Share this Story

Death of Phablet.


The “phablet” is dead. You can stop saying that word. Stop putting tablet and phone together. There is no longer a category of phones that blurs the line between phone and small tablet. They are now all just phones. Big ones. Because you told manufacturers that you wanted them to be big – all of them.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the phone industry was getting clowned on by Steve Jobs, who referred to phones like the Droid X and its 4.3-inch display as “Hummers.” How silly does that sound now, when you consider the fact that just yesterday, LG announced that it had received final approval for mass production on its latest display, which weighs in at 5.5-inches and will be featured in its next flagship phone, the G3. Keep in mind that LG released a “phablet” in 2013 with a 5.5-inch display, called the Optimus G Pro. And let’s not forget that the Samsung Galaxy S5 sports a 5.1-inch display, yet the world thought they were mad in 2011 when they introduced the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note “phablet.” 

Phones like the Moto X and its 4.7-inch display are now thought to be small. “Small” phones are also incredibly rare. So far this year, we have seen flagships from HTC and Samsung that each sport 5-inch and 5.1-inch displays. LG will put a 5.5-inch display in their next, the OnePlus One has a 5.5-inch display as well, and Sony’s Xperia Z2 rocks out with 5.2-inches of screen real estate. Again, these would have all been “phablets” 2-3 years ago. Not anymore. These are phones, flagship phones.

If you want a phone with a sub 5-inch display, you are now dipping into the “mini” category. For example, the HTC One (M8) Mini is rumored to carry a 4.5-inch display.  So is the Galaxy S5 Mini. The LG G2 Mini has a 4.7-inch display, which is the same size as the Moto X. Those are all substantially bigger than a Hummer.

So let’s get it out of the way. Forget the fact that the word “phablet” causes instant migraines when said or heard, it’s a category that no longer exists. We now only have phones and “mini” phones. The phablet era is over with, because well, big won the day.

Put it to bed, Jay-Z. D.O.P.

  • jvader2012

    or the birth of

  • BiBiBomBiBi

    I took the leap of faith and purchased the Nokia 1520 with the huge 6″ screen. Was worried before that I may not get used to the big screen size, but after using for about a month, grew the like of it and now I’m no longer into phones having 4.5″ screen size and below. My old 1020 looks so tiny now. And yes, phablet is already dead.

  • Higher_Ground

    Good news awaits, the Microphone revolution lies just over the horizon!
    But this is really just a misunderstanding. A rising tide floats all boats as they say, and since the smallest tablets are still 7″, there’s room for more phablets in the 5.5-7″ range. Of course the distinction isn’t all that great, so look for the 2014 Nexus tablet to weigh in at 8″ minimum. Our hands will adapt. 🙂

  • The screens are getting bigger but that does not mean they are phablets. It’s all about form factor. The G3 will purportedly only be marginally bigger than the G2, and this is due to decreased bezel size. The Moto X is small, it’s almost the same size as the iPhone 5, but it has a .7 inch bigger screen. But the fact that it has such tiny bezels and therefore a smaller footprint matter way more than screen size. Phablets are still a thing. G Pro 2. Galaxy Note 3. These phones are massive. It’s all about dimensions, not screen size.

  • anselmo cruz

    Honestly 5″ isn’t that big my m8 is perfectly good sized,enough so that I can use Swype with one hand and my hands aren’t that big

  • XboxOne

    Phablet always sounded retarded.

  • BRWill

    “Because you told manufacturers that you wanted them to be big” …. I’m sorry… I did not !

  • Frettfreak

    why cant we get a “mini” withOUT mini specs?? is that too much to ask?? i FN HATE this bigger is better BULLSH!T!

    • Sir Realest

      iphone 5s

  • Shawn John

    Well I hope the Nexus 6 has a 5.5 screen, I have Big hands so the screen size feels natural not to mention the productivity I would have doing mundane office tasks on my phone with a bigger screen, especially for an IT professional as myself, it feels/looks better remoting into someone’s desktop with a phone with a 5.5 screen. Just my opinion and use…

  • Tech bloggers were the only people who ever used that stupid term anyways.

  • Chris Bailey

    Oh DX – how I loved and hated thee. Made me a little misty though to see it on here.

  • JeffColorado

    A phablet is any large phone with a built in stylus. Sorry…the name still applies.

  • ratnok

    Here’s the thing. One handed use IS important. You can’t ignore that many people want a one handed phone because of the comfort level. All Google has to do is encourage developers (starting with their own) to place the action bar on the BOTTOM of the screen and you can get the best of both worlds:big, beautiful screen, and comfortable one handed use.

  • beng8686

    Stop whining. That’s why android is so awesome… You have CHOICE. If you have dinky little chick hands then you can choose to get a smaller screen. I have no problem navigating a 5.5+ with one hand so bigger screens suit me better.

  • Nah, phablet is still a thing.
    Also, that word doesn’t cause instant migraines, but “hype beast” does. Please, please stop using that phrase!

  • Colts5609

    Really hope the Nexus 6 does not follow suit. You can make the screen bigger, just don’t make the entire phone bigger. Kind of like what One+ promissed, but didn’t deliver.

  • Cory Wilson

    Yeah it’s gotten ridiculous. Honestly my nexus 5 reaching the top left corner is almost impossible one handed so I’d say 4.7 is the max you can go one handed. I really almost feel like the big phones were forced on us. Problem is other then the xperia z compact smaller phone = crappy specs. I’m really for the screen size wars to go back to hell where they came from

  • obarthelemy

    I can use my 6″ Huawei Ascend Mate one-handed mostly, and it fits in my pocket with room to spare. I’m receiving my new 7″ Huawei X1 today, hopefully that won’t be too big either.

    I spend 99% of my time on my phone using its screen. 7″ is to 4″ what 26″ is to 15″ on the desktop (actually, it’s more than that). I wouldn’t switch to a 15″ on my desk. I won’t switch to a 4-5″ phone in my hand.

  • DimitrisTsonis

    You are forgetting the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, which is a small phone but with no “mini” specs at all!
    You made reference to the mini phones (the ones with inferior specs) because this helps you prove your point, but you deliberately forgot to mention the one small phone with flagship specs.
    Are you a lawyer or something? 🙂

  • rgaray

    I’m over big phones. I use my small tablet when I need something big. When I’m out without my tablet then I want a small phone, maybe the size of the iPhone.

  • Hadi Bakhtiyarvand

    i just love my droid ultra . best size with 5″ display .
    after ultra . moto x have perfect size for a smartphone .
    but 5″ is beter for i .

  • discopunkk
  • I hate phablets from the Crush,

  • Crybaby


  • 213ninja

    i want the largest display possible that fits in one hand safely/securely during practical use…not every task mind you, just the simple tasks. if i have to switch to 2 hands to do some stuff, i’m fine with that, as long as i can unlock it, make calls and read messages with one hand. if i can securely use the device in that fashion wihout dropping it, i want it. i don’t care it that’s 6 or 6.5 inches…or bigger….and just enough bezel to prevent me from accidentally clicking stuff, however many mm that may be.

  • Sweegggg

    Moto X size muy bueno

  • Eclipse

    Guess I’m buying mini phones because I like one handed use. I don’t like these massive screens, never have. 4.3 is as large as I comfortably can go. After that I just find myself being annoyed with the device, espically since most all UI menu options are in the upper corners of the phone and nearly impossible to reach without holding the phone in some awkward almost easy to drop way.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    So what’s the note 2+3? Phones with pens?

  • Chris Beavans

    My Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is just the right size! It fits it my front and back pockets fine!

  • JeremyAn2

    Just when you thought you’d read the last “sizeist” rant from Kellex…… can’t we just go back to hypebeasting stuff on the horizon? Bring on the sure-to-be colossal Galaxy Note 4!

  • InvaderDJ

    Yep true. Right now Motorola and Sony are the only ones with a flagship of less than 5 inches, and I’m not sure the Compact counts as flagship now that the Z2 is out. I want more options for everyone so I think this is a bad thing, but personally it doesn’t matter to me. I thought a 5″+ screen was too big until I got hands on the Note 3. And a phone like the DROID RAZR M or Mini with a 4″ screen is hilariously small for me. As long as we don’t get an overall footprint as big as the HTC One MAX or that huge Lumia phone I’m fine with it.

    On another note what is that Samsung phone, third from the left in the picture? Is that the GS3?

  • verZion

    I’m switching my SIM card between a Moto X and a Note 3 and I must admit that as a phone the Moto X wins hands down. The size, Active Notifications, and “OK Google Now” are seriously hard to let go. I must admit that I’ve been a Samsung Fanboi since the S3, but the Moto X is seriously making it very hard to switch back to the Note 3. I’m 6’0″ and the Moto X just disappears in my pocket and is super easy to control with one hand, but the Note 3 takes up my entire pocket and becomes unwieldy without using two hands. Here is a picture showing the Moto X practically fits inside the Note 3’s screen.

  • I don’t mind a bigger screen, just as long as the body of the phone doesn’t get bigger (like Moto X)

  • Ryan O’Neill

    Small screens and one-handed use are going to be a huge selling point pretty soon. I hope Motorola really drives those home in their ads for the new Moto X.

  • Ben Edwards

    I hate the trend of bigger and bigger phones. 5-inch should be the absolute maximum size for a flagship phone, and then anything outside of that is a “phablet” range. Android is all about choice, and the biggest problem now is if you want a flagship you can have either huge or massive. Unless they start offering the mini ranges with actual flagship specs and not just midrange dribble, I’m not going to be buying another Android flagship for the foreseeable future.

  • Craig P

    So you’re telling me that the Note 3, Lumia 1520, and HTC One Max aren’t phabets? I believe phablets still exits, its just that they’re bigger now.

    • 213ninja

      Phablets never existed, it was a made up slang term that the market never acknowledged because there isn’t a logical reason for it to exist. What you just listed out are big phones. If it has a cellular voice radio, it’s a phone. if not, it’s a tablet. isn’t the ipod touch nothing more than a small tablet?

      • Craig P

        I’m sure you know the Note and others alike were nicknamed “phablets” by consumers because of their size compared to most phones and tablets at the time. So by phablets, large phones, big phones, whatever you call them, they exist. It’s just a label used and created by consumers. I’m not sure what point you are trying to defend.

        • 213ninja

          i’m simply stating that a nickname given by a niche of consumers is irrelevant. if you want it to matter to you, of course that’s cool, to each his/her own, but from an industry/market perspective, it never existed. i commented because you are arguing against the post that phablets still exist, and my rebuttal is that they never truly existed as anything more than slang, which doesn’t matter. and i have no other reason for doing so other than i wanted a break from studying so i came here to kill some time.

          • Craig P

            It’s all good man.

      • Higher_Ground

        I’m pretty sure it existed as a way to distinguish the Galaxy Note line from the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab lines. It may have never existed if Samsung had even 1 oz of creativity when it comes to naming devices. There were of course devices like the Dell Streak that were quickly placed in the same category, despite the fact that they only had one size.
        There’s still an awkward overlap between 7-8″ tablets and 10″ tablets when it comes to naming convention, hence why they all have the size in the actual name.
        You’re right about there not being a reason for them to exist, but if you create market space someone somewhere will likely buy it. I also think the surge in popularity has followed the increase in resolution – the large screens back in the day looked terrible compared to the large screens out now.

  • E A butler

    Not to mention Apple may be stepping into this arena later this year… Very tempting to jump ship or make it my side phone.

  • Blue Sun

    R.I.P. Phablet, you have a short but impressive run.

  • sdfgdf

    4-4.8 inches is perfect. Anything bigger is just unnecessary.

    • 213ninja

      that is clearly not what she said…

  • DanielMena9

    I now have a Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and I cannot state how happy I am with my 4.3″ phone! YES I dropped ~ inch from the LG G2 to this and it is the best move ever.

    Equal if not better battery life to G2. I can use it with one hand. Its perfect.

  • John Clausen

    God I loved my Droid X. The screen (at the time) was so sharp, the build quality was great, it was so thin (at the time). But jesus the software was terrible. Verizon sent me 4 replacements because they were so buggy and glitchy and unusable.

    • scotch1337

      That sucks my only problem was an update bricking my droid x.

      • Boblank84

        Only? That’s a pretty big problem.

        • scotch1337

          I should add that it was warrantied. I don’t also blame the phone itself I would blame the install/software

    • GJV

      MotoBlur and Gingerbread were a pretty bad team.

  • Mudokon83

    I’ve got my Verizon S3 and its 4.8 and i think thats just big enough to get my thumb aruond but its def. a slight struggle after awhile you use both hands.

    Still trying to find a good Verizon phone 4.8ish size with micro sd card slot thats FASTER than my s3 and better.

    Sucks all the MINI’s are underpowered.