Phablets feature large displays that complement screen-intensive activity such as mobile web browsing and multimedia viewing. They may also include software optimized for an integral self-storing stylus to facilitate sketching, note-taking and annotation. Phablets were originally designed for the Asian market where consumers could not afford both a smartphone and tablet as in North America; phones for that market are known for having "budget-specs-big-battery" with large low resolution screens and midrange processors, although other phablets have flagship specifications. Since then, phablets in North America have also become successful for several reasons; Android 4.0 and subsequent releases of Android were suited to large as well as small screen sizes, while older consumers preferred larger screen sizes on smartphones due to deteriorating eyesight.
The popularity of phablets grew dramatically in 2012, as a successor to the original Galaxy Note, along with the falling costs and increasing power efficiency of smartphone displays, began to fuel competition in the market from other smartphone manufacturers, including Lenovo, LG, HTC, Huawei, Micromax, and Sony; IHS, Samsung reported that 25.6 million phablets were sold in 2012 alone. Due to the market's growth, Reuters called 2013 the "Year of the Phablet". In 2014, noting that phablets had overtaken laptops and desktops in global sales, The New York Times said "phablets could become the dominant computing device of the future – the most popular kind of phone on the market, and perhaps the only computer many of us need".
The definition of a phablet has changed in recent years due to the proliferation of larger displays on mainstream smartphones, and smartphones designed with thin bezels and/or curved screens to make them more compact than other devices with similar screen sizes. Thus, a device with a "phablet-sized" screen may not necessarily be considered one.
Current phablets typically have a diagonal display measurement between 5.1 inches (130 mm) and 7 inches (180 mm), assuming a 16:9 aspect ratio. In comparison, most flagship smartphones released in 2016 have a screen size of around 5 in (130 mm), with larger versions of mainstream flagships (such as iPhone 7 Plus, Pixel XL, and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge) using 5.5 in (140 mm) displays. PhoneArena argued that the S7 Edge was not a phablet, as it has a narrow and compact build with a physical footprint more in line with the smaller-screened Nexus 5X, due primarily to its use of a display with curved edges.
In 2017, LG, Samsung, and Apple each began to produce flagship smartphones (LG G6, Samsung Galaxy S8, and iPhone X) with displays taller than the conventional 16:9 aspect ratio used by the majority of devices, and diagonal screen sizes in line with those of phablets. However, in these cases, the sizes of the two devices are more compact than 16:9 aspect ratio devices with equivalent diagonal screen sizes.
- 2007 HTC Advantage (5.0 inch screen)
- 2007 Nokia N810WiMAX Edition (4.13" screen)
- 2009 Verizon Hub (7.0" screen)
- 2010 LG GW990 (4.8" screen)
- 2010 Dell Streak (5.0" screen)
- 2011 Dell Streak 7 (7.0" screen)
- 2011 Acer Iconia Smart (4.8" screen)
- 2011 Samsung Galaxy Player 5 (5.0" screen)
- 2011 Pantech Pocket
- 2011 Samsung Galaxy Note (5.3" screen)
The Android-based Dell Streak included a 5-inch (130 mm), 800×480 display and a widescreen-optimized interface. Reviewers encountered issues with its outdated operating system, Android 1.6 (which was not yet optimized for such a large screen size), and the device was commercially unsuccessful.
Galaxy Note and competitorsEdit
The Samsung Galaxy Note used a 5.3 inches (130 mm) screen. While some media outlets questioned the viability of the device, the Note received positive reception for its stylus functionality, the speed of its 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, and the advantages of its high resolution display. The Galaxy Note was a commercial success; Samsung announced in December 2011 that the Galaxy Note had sold 1 million units in two months. In February 2012, Samsung debuted a Note version with LTE support. By August 2012, the Note had sold 10 million units worldwide.
In late 2012, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note II, featuring a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, a 5.55 inches (141 mm) screen and the ability to run two applications at once via a split-screen view. The Note II also incorporated a refreshed hardware design based on the Galaxy S III, with a narrower, smoother body. International sales of the Galaxy Note II reached 5 million in two months. The 2012 LG Optimus Vu used a 5-inch (130 mm) display with an unusual 4:3 aspect ratio – in contrast to the 16:9 aspect ratio used by most smartphones. Joining the Galaxy Note II on many carriers' lineups in 2013 was the nearly-identically-sized LG Optimus G Pro, released in April.
In late-2012 and early 2013, companies began to release smartphones with 5 inch screens at 1080p resolution, such as the HTC Droid DNA and Samsung Galaxy S4. Despite the screen size approaching those of phablets, HTC's design director Jonah Becker said that the Droid DNA was not a phablet. HTC would release a proper phablet, the HTC One Max – a smartphone with a 5.9 in (150 mm) screen and a design based on its popular HTC One model, in October 2013.
Examples of Android phablets with screens larger than 6 inches began appearing in 2013; with the Chinese company Huawei unveiling its 6.1 in (150 mm) Ascend Mate at Consumer Electronics Show, and Samsung introducing the Galaxy Mega, a phablet with a 6.3 in (160 mm) variant, which has midrange specs and lacks a stylus compared to the flagship Galaxy Note series. Sony Mobile also entered the phablet market with its 6.4 in (160 mm) Xperia Z Ultra.
As a variation of the concept, Asus and Samsung also released otherwise small-sized tablets, the FonePad, Galaxy Note 8.0 and Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, with cellular connectivity and the ability to place voice calls. Later that year, Nokia also introduced Windows Phone 8 phablets, such as the 6-inch Lumia 1520.
In September 2014, Apple released its first phablet, the 5.5 in (140 mm)-inch iPhone 6 Plus; the introduction of the new model reversed a previous policy under late Apple CEO Steve Jobs not to produce a mid-sized device larger than the iPhone or smaller than the iPad, which were 3.5 inches and 9.7 inches, respectively, at the time of his death. While Apple's iPad heavily dominated the tablet market, the void in their lineup left an opening for intermediate-sized, with other handset manufacturers already jumping on the trend of producing larger screen sizes to suit all niches.
Engadget identified falling screen prices, increasing screen power efficiency and battery life, and the evolving importance of multimedia viewing as critical factors in the popularity of the phablet. Phablets also satisfy a consumer need – for the perfect sized device, since smartphones may be too small for viewing and tablets lose their portability – fuelling their global market growth. Phablets have also been popular with an older demographic of smartphone users – their large screens provide a benefit to those with deteriorating eyesight.
In April 2013, Doug Conklyn, vice president of global design for Dockers told Fox News that the company reworked the size of its pants pockets "to accommodate the growing size of smartphones". For women, a small handbag can easily accommodate a phablet, but not most tablets.
In January 2013, IHS reported that 25.6 million phablet devices were sold in 2012 and estimated that these figures would grow to 60.4 million in 2013, and 146 million by 2016. Barclays projected sales of phablets rising from 27 million in 2012 to 230 million in 2015. In September 2013 International Data Corporation (IDC) reported that its research indicated that phablets "overtook shipments of both laptops and tablets in Asia in the second quarter of 2013".
In 2014, Business Insider predicted phablets would outsell smartphones by 2017. Speaking with CNET in 2014, David Burke, Vice President of Engineering at Google, said "If you gave them a phablet for a week, 50 percent of [consumers] would say they like it and not go back".
In Q1 2014, phablets made up 6% of US smartphones sold. In the first quarter of 2015, phablets accounted for 21% of all smartphones sold in the US, with the iPhone 6 Plus making up 44 percent of those phablets sold.
|Brand||Model||Screen diagonal size||Display aspect ratio||Operating system||Year launched|
|Akyumen||Holofone||7.00 inches (17.8 cm)||16:9||Windows 10/Android||2016|
|Apple||iPhone XR||6.10 inches (15.5 cm)||39:18||iOS||2018|
|iPhone XS Max||6.50 inches (16.5 cm)||39:18||iOS||2018|
|Archos||Archos 64||6.40 inches (16.3 cm)||16:9||Android||2014|
|ASUS||Fonepad Note 6||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android|
|Zenfone 5Q||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||2:1||Android||2018|
|Zenfone 6||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android|
|BLU Products||Pure XL||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android|
|Elephone||C1 Max||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android||2017|
|S8||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android||2017|
|Nexus 6||5.96 inches (15.1 cm)||Android|
|Pixel 2 XL||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||2:1||Android||2017|
|Pixel 3 XL||6.30 inches (16.0 cm)||37:18||Android||2018|
|Hewlett-Packard||Elite x3||5.96 inches (15.1 cm)||Windows 10 mobile||2016|
|HMD Global/Nokia||Nokia 7 Plus||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android||2018|
|Nokia 7.1 Plus||6.18 inches (15.7 cm)||Android||2018|
|HTC||One Max||5.90 inches (15.0 cm)||Android|
|U11+||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||2:1||Android||2017|
|U12+||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||2:1||Android||2018|
|Huawei||Ascend G730||6.10 inches (15.5 cm)||Android|
|Ascend Mate||6.10 inches (15.5 cm)||16:9||Android||2013|
|Ascend Mate 2||6.10 inches (15.5 cm)||16:9||Android||2014|
|Ascend Mate 7||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android|
|Honor 8X Max||7.12 inches (18.1 cm)||187:90||Android||2018|
|Honor Note 10||6.95 inches (17.7 cm)||37:18||Android||2018|
|Mate 8||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android||2015|
|Mate 9||5.90 inches (15.0 cm)||Android||2016|
|Mate 10||5.90 inches (15.0 cm)||Android||2017|
|Mate 10 Pro||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||2:1||Android||2017|
|Mate 20||6.53 inches (16.6 cm)||187:90||Android||2018|
|Mate 20 Pro||6.39 inches (16.2 cm)||39:18||Android||2018|
|Mate 20 X||7.21 inches (18.3 cm)||187:90||Android||2018|
|MediaPad X1||7.00 inches (17.8 cm)||8:5||Android||2014|
|MediaPad X2||7.00 inches (17.8 cm)||8:5||Android||2015|
|Nova 3||6.30 inches (16.0 cm)||Android||2018|
|P8 Max||6.80 inches (17.3 cm)||16:9||Android||2015|
|LeEco||Le Max||6.33 inches (16.1 cm)||16:9||Android||2016|
|Lenovo||A880 / A889||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)|
|Phab||6.98 inches (17.7 cm)||16:9||Android||2015|
|Phab 2||6.40 inches (16.3 cm)||Android||2016|
|Phab 2 Pro||6.40 inches (16.3 cm)||Android||2016|
|Phab Plus||6.80 inches (17.3 cm)||16:9||Android||2015|
|S930 / S939||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)|
|Vibe Z2 Pro||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android|
|LG Electronics||G6||5.70 inches (14.5 cm)||2:1||Android||2017|
|G Flex||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android|
|G Pro 2||5.90 inches (15.0 cm)||Android|
|V30||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||2:1||Android||2017|
|Meizu||X8||6.15 inches (15.6 cm)||37:18||Android||2018|
|Micromax/YU||Canvas Doodle 3||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)|
|Canvas Doodle 4 Q391||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)|
|Canvas Mega 2||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)|
|Canvas Xpress 2 E313||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)|
|Yureka Note||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)|
|Microsoft Mobile/Nokia||Lumia 640 XL||5.70 inches (14.5 cm)||Windows Phone 8||2015|
|Lumia 950 XL||5.70 inches (14.5 cm)||Windows 10 mobile||2015|
|Lumia 1320||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Windows Phone 8||2013|
|Lumia 1520||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Windows Phone 8||2014|
|Motorola Mobility||Moto G6 Plus||5.90 inches (15.0 cm)||Android 8.0|
|Moto Z3||6.01 inches (15.3 cm)||2:1||Android||2018|
|OnePlus||OnePlus 5T||6.01 inches (15.3 cm)||2:1||Android||2017|
|OnePlus 6||6.28 inches (16.0 cm)||19:9||Android||2018|
|OnePlus 6T||6.44 inches (16.4 cm)||39:18||Android||2018|
|Oppo||A3s||6.20 inches (15.7 cm)||Android||2018|
|N1||5.90 inches (15.0 cm)||Android|
|R7 Plus||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||16:9||Android||2015|
|R17 Pro||6.40 inches (16.3 cm)||19:9||Android||2018|
|Realme 2 Pro||6.30 inches (16.0 cm)||39:18||Android||2018|
|Samsung Electronics||Galaxy A8+ (2018)||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android|
|Galaxy A9 (2016) and||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android||2015|
|Galaxy A9 Pro (2016)||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android||2016|
|Galaxy Mega 6.3||6.30 inches (16.0 cm)||Android||2013|
|Galaxy Mega 2||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android|
|Galaxy Note (original)||5.30 inches (13.5 cm)||8:5||Android||2011|
|Galaxy Note Edge||5.60 inches (14.2 cm)||8:5||Android||2014|
|Galaxy Note II||5.50 inches (14.0 cm)||16:9||Android||2012|
|Galaxy Note 3||5.70 inches (14.5 cm)||16:9||Android||2013|
|Galaxy Note 3 Neo||5.50 inches (14.0 cm)||16:9||Android||2014|
|Galaxy Note 4||5.70 inches (14.5 cm)||16:9||Android||2014|
|Galaxy Note 5||5.70 inches (14.5 cm)||16:9||Android||2015|
|Galaxy Note 7||5.70 inches (14.5 cm)||16:9||Android (Samsung Experience)||2016|
|Galaxy Note FE||5.70 inches (14.5 cm)||16:9||Android (Samsung Experience)||2017|
|Galaxy Note 8||6.30 inches (16.0 cm)||37:18||Android (Samsung Experience)||2017|
|Galaxy Note 9||6.40 inches (16.3 cm)||37:18||Android (Samsung Experience)||2018|
|Galaxy S8+||6.20 inches (15.7 cm)||37:18||Android (Samsung Experience)||2017|
|Galaxy S9+||6.20 inches (15.7 cm)||37:18||Android (Samsung Experience)||2018|
|Sony Mobile||Xperia C5 Ultra||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android|
|Xperia T2 Ultra||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android|
|Xperia Z Ultra||6.40 inches (16.3 cm)||Android||2013|
|Xperia XA Ultra||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||Android|
|Xperia XZ3||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||2:1||Android||2018|
|Vodafone||Smart 4 max||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||16:9||Android||2015|
|Walton Group||Primo ZX3||6.00 inches (15.2 cm)||16:9||Android||2017|
|Xiaomi||Black Shark Helo||6.01 inches (15.3 cm)||2:1||Android||2018|
|Mi 8||6.21 inches (15.8 cm)||281:135||Android||2018|
|Mi Max||6.44 inches (16.4 cm)||16:9||Android||2016|
|Mi Max 2||6.44 inches (16.4 cm)||16:9||Android||2017|
|Mi Max 3||6.90 inches (17.5 cm)||2:1||Android||2018|
|Mi MIX||6.40 inches (16.3 cm)||17:9||Android||2016|
|Mi MIX 2||5.99 inches (15.2 cm)||2:1||Android||2017|
|Redmi Note 6 Pro||6.26 inches (15.9 cm)||19:9||Android||2018|
|ZTE||Nubia X||6.26 inches (15.9 cm)[note 1]||19:9||Android||2018|
- Diagonal size of main display, It has a second rear display of 5.1 inches
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