Android, Mobile, News

What’s the Fuss About… Phablets?

samsung-galaxy-mega

When is a smartphone not a smartphone? When it’s a Phablet, of course. The mashing of phones and tablets may grate on the nerves of tech fans and language enthusiasts alike, but with Samsung today launching the 6.3″ Galaxy Mega today, it’s about time we asked… what’s the fuss?

So I have a phone. I have a tablet. Why do I need something in between?

Well, maybe you don’t but the boffins at Samsung would like to argue the point. You see, with 4G mobile networks becoming faster, mobile storage becoming larger and cheaper and Wi-Fi popping up everywhere, more of us are watching videos and browsing the web on our phones. That high definition blu-ray rip you just dropped on your phone isn’t really going to give you the best experience on a “traditional” 4.5″ screen. But who wants to cart around a 10″ tablet, right? The answer, launch an abundance of smartphones between the sizes of an iPhone and iPad (or Galaxy S phone and Galaxy Tab in Samsung current) and see what sticks.

But I’m not sure I can actually hold a 6.6 x 3.4″ phone in one hand.

Well, sure you can. Just about. But don’t let anyone see you holding it up to your ear to make a call. You’ll look really silly.

Okay, I’ll keep it in my pocket. Erm, if I have a big enough pocket.

Big pants is where it’s at, my friend. Forget those hipster skinny jeans – baggy better be coming back, or you’ll be keeping your phone in your bag from here on in.

Right, well, whilst I time travel back to 1991 to pick up some jeans, tell me – what else do I get with the Galaxy Mega?

Features-wise, the main difference is the large LCD screen which will pump out as much high definition video as you can store or stream. But that’s not the only trick up its sleeve. The phablet’s Group Play feature allows easy content sharing for up to 8 devices on the same Wi-Fi network, Samsung’s WatchON lets you use the  phone as a smart TV remote, provide programme recommendations and TV schedules to boot. You can push media from the phone to your TV, tablet or computer and use the phone to translate text and voice between a wide range of languages. Pretty cool.

I’m still not sure about trouser capacity, but I’m sold. Who else is doing phablets?

The Galaxy Mega is most definitely at the top end of the phablet category in terms of size. Other devices to check out include Samsung’s Samsung Galaxy Note II | (UK), Sony’s 5″ Sony Xperia Z | (UK) and the forthcoming Huawei Ascend Mate.

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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.
  • autodrivel

    Sorry, I’ll give this one (fad) a miss.
    I can see plenty of occasions when the size of a phone (even at 4.5″) wins hands down over having a 6 inch slab of plasticmetal to juggle with.
    Personally, I’m not even sold on the Lumia 920 / Samsung S3 /4 /n 4.5+” screen size – I went for a Lumia 820 mainly for the smaller screen size.
    Also, I think the argument about the screen size on a Phablet giving a better hidef experience with videos is flawed. The operative word here is “experience” which means the whole environment i.e. how you watch, where you watch and what you watch. On the few occasions when I’ve made the effort, I haven’t found that the experience of watching an episode of NCIS on my iPad2 has been noticeably superior to watching it on my Lumia 820. If anything, for your average commute, watching a video on a device that you can easily slip into a pocket when it comes time for the “all change” scrum at the end of the journey, is a lot less stressful than having to juggle an iPad back into a briefcase.
    That being said, I will agree that for the holiday plane ride there nothing to beat having your own selections of video goodness on a larger screen. But I don’t commute by plane, so getting a Phablet just so its good for those occasions doesn’t appeal – I’m still in the Tablet+Phone camp.
    Tablet + Phone = Tabone?
    Or Just play scrabble with all the letters: T a b l e t P h o n e = “The plate nob” 🙂

  • Barry Woods

    Love my Note2! Even though it’s my personal phone and my work phone is a Galaxy Nexus, I use my Note more for work! It’s much better for doing quick remote desktop fixes for client servers. I can also take photos of stuff I find wrong and annotate then email to whoever needs the info. Hell, even today my wife emailed me a document I had to sign for a home loan. I’m currently building the network at the location I was at, so there was no computers or even a fax machine. I opened up the document and signed it right there on my phone, then emailed it back. It feels weird to hold my wife’s iPhone. It feels too small after using the Note for a few months now. I also haven’t touched my 7″ tablet since I got this phone. It’s sitting all by it’s lonesome collecting dust on a shelf in my office.

  • awraynor

    The people that I know that have one love them. If I didn’t keep my phone in the pocket of my lab coat, phablet too big, I would love to have all of that screen real estate.

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