The best Android phablets – June. 2014 – comparing 34 devices
We love phablets, big strong devices, with a huge screen between 5 and 6.4 inches, smaller than tablets and bigger than smartphones. A year ago there were 15 phablets and now the number is on 34. We can see more and more phablets and the most premium devices now belong to this category.
There are a lot of Android phablets with different specs and screens. We collected 35 of them with screen from 5 inches to 6.4 inches.
There are many different screen sizes in this category, from 5 inches, the “smaller” ones to the huge extra large 6.4 inches. The biggest screen is found on Sony Xperia Z Ultra which has a 6.4 inches screen. Then Samsung Mega is a 0.1 inch smaller, Huawei Ascend Mate has a 6.1 inches screen and Sony Xperia T2 Ultra and LG G Flex have a 6.0 inches screen. Then we can find LG G Pro 2 and HTC One Max with 5.9 inches, ZTE Grand Memo, Samsung Galaxy Round and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with 5.7”. Then we go to the other category of the phablets, the 5″-5.5″ screens. Here you can find LG G3, LG Optimus G Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, LG G Pro Lite with 5.5 inches screens, the older Samsung Galaxy Note and Samusng Galaxy Grand 2 with 5.3 inches, LG G2 with 5.2, Samsung Galaxy S5 with 5.1 inches and then 14 devices with 5 inches screens. The 5 inches could be a category on its own.
So from the bigger to the “smaller” device, there is a big difference of 1.4 inches. You can understand the difference between Sony Xperia Z Ultra (6.4”) and Samsung Galaxy Grand (5”) but not between LG G3 (5.5”) and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (5.7”). So there are bigger and smaller phablets. Now you must choose which one fits best on your hands.
On the quality side there are different screens with different pixel density but we can see two main categories, the phones with more than 300PPI and the others with less than 300PPI. Overall there are 19 devices with more than 300PPI and 15 with less. The most pixels per inch are on LG G3 (534), then there is Nexus 5 with 445PPI and Huawei Ascend D2 with 443PPI. 7 phones with 441PPI follow (HTC One M8, Huawei Ascend P7, Sony Xperia Z1s, Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z, Z1 and ZL). Then we have Samsung Galaxy S5 with 432PPI and Sony Xperia Z2 and LG G2 with 424PPI and then LG Optimus G Pro with 401PPI, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Round with 386PPI and LG G Pro 2 and HTC One Max with 373PPI.
On the bottom of the ranking we can find Samsung Galaxy Grand with 162PPI and Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo with 186PPI. These are the worst screens of the category. Of course these phones cost much less than the premium competitors. Let’s say that the PPI winner is LG G3 but the screens of Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and Google Nexus 5 are also amazing. you can find a lot of great screens on that category.
There are a lot of bodybuilders in that phablet category. We can find the heaviest devices of the industry, this is normal because these phones have big screens and big batteries so they weight more than the smaller Android phones. But this is not an excuse for heavy phones. When ZTE Grand Memo (with 5.7 inches screen), can weight 120g, then everybody can do it. Even HTC One Max which is the heaviest device with 217g. The three devices with the biggest screens are also among the heaviest so after HTC One Max we have Sony Xperia Z Ultra (212g) and then Samsung Mega (199g) and Huawei Ascend Mate (198g). But here we love the lighter devices with ZTE Grand Memo (120g) being first, then Huawei Ascend P7 (124g), Google Nexus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 (130g), LG G2 (143g) and Samsung Galaxy S5 (145g).
One other factor is the width. If a device is slim enough, you can feel it better in your hand even if it is heavier than the average. That’s why Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Huawei Ascend P7 will make you feel better. They are the slimmest devices with their 6.5mm body and then comes Sony Xperia T2 Ultra (7.7mm), and Samsung Galaxy Round, Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S4, all in the third place with 7.9mm. Between the first and the third there is a difference of 1.4mm that you will clearly understand on your hands.
Looking at the bottom of the category, we can find HTC One Max and HTC Desire 700 (10.3mm), ZTE Supreme (10mm), Huawei Ascend Mate (9.9mm) and Sony Xperia ZL (9.8).
A phablet is more like an extra portable PC so you need to have the best battery you can buy. There are a lot of huge batteries on these devices. Huawei Ascend Mate has a 4050mAh battery, the biggest battery of the market followed by LG G Flex (3500mAh) and HTC One Max, (3300mAh). Then there are 5 phablets with 3200mAh batteries, these are Samsung Mega, Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, LG G Pro 2 and ZTE Grand Memo.
At the end of the list we can find HTC Desire 700, Samsung Galaxy Grand Grand Neo and LG Optimus Vu with a 2100mAh batteries. A 2100mAh battery is big for smartphones standards but not enough for a giant phablet like all these devices. And never forget, here we are talking about some of the best devices of the market.
There are three main groups on the camera comparison, the devices with 20.7MP, those with 13MP cameras and those with 8MP. But of course the top 3 photo phablets are Sony Xperia Z2, Sony Xperia Z1s and Z1 with the great 20.7MP camera and also Samsung Galaxy S5 with 16MP camera. We took a lot of photos with these phones, some of them have a more complex software side, and others have just the main Android functions. After Sony Xperia Z1s which has the best camera of the category, some of the best cameras can be found on LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (with 4K shooting of videos), Sony Xperia T2 Ultra) and also Huawei Ascend P7 (that also has the best secondary front camera at 8MP). On the other side, the camera is not really good on LG Optimus Vu, Samsung Galaxy Grand and Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo.
When you have a device with a big screen you need to do more and more stuff. So you need the best processor your money can buy. We have great diversity on the processors of the phablets. The best choice is the octa core processor of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or the quad core processor of LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5, Huawei Ascend P7, HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z2. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo also is interesting because it has an hexacore processor (a quad core and a dual core that work together). LG G Pro 2, Sony Xperia Z1s, LG G2, Galaxy Round, Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Sony Xperia Z1 have also great quad core processors at 2.3GHz 2.2GHz and so do the ZTE Grand Memo and LG Optimus G Pro.
All these phones have 2GB of RAM except LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Sony Xperia Z2 and LG G 2 Pro which have 3GB of RAM so they are the fastest. The slowest devices are Samsung Galaxy Grand (dual core processor at 1.2GHz), Samsung Galaxy Note (dual core at 1.4GHz) and Samsung Mega with dual core at 1.7GHz and ZTE Supreme with dual core at 1.5GHz. These are the only dual core devices. LG Optimus Vu also misses a point as it has 1GB of RAM even if the processor is quad core.
In every test we take into consideration the initial Android version and not the following updates if there are any because we look at the worldwide market and updates are not delivered worldwide. So here we have 7 phones with Android 4.4 (LG G3, Sony Xperia Z2, LG G Pro 2, Huawei Ascend P7, Samsung Galaxy S5, Google Nexus 5 and HTC One M8. Then there are 7 devices with Android 4.3 (Sony Xperia Z1s, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy Round, Sony Xperia T2 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo, HTC One Max, Samsung Galaxy Grand 2) 7 devices with Android 4.2 (Samsung Galaxy S4, LG G2, Sony Xperia Z Ultra, Sony Xperia Z1, Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo and Samsung Mega) and then all the other devices have Android 4.1 except two, LG Optimus Vu, HTC Desire 700 with Android 4.0 and the older Samsung Galaxy Note with updated 2.3.
We love newer devices because they have newer technology on them (mostly) and they have more chances to update with a newer Android version. The newer devices right now are LG G3 and Huawei Ascend P7 launched in June 2014. Then Sony Xperia Z2 and LG G Pro 2 launched in April and then HTC One M8 launched in May. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo and Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo launched February 2014. Then it is Sony Xperia Z1s and Sony Xperia T2 Ultra (January 2014), then Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 and HTC Desire 700 (November 2013), HTC One Max (October 2013), Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy Round, LG G2 and Sony Xperia Z1 (September 2013), then Sony Xperia Z Ultra released July 2013 and then Samsung Mega which was released in June 2013. All the other devices were launched on 2013 except LG Otpimus Vu (November 2012), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (September 2012) and Samsung Galaxy Note (October 2011).
If you need a phablet, you have a lot of choices. If you want the best screen choose between the winners on the screen section. If you want the perfect camera, do the same on the camera comparison. If you need the best phablet with the best tech specs, then you need to take Huawei Ascend P7 or LG G3. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is also a great choice because of the specs and the S Pen usability. Sony Xperia Z2, Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and LG G Pro 2 are also great devices. Another Samsung device, a round one, Galaxy Round is in the 10th position followed by the sofware poor Nexus 5, the software rich LG G2, the camera strong Sony Xperia Z1, the little brother of Note 3 with the pen, Note 3 Neo, and Sony Xperia Z and Z ultra. Grand Memo, ZTE Supreme, HTC Desire 700 and Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo are cheaper solutions on the big inches team and Sony Xperia Z Ultra is the biggest screen your money can buy on that category. Take a look at the final ranking on the table below. You can sort the results by the spec you want.
|Company||Model||Rated: June 2014||"||PPI||CAM||CPU||RAM||mAh||W||g||AV||Date||PG||Buy now|
|Huawei||Ascend P7||77.6||5.0||441||13.0||4 * 1.8||2000||2500||6.5||124||4.4||14-06||4||Best price|
|LG||G3||72.8||5.5||534||13.0||4 * 2.5||3000||3000||8.9||149||4.4||14-06||5||Best price|
|Sony||Xperia Z2||71.7||5.2||424||20.7||4 * 2.3||3000||3200||8.2||163||4.4||14-04||5||Best price|
|Samsung||Galaxy Note 3||68.3||5.7||386||13.0||8 * 1.9||3000||3200||8.3||168||4.3||13-09||5||Best price|
|Samsung||Galaxy S5||68.2||5.1||432||16.0||4 * 2.5||2000||2800||8.1||145||4.4||14-04||5||Best price|
|LG||G Pro 2||68.0||5.9||373||13.0||4 * 2.3||3000||3200||8.3||172||4.4||14-04||5||Best price|
|HTC||One M8||66.6||5.0||441||4.0||4 * 2.3||2000||2600||9.4||160||4.4||14-03||5||Best price|
|Sony||Xperia Z1s||65.4||5.0||441||20.7||4 * 2.2||2000||3000||8.6||162||4.3||14-01||5||Best price|
|Samsung||Galaxy S4||64.8||5.0||441||13.0||8 * 1.6||2000||2600||7.9||130||4.2||13-04||5||Best price|
|Samsung||Galaxy Round||64.7||5.7||386||13.0||4 * 2.3||3000||2800||7.9||154||4.3||13-09||5||Best price|
|Nexus 5||63.9||5.0||445||8.0||4 * 2.3||2000||2300||8.6||130||4.4||13-11||4||Best price|
|LG||G2||62.6||5.2||424||13.0||4 * 2.3||2000||3000||8.9||143||4.2||13-09||5||Best price|
|Sony||Xperia Z1||61.6||5.0||441||20.7||4 * 2.2||2000||3000||8.5||169||4.2||13-09||5||Best price|
|Samsung||Galaxy Note 3 Neo||57.8||5.5||267||8.0||6 * 1.4||2000||3100||8.6||162||4.3||14-02||4||Best price|
|Sony||Xperia Z||56.0||5.0||441||13.0||4 * 1.5||2000||2330||7.9||146||4.1||13-02||5||Best price|
|LG||G Flex||55.8||6.0||245||13.0||4 * 2.3||2000||3500||8.7||177||4.2||13-11||5||Best price|
|ZTE||Grand Memo||54.9||5.7||257||13.0||4 * 1.7||2000||3200||8.5||120||4.1||13-03||3||Best price|
|Sony||Xperia Z Ultra||54.8||6.4||344||8.0||4 * 2.2||2000||3050||6.5||212||4.2||13-07||5||Best price|
|Sony||Xperia ZL||53.9||5.0||441||13.0||4 * 1.5||2000||2370||9.8||151||4.1||13-03||5||Best price|
|LG||Optimus G Pro||52.7||5.5||401||13.0||4* 1.7||2000||3140||9.4||172||4.1||13-04||5||Best price|
|Sony||Xperia T2 Ultra||52.7||6.0||245||13.0||4 * 1.4||1000||3000||7.7||171||4.3||14-01||4||Best price|
|Huawei||Huawei Ascend D2||52.5||5.0||443||13.0||4 * 1.5||2000||3000||9.4||170||4.1||13-03||5||Best price|
|Samsung||Galaxy Grand 2||51.7||5.3||280||8.0||4 * 1.2||1500||2600||8.9||163||4.3||13-11||3||Best price|
|HTC||One Max||49.6||5.9||373||4||4 * 1.7||2000||3300||10.3||217||4.3||13-10||5||Best price|
|Samsung||Mega||46.8||6.3||233||8||2 * 1.7||1500||3200||8.0||199||4.2||13-06||5||Best price|
|Huawei||Ascend Mate||46.0||6.1||241||8||4 * 1.5||2000||4050||9.9||198||4.1||13-05||4||Best price|
|Samsung||Galaxy Note II||45.7||5.5||267||8||4 * 1.6||2000||3100||9.4||183||4.1||12-09||5||Best price|
|HTC||Desire 700||45.0||5.0||220||8||4 * 1.2||1000||2100||10.3||149||4.1||13-11||4||Best price|
|ZTE||Supreme||43.4||5.0||294||13||2 * 1.5||1000||2500||10||153||4.1||13-08||3||Best price|
|LG||G Pro Lite||42.9||5.5||200||8||2 * 1.0||1000||3140||9.4||161||4.1||13-11||2|
|Samsung||Galaxy Grand Neo||41.4||5.0||186||5||4 * 1.2||1000||2100||9.6||163||4.2||14-02||3||Best price|
|LG||Optimus Vu||41.0||5.0||256||8||4 * 1.5||1000||2100||8.5||168||4.0||12-11||5||Best price|
|Samsung||Galaxy Grand||38.3||5.0||162||8||2 * 1.2||1000||2100||9.6||162||4.1||13-01||3||Best price|
|Samsung||Galaxy Note||31.1||5.3||285||8||2 * 1.4||1000||2500||9.7||178||2.3||11-10||4||Best price|