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Phablets: Is Bigger Really Better?


Phablets, the awful nickname for phones that have screens larger than around five inches, are everywhere. The first real successful “phablet” device was probably the Galaxy Note which was released around 2012, and we’ve certainly come a long way since then. Just about every popular phone maker has at least one, including Apple’s recent (ish) iPhone 6 Plus, which measures at five and a half inches. I’ve even seen some devices, like the Galaxy Tab Q, which has a whopping 7 inch screen.

Despite all of the criticism that ‘no one will buy a large phone’ it seems like phablets are gaining in popularity. But, is bigger really better?  Here are some thoughts on phablets:

Emailing and texting is easier….

While the invention of Swype makes texting on regular-sized devices much better than it used to be, unless you have tiny hands those keys are MIGHTY small. Autocorrect does its best to make up for the random jumble of letters that sometimes erupt when I get excited, but we all know that it can only do so much. A lot of people I know have larger devices simply because it makes texting and sending emails much simpler.

…but phone calls definitely are not.

On the flip side of that, if you want to actually use your smartphone as, well, a phone then a phablet might not be the best way to go. Not only is it uncomfortable, but I assure you that you’ll look like a complete idiot shouting into a phone that’s bigger than your head.

It’s harder to misplace a larger device…

This is a point that a friend of mine made, and I have to admit I hadn’t thought about it before. I’m pretty absentminded sometimes, and I can’t tell you how often I have had to have my roommate call my phone because I forgot where I left it. If you’re one of those people who has a habit of misplacing your device, then a larger device might help. I mean, it’s a lot harder to overlook a six-inch phone than it is a little four and a half inch device.

…but it won’t fit in your pocket.

Of course, since a six inch phone won’t fit in your pocket, you might find yourself with the sudden problem of what to do with your beloved device when you’re not actually using it. For girls this isn’t as much of an issue, as we can just slip in a bag or purse but this should probably be a consideration for the guys out there.

Games, Apps, Movies and books are a million times better…

You don’t have to be Sherlock to deduce that a larger screen will make things like streaming videos, reading ebooks, playing games and using apps far more enjoyable. In fact, this is the most commonly cited reason that people seem to gravitate towards these larger devices. Larger devices also tend to have better screens and bigger batteries to accommodate these kinds of usage.

…but the phone itself is heavier and unwieldy.

However, all of that extra tech and extra size does have a cost: weight. Phablets generally weigh more than other devices and forget trying to use it one-handed. Overall, these devices can take a lot of getting used to, and they’re just unwieldy for some.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of larger devices. I think the cons definitely outweigh the pros, but in the end it comes down to a personal preference. What do you think? Do you love or hate phablets? Let me know in the comments!