Phablet

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The Samsung Galaxy Note series popularized the phablet form factor.

The phablet (/ˈfæblət/, /-lɪt/) is a class of modern mobile devices combining or straddling the size format of smartphones and tablets. The word itself is a portmanteau of the words phone and tablet.[1]

Phablets feature large displays that complement screen-intensive activity such as mobile web browsing and multimedia viewing. They may also include software optimized for an integral self-storing stylus to facilitate sketching, note-taking and annotation.[2] Phablets were originally designed for the Asian market where consumers could not afford both a smartphone and tablet as in North America; phones for that market are known for having "budget-specs-big-battery" with large low resolution screens and midrange processors, although other phablets have flagship specifications.[3][4] Since then, phablets in North America have also become successful for several reasons: Android 4.0 and subsequent releases of Android were suited to large as well as small screen sizes, while older consumers preferred larger screen sizes on smartphones due to deteriorating eyesight.[5]

While Samsung's Galaxy Note (2011) is largely credited with popularizing the phablet when launched in 2011,[6] examples of earlier devices with similar form factors date to 1993.[1][7][8][9] The term "phablet" became increasingly widespread in the industry from 2012 to 2014[10] although its usage has declined since as average smartphone sizes eventually morphed into small tablet sizes.[11]

Definition[edit]

The definition of a phablet has changed in recent years due to the proliferation of larger displays on mainstream smartphones, and smartphones designed with thin bezels and/or curved screens to make them more compact than other devices with similar screen sizes. Thus, a device with a "phablet-sized" screen may not necessarily be considered one.[12][13]

Current phablets typically have a diagonal display measurement between 5.1 inches (130 mm) and 7 inches (180 mm),[14][15][13] assuming a 16:9 aspect ratio.[13] In comparison, most flagship smartphones released in 2016 have a screen size of around 5 in (130 mm), with larger versions of mainstream flagships (such as iPhone 7 Plus, Pixel XL, and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge) using 5.5 in (140 mm) displays.[13] PhoneArena argued that the S7 Edge was not a phablet, as it has a narrow and compact build with a physical footprint more in line with the smaller-screened Nexus 5X, due primarily to its use of a display with curved edges.[12]

In 2017, several manufacturers began to release smartphones with displays taller than the conventional 16:9 aspect ratio used by the majority of devices, and diagonal screen sizes often around 6 inches. However, in these cases, the sizes of the devices are more compact than 16:9 aspect ratio devices with equivalent diagonal screen sizes.[13][16]

History[edit]

The Dell Streak received mixed reviews for its large size and dated software despite its pioneering design.

Origins[edit]

In tracing the 10 earliest devices in the history of the phablet concept, PC Magazine called the 1993 AT&T EO 440, "the first true phablet",[17] followed by the following devices:

The Android-based Dell Streak included a 5-inch (130 mm), 800×480 display and a widescreen-optimized interface. Reviewers encountered issues with its outdated operating system, Android 1.6 (which was not yet optimized for such a large screen size), and the device was commercially unsuccessful.[18][19][20]

Galaxy Note and competitors[edit]

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series with 6.3 inches and 6.8 inches screens

The Samsung Galaxy Note[21] used a 5.3 inches (130 mm) screen. While some media outlets questioned the viability of the device,[22][23] the Note received positive reception for its stylus functionality, the speed of its 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, and the advantages of its high resolution display. The Galaxy Note was a commercial success; Samsung announced in December 2011 that the Galaxy Note had sold 1 million units in two months. In February 2012, Samsung debuted a Note version with LTE support.[24] By August 2012, the Note had sold 10 million units worldwide.[25] In late 2012, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note II, featuring a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, a 5.55 inches (141 mm) screen and the ability to run two applications at once via a split-screen view. The Note II also incorporated a refreshed hardware design based on the Galaxy S III, with a narrower, smoother body.[26][27] International sales of the Galaxy Note II reached 5 million in two months.[28] The 2012 LG Optimus Vu used a 5-inch (130 mm) display with an unusual 4:3 aspect ratio – in contrast to the 16:9 aspect ratio used by most smartphones.[18] Joining the Galaxy Note II on many carriers' lineups in 2013 was the nearly-identically-sized LG Optimus G Pro, released in April.[29]

In late-2012 and early 2013, companies began to release smartphones with 5 inch screens at 1080p resolution, such as the HTC Droid DNA and Samsung Galaxy S4. Despite the screen size approaching those of phablets, HTC's design director Jonah Becker said that the Droid DNA was not a phablet.[30][31] HTC would release a proper phablet, the HTC One Max – a smartphone with a 5.9 in (150 mm) screen and a design based on its popular HTC One model, in October 2013.[32]

Examples of Android phablets with screens larger than 6 inches began appearing in 2013 with the Chinese company Huawei unveiling its 6.1 in (150 mm) Ascend Mate at Consumer Electronics Show and Samsung introducing the Galaxy Mega, a phablet with a 6.3 in (160 mm) variant, which has midrange specs and lacks a stylus compared to the flagship Galaxy Note series.[33][34][35] Sony Mobile also entered the phablet market with its 6.4 in (160 mm) Xperia Z Ultra.[36]

As a variation of the concept, Asus and Samsung also released otherwise small-sized tablets, the FonePad, Galaxy Note 8.0 and Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, with cellular connectivity and the ability to place voice calls.[37] Later that year, Nokia also introduced Windows Phone 8 phablets, such as the 6-inch Lumia 1520.[38]

An iPhone XR, with a 6.1 inch display.

In September 2014, Apple released its first phablet, the 5.5 in (140 mm)-inch iPhone 6 Plus; the introduction of the new model reversed a previous policy under late Apple CEO Steve Jobs not to produce a mid-sized device larger than the iPhone or smaller than the iPad, which were 3.5 inches and 9.7 inches, respectively, at the time of his death. While Apple's iPad heavily dominated the tablet market, the void in their lineup left an opening for intermediate-sized devices, with other handset manufacturers already jumping on the trend of producing larger screen sizes to suit all niches.[39][40]

Sales[edit]

Talking on a 6.4-inch phablet (Sony Xperia Z Ultra)

Engadget identified falling screen prices, increasing screen power efficiency and battery life, and the evolving importance of multimedia viewing as critical factors in the popularity of the phablet.[41] Phablets also satisfy a consumer need – for the perfect sized device, since smartphones may be too small for viewing and tablets lose their portability – fuelling their global market growth. Phablets have also been popular with an older demographic of smartphone users – their large screens provide a benefit to those with deteriorating eyesight.[42][43]

In April 2013, Doug Conklyn, vice president of global design for Dockers told Fox News that the company reworked the size of its pants pockets "to accommodate the growing size of smartphones".[44] For women, a small handbag can easily accommodate a phablet, but not most tablets.[45]

In January 2013, IHS reported that 25.6 million phablet devices were sold in 2012 and estimated that these figures would grow to 60.4 million in 2013, and 146 million by 2016.[34] Barclays projected sales of phablets rising from 27 million in 2012 to 230 million in 2015.[46] In September 2013 International Data Corporation (IDC) reported that its research indicated that phablets "overtook shipments of both laptops and tablets in Asia in the second quarter of 2013".[47]

In 2014, Business Insider predicted phablets would outsell smartphones by 2017.[48] Speaking with CNET in 2014, David Burke, Vice President of Engineering at Google, said "If you gave them a phablet for a week, 50 percent of [consumers] would say they like it and not go back".[49]

In Q1 2014, phablets made up 6% of US smartphones sold. In the first quarter of 2015, phablets accounted for 21% of all smartphones sold in the US, with the iPhone 6 Plus making up 44 percent of those phablets sold.[50]

Devices[edit]

Brand Model Screen diagonal size Display aspect ratio Operating system Year launched
Akyumen Holofone 7.00 inches (17.8 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Windows 10/Android 2016
Apple iPhone 6 Plus[51][52] 5.50 inches (14.0 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) iOS 2014
iPhone 6S Plus[53] 5.50 inches (14.0 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) iOS 2015
iPhone 7 Plus[54] 5.50 inches (14.0 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) iOS 2016
iPhone 8 Plus[55] 5.50 inches (14.0 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) iOS 2017
iPhone XR[note 1] 6.10 inches (15.5 cm) 2.16:1 (13:6) iOS 2018
iPhone XS Max[note 1] 6.50 inches (16.5 cm) 2.16:1 (13:6) iOS 2018
iPhone 11[note 1] 6.10 inches (15.5 cm) 2.16:1 (13:6) iOS 2019
iPhone 11 Pro Max[note 1] 6.50 inches (16.5 cm) 2.16:1 (13:6) iOS 2019
iPhone 12 Pro Max[note 1] 6.70 inches (17.0 cm) 2.16:1 (13.6) iOS 2020
Archos Archos 64 6.40 inches (16.3 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2014
ASUS Fonepad Note 6 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2013
Zenfone 5Q 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 2:1 Android 2018
Zenfone 6 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2014
BBK Electronics OnePlus 5T 6.01 inches (15.3 cm) 2:1 Android (Oxygen OS) 2017
OnePlus 6[note 1] 6.28 inches (16.0 cm) 2.1:1 (19:9) Android (Oxygen OS) 2018
OnePlus 6T[note 1] 6.44 inches (16.4 cm) 2.16:1 (13:6) Android (Oxygen OS) 2018
OnePlus 7[56]] 6.41 inches (16.2 cm) 2.16:1 (13:6) Android (Oxygen OS) 2019
OnePlus 7T[note 1] 6.55 inches (16.6 cm) 2.2:1 (20:9) Android (Oxygen OS) 2019
Oppo A3s[note 1] 6.20 inches (15.7 cm) 2.1:1 (19:9) Android (ColorOS) 2018
Oppo N1 5.90 inches (15.0 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (ColorOS) 2013
Oppo R7 Plus 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (ColorOS) 2015
Oppo R17 Pro[note 1] 6.40 inches (16.3 cm) 2.1:1 (19:9) Android (ColorOS) 2018
Realme 2 Pro[note 1] 6.30 inches (16.0 cm) 2.16:1 (13:6) Android (ColorOS) 2018
Realme C3 6.52 inches (16.6 cm) 2.2:1 (20:9) Android (realme UI) 2020
Vivo NEX Dual Display 6.39 inches (16.2 cm)[note 2] 2.16:1 (13:6) Android (FuntouchOS) 2018
Vivo Z1 Pro[note 1] 6.53 inches (16.6 cm) 2.16:1 (13:6) Android (FuntouchOS) 2019
BLU Products Pure XL 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2015
Elephone C1 Max 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2017
S8 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2017
Google Nexus 6 5.96 inches (15.1 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2014
Nexus 6P 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2015
Pixel 2 XL 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 2:1 Android 2017
Pixel 3 XL[note 1] 6.30 inches (16.0 cm) 2.05:1 (37:18) Android 2018
Hewlett-Packard Elite x3 5.96 inches (15.1 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Windows 10 Mobile 2016
HMD Global/Nokia Nokia 7 Plus 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 2:1 Android 2018
Nokia 7.1 Plus[note 1] 6.18 inches (15.7 cm) 2.1:1 (19:9) Android 2018
HTC One Max 5.90 inches (15.0 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (HTC Sense) 2013
U11+ 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 2:1 Android (HTC Sense) 2017
U12+ 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 2:1 Android (HTC Sense) 2018
Huawei Ascend Mate 6.10 inches (15.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (EMUI) 2013
Ascend Mate 2 6.10 inches (15.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (EMUI) 2014
Ascend Mate 7 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (EMUI) 2014
Honor 8X Max[note 1] 7.12 inches (18.1 cm) 2.07:1 (187:90) Android (EMUI) 2018
Honor X10 Max 5G[note 1] 7.09 inches (18.0 cm) 2.1:1 (19:9) Android (Magic UI) 2020
Honor Note 10 6.95 inches (17.7 cm) 2.05:1 (37:18) Android (EMUI) 2018
Mate 10 Pro 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 2:1 Android (EMUI) 2017
Mate 20[note 1] 6.53 inches (16.6 cm) 2.07:1 (187:90) Android (EMUI) 2018
Mate 20 Pro[note 1] 6.39 inches (16.2 cm) 2.16:1 (13:6) Android (EMUI) 2018
Mate 20 X[note 1] 7.21 inches (18.3 cm) 2.07:1 (187:90) Android (EMUI) 2018
Mate 30[note 1] 6.62 inches (16.8 cm) 2.16:1 (13:6) Android (EMUI) 2019
Mate 30 Pro[note 1] 6.53 inches (16.6 cm) 2.041:1 (100:49) Android (EMUI) 2019
MediaPad X1 7.00 inches (17.8 cm) 1.6:1 (8:5) Android (EMUI) 2014
MediaPad X2 7.00 inches (17.8 cm) 1.6:1 (8:5) Android (EMUI) 2015
Nova 3[note 1] 6.30 inches (16.0 cm) 2.16:1 (13:6) Android (EMUI) 2018
Nova 4[note 1] 6.40 inches (16.3 cm) 2.138:1 (77:36) Android (EMUI) 2018
P8 Max 6.80 inches (17.3 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2015
LeEco Le Max 6.33 inches (16.1 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2016
Lenovo A880 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2014
A889 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2014
Phab 6.98 inches (17.7 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2015
Phab 2 6.40 inches (16.3 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2016
Phab 2 Pro 6.40 inches (16.3 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2016
Phab Plus 6.80 inches (17.3 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2015
S930 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2013
S939 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2014
Tab V7 6.90 inches (17.5 cm) 2:1 Android 2019
Vibe Z2 Pro 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2014
LG Electronics G6 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 2:1 Android 2017
G Flex 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2013
G Pro 2 5.90 inches (15.0 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2014
Stylo 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2015
Stylo 2 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2016
Stylo 3 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2017
Stylo 4 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2018
V30 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 2:1 Android 2017
Meizu X8[note 1] 6.15 inches (15.6 cm) 2.05:1 (37:18) Android (Flyme) 2018
Micromax/YU Canvas Doodle 3 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2014
Canvas Doodle 4 Q391 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2015
Canvas Mega 2 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2016
Canvas Xpress 2 E313 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2015
Yureka Note 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2016
Microsoft Mobile/Nokia Lumia 640 XL 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Windows Phone 8.1 2015
Lumia 950 XL 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Windows 10 Mobile 2015
Lumia 1320 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Windows Phone 8 2013
Lumia 1520 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Windows Phone 8 2013
Motorola Mobility Moto G6 Plus 5.90 inches (15.0 cm) 2:1 Android 2018
Moto Z3 6.01 inches (15.3 cm) 2:1 Android 2018
Samsung Electronics Galaxy A8s[note 1] 6.40 inches (16.3 cm) 2.16:1 (13:6) Android (Samsung Experience) 2018
Galaxy Mega 6.3 6.30 inches (16.0 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (TouchWiz) 2013
Galaxy Note (original) 5.30 inches (13.5 cm) 1.6:1 (8:5) Android (TouchWiz) 2011
Galaxy Note Edge 5.60 inches (14.2 cm) 1.6:1 (8:5) Android (TouchWiz) 2014
Galaxy Note2 5.50 inches (14.0 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (TouchWiz) 2012
Galaxy Note3 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (TouchWiz) 2013
Galaxy Note3 Neo 5.50 inches (14.0 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (TouchWiz) 2014
Galaxy Note4 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (TouchWiz) 2014
Galaxy Note5 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (TouchWiz) 2015
Galaxy S6 Edge + 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (TouchWiz) 2015
Galaxy Note7 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (Samsung Experience) 2016
Galaxy Note FE 5.70 inches (14.5 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (Samsung Experience) 2017
Galaxy Note8 6.30 inches (16.0 cm) 2.05:1 (37:18) Android (Samsung Experience) 2017
Galaxy Note9 6.40 inches (16.3 cm) 2.05:1 (37:18) Android (Samsung Experience) 2018
Galaxy Note 10+ 6.80 inches (17.3 cm) 2.1:1 (19:9) Android (One UI) 2019
Galaxy S8+ 6.20 inches (15.7 cm) 2.05:1 (37:18) Android (Samsung Experience) 2017
Galaxy S9+ 6.20 inches (15.7 cm) 2.05:1 (37:18) Android (Samsung Experience) 2018
Galaxy S10+[note 1] 6.40 inches (16.3 cm) 2.1:1 (19:9) Android (One UI) 2019
Galaxy S10 5G[note 1] 6.70 inches (17.0 cm) 2.1:1 (19:9) Android (One UI) 2019
Galaxy W SM-T255 7.00 inches (17.8 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android(One UI) 2014
Galaxy S10e 5.80-inches (14.732 cm) 2.1:1 (19:9) Android (One UI) 2020
Note 10 6.30 inches (16.00cm) 2.1:1 (19:9) Android (One UI) 2020
Note 10+ 6.80 inches (17.27 cm) 2.1:1 (19:9) Android (One UI) 2020
Galaxy S20 6.20 inches (15.7 cm) 2.2:1 (20:9) Android (One UI) 2020
Galaxy S20+ 6.70 inches(17.02 cm) 2.2:1 (20:9) Android (One UI) 2020
Galaxy S20 Ultra 6.90 inches (16.51 cm) 2.2:1 (20:9) Android (One UI) 2020
Galaxy S20 FE 6.50 inches (17.53 cm) 2.2:1 (20:9) Android (One UI) 2020
Galaxy Note 20 6.70 inches (17.02cm) 2.2:1 (20:9) Android (One UI) 2020
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 6.90 inches (17.53 cm) 2.14:1 (193:90) Android (One UI) 2020
Sony Mobile Xperia C5 Ultra.02 cm) 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2015
Xperia T2 Ultra 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2014
Xperia Z Ultra 6.40 inches (16.3 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2013
Xperia XA Ultra 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2016
Xperia XZ3 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 2:1 Android 2018
Vodafone Smart 4 max 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2015
Walton Group Primo ZX3 6.00 inches (15.2 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android 2017
Xiaomi Black Shark Helo 6.01 inches (15.3 cm) 2:1 Android (Joy UI) 2018
Mi 8[note 1] 6.21 inches (15.8 cm) 2.0814:1 (281:135) Android (MIUI) 2018
Mi Max 6.44 inches (16.4 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (MIUI) 2016
Mi Max 2 6.44 inches (16.4 cm) 1.7:1 (16:9) Android (MIUI) 2017
Mi Max 3 6.90 inches (17.5 cm) 2:1 Android (MIUI) 2018
Mi MIX 6.40 inches (16.3 cm) 1.8:1 (17:9) Android (MIUI) 2016
Mi MIX 2 5.99 inches (15.2 cm) 2:1 Android (MIUI) 2017
Redmi Note 6 Pro[note 1] 6.26 inches (15.9 cm) 2.1:1 (19:9) Android (MIUI) 2018
ZTE Axon 20 5G 6.92 inches (17.6 cm) 2.27:1 (41:18) Android (MiFavor) 2020
Nubia X[57][58] 6.26 inches (15.9 cm)[note 2] 2.1:1 (19:9) Android (Nubia UI) 2018
Nubia Z20 6.42 inches (16.3 cm)[note 2] 2.16:1 (13:6) Android (Nubia UI) 2019
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac This smartphone has a notch or hole on the screen, which reduces the expected display area (given an aspect ratio and a screen diagonal length) with respect to untrimmed screens.
  2. ^ a b c Diagonal size of main display, It has a smaller second rear display.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  56. ^ Citation error. See inline comment how to fix.[verification needed]
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External links[edit]

  • Media related to Phablets at Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionary definition of Phablets at Wiktionary