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Supersize me: The phablet gets out of hand

Android phones have gotten bigger since the release of the first commercially available Android phone, the T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream. The G-1 had a 3.2 inch display. Android phones got larger, until one got so big, that a new category was created, the “phablet”. Phablet, short for phone tablet, refers to a smartphone which is considered to be too big to be called a phone, and too small to be considered as a tablet.

The most radical of the new generation

The term was first coined with the release of Samsung Galaxy Note in 2011. The Note, with a 5.3-inch display and an 83 mm girth was massive. A lot of tech pundits, myself included, felt the device would be a failure. That of course was not the case and Samsung followed up the Note, with an even more successful Note II. The Note II had a larger 5.5-inch display. However, the situation seemed to be under control, the Note II being a bit handier than its predecessor, at “just” 80.5 mm wide.

This year, the phablet has been supersized. Huawei launched its Ascend Mate with a 6.1-inch display in an 85.7 mm wide case. The Huawei Ascend Mate has a nice thin bezel around the display. It is just that a 6.1-inch screen takes up a lot of real estate. Samsung released its own mega offering, the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3. With a 6.3-inch display, the Mega has an 88 mm girth. Sony, not to be outdone launched its own behemoth in the 6.4-inch Xperia Z Ultra. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is an amazingly thin 6.5 mm, but the device is all of 92.2 mm wide.

If the Sony Xperia Z is not big enough for you, there is the Huawei MediaPad 7 Vogue. Now the Vogue is being classified as a tablet, but it included an earpiece and microphone, so you can use it like a regular smartphone.

The new way to hold a phone
The new way to hold a phone

I was wrong before, but this time around, I think it is clear that things are getting (literally) out of hand. Or I could be wrong again, or these technological mutations could really be too big to fail.

Photo Credits: Sony Mobile and Huawei

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