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PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best phablets

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PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best phablets
Remember when the very first Samsung Galaxy Note hit the shelves? It was ridiculed by many for its sheer size, but eventually, the handset did turn out to be a winner for its maker. In fact, it is the smartphone responsible for the advent of a new category of phones – phablets, as they are commonly being referred to. And quite a few of them saw the light of day in 2013. Most of the major smartphone manufacturers already have at least one phablet in their portfolios, with more to surely come in the foreseeable future. Having that in mind, it makes sense having a category dedicated to phablets in this year's PhoneArena Awards. Well, here it is! We give you our favorite phablets from 2013 – the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the Nokia Lumia 1520, and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3


PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best phablets
Samsung kickstarted the rise of the phablet category with its highly successful Galaxy Note handsets, and the third Galaxy Note smartphone is arguably the best member in the class. All that a phablet user may ever need, the Galaxy Note 3 delivers in a pretty package with a ribbon on it. It is a device that simply has it all: from the large, high-res display, powerful hardware, and capable camera to the rich array of software features, multitasking modes, and extra apps the user experience is complemented by. And to top it all off, the S Pen stylus is always at your disposal in times when hand-written input is required.


Nokia Lumia 1520


PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best phablets
While Nokia is but a newcomer to the phablet party, overlooking its Lumia 1520 would be a serious mistake. It is a rock-solid device – the most powerful Windows Phone specimen in existence, for that matter, packing nothing but top-of-the-line hardware inside its slender polycarbonate body. But specs aren't all that make this gorgeous handset stand out. The launch of Nokia's first phone of this caliber goes to show that the phablet territory isn't an Android-exclusive zone. It proves that there's room for Windows Phone based phablets as well, and that the Android competition now has something it should really be worried about.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra


PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best phablets
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra isn't just a phablet. It is an engineering marvel that has so much to stand out with. It instantly managed to grab our attention with its OmniBalance design. Simply put, the Z Ultra is beautiful – thin and crafted out of materials that make interacting with the device a pleasure. And yes, as other high-ends by Sony, the Z Ultra is a water-resistant handset, protected against dust and water damage. Specs-wise, there's little we can complain about. Sony has equipped the Z Ultra with a mighty processor and lots of RAM, ranking it among the most capable Android smartphone out there. 

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This story is part of: PhoneArena Awards 2013(10 updates)

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posted on 04 Dec 2013, 11:18 24

1. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2511; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


These were pretty much the only high end phablets this year (HTC One max doesn't count since it sucks), so no surprises. But finally they included Sony!

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:32 10

15. HalaMadrid (Posts: 92; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)


iPhone 5S is best phablet tbh

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:36 16

16. Shatter (Posts: 1997; Member since: 29 May 2013)


I'm suprised they didn't try to say the iPad mini is a phablet.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:48

22. pookiewood (Posts: 566; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)


What do you think this is The Verge or Gizmodo?

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 13:09

28. darkkjedii (Posts: 10536; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


It's not part phone

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 20:03

63. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3523; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


No iPhone Phablet❔

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:37 14

17. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7725; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Knowing PA, they would have ranked it #3 and left out the ZUltra.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 13:44

33. Finalflash (Posts: 1588; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


I'm actually disappointed they didn't.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 18:05 1

59. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Not a joke
I'm surprised Ray didn't do, like the other tech sites would do, if they write such an article:
Put together with this 3 devices , the rumored iPhone 5.5" incher, with rumored specs(in their imaginations), and make it win .
ROTFL

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 18:46 1

60. skyline88 (Posts: 314; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)


and Macbook is the best paperweight back in my home

posted on 05 Dec 2013, 02:47

68. lalalaman (Posts: 309; Member since: 19 Aug 2013)


Beauty of SARCASM:D

posted on 05 Dec 2013, 15:47

72. Ashoaib (Posts: 1476; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


PA is totally biased here... iphone 5s is the best phablet ever. Infact iphone 5 is still at the 2nd best... iphablets superiority is far too great to match... they are light years ahead even with the hardware of mid range phones.. the shear 6.5inch screen of 5s makes it the largest phablet ever made.. iphones without a shadow of a doubt is greatest in the catagory of "phablet" which it introduced back in 2011 with the great invention of iphone 4s... small screen and low specs note and z ultra are no match for iphone 5 n 5s

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 11:19 20

2. ocilfa (Posts: 333; Member since: 03 Aug 2012)


Nothing against the Nokia and Sony phones, but I think Samsung definitely made the best one.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:38 10

18. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7725; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Proud owner of the best phablet of 2013. :)

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:46 11

21. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


I'm not a Samsung person by any means, but the Note 3 is definitely a beast and stylish too.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 13:24 5

31. utg001 (Posts: 31; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Although I'm a die hard fan of WP and don't really like Android that much, but the truth is, Note 3 IS in fact the best. I get the best multitasking experience which is exactly what phablets are meant to be. Can't say much for WP8 until 8.1 rolls out.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 17:42 1

54. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


WTF is "phablet"? What the specs are needed, to cal smth,- like this? Who sick brain invented this stupid name, to invent fictional "category"?

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 18:52 2

62. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7725; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Screen size bud.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 20:03 1

64. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3523; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


You have a Lumia 1520❔

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 11:25 7

3. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


"Remember when the very first Samsung Galaxy Note hit the shelves? It was ridiculed by many for its sheer size, "

It was mostly ridiculed by you , the tech media experts. You were trying hard, to kill the big screen phones, but this time you didn't succeed . Most of the ppl liked it , no matter how loud and brutal you were.
When you saw that you are helpless , your revenge was to call them "phablets".

Just say "sorry" and apologize for all the BS you wrote, and the brains that you washed to hold up the progress.

You did it same with W8 and hybrid

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 11:46

8. cezarepc (Posts: 561; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


Such hate and anger in them words.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 15:13

39. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


"anger"?

I'm just explaining has happened, really.
Shouldn't I?

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:17 1

12. SuperMaoriBro (Posts: 268; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


When was PA "loud & brutal" in ridiculing the note? Link or it didnt happen & you're just talking BS

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 15:20

41. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


I mean all so called "tech media".
All of them used the term:
"Too small for tablet, too big for phone= fail"

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:57 2

24. SAYED-EJAZ (Posts: 223; Member since: 10 Oct 2013)


Yes only some apple hype tech media wrote like that !
i liked from starting itself the size of note !
it was the something i was looking for !
thanks samsung !!!
apple sites can never win!

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 15:22

42. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


"only some apple hype tech media "????

All the so called "tech media"

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 16:29

48. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1153; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


I think the worst criticism came from Gizmodo. They gave the original Note no chance to succeed and just laughed it off. I will have to find the article when I get home but it was back in 2011.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 17:44

55. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Not only "Gizmodo", Mr Advocate

posted on 05 Dec 2013, 00:01

66. SuperMaoriBro (Posts: 268; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


Dude supply some links or stfu

posted on 05 Dec 2013, 09:41

70. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Should I supply links to you??? LOL. As you don't know , that I'm right?? Come on.

posted on 05 Dec 2013, 08:23

69. xtremesv (Posts: 193; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


Actually he has a point. The Note wasn't the first phone to have been ridiculed for its screen size. Remember the Dell Streak in 2010 with its 5" display, the tech media thought it was too much. 2013 and 5 inches is the standard. I know the Streak sucked in many aspects but the media should have learned sometimes you have to break the status quo to be successful.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 11:26 6

4. Sauce (unregistered)


Finally a list to shut up the Sony Xperia Z fanboy babies lol.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:23 2

13. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 1216; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


+1 __

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 13:01 5

26. TMach (Posts: 349; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


And your point is what exactly? Sonyis not allowed to have fanboys but other companies are? BTW, you might want to understand that every company has its share of rabid fanboys. Me, I am catholic in my tastes and happy to have used/owned pretty much most top end phones, currently on the G2 and Z1. I do happen to think the Z1 is the best premium phone out there currently. That may change when the S5 lands or the HTC M8, maybe even the Z1 successor.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 11:34 17

5. ianbbaa (Posts: 196; Member since: 20 Mar 2013)


no iProduct in here? How comes iPA?

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 11:42 16

7. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2511; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Lol. I'm surprised that i---PhoneArena didn't find some reasons to count iPhone 5S as a phablet

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:59 1

25. SAYED-EJAZ (Posts: 223; Member since: 10 Oct 2013)


Hahaha they can put iphone in the best 'MINI' phones in the world ! :P

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:54 4

23. Whateverman (Posts: 3189; Member since: 17 May 2009)


It's only a matter of time my friends. I'd say somewhere in the distant future Apple will push the envelope AGAIN and re-introduce the 5 inch screen to the world! And all the tech sites will marvel at the massive display, the 720 resolution and 360 degree viewing angles (Yes! You will be able to see the screen from the back!) Let's not even mention that it week be .1 mm thick, holographic projector and keyboard... AND there going to be made of black Onyx, elephant Ivory, or solid gold bricks. Oh yes my friends, that day is approaching and all Android fans will mock no more! Lol.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 13:19 1

30. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


I'll take 50!

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 13:18

29. mikelemon (Posts: 92; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)


The comments here are DroidArena

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 15:10 1

37. Whateverman (Posts: 3189; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Oh com'on, you must see the "Yah, Apple..." articles here all the time. Just about every Nokia has a better camera than the iPhone, yet look at who got 3rd place.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 11:39 3

6. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Glad to see the Z Ultra getting some credit. The Not 3 definitely wins hands down, but they are all great phablets.

I am shocked that some Apple product didn't find it's way in this category here on ApplePhoneArena. ;)

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 11:56

9. ajac09 (Posts: 1363; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


Should put on all phones over 5.5 inches just for the heck of it

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:01 7

10. willard12 (Posts: 734; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


Didn't Microsoft make a commercial saying "can you please move your ginormous phone." What a difference a month and a half makes.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:11 2

11. Naruto_Uzumaki (Posts: 18; Member since: 22 Mar 2013)


I much prefer Lumia 1520

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 14:10 1

34. Pedro0x (Posts: 271; Member since: 19 Oct 2012)


It is basically an oversized lumia, it has no extra features like note 3. Lumia 1520 doesn´t make any use of its gigantic display like the other phablets, there is absolutely nothing special about that phone (except the camera). I have no idea why Phonearena even bothered to put the lumia in this article.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 15:33

44. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


The Lumia 1520 is amazing and definitely deserves a spot on the list, but I too prefer the Note 3.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 15:56

46. MojoDojo (Posts: 82; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Why are you writing like the multitasking were designed specially for the Note 3? You have the same splitscreen system in the Galaxy S4. Why arent you saying that Note 3 is basically an oversized Galaxy S4 with a stylus?
I think most of the phablet buyers buy because of the screen size. Both are very good phones!

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:26 1

14. twens (Posts: 554; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


So in actual facts when we put screen size and the word phablet aside the samsung galaxy note 3 is easily the best smartphone in the world till the note 4 comes out.
i say this for these reasons.
1. Big bright sharp looking display
2. Above average battery life
3. Almost near perfect lag free experience both on touch wiz and nova
4. overall snappy performance
5. average speakers
6. Very good camera ( if not for the lumia 1020 and xperia z1 this phone would have easily been the best imaging mobile device of 2013
7. the only phone with 3 gb ram and USB 3.0
8. the only phone with 4k video recording
9. the only phone that can truely multitask like a pc
10. Very matured and classy design. looks like it was designed for the woorking class.

these are just a few reasons why this phone is simple the best all round performer of 2013.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 14:16

35. Pedro0x (Posts: 271; Member since: 19 Oct 2012)


8. the first phone with the ability to record in 4K was Acer Liquid S2.
5. ''average speakers'', how makes this the note 3 the best phone in 2013.
Otherwise you are correct in all other aspects.

posted on 05 Dec 2013, 15:33

71. Ashoaib (Posts: 1476; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


For your kind knowledge... first phone guy, Acer s2 is not even been launched in the market... how it is the first? Note 3 is the first... only thing is this acer got a chance (by chance) to announce their phone first in IFA. It doesnt mean its the first phone in the market... use common sense

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 17:50 1

56. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


How could you forget the great Wacom S-pen function??? LOL

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:41 1

19. dorianb (Posts: 361; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


No honorable mention for the DNA? It was a 5 incher, or was that only phablet size Dec of '12.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 12:45

20. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7725; Member since: 14 May 2012)


December or 2012.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 17:15

52. dorianb (Posts: 361; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


Was a 5 inch screen ONLY considered phablet size in December of the year 2012?

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 13:42

32. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1577; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Not quite sure the DNA was considered a phablet either. The OG Note was 5.3 so i'm guessing that's the base. The Xperia Z might be the exception here but I don't consider anything under 5.2 a phablet

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 23:00

65. Pancholo (Posts: 377; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


This is for phones from 2013...

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 13:09 6

27. darkkjedii (Posts: 10536; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Everyone knows the iPhone 5S is the best phablet, 5.7 in. screen, 1080p, 3 gigs of ram, smart scroll, multi window, pop up video...hmmm reminds me of another phone lol.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 15:11 3

38. Whateverman (Posts: 3189; Member since: 17 May 2009)


That does sound familiar, lol!

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 17:08 1

49. darkkjedii (Posts: 10536; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Note 3 is beast bro, plain and simple. Mos def the baddest pocketable device rite now. That can't be argued, I love my 5S but specs and overall features...note 3 rules. +1

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