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October 11, 2013updated 22 Sep 2016 4:04pm

Ten of the best phablets for 2013

Torn between a tablet or a phone this season?

By Amy-Jo Crowley

They’re bigger than a smartphone and smaller than a tablet. They can do what both gadgets do on a 5 to 7 inch screen. And while they may stretch the lining of your trouser pocket, more and more companies are producing phablets than ever before.

Researchers at the International Data Corporation (IDC) said device makers shipped 25.2 million phablets in the Asia-Pacific regions, compared with 12.6 million tablets and 12.7 million laptops during the second quarter of 2013.

The trend is set to continue with other analysts from Barclays predicting that the market will quadruple in value to $135bn in three years, while shipments will surge by nearly nine-fold to 228m during the same period

We’ve picked out some of the best models to look out for.

Acer Liquid S2


Set to be released at the end of October 2013 in red and black colour variants, the Liquid S2 has a 6-inch full-HD 1920×1080 resolution touchscreen and runs on Google’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system.

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The key selling point lies in its ability to record video in 4K resolution, while the rear camera boasts a 28mm lens, a BSI sensor and an LED ring flash, offering up to 27-megapixels in a single picture.

It comes with a quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and 2-megapixel front-facing camera, allowing users to capture photos with an 88-degree wide- viewing angle.

The Liquid S2 also has 16GB of storage capacity that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD cards and a 3,300mAh battery.

Pricing will be announced at a later stage.

Asus FonePad

Asus FonePad

One of the biggest phablets available, the FonePad has a 7-inch screen with a display resolution of 1280 x 800, weighing 340g.

It runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and is powered by the Intel Atom Z2420 processor with a clock speed of 1.2GHz.

Other features include 16GB of internal storage, a 3MP rear camera and support for 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Price is £179.


HTC One Max


Word has it the all-metal design, expected to be released on 15 October, will have a 5.9-inch display with a full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution and run on the same Snapdragon 600 as the current HTC One.

The new device is 144.5×70.5×10.6mm thin and weigh 143g.

Other rumours indicate the device will be based on Android 4.3 and Sense 5.5 and packed with 2GB of DDR2 RAM, 3200mAh battery, 32GB or 64GB of memory and further storage via microSD.

Other features are said to include Beats Audio sound technology, UltraPixel camera and a new fingerprint sensor.

Price unknown.





Huawei Ascend Mate


Better for affordability and weighing 198g, Huawei’s Ascend Mate features a 6.1-inch 1280 x 720 screen, 1.5GHz quad-core CPU and up to 2GB of RAM.

Other features include a 4050 mAh battery and an 8-megapixel AF rear-facing camera with HDR and 1-megapixel HD front-facing camera.

Huawei’s Magic Touch setting also allows you to operate the device even when you’re wearing gloves.

Pricing from about £300.



Boasting a 5.2-inch full HD display and powered by a 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm snapdragon 800 processor, the G2 is the first handset to place the power and volume buttons on the rear of the device.

LG says this makes it easier to access the camera functions and minimises the risk of dropping the phone.

The back buttons can also be used to adjust its volume and activate its note-taking and camera apps.

Other features include a 13MP camera as well as a Hi-Fi playback, which the South Korean company claims can create studio-quality sound that is superior to a CD.

The phone also answers calls automatically when placed to the user’s ear and can be switched on by tapping on the screen twice if placed on a table.

Prices starting from about £399.99.

LG Optimus G Pro

LG Optimus

The LG Optimus G Pro has a 5.5-inch screen with a slender bezel running down each side of it, making it easier to wrap your fingers around it.

It runs on Android 4.1 and comes with a 13MP camera with LED flash on the back and a 2.1MP camera on the front, allowing users to record video on both cameras simultaneously.

The QSlide also makes an appearance on the device, allowing users to fade apps or videos on the screen, making multitasking easier.

Other features include 2 GB of RAM and up to 32 GB of storage.


Nokia Lumia 1520

Nokia Lumia

The Finnish company is expected to release the Lumia 1520 by the end of the month as the first Windows phone phablet.

Although no official details have been released yet, reports have suggested the device will have a 6-inch full-HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

Other rumoured features include a 20-megapixel rear camera, which is a downgrade from the recently released Lumia 1020 smartphone.

Price unknown.

Samsung Galaxy Mega

Galaxy Mega

This is Samsung’s largest mobile phone yet. The Galaxy Mega offers a 6.3-inch display with a resolution of 720P.

Running on Google’s Android 4.2 operating system, the device is equipped with an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 2MP front camera, a dual-core processor and up to 64GB of memory.

Other features include 3,200mAh battery, Group Play, which allows up to eight devices to share content over a Wi-Fi network, and WatchON, allowing users to turn the device into a remote control for suitable television sets.

Pricing from about £340.


Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Galaxy Note Three

Launched last month, the Galaxy Note 3 is 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm thin and weighs 168g, making it thinner and lighter than last year’s Galaxy Note 2.

Running on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system, it has a 5.7-inch display that is powered by a 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 processor or a 1.9GHZ octa-core processor, depending on whether you pick the LTE or 3G-only model.

The model also comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera, up to 3GB of RAM, 4G connectivity and a 64GB SanDisk card.

Prices start from about £600.


Sony Xperia Z Ultra


Beating the Galaxy Mega for size and resolution with a 6.4-inch 1080p full HD screen, Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra is another one to watch out for.

More expensive than others and running on Android, the 6.5mm thick phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2.2GHz quad-core CPUs and weighs 212g.

There’s an 8MP camera on the back, a 2MP one on the front, NFC technology and it can used under water to a depth of 1.5m for 30 minutes.

Other features include 4G LTE connectivity, 16GB of built-in storage, 11 hours of battery life and120 hours of audio playback.

Pricing from £595.


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