The announcement of the iPhone 6 Plus last week means that we’ve reached a tipping point in phones: every single platform now has its very own phablet. Yes, it’s a dirty, stupid word to describe big phones, but it’s the best one we’ve got right now. Join us as we take you through the cheapest way to get a phablet running either Android, Windows Phone and iOS.
Welcome to Gizmodo’s new semi-regular feature, The Price Is Right, where we take a look at particular devices to find out whether or not you should spend your hard-earned coin on top-flight gadgets, or whether cheaper models will do the job. Got an idea for us to crunch the numbers on? Tell us in the comments!
The Lumia 1520 is the biggest phone that Nokia, now Windows Devices after the Microsoft acquisition, makes.
It’s a 6-inch phablet (eurgh) with a beautiful 1080×1920 (1080p) screen with 367 pixels per inch, a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, microSD compatibility (huzzah!) and a giant 3400mAh battery.
For some reason, the 1520 is still pretty pricey: you’ll pick one up from Harvey Norman for $744. Mind you, that’s down from its launch price of $844.
Android has had big screens for ages, and considering that the platform boasts a series of insanely cheap phones already, it isn’t tough to find great value here.
We have two recommendations for this one:
There’s the smart little challenger from Huawei called the Ascend Mate.
It’s a 6.1-inch monster phone with a bright IPS+ display, powered by Huawei’s own 1.5GHz, quad-core chipset, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage (expandable to 64GB) with an 8-megapixel camera, all powered by a huge 4050mAh battery.
We found it held up ok in our review, but it’s worth switching up your software/launcher as soon as you get it. Trust us: you’re better off without Huawei’s stock software.
It’s a little long in the tooth now, which makes it kind of hard to find, but head into your local Dick Smith or JB Hi-Fi store to pick one up. The price should be less than $400 for all that big-screen goodness these days.
The absolute biggest smartphone we can think of comes to us courtesy of Sony in the form of the Z Ultra
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a 6.4-inch 1080×1920 (1080p) beast of a phone, packing a 342ppi into the display. You’ve also got TRILUMINOUS Display technology built-in for better colour saturation, an X-Reality for Mobile engine and an OptiContrast panel for deeper blacks. Coincidentally, that OptiContrast tech features the same algorithms, colour maths and software Sony uses in its 4K TVs, which are fabulous.
Under the hood you’ll find a knockout Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage, expandable up to 64GB via microSD, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel front-facer. It’s all kept alive by a massive 3000mAh battery crammed into a tiny 6.5mm thin body.
Again, it’s a little long in the tooth now, but it’s still great, and waterproof to boot. (nee Mobicity) will flog you one for a little over $400.
Obviously, iOS users are at a bit of a disadvantage with this one: there’s no way you’re going to get away with a cheap phablet from Apple seeing as how they announced it last week.
The cheapest you’re going to get is a 16GB iPhone 6 Plus, which retails at $999.
It’s packing a 5.5-inch screen, brand-spanking new Apple A8 processor with M8 motion co-processor, 1080p display (401 ppi) an 8-megapixel iSight camera and full 4G capabilities.
That particular phone goes on sale at 8am on Friday 19 September.