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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 more than one application at a time.

All that requires 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 buttons.

Industry analyst IDC says global sales of smartphones with displays of 5.5 to 7 inches jumped 42 percent to 622 million units last year. That equates to 43 percent of all smartphones sold, down slightly from the 49 percent share in 2016.

Like IDC, 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 these days that doesn’t eliminate many models from the field. So for the purposes of this article, we’re focusing on screens of at least 5.75 inches.   

While that does dismiss some large-screen phones you may know and love—most notably the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus—the devices on this list are all solid choices for any smartphone buyer. They include the brand new Samsung Galaxy S9, the iPhone X, and LG and Huwawei models that combine clever features and top-notch performance. 

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

Check out our buying guide and ratings for smartphones.