Best phablets of 2015: the 20 best big-screen phones you can buy - best phablet reviews - best Android phablets, iPhone 6 Plus, Windows phablets. Phablets or large-screen smartphones are a growing trend. Here we compile the best phablets available to buy in the UK in 2015.
Phablets, which fall between phone and tablet in terms of screen size, have burst on to the scene in the past year or two. Devices that were once mocked for their oversized screens have now become desirable and powerful mobile tools. Here we present the best phablets you can buy in the UK in 2015. Also see Best smartphones 2015 and Best tablets 2015.
Note that we are classing smartphones with a screen of 5.5in and above as phablets.
20. Bluboo X6
- Reviewed on: 28 May 15
- RRP: £90.68 from Geekbuying (+ import duty)
For a cheap phablet the Bluboo X6 has a lot going for it. It's reasonably fast compared to its similarly priced rivals, it supports 4G and dual-SIM functionality, and the large screen is useful for browsing the web and viewing media, if it's not particularly high-res. It has a few quirks, and we're not keen on the fingerprint scanner or software customisations, but at £90 you really can't complain.
Read our Bluboo X6 review.
19. Asus ZenFone 6
- Reviewed on: 24 September 14
- RRP: £249.99
The ZenFone 6 is not going to appeal to everyone. It really is huge, so it's not the most portable of smartphones, but if you're ok with that you're going to benefit from a brilliant device for watching TV and movies on the commute. If it's playing games you're most keen on, you might need to look elsewhere as the ZenFone 6 isn't he most powerful of options, but for £250 you'll get a good-looking phablet with satisfactory specs, an impressive camera and a really nice user interface.
Read our Asus ZenFone 6 review.
18. HTC Desire 816
- Reviewed on: 26 August 14
- RRP: £289 inc VAT
Like HTC’s Desire 610, the Desire 816 sits awkwardly between other smartphones in terms of price, with rivals including the OnePlus One, Nokia Lumia 1320 and Nexus 5 among others. If you’re won over by the big screen, you won’t be disappointed if you can pick one up for around £200.
Read our HTC Desire 816 review.
17. Nokia Lumia 1320
- Reviewed on: 11 April 14
- RRP: £238 inc VAT SIM-free
With 'okay' performance and a good but not great screen, the Lumia 1320 still offers good value for money. It's certainly not the best handset on the market, but if you want a Windows Phone with a big screen, and you can't or don't want to stretch up to the faster 1520, you won't regret buying the Lumia 1320. The camera is basic and the storage limited, but the battery life is brilliant.
Read our Nokia Lumia 1320 review.
16. Nokia Lumia 1520
- Reviewed on: 6 December 13
- RRP: £550 inc VAT
The Nokia Lumia 1520 has got so many things right including build quality, a great camera and a good looking screen. It's the best Windows Phone yet but software is still lacking and we just wish the darn thing was smaller because it's severely off putting.
Read our Nokia Lumia 1520 review.
15. HTC One Max
- Reviewed on: 1 November 13
- RRP: £599 inc. VAT
It won't be for everyone, but if you want a big phone (and we mean BIG), you could do a lot worse than the HTC One Max. This is a serious performer that is built to look good and last.
Read our HTC One Max review.
- Reviewed on: 11 December 13
- RRP: £599 inc VAT
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a nicely made device but doesn't represent good value for money. The phablet is extremely unwieldy and doesn't have a great camera. Sony would have been better off making this a 7in tablet rather than a 6.4in phone.
Read our Sony Xperia Z Ultra review.
- Reviewed on: 30 April 15
- RRP: £203.33 (£180.66 with coupon code ZTES6PLUS)
The ZTE Blade S6 Plus is a nice phablet for £200, but it doesn't offer enough to make it worth an extra £50 on top of the standard model, which already has a large 5in screen. In comparison to that phone it's lost some of the features we liked, and despite having a larger battery runtime still isn't great. If you're looking for a 5.5in phablet at £200, our money would be on the Kingzone Z1.
Read our ZTE Blade S6 Plus review.
12. Kingzone Z1
- Reviewed on: 12 May 15
- RRP: £199.91 from European Warehouse (no import duty)
For a £200 phone the Kingzone Z1 is a very decent proposition. It has a nice build, some pleasing connectivity features, and we were astonished to find faster performance than phones that cost three times the price, although cutbacks have been made - notably in the screen and fingerprint sensor, although the latter has other uses beyond security.
Read our Kingzone Z1 review.
11. UMI Iron
- Reviewed on: 27 August 15
- RRP: £149.99 inc. VAT
The UMI Iron is a good buy at £149.99, and the first we've seen to include eye-scanning security. This is a cool feature, if no more secure than the requirement for a four-digit PIN. Although the heart-rate scanner didn't work in our tests and the Micro-USB charging port seemed oddly misshaped, the UMI Iron nevertheless offers a good set of hardware and more than acceptable performance for the money.
Read our UMI Iron review.
10. UMI eMax
- Reviewed on: 9 July 15
- RRP: £115.59 (plus import duty)
UMI's eMax offers superb value for money. It's not as good-looking as other UMI phones we've reviewed, but the eMax has a big and bright full-HD screen for enjoying media and more, and showed very capable performance in the majority of our benchmarks. Photography is decent at this price, and enthusiasts will appreciate the Rootjoy support. At £115 you can't go far wrong with the UMI eMax.
Read our UMI eMax review.
- Reviewed on: 14 July 15
- RRP: 147.06 (plus import duty)
Ulefone's BeTouch is an unrivalled deal at £147. It's fast, it's dual-SIM with 4G connectivity, it has a working fingerprint scanner for security, the screen is large and with an HD resolution plenty crisp enough for the money, and there is absolutely no bloatware. A few minor quibbles aside, it's genuinely difficult to fault this phone at this price.
Read our Ulefone BeTouch review.
- Reviewed on: 26 September 13
- RRP: £599 inc. VAT
We're not sure you need all the extra features that Samsung packs in, and we could live without the S Pen. And the 5.7in display will appeal only to those who especially want a large-screen phone. Neither is the camera all that great. But be in no doubt about it, the Galaxy Note 3 is a high-quality portable device, offering the best performance we've ever seen, a stunning screen and nice build quality.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review.
- Reviewed on: 24 August 15
- RRP: £619 (16GB); £699 (64GB); £789 (128GB)
As with the iPhone 6, it's hard to come to a conclusion about the iPhone 6 Plus. For a start, it’s unusual for Apple not to make the first move, so while the iPhone 6 Plus is the biggest and fastest iPhone ever, there are even bigger smartphones with higher resolution screens in the Android stable. There’s also the unknown for a lot of people. Is a 5.5in screen too big? Conversely, is it big enough to replace a tablet such as the iPad mini? These are questions that have no definitive answers: screen size is and will always be a personal preference. There will be iPhone owners that will prefer to stick with a smaller screen and opt to hold onto their iPhone 5s / 5c / 5 or buy a 4.7in iPhone 6. Others will love the extra size for browsing websites, watching videos, using detailed apps (such as Garageband) and browsing their iCloud Photo Library. Yet more might feel that 5.5in isn’t enough to comfortably browse some websites or use fiddly controls in apps. As Jason Snell observed above, if you’re not sure, it’s well worth heading to an Apple store to try out an iPhone 6 Plus before you buy. One thing is for sure: the iPhone 6 Plus is expensive. If you're a dedicated iPhone user and would never consider switching to Android, you'll save money by going for the smaller iPhone 6. But saving money has never been a goal for most iPhone buyers and on that basis, the iPhone 6 Plus is a very fine smartphone indeed.
Read our Apple iPhone 6 Plus review.
- Reviewed on: 30 January 15
- RRP: £499 inc VAT (32GB); £549 inc VAT (64GB)
There are some good things about the Nexus 6 including build quality and some top-end hardware such as the screen, processor and camera. However, it's simply too big, unwieldy and expensive to warrant awarding it anything higher than four stars and really get behind it (unless we wanted to hid from something). In the phablet market, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is simply better even if it is pricier and the excellent LG G3 at less than £300 is another thorn in the Nexus 6's side.
Read our Google Nexus 6 review.
5. OnePlus One
- Reviewed on: 20 April 15
- RRP: From £229 inc VAT
There are only two, possibly three, bad things to say about the OnePlus One, if you are happy to buy online direct from OnePlus. We wish there was expandable storage, and it's bigger than other smartphones with similarly sized displays. And if we are being really harsh, we would hope for a better camera. But at the price the OnePlus One is an amazing deal. It's a flagship smartphone for a mid-range price. Bargain. Get them while they are hot.
Read our OnePlus One review.
4. OnePlus 2
- Reviewed on: 1 September 15
- RRP: £239 16GB, £289 64GB
The lack of NFC, a microSD card slot, a removable battery, and quick- and wireless charging means the OnePlus 2 is not a flagship killer. It does have some killer new features though, including USB Type-C, 4G dual-SIM support and some powerful hardware. At £289 (we don't recommend the 16GB OP2), it's an unrivalled deal if you can get hold of one.
Read our OnePlus 2 review.
3. LG G3
- Reviewed on: 1 June 15
- RRP: £259 inc. VAT
When the LG G3 came in at under £500 we were impressed. A year on and a phone that packs amazing features including a Quad HD display and a camera with a laser auto focus is one of the bargains of the market. The LG G3 is surprisingly small considering the 5.5in display and we like the more premium design. It's another winner from LG, and well worth your consideration in 2015.
Read our LG G3 review.
2. LG G4
- Reviewed on: 19 August 15
- RRP: £500 inc VAT
LG has gone down an unexpected route with leather models which we like apart from a couple of colours. The so called ceramic model will be cheaper but feels cheap and plasticky. On the whole, hardware is once again strong - particularly the camera - but not massively different from the G3 and has tough competition. We feel build quality could be better with a metal frame and dimensions going down, not the reverse. This is the flagship to go for if you want a removable battery and expandable storage but it's a shame to see features like wireless charging dropped. (Remember the G3 is now a steal at under £300 SIM-free and the OnePlus 2 is now here)
Read our LG G4 review.
- Reviewed on: 5 November 14
- RRP: £599 inc VAT
The Galaxy Note 4 is a bit of a handful and is rather expensive but lovers of the Galaxy Note range will likely be enamoured with this edition. It is, on the whole, a great device with plenty of power and features. As long as you're aware that you're buying a huge phone and will get the most out of what it offers. Otherwise a smaller and cheaper handset is probably a better choice – the Galaxy S5 or one of its rivals.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review.