Picking a smartphone can be a stressful thing. You have to consider plenty of things including budgets, the right features, the design, the after sale services and the ecosystem you are going to be investing in. Since, most of us remain committed to our smartphones for at least a year, it is imperative to make a smart and wise choice. In a market like India which is extremely price sensitive, devices like Phablets have been a blockbuster hit. These devices bring you the best of both worlds i.e. Tablets and Smartphones, by giving you a large screen to view your content and GSM/CDMA support to make phone calls. So, what are your best options while picking a tablet today in the Indian market? Here are the top 5 picks from our side.
Samsung Galaxy Note III
Samsung Galaxy Note III is easily the ruler of the phablet world. The Note series were the devices which sold us the idea of Phablets and it is no wonder that all the three variants of Notes (Galaxy Note, Note II and Note III) have done incredibly well in terms of volumes sold. The phone is a solid all-rounder with a beautiful screen, smart S-Pen features, terrific battery life and runs the latest version of Android. Although, a bit pricey, the Note III will surely serve you very well for the next couple of years at least.
The device is available for Rs 41,300 in India from several E-Retail stores as well as in the open market easily. The device has a 5.7 inch 1080 P Full HD AMOLED display, 3 GB of RAM, Exynos 5420 SoC with Octa Core CPU. The device has a 13 MP Rear Camera and a 2 MP Front Camera. The Note III comes in black and white colors in India and has a removable faux leather back panel housing NFC, a Micro SD Slot, Micro SIM Slot and a 3200 mAh removable battery.
HTC One Max
If beautifully crafted, drop dead gorgeous, cold Aluminum bodied devices are your thing, then the HTC One Max is the phablet for you. A slightly larger and much heavier device than the Note III, the HTC One Max drips of premium class. With a fingerprint sensor to unlock your phone present on the rear of the device, the HTC One Max brings the best of the widely appreciated HTC One including the Boomsound speakers and then some more including a battery life to die for thanks to its 3300 mAh non removable battery.
The device is unapologetically cold, and packs a very powerful punch when it comes to specs and pricing. Available for Rs. 48,999, it is a challenge to spot the device in open markets, so your best bet is obviously picking it up online. The One Max comes with the same 4 Ultra Pixel Camera as the HTC One and a 2.1 MP front facing Camera. The device runs Android KitKat 4.4 after the update was recently released and packs the Snapdragon 600 SoC with 2 GB of RAM. The device does support expansion via Micro SD card.
Nokia Lumia 1520
Since we have had two Android Phones already and perhaps another couple coming up, we thought the Nokia Lumia 1520 deserves to take the spot in between. The Lumia 1520 is in a lot of aspects the best Windows Phone out there, ranking ahead of the Lumia 1020 and perhaps even the newly launched Lumia 930.
The Lumia 1520 has a price of about Rs. 42,300 in India though, the phone can be picked for a lot lesser from the markets or if you can pick the right coupon codes with some of the Online Retail Stores. It packs a stunning 1080P display with Clear Black technology making the bold text-based UI of Windows Phone look absolutely gorgeous. The phone is without a doubt a monster with dimensions of 162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7 mm. It is also crazy light at only 209 g and brings Snapdragon 800 SoC with 2 GB of RAM to give what is the best Windows 8 experience. The Lumia 1520 brings a 20 MP Rear Camera with Pure View technology making this perhaps the best phablet in terms of photography potential. Unlike the Note III or the One Max, the Lumia 1520 is available in several colors such as white, red, yellow and black giving you some colorful choices.
Sony Xperia Z Ultra
Sony Xperia Z Ultra is the phablet that challenges its own phablet with its size. It is easily the biggest phablet in our series with a 6.4 inch display which really makes it more a tablet than phablet. However, surprisingly, the phablet is also the cheapest on our list so far, retailing for just under Rs 40,000. It is widely available and also one of the best looking phablets out there. Given the glass and metal sandwiched construction, the Z Ultra brings a lot of finesse to a category that is filled with slab like looking phones.
The device has a 1080 P Triluminous Display with X- Reality engine but given the large size of the screen , the PPI is only 344, which is slightly lower as compared to the others in the category, the display can be a bit of an underwhelming fetaure here. There is no rear LED Flash with the 8 MP Camera on the rear of the device. The Xperia Z Ultra comes with the Snapdragon 800 SoC and 2 GB of RAM. It is also the only Phablet on the list that is Waterproof and Dustproof making it a solid companion when you are travelling.
Samsung Mega 6.3
Since we have had plenty of high-end phablets on the list, we thought it would be unfair if we ignored a phablet that would not burn a hole in your pocket. If you are not willing to spend a lot of money for a phablet, then the Samsung Mega 6.3 is a good, reliable choice. The phone can be picked for about Rs 21,000 and although the Mega 6.3 is almost a year old now, it still does a very decent job in terms of delivering good experience to the user. The device is largely made out of plastic and is reminiscent of the design that we have seen on the Galaxy S III or S IV.
Featuring, Samsung’s Touchwiz UI, the Mega 6.3 Phablet runs Android 4.2, with Android 4.4 ROMs available for those who are a bit adventurous. The phablet packs a Snapdragon 400 SoC and an 8 MP Rear Camera. The 6.3 inch on the device has a 720 P display and it is obvious that the specs as well as performance are not up to the match of the four devices listed above. However, if you are looking for a Phablet, which performs well and does the job, without costing an Eiffel Tower, then the Mega 6.3 is perhaps your best bet.
So, these have been our favorite five phablets that are available as of Q1 of 2014. Which one is your favorite? Or if you have a device that we have missed out on? Let us know in the section below or catch us on our Social Networks.