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Fabulous Phablets: Best Large-Screen Smartphones

Consumer Reports' testers give the nod to devices from Samsung, Apple, LG, and Huawei

Bigger is better, right? That seems to be the thinking of many smartphone makers—and consumers—these days.

More people are using their phones to catch up on must-see TV, show off photos of their adorable children, and multitask by running music, social media, and maps apps all at once.

All that requires screen space, which the smartphone makers are more than happy to provide. They’re making displays bigger while minimizing the overall size of their phones by shrinking bezels and eliminating once-familiar features such as the Home button.

According to industry analyst IDC, in the third quarter of 2018, global sales of phones in the 6-inch to "less than 7-inch" screen size posted more than quadruple year-over-year growth.

IDC also projected last month that 2018 global sales of smartphones with screens of at least 5.5 inches will total 947.1 million units, accounting for 66.7 percent of all smartphones sold. That compares with 623.3 million units and a 42.5 percent share in 2017.

And by 2022, IDC expects those figures to reach 1.38 billion units with an 87.7 percent share.

What was once considered big just isn't anymore. The recently launched iPhone XS Max boasts a 6.5-inch display, and Samsung's top-rated Galaxy Note9 has one just a touch smaller at 6.4 inches.

The smartphone industry generally considers a phone with a screen size of at least 5.5 inches to be a phablet—a cross between a smartphone and a tablet. But given the current rush to expand the offerings, that doesn’t eliminate many models from the field. So for the purposes of this article, we’re focusing on phones with super-sized screens of at least 6 inches.

Though that does dismiss some large-screen phones you may know and love—most notably the iPhone 88 Plus, and X along with the Samsung Galaxy S9—the devices on this list are all solid choices for any smartphone buyer. And while Apple and Samsung models do appear, the list also includes phones from LG and Huawei that combine clever features and top-notch performance.

As with all the smartphones in our ratings, Consumer Reports bought these phablets at retail and ran them through an extensive range of tests to evaluate the display, camera quality, battery life, and more.

Check out our buying guide and ratings for smartphones.