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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.

  • ravenofdoom

    There is no ideal size for a phone. Some people have bigger hands than others and care about 1-handed use, while others don’t. If we go off one-handed usage, some people can’t deal with a phone >4.6″, others can do 5.3″ fine (assuming minimal bezel). I think the issue should focus more on having the option for a top-spec phone for each, rather than gimping the smaller of the two. A bigger display doesn’t have to mean better internals.

  • Liderc

    We didn’t ask for 5.5” screens, so your argument is invalid.

    We asked for 5” with thin bezels and got them, then the companies decided to make money they had to keep making them bigger.

  • Mini_maxx_One_Ultra_Z_Plus

    looking at the picture in the post I can’t stop thinking
    HOW UGLY is that WOODEN back on Moto X and how awfully LONG is HTC M8 One.

    • Ian

      Given the device names in your user name I can safely assume one of two possible scenarios: 1) you’re trolling or 2) you have no taste.

      • Jprime

        I don’t like the wood, looks kinda lame

      • Mini_maxx_One_Ultra_Z_Plus

        please, don’t tell me that you REALLY like that uberUGLY “wooden” back (which is ABSOLUTELY TASTELESS), that extremely ugly white bezel around it and that ugly recessed USELESS element at the top.

        Names in my name are other examples of BS.
        I don’t like almost everything. )
        It’s not designs.
        It’s not premium.
        Those plastic colors and funny G/X/L/Z names are not smart and are not cool.

        • GJV

          Dude it’s an asthetic feature so it’s subjective. To each his own. Tasteless would be something gross or explicit on the back. I dont’ think the wood is that bad.

    • Ben Edwards

      Not a fan of the wood either. The One does look long in pictures (and real life, I guess) but it actually sits in your hand quite nicely. You don’t really notice the extra length while using it (since it’s pretty much only the top speaker).

  • Greg

    I want my phones bigger and my tablets smaller

  • Ant

    First its smart phones are getting way to big when the oneplus one announced a 5.5″ screen http://www.droid-life.com/2014/04/22/i-hate-todays-smartphones/ now the LG G3 has a 5.5″ screen its death of the phablets and welcome to the new size if flagship phones LMAO #MindBlown

  • joejoe5709

    Phones are getting bigger but a Note 3 is still a phablet. Same goes for the LG G Flex. I really think flagships will settle right around 5.2-5.5″ over the next 12 mos. I think “mini” phones will settle out around 4.7-4.9″ and mid-to-low range phones around 4.3-4.5″. Phablets are really anything 5.5″ and above. But the category of phablets is still very much alive. Even if the G3 comes with 5.5″, it’s not the same thing as a Note 3.

    • Zee

      What would you classify as the distinction between the G3 and the Note 3? This is a sincere question.

  • evan brown

    damn that bamboo moto x looks great

  • Michael Rodgers

    I want the build quality of the One M8, the camera of the iPhone, the customization and size of the Moto X.

  • Alan Paone

    At least now, specs are so outrageous that even ‘mini’ mid-tier phones perform pretty well. I won’t get my 720p flagship again, but one of this year’s minis will probably be good enough for me to use.

  • James_Kernicky

    This used to be one of the major talking points between android and apple in case you don’t remember. Android fanboys would always mention how small the iphone was. Now we’re getting too big?

    • Orion

      Exactly. I’ve never seen so many crybabies yapping about their sweet spot. Lol

  • Justin

    Don’t get mad at the consumer for the word “phablet.” We didn’t make it up…

  • Carelesshottie1

    I remember when I had my first Droid and the screen was only 3.7 inches. That was just fine for me and then the RAZR Maxx came out with a 4.3 inch screen and that was perfect. Now I am being forced into getting a 5.+ screen if I want a top of the line phone. Why couldn’t we just stop at 5 inches? I don’t want a tablet in my pocket! My RAZR Maxx already slips out of my pocket as it is ( damn designer jeans). So I guess it’s either the G3 or go to the dark side (the rotten apple one).

  • supremekizzle

  • Matthew Rosidivito

    Good, maybe now Phablets will get even bigger! Mwahahaha.

  • Mark

    Kellex, flip those phones over and let’s see that bezel shrink. Yes, the phones are getting bigger, but a much larger proportion of them is screen.

  • Vetal

    nexus 5 seams to be the biggest i would go. I played with a friends moto x and that is the sweet spot with screen and phone size.

    • Orion

      You guys and your damn “sweet spots”. Everyone’s is different.

  • OF

    I can’t go below 4.8″ after owning an S3. My next phone will have 5.5″! Bring em on! If only to piss off the complainers even more!

  • morteum

    Kellen seems so angsty in these posts.

  • Droid Ronin
  • ShockWave

    As for me the mobility of the phone is what matters, if it is pocket friendly then I am cool with it, that’s why I don’t own any of the Note series although I love them.
    If you can fit a 5.5″ screen phone in my pocket perfectly then I am more than satisfied with it, but don’t try to do that with a heavy big phone, anyway they are touching the thin line between the tablets and phones, and even after 10 years they can’t just simply put a 10″ tablet in our pockets unless they invest more in bendable screens and phones, time can only tell these things anyway.

  • JSo

    Man, reading the comments here, I think a lot of people are like this…


  • paul_cus

    The word phablet has always been dead to me.

  • BoFiS

    Ugh, even the Nexus 5 is TOO BIG for me, so basically zero phones right now are remotely the right size to hold in my hands and use one-handed…cept the Moto X, so I’m looking forward to hearing about the Moto X+1 at least, or maybe the G3 mini or M8 Mini if those ever exist and come to Verizon. I’m not sure why EVERY PHONE IS SO STUPIDLY HUGE, but my hands and pockets have not gotten larger and I’d really love a compact, 4.3″, 720p phone more than anything else.

    • Orion

      Maybe you should stop stupidly using one hand. You have two you know. Train yourself…its not that hard.

    • JSo

      The HTC One mini and the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact both have 4.3 inch screens.

  • James Walker

    Who cares!!

  • Steven Petrillo

    I love the size of my Nexus 5 and that is right on the edge of single hand use. I had OGP and it was just too big and too heavy. I really want to try the OnePlueOne but again too big.

  • gardobus

    There is a decent amount of big-screen hate going on in these comments. Personally, I love my Note 3 and don’t plan on getting a smaller screen again.

    • Orion

      I just laugh at them and their tiny screens.

  • Mark J. Skuba

    I just jumped from Droid 4 to Note 3, so the whole phablet screen size is new to me and its wonderful. I even gave my note a name… Phabulous. That’s what it is! Its the best large phone/mini tablets I’ve ever used and that makes it fabulous. 5 inch screens are the sweetspot. 6-7 is definitely more for the label of tablet. So the Note 3 is the best of both worlds coming together. I don’t mind the term phablet.

  • 18footJ

    I can see it now, OP will write an article in September praising the 4.7″ iPhone and say how that’s the perfect size.

  • Did you make sure to let BGR know? They love to say phablet!

  • trwb

    I want a phone that is 4.3-4.5 with decent specs. Anyone know if this exists?

    • Simon Belmont

      Hmm. Sony Xperia Z Compact?

      One of the first smaller phones to have really good specifications. I wish others would follow.

      • trwb

        Looks pretty good. Does it work on at&t?

        • Simon Belmont

          I would think an unlocked one would. You’d have to look into that, though.

          The 3G bands probably most definitely are supported. But, LTE, I’m not so sure.

          • trwb

            Thanks. I’ll look into it. My Nexus 5 is just too big. Need a smaller phone.

  • archercc

    I hope there is eventually springback from this as more and more people get tablets for media consumption. I have a tablet so I dont really have a desire for a massive screen on my phone. I love my N4 but even it could be a little thinner, I don’t desire to go any bigger. The only way a 5.5″ would be one-handable for me is if they eliminated the bezels.

    • Orion

      Its a great thing you don’t speak for the people.

      • archercc

        Its great that my desire for choice offended you enough to comment.

  • Gr8Ray

    Small phones are rare? How many millions of iPhones are out there again?

  • Ryanmax

    There simply needs to be something for everyone. This era isn’t any more for PABLETS devices, this is the era of SMARTPHONES.. http://goo.gl/JkwtyN

  • biggerisbetter

    I like where the market is now. I was tired of small ass screens. I use my phone so it’s ideal to be able to do stuff like remote desktop, or pen test with on a screen you can work with. I think the fits you’re throwing about “too big” make you look like a sissy boy upset because he doesn’t get to make the rules. If you want small, get the mini version and move on. The same goes for those who are whining about 2k. If you want innovation to stop, go buy an apple, otherwise close your face hole. You sound like my grandparent bitching about technology going to fast. I wish it went faster.

  • John

    Let’s call it Tabphone from now on. At the end of the day, people use these as tablets first, phones second. People use these things for media and content consumption. Can anyone imagine how sad it would be to watch videos or read a book or going online or playing a game that requires two hands anyway on a “Voice Capable Ipod” or even the Moto X? Sure its nice to be able to swipe the notification bar or make a call or text with one hand, if that’s all you plan on doing with your SMARTPHONE.
    Anyways yea let’s call it a Tabphone. Problem solved.

    • PoisonApple31

      Double post…nice

  • zapote21

    Ahhh another “I hate big phones” article… Ugh…. Got it. You hate big phones… Some of us love them..

    • It’s actually not that at all…

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Go read the FA

    • JSo

      I think he was trying to make the point that the TERM “phablet” is dead due to the giant phones being the norm now. I dont think it had to do with a hatred of big phones.

  • RoninX

    5.5″ is the new 5″, so I’m looking forward to all future flagships being at least 5.5″. In a year or two, 5″ phones will be considered “mini” phones.

    After being on the losing side of the physical-vs-virtual keyboard war, I’m glad to at least be on the winning side of the large-vs-small war.

  • Rolando Chapa

    damn man
    just quiet down about it
    We get it you don’t like big phones



    • sirmeili

      damn man
      just quiet down about it
      We get it you don’t like to read the articles



      (this comment is merely in jest 🙂 )

    • HaveSomeVodka

      He can write his opinion, because the last time I checked, it’s his website…
      You don’t have to read his opinions if you don’t want to.



      • Rolando Chapa

        Hahahaha nice
        I love droid life check it daily
        But It gets tedious to keep seeing articles about larger phones.
        I get his gripe against them tho

  • John

    Let’s call it Tabphone from now on. At the end of the day, people use these as tablets first, phones second. People use these things for media and content consumption. Can anyone imagine how sad it would be to watch videos or read a book or going online or playing a game that requires two hands anyway on a “Voice Capable Ipod” or even the Moto X? Sure its nice to be able to swipe the notification bar or make a call or text with one hand, if that’s all you plan on doing with your SMARTPHONE.
    Anyways yea let’s call it a Tabphone. Problem solved.

  • Anything bigger than the Nexus5 is just overdoing it and I will not purchase.

    • Arthur Dent


  • MikeSaver

    Im just waiting for the 7 inch phone, then I might take the plunge though

  • DiamondDriller

    Sorry, but “phone” is also the wrong name for those devices. “Phone” is just an App installed on my Oppo N1 which I hardly use. Portable- or mobile-computer would be closer.

    • MikeSaver


  • Ajmobileguru

    To LG’s credit they have made the bezel next to non-existent and as a result the phone will not be as big as a Note 2 which was 5.5 inches with decent sized bezels. Definitely not like the 2011 phones.

    • MikeSaver


  • Joshua Polivka

    This is your second post in less than a month bitching about big phones, lol for someone who doesnt like big things….you sure are being a pretty big baby!

    • MikeSaver


    • sirmeili

      Did you read the article?

      • Joshua Polivka

        Yes I did though he did not make any direct cracks at large phones I think it is now pretty well known he hates them…This post was a little more passive than direct but the end result is still the same!

        • sirmeili

          I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one. The only thing I saw this article talk about is the death of the term “phablet” as a large percentage of phones are now “big” and the manufacturers have moved to using “mini” to describe smaller devices.

          I also was unaware of Kellen’s hate for large screen phones (I don’t read 100% of all the articles on Droid-Life).

          edit: I suppose we take away what we want to take away from what we read.

          • Joshua Polivka

            That’s why I said passively bitching …The term phablet doesn’t go away because standards have changed…say McDonald’s changed their cup sizes doesn’t matter if a medium cup changed from 30 oz to 35 oz…The smaller cup is still the small (or in the case of a phone a “mini”)

          • Zee

            You disproved your own point. If the term “phablet” is being used to describe what the term “phone” is, then the word phablet is no longer needed. If the medium cup size changes from 30 to 35 oz, and the size of the large cup is 35 oz, you would not use both terms to describe what size you wanted. You would pick one. Similarly, if the phablet and phone are roughly the same thing, you discard one of the terms in favor of the other. The only way the word keeps relevance is if phablets grow larger too (the way the cup size large would). In other words, phablets can be used to describe larger devices than what the standard phone is. But, until those become more widespread, the term is basically useless.

          • Joshua Polivka

            I was under the impression that people weren’t morons and inferred that when the medium size changed the small and the large did as well… also, we haven’t really reached the size of tablets completely with phones so it’s still inbetween…also one could argue that the term phablet was not hinting at a size between but the combination of a tablet with the capabilities of oh I dunno a phone…And to those saying he’s not negatively talking about the large size of todays smart phones, I swear I keep typing passively but you must not be reading it or maybe you don’t understand that word….also I feel like most of you contesting this have not read… http://www.droid-life.com/2014/04/22/i-hate-todays-smartphones/

          • Zee

            You miss the point again. The difference between a phablet and a tablet is irrelevant. I said that phones and phablets are, currently, the same thing. As the article points out. What we once called a phablet is now a phone. I didn’t said anything about tablets. The difference between a phone and a phablet is size. Since the size distinction is no longer relevant, the terminology isn’t either. Your example only works if both sizes change. Sure. But that isn’t what has happened. As the size of the phone has increased the size of what people call phablets has not. Your example isn’t applicable the way you want to apply it. I tried to make it relevant. If you’d rather just point out that it isn’t a great example to use, that’s fine too. As has been pointed out, people use phablet or phone to distinguish between various devices of similar size. It is being misused. You are correct that if there is a 6 or 7 – 100″ device that comes out it could still be called a phablet (assuming there is a 100″ tablet and phones don’t reach the 6 or 7 inch size commonly), but that isn’t what is being discussed. What is being discussed is the use of the term phablet in its current form.

            I have read that article. It has nothing to do with this one. Again, you are reading in your own bias. You know he dislikes big phones, so you read that he is bashing them in this article. He isn’t. They are two different articles. Two different points are being made. Unrelated. Where is the passive bashing in the article? Can you quote it to me? Because, otherwise, again, you are simply reading in your own world view.

          • JSo

            Ok, if the medium sized phones became the small/mini phones, and the large phones moved into what was “phablet” territory, then do all we have is mini and phablet? In the past, we had the mini phones, the “normal sized” phones and the “phablet”. Small, medium and large. So whats the point of keeping the term phablet now? That’s the only point this article is making. That and the term is stupid.

          • Joshua Polivka

            “They are now all just phones. Big ones. Because you told manufacturers that you wanted them to be big – all of them”

    • HaveSomeVodka

      He’s not bitching about big phones, he’s just trying to explain the word “phablet” doesn’t need to be thrown around anymore. Because let’s face it, the word phablet is annoying.

      • Joshua Polivka

        Lol thanks for further proving my point… The word phablet doesn’t need to be thrown around anymore because almost all phones are large now = passive bitching about how all phones are big now!

        • Zee

          You’re equating two unrelated things. He never said it was bad that many phones are now the size of what we once called phablets. His point is simply just that the word is no longer useful to our vocabulary. Not that because it is not useful these devices are bad. You are reading your own bias into the article. If anything, he is making fun of our once held belief of what large phones were. But that is not bashing. It is more like saying “Hey, remember when a 50 inch TV was a big screen?” Now we have much larger screens with much better specs than the previous models. It isn’t bashing the larger screens. Just pointing out that our standards have changed.

  • shmigga

    Just goes to show you how dumb Steve Jobs was.

    • KojiroAK

      You know, the funny part is, what made the iPhone better to handle with fingers than other phones which had stylus, that it had a big screen for its time.

      Most phone of its time had at biggest like 2.8″.

      I think Jobs “flamed” that much against bigger phones, because iOS isn’t that much capable in adapting to different screen properties.

      So, they made a big screen and people liked it and soon after there came bigger screens but probably Jobs new, they wouldn’t be able to play this game. So he just went on on telling everyone they don’t want it.

  • Jordan Dewey

    Am I the only one that finds it funny that any of these are still called “phones”? Sure they make calls, but being a handheld computer makes way more sense to me. Maybe “HC’s” from now on?

    • Bigwavedave25

      Hmm, “H”andheld “T”elephonic “C”omputers perhaps? New strategy…

  • LisaPNevarez

    Give the consumer choice. Not everyone loves small phones. And not every one loves large phones. I’m more of an in between. I think my G2 is the perfect size. There just needs to be something for everyone. http://num.to/4788-7890-5061

  • Bionicman

    i dont call my note 3 a phablet – i call it a big ass phone. but it would be hard to go back to a smaller phone. i think 4.7 to 5.1 is the sweet spot. i also think you could make these larger phones smaller by using less bezel.

  • LisaPNevarez

    Give the consumer choice. Not everyone loves small phones. And not every one loves large phones. I’m more of an in between. I think my G2 is the perfect size. There just needs to be something for everyone. http://num.to/4662*5628*8258

  • Orion