Photo: Flickr
A big-screen phone has a lot of advantages. Photo: Flickr

A big-screen phone has a lot of advantages. Gamers find them particularly appealing while watching videos and browsing the web on one of these larger devices is certainly a more immersive experience. For photographers, being able to view your carefully crafted compositions and daily vlogs on a larger screen is also a welcome bonus. A larger screen means a larger phone, which means that you generally get a bigger battery too – great for all-day usage.

You may have heard the term 'phablet', which is a portmanteau of 'phone' and 'tablet'. If you’re anything like us, you might also prefer to use a large-screened phone all the time instead of having to resort to a tablet for specific situations.

Best Big Phones 2021

1. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Best overall

Photo: Pocketnow
Photo: Pocketnow

From $1299.99

Screen size: 6.9in

Aspect ratio: 19.3:9

While it's not quite Huawei Mate 20 X big, Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is still one of the biggest devices on the market - certainly the biggest-screened phone we tested in 2020, according to Tech Advisor.

Its display also happens to be among the best there is, with its crisp WQHD+ resolution and adaptive 120Hz refresh rate; not to mention superb colors, viewing angles and overall brightness.

It's also a great surface to show off the phone's integrated S Pen stylus, which also boasts the lowest latency yet at just 9ms.

2. iPhone 12 Pro Max - Superb all-rounder

Photo: Yahoo News
Photo: Yahoo News


Screen size: 6.7in

Aspect ratio: 19.5:9

Technically, the iPhone 12 Pro Max boasts the highest resolution display ever on an iPhone (even if this unique claim to fame amounts to the same, 458 pixels per inch as its last two predecessors - which sported smaller screens).

Much like 2020's Sony Xperia 1 II, Apple chose to ensure the fundamentals of the 12 Pro Max's Super Retina XDR OLED panel were rock solid before moving on adding in high refresh rate visuals.

On the one hand, there isn't a lot to complain about with the similarly-specced screen used by the 11 Pro Max, so the fact that the panel is even larger (and flatter) here, without a drop in pixel density, can only be a good thing for media lovers and mobile gamers.

On the other, we would have loved to have seen Apple's 120Hz ProMotion technology for the first time on an iPhone, but that clearly wasn't meant to be this generation.

3. OnePlus 8 Pro - Great performance

Photo: The Guardian
Photo: The Guardian

$899 (8GB/128GB) | $999 (12GB/256GB)

Screen size: 6.78in

Aspect ratio: 20:9

The OnePlus 8 Pro pushed the screen size even larger than its predecessor and jumps to 120Hz in the refresh rate department. It's still AMOLED, with a Quad HD+ resolution and support for HDR10+.

There are plenty of other excellent features and specs here, all at a lower price compared to key rivals, like a powerful Snapdragon 865 chip, IP-certified water resistance, one of OnePlus best camera setups yet and even wireless charging.

4. Samsung Galaxy S20+ - Great all-rounder

Photo: Điện Máy Minh Hưng

Photo: Điện Máy Minh Hưng

$1,199 (128GB) | $1,349 (512GB)

Screen size: 6.7in

Aspect ratio: 20:9

The bigger (although not the biggest) of Samsung's 2020 Galaxy S flagship line is an outstanding device with a beautiful WQHD+ HDR10+ display that supports up to 120Hz visuals, top-tier performance and a capable triple-lens camera.

5. OnePlus 8T - Best for ease of use

Photo: Photography Blog
Photo: Photography Blog

$749 (12GB/256GB)

Screen size: 6.55in

Aspect ratio: 20:9

Bigger numbers in all things except price render the OnePlus 8T a great buy. It's cheaper than the OnePlus 8's original RRP and yet sports a smoother 120Hz refresh rate display and is the first of the company's phones to integrate blisteringly-fast 65W fast charging.

It's also one of the first phones outside of Google's own Pixel 5 to boast the latest and greatest Android 11; in this instance, covered by OnePlus' OxygenOS 11 user experience on top.

6. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ - Great for productivity

Photo: Forbes
Photo: Forbes

From $1,099

Screen size: 6.8in

Aspect ratio: 19:9

Samsung had never made a plus-sized model of the Note range before but here stands its first the 6.8in a whopper. It's 0.4in bigger than the Note 9's display, yet the phone itself is only marginally bigger.

With the S Pen, Wireless PowerShare and other features, the Note 10+ is a phablet-lovers dream and, at this point, markedly more affordable than the newer Note 20 Ultra.

7. iPhone 11 Pro Max - Still excellent

Photo: VTV
Photo: VTV

$999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB)

Screen size: 6.5in

Aspect ratio: 19.5:9

The biggest and brightest 2019 iPhone is fronted by an expansive 6.5in 'Super Retina XDR' OLED panel that offers up a treat for the eyes.

Established Apple display tech like True Tone also features, along with wide colour gamut, HDR10 and Dolby Vision compliance.

You also get Apple's brilliant A13 Bionic SoC running the show and a killer set of triple rear cameras with noticeably-improved low-light capabilities than any previous generation iPhone.

8. Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC - Most affordable

Photo: Gadgets and Deals
Photo: Gadgets and Deals

From £199 (around $250)

Screen size: 6.67in

Aspect ratio: 20:9

A great affordable entry with an expansive 6.67in display - the Poco X3 is an extremely affordable offering from Xiaomi.

What it offers up - in terms of stellar battery life, good performance and 120Hz high refresh rate-viewing - is made all the more impressive by the low price tag.

Many of the best camera phones can be considered phablets. If you’re wondering if there’s an exact definition for a phablet, the answer is no, no not really, but we’d consider anything with a 6-inch screen or above to worthy of the title. Some phones, particularly the Galaxy Note series, with their built-in stylus leave you in no doubt that they belong in this category, while others, such as the iPhone 12 Pro Max, make the cut by virtue of their 6.8-inch screen.

Models from the two big names in smartphones (Apple and Samsung) don’t come cheap, but it could be argued that by buying one device and foregoing an additional tablet device, you do in fact save money. That said, there are some slightly more budget-friendly options on our list too, for those who don’t want to burn such a big hole in their wallet.

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