Despite being too big to be smartphones and too small to be tablets, phablets continue to gain in popularity among consumers who may appreciate the screen larger than a regular mobile phone or whose pocketbook is not large enough to purchase a tablet or a laptop.
To help people who are in the phablet market decide which one is the best in terms of specs vis-à-vis prices, the Web site ZDNet releases its best of list on a regular basis.
For October 2013, the portal selected the following gadgets as the 6 best phablets powered by Android OS.
1. LG Optimus G Pro - While his model is at the smaller end of the phablet continuum, it has a lot of powerful specs fitted on its small package. These include the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS, 5.5-inch 1080p HD IPS display of 400 pixels-per-inch, 5.7GHz Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor, 13-megapixel rear shooter and 2.1-megapixel front camera, and 32GB storage plus microSD card.
2. Asus FonePad 7 - On the opposite end of the phablet spectrum is this model, one of the largest phablets in the market with its 7-inch display. Besides the big screen, the model runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and features 1.6GHz Atom Z2560 dual-core processor, 5-megapixel rear camera, 1.2-megapixel front camera and 8/16/32GB storage plus microSD slot. ZDNet noted that this model is as close as you can get to a tablet without buying a tablet.
3. Sony Xperia Z Ultra - This phablet is known for its cool features, consisting of the sharpest LCD panel available and a 13-megapixel camera that could capture high-definition video. Despite its slim 6.5-milllimetre body, the Xperia Z Ultra is a tough machine because of its tempered glass and dustproof and waterproof build that could be submerged in 1 meter of water and still work. Run with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, this model has a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 6.4-inch TFT 1920x1080 display powered by the updated Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 with 342 pixels-per-inch screen, 8-megapixel back camera, 2-megapixel front camera with 1080p HD video capture and 16GB storage plus microSD slot. For those into wearable technology, it is compatible with the Sony SmartWatch 2.
4. Samsung Galaxy Mega - it is considered a high-end phablet in terms of screen size with its 6.3-inche 1280x720 display. The device runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and under its hood, one will find a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 8-megapixel back camera, 1.9-megapixel front camera and 16GB storage plus microSD card slot.
5. LG G2 - What makes this phablet different from the others on this list is that this model's hardware buttons are on the back of the gadget to cut down on accidental pressing of buttons and easier for left-handed people to use. Under its hood, one will find a 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 5.2-inch full HD 1080p IPS display featuring 423-pixel-per-inch screen, 13-megapixel back camera, 2.1-megapixel front camera and 16/32Gb storage. It runs on 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
6. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - It is a thinner and lighter update to the Galaxy Note 2, but includes the stylus. Compatible with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and running on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, the device has a 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED 1920x1070 screen, 2.3GXH quad-core processor for the LTE version and1.9GHz octa-core processor for the 3G version, 13-megapixel back camera, 2-megapixel front camera and 32/64GB storage plus microSD card slot.
An indicator of how popular phablets have become with consumers is that according to IDC, the makers of these devices shipped to the Asia-Pacific region more units of these in-between gadgets compared to tablets and notebooks combined.
Moreover, they project that by 2016, the phablet market would increase to four times its current value while shipments would grow ninefold.