 50MP
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic screen quality
+
Gorgeous finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited optical zoom
-
No official IP rating

The Xiaomi 12 Pro offers a lot at a reasonable price for a big phone. It has a gorgeous 6.73-inch display that uses Samsung's LTPO AMOLED technology along with a great WQHD+ resolution. Quad speakers sporting Harmon Kardon tuning and offering Dolby Atmos support means this is the perfect phone for streaming movies on.

Gaming performance is good too thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. That means that battery capacity isn't huge but 120W charging makes it the fastest around for getting back up to scratch.

The only flaw is its camera performance. It has a weak optical zoom and an ultra-wide camera that lacks autofocus, but its main 50MP camera remains excellent and smart software helps you get great results. 

Read more: Xiaomi 12 Pro review