Are phablets the next big thing?

Wouldn’t it be nice to ditch the tablet and phone and carry one marvellous, multi-purpose device? If you’re nodding vigorously then it’s time to consider the supersized smartphone, aka the phablet.

In 2010 the tablet came, for years it conquered, but now its star seems to be on the wane. Unit sales of the iPad – still the market’s leading tablet – have fallen for the second consecutive quarter. Last week Microsoft hit Stop on its Surface Mini tablet, scrapping months of development.

Meanwhile, phablets have been growing in popularity and brazenly encroaching on the 7-inch tablet market. With screens ranging from 5”-7” they are the fastest growing smartphone category and could outnumber tablet sales 3 to 1 by 2018, according to some analysts.

The benefits of a phablet are obvious. While tablets are portable and ideal for media consumption, phablets offer all that plus productivity.

Here are five strong contenders on the phablet market:

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The screen is 5.7”, the display is sharp and impressive, a stylus makes it easy to use, and a long battery life keeps you accessible all day.

Nokia Lumia 1520

This is a 6” Windows phone with a gorgeous LCD display. The handset is made of plastic but feels solid and it boasts a 20MP camera, perfect for grabbing pictures for an MLS posting.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

At 6.4” it’s almost the size of a tablet. It’s helpfully water and dust resistant and has a powerful 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon, 800 processor and 2GB of RAM.

LG G Flex

The G Flex has a curved screen that makes its 6” length fit into the hand a little more easily. The 13MP camera will take great pictures, it has a long lasting battery and is lighter than it looks.

OnePlus One

A high-end phone available for a bargain basement price. It sports a 5.5” display and is 1.7mm taller and 0.6mm thicker than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Its curved back makes it more ergonomic and its firmware is fully customizable.

Could one of these make your out-of-office activities more efficient?

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Are phablets the next big thing?