This year’s latest phone releases indicate that we now live in the age of the phablet, a device that could be considered either a giant phone or a very small tablet. Apple recently unveiled its biggest phone ever, the iPhone 6 Plus, which stands at 5.5 inches diagonally. The current king of phablets is the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4. Another Android in the oversize mobile device department is the 5-inch HTC One M8.
Should you consider buying a bigger phone? Is it the best of both worlds or is it just a mediocre phone and tablet rolled into one device? Continue on for the pros and cons of toting around a little giant.
Great for avid readers—The larger screen size is paradise for those of you who read books or articles frequently on your smartphone.
More comfortable typing—Typing longer emails or notes on a 4-inch screen isn’t a pleasant experience. On the iPhone, the keyboard takes up half of the screen if you’re typing in landscape orientation. Drafting an email on a device as big as the iPhone 6 Plus, however, is much easier, especially with Apple’s new expanded keyboard for the screen size, which includes shortcuts for frequently used features like copy and paste.
More room for big text—Smartphone squinters, this is your salvations. A lot of people I know make their smartphone’s text bigger to give their weary eyes a break. On a smaller 4-inch screen, you’ll only get two lines of limited text at a time in iMessage if the font is made larger. A bigger screen size will allow you to see more text at once, without having to compromise font size.
Amazing screen resolution—Typically, phablets have higher resolution than smaller smartphones. The iPhone 6 Plus has a new display called “Retina HD” (1,920 x 1,080), which offers more pixels per inch and higher contrast. The Galaxy Note 4 also has an incredible 1,440 x 2,560 super AMOLED display. A high-definition screen is well-suited for quality video viewing.
It won’t fit in your back pocket—If you’re the type to stick your phone in the back of your jeans, don’t get a phablet. It’ll be either too tall or too wide to fit properly, making the device more susceptible to theft.
Awful for people who ride public transit—You never know when you won’t score a seat and you’ll need to hang on for dear life in one hand and use your phone in the other. Most phablets require two hands, so don’t make your life even harder, bus surfer, by getting a bigger phone.
Not ideal for making actual phone calls—With a wider, taller screen, you’re more likely to get face grime all over your giant phone. It’s awkward to put up to your ear without pressing it to your entire face. Get ready to invest in a Bluetooth headset if you want to take phone calls on your phablet.
It’s heavier—Stating the obvious here: a phone with a bigger display isn’t going to be as lightweight as a smaller phone, even if it is thinner, like the iPhone 6. It’ll mean an extra ounce in your already heavy bag or backpack.
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