Which is the best phablet?
Are you looking for a new big-screen smartphone for Netflix binges and gaming? You’re in luck, as some of the best phablets ever made are available now.
There are a number of great phablets available for purchase, covering a variety of different budgets. Whether you’re looking for an affordable entertainment hub for your kid or a top-end work phone, there’s a phablet for you.
Our summary below lists our top picks, and you can scroll down to see the full reviews for each entry.
- Best phablet: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
- Best phablet with a stylus: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
- Best for photography: Huawei P30 Pro
- Best for entertainment: iPhone 11 Pro Max
- Best for display: OnePlus 7T Pro
- Best for gaming: Asus ROG Phone 2
How we test phablets
Every phablet that passes through Trusted Reviews undergoes a stringent set of tests. These include benchmarks to gauge their gaming and general performance, and screen tests to judge key factors including colour accuracy and maximum brightness.
From there we take a series of pre-set camera shots to gauge overall imaging quality and run it through a series of battery burns to see how things like video playback and gaming affect it. After all that, we use the phone as our main blower to see how it handles daily use.
Related: Best smartphones
1. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
The best phablet comes at a price
- Huge 6.9-inch OLED
- 120Hz display
- Great zooming skills
- Battery takes a hit at 120Hz
- Very expensive
With a screen measuring 6.9-inches, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is a very large phone that can easily rival smaller tablets. If you love watching media on-the-go, playing games or even reading, the S20 Ultra is a great choice. Just as long as the high price doesn’t put you off.
It’s not just the size of the screen, but the quality of it too. This OLED panel packs supreme levels of brightness, HDR support in apps like Prime Video and Netlfix, accurate colour reproduction and a faster 120Hz refresh rate. The notch for the 40-megapixel front camera is also far smaller than the one on the S10 range. This really is the finest screen on any phone around.
Inside the S20 Ultra you’ll find an array of high-end components. 5G is standard – you will, of course, need to be in a supported area and be on a 5G network – there’s either a Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990 at the heart and RAM options up to 16GB. Both wireless and fast wireless charging are supported to charge the 5000mAh battery and there’s still an IP68 rating and microSD expansion.
Three main cameras sit on the back, along with an extra sensor for detecting depth, and the pictures are generally very sharp with bright colours. Video can shoot at 8K, though you’ll need an 8K TV to really make the most of it.
2. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
The best phablet with a pen
- Lovely big screen
- Very quick to charge
- S Pen is useful
- Versatile cameras
- Camera isn’t quite up there with the best
- Dodgy Live Video bokeh mode
- 65W charger not included
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is the true successor to the Note 9 and the company’s true flagship phablet. It’s a brute of a phone with a lovely display, plenty of grunt and a huge battery. There isn’t a whole lot new compared to the S10 – but this still stands as the true high-end Samsung phone.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus’s features include a lovely screen, versatile cameras, very quick Qi charging and water resistance – and USB-C buds are included.
It offers a whopping 6.8-inch display, a huge 4500mAh battery and, of course, that all-important S Pen stylus. As its name suggests, the Plus is a larger, more feature-packed take on the standard Note 10, complete with optional 5G.
This is a great phone and one of the finest all-round Android devices we’ve reviewed for some time. It’s powerful, has just about every feature going and doesn’t skimp at all. It’s big – though you should already know this if you’re even considering a Note – and expensive, but if you want the best of the best there isn’t much better out there.
3. Huawei P30 Pro
Best for photography
- Great cameras
- Massive battery
- Slick design
- EMUI needs an overhaul
- Screen lacks the sharpness of the S10
Huawei has somehow managed to oust the likes of Apple, Samsung, Google and even its own Mate 20 Pro from the best smartphone-camera pedestal. Not only does the flagship Huawei P30 Pro pack a periscopic 5x lossless optical zoom camera, it also wields a 40-megapixel main sensor and an ultra-wide snapper to boot – not to mention that it offers unprecedented low-light photography skills.
Beyond imaging, there’s also a stunning 6.47-inch HDR-compliant OLED display, stupendous battery life attached to a super-fast-charging battery, with fast wireless charging thrown in for good measure. There’s also a Kirin 980 chipset powering things along.
Not everyone will gel with the company’s EMUI user experience but that’s easily fixable when you consider what else the P30 Pro offers.
4. iPhone 11 Pro Max
A glitzier, flashier version of the iPhone 11
- A lovely, supremely bright display
- One of the best camera systems on any phone
- There’s a quick charger in the box
- Design hasn’t changed much
- 64GB still the base storage option
- The iPhone 11 is, for most people, a better pick
For the extra outlay you get various extra features, such as the XDR Retina display, a triple-camera array on the back and higher-end materials. Apple has seriously improved its photographic output with the iPhone 11 range and it now stands level with the best out there.
The Pro versions are absolute performance beasts, with the new A13 Bionic chipset speeding things along. Paired with the A13 is a completely new U1 chip. This is able to communicate directly with other iPhones packing the U1 to transfer files through AirDrop without the need for a connection.
When it comes to battery life, Apple claims a 5hr improvement for the Pro Max compared to the XS.
No 5G might seem like an omission to some purchasers, but it’s not like Apple to jump on a bandwagon before it’s proved its worth.
5. OnePlus 7T Pro
The best way to avoid a notch
- Gorgeous 90Hz display
- Impressive design
- Clean software
- Very fast charging
- It’s very big
- No IP rating or Qi charging
There are loads of things to like about the OnePlus 7T Pro. It has one of the best screens we’ve ever used on a phone, costs considerably less than some of its competitors and runs a fantastic version of Android.
It’s also fast and is right up there with the iPhone 11 Pro in terms of pure speed. That’s partly down to the high-end Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset and numerous gigs of RAM, and also because of the slick 90Hz 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED display. This refreshes at 90fps, rather than the 60fps you’ll find on most phones, making everything feel so much smoother. Once you’ve gazed at this screen it’s hard to go back to anything else.
Inside there’s a big battery and Warp Charging to take from you 0-100% in about 80 mins.
It’s not all great news, though. This is one of the biggest phones we’ve reviewed and can be hard to grip thanks to its slippery body and curved edges. There’s no wireless charging or official IP rating either – both now standard features among flagship phones.
Little has actually changed from the OnePlus 7 Pro to the 7T Pro. That’s far from a bad thing, however, as the One Plus 7 Pro is an excellent phone.
- Read our full OnePlus 7T Pro review
6. Asus ROG Phone 2
The best gaming phone around
- Sensational screen
- Excellent battery life
- Plenty of power and storage
- It’s a big phone
- No telephoto camera
- No waterproofing
Asus has knocked it out of the park with the ROG Phone 2. Not only is this the best gaming phone money can buy, it’s also a great phone across the board. If its aggressive looks are to your taste, and you don’t mind the lack of wireless charging or water resistance, then nothing else comes close when it comes to gaming and battery life.
The ROG Phone 2 is loaded up with a giant 6.59-inch AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s also packing Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, overclocked to 2.96GHz, paired with 12GB RAM. Need storage? The ROG Phone 2 has 512GB by default, and a 1TB version coming down the line, complete with a matte black finish. It also has the biggest battery on the block – 6000mAh – and supports fast charging, up to Quick Charge 4.0 (30W).
Asus has loaded its latest phone with gamer-specific highlights too, from L and R AirTriggers to squeezy sides which activate an overclocked X Mode, and there’s even a clip-on fan in the box. This isn’t just a phone – it’s a totally over-the-top joyride.
This phone has the smoothest screen around, the biggest battery and so much RAM, it keeps games and apps open in the background for hours. With all its gamer-centric enhancements and accessories, it’s a joy to use for giant geeks who want a phone that looks as though it fell off a Klingon warship.
You might miss having a telephoto camera, especially if you’re coming from a phone like the Mate 20 or P30 Pro, but its wide and ultra-wide cameras are both solid performers, making it a decent phone whichever way you look at it.
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