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Fabulous Phablets: The Best Large-Screen Smartphones

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

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.

A year ago, according to industry analyst IDC, global shipments of smartphones with displays of 5.5 inches or larger totaled 623.2 million units, accounting for a 42.5 percent share of the overall shipment volume. This year the firm expects shipments to total 941.6 million, for a 64.7 percent share. And by 2022, IDC projects those figures to reach 1.39 billion units and an 84.5 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.

While 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 Huwawei 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.