The Big Question: Phone Or Phablet?

The Big Question: Phone Or Phablet?

Super-sized smartphones (commonly referred to as ‘phablets’) are swiftly becoming the standard form factor in the mobile phone industry. They’re great for gaming and watching video, but when it comes to portability and one-handed texting they can be a bit of a pain in the bum. Which do you prefer?

Like a nuclear-powered beast in some B-grade horror movie, the smart phone refuses to stop growing. These days, it’s hard to find a handset that isn’t at least five inches across. It’s getting so bad that some of them might as well be full-sized tablets. Even Apple has been expanding the size of its iconic iPhone. In a few more years, ‘normal’ sized phones will have gone the way of the physical keypad.

I recently upgraded to a Galaxy Note phablet and the extra screen real-estate is definitely welcomed. But sometimes I miss having a compact phone that I could comfortably slip inside my pocket. Sure, it wasn’t perfect for gaming but I have a DS and Vita for that. So what do you guys think? Are phablets the wave of the future or is it a terrible fad that is killing off practical handsets? Cast your vote!

[polldaddy poll=7654992]


  • Why is there a demon in the photo?

    At what size does a phone become a phablet? The G2 has a 5.2″ screen, but a very small bezel so isn’t much bigger than an S4.

  • Don’t know about phablets as I haven’t had any hands on time with one. I’ve got a Sony Xperia Z though, and I like it, it fits perfectly in the pocket of my work shirt, I like the size of it, and the full HD display is great.

    • Google turns up 1.5 million results. But I commend you for your marketing wank-speak ignorance. 😛

      • I wonder if it’s one of those terms which can be used to describe not only the device, but also the people who use them? Phablets… it has a certain ring to it, as if these trend-setters are being recognized for their phabulousness(sic).

      • I’ve seen it said on many websites, but I’ve never heard anyone say the word myself, either. 😉

    • Yeah, it gets thrown around by people who are “experts” in knowing about phone products (what degree do you get to do that job…) and not many other people.

      Article is pointless is that it fails to tell us where it thinks the line between the two is.

      Article is also wrong, there are still many smaller sized phones available. E.g. Sony makes the Xperia Z and another phone which is basically a smaller version of the same.

  • I have an Xperia S and I think its perfect size for pocket use. I’d hate to carry anything bigger, I do however have the Sony Tablet P which gets thrown into my bag for trips if I want more screen estate

  • I witnessed a young whippersnapper using a ‘phablet’ on the bus, the other day. It seemed like a more convenient way to look at all that text and imagery, compared to a phone.
    It also looked absolutely ridiculous. You can’t fit that in your pocket, young man! If you’re going to carry around something you can’t fit in your pocket, why not just use a PROPER tablet that has an actual screen instead of a compromise-which-kind-of-looks-like-a-screen?

    It fits in your pocket or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, then why are you trying for small? “This is so much smaller and more difficult to look at and navigate with than a regular tablet! I’m so glad I can’t play any games on this, thanks to its weird aspect ratio. But at least I know I it’s similarly awkward to carry around!” Fools. FOOLS!

    • By 2015 no one will be putting their phones in their pockets because pockets aren’t trendy any more, you’re supposed to wear your clothes inside-out with the pockets hanging out, as predicted in Back to the Future Part II. This change in fashion trends will drive the Phablet adoption rate much further, as everyone is forced to buy bags or pouches because they can no longer use their pockets without looking ridiculous.

  • I have a Galaxy S2 and a Nexus 7… and I’d much rather use the Nexus for just about everything except making phone calls… but I think that’s more a case of resolution than physical screen size.

  • I bought my wife a Nexus 5 for Christmas… Didn’t actually realise how large it is, will be one hell of an upgrade from her HTC Desire… Hopefully it can fit in her child sized hands.

    • Going from an iPhone 4S to a Nexus 5 was amazing. The size of the screen is so much easier to do anything on, and it still fits comfortably in my pocket. Tried to use my friend’s iPhone the other day and I felt like I had giant hands.

      • As someone who has giant hands, I’m rather hoping the Samsung note I have on the way will fit them neatly

          • Certainly encouraging to hear, thanks. There must finally be a market catering for giant freaks of nature like me

  • I’m 6’3″, with proportionally sized hands, and yet I’ve found anything bigger than an iPhone 5 is too big. I don’t know how people use these giant phones, but it certainly isn’t with one hand.

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