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Best extra-large smartphones under $300

Best extra-large smartphones under $300
Just a few years ago, handsets with displays larger than 5 inches were definitely phablets, and few were crazy enough to include them in the smartphone category. However, as Bob Dylan said half a century ago: "times they are a-changing". Thus, manufacturers are now releasing smartphones that sport displays measuring about 6 inches, or even more. While some of these giant smartphones are pretty expensive, there are also models that don’t cost more than $300 (unlocked). If you want to know which are the best among them, read on!

As you’re probably expecting, almost all the devices presented below are running Android. All feature screens of at least 5.5-inches (while the pixel resolution obviously varies), and are made by well-known companies.

1. Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G

Huawei’s Ascend Mate 2 4G is the newest extra-large smartphone on our list. It’s available in the US for just $299.99, and, while it’s not a high-end device, it may be your best choice if you’re looking for a big, yet affordable handset. The Ascend Mate 2 features multi-band LTE connectivity, a 6.1-inch IPS display with 720 x 1,280 pixels, quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.6GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable memory, and a long-lasting 3,900 mAh battery. A 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing camera complete the specs list. The only downside of the Ascend Mate 2 is that it runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but we assume it will be updated to KitKat soon.

Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G Review.

2. Nokia Lumia 1320

Announced in October 2013, the Lumia 1320 is available to buy since January this year, and is one of the largest Windows Phone devices ever (as it sports a 6-inch IPS display with 720 x 1,280 pixels). The 1320 costs around $280 at Amazon and other retailers, and $230 at Cricket Wireless. That kind of money will get you a dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 5MP rear camera, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable internal memory, and a big 3,400 mAh battery. Needless to say, the Lumia 1320 is upgradeable to Windows Phone 8.1, which comes with Cortana and lots of other new features.

Nokia Lumia 1320 Review.

3. OnePlus One

Yes, we know, it's not quite easy to buy a OnePlus One. However, if you do manage to order this CyanogenMod-based smartphone, you'll get a ton of high-end features, including: a 5.5-inch 1080p display, 13MP rear camera with dual LED flash, 5MP front-facing camera, quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, and 3GB of RAM. The 16GB version of the OnePlus One costs just $299.

OnePlus One Review

4. ZTE Max

While it’s available only via Boost Mobile, the ZTE Max is sold off-contract, thus anyone in the US could buy it. Offered for $299.99, the Max is pretty large, as its name suggests, offering a 5.7-inch 720p display. Other features include LTE, 8MP rear camera, dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, and microSD card support. The handset runs Android Jelly Bean. 

5. Lenovo S930

The Lenovo S930 can be bought in the US via Amazon, and costs around $230. It’s a 6-inch (720p) smartphone that runs Android Jelly Bean and supports two SIM cards. Other than that, you’re getting an 8MP rear camera, 1.6MP front-facing camera, quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of expandable internal memory.

6. Xiaomi Redmi Note

Priced at about $170 (or even less, depending on market), Xiaomi’s Redmi Note offers plenty of features for the money: 5.5-inch 720p display, octa-core 1.4GHz MediaTek processor, 5MP front-facing camera, 13MP rear camera, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of expandable memory. The problem is that this handset is currently available only in Asia.

7. Asus ZenFone 6

Like Xiaomi’s Redmi Note, the ZenFone 6 is available only in Asia at the moment. It cots a bit over $200, and is one of the few extra-large smartphones powered by an Intel processor (a dual-core 2GHz Atom Z2580). Running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, the Asus ZenFone 6 comes with a 6-inch 720p display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable storage space, and a 13MP rear camera.

Asus ZenFone 6 hands-on.

If you think there are other sub-$300 giant smartphones worthy of mention, let us know in the comments!

  • Options

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 17:52

1. seban1988 (Posts: 9; Member since: 06 Nov 2013)

OPPO find 7a, Xiaomi m3i

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 18:03

2. smallworld (Posts: 503; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)

The oppo is more than 300$.

posted on 21 Jul 2014, 05:52 1

25. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

if price catagory was 350$ then huawei mediapad x1 is the best phone/phablet/tablet

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 18:06

3. kindlefireowner (Posts: 503; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)

I would buy a Blu phablet before I would buy the ZTE or Huawei phones.

posted on 22 Jul 2014, 20:15

27. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 2108; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)

I've had the Studio 5.0 & 5.5. They're actually pretty good. Definitely not for the uninitiated, though. You need to know Android to get around some of the presets. The biggest animal they have is the Life View tablet which is basically a phone with an 8" screen. Not practical to go to the grocery store but it's great for my work.

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 18:15 4

4. Duketytz (Posts: 534; Member since: 28 Nov 2013)

Lumia 1320 is the best of the bunch excluding OPO of course.

posted on 21 Jul 2014, 05:49

24. zacsaturday (Posts: 242; Member since: 09 May 2014)

Goophone N3 (N3, N3+, N3 Elite)

3 different varients

All under 300.

P.s Galaxy note 3 clone, it runs Touchwiz.

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 18:37

5. GreekGeek (Posts: 1276; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)

Yeah right , OnePlus One? O.o

Was it customary and mandatory to put at least one Windows phone in there?

And how come the Xiaomi Mi3w didn't make it? A premium device that retails for $230

Oh wow, what a crappy list

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 19:46 5

8. Florin.T (Posts: 256; Member since: 16 Dec 2013)

Xiaomi Mi3 doesn't really fit the "extra-large" description, because it's a 5-inch handset. I'm sure you noticed that most smartphones now have screens of around 5 inches. 5.5 inches and up - that's extra-large.

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 21:13

12. fzacek (Posts: 2486; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)

What's wrong with the Lumia 1320?

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 18:49 1

6. joey_sfb (Posts: 6600; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

XiaoMi Note spec has been revise to octa-core 1.7GHz MediaTek processor, 2GB of RAM while the price remain unchange.

Best handset for mobile gaming at $170 due to its Mali 450 GPU, 2 GB ram and good CPU performance. I tested Dead trigger 1 and 2, Wild Blood, Order and Chao online.

All fours games are smooth on highest possible setting.

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 18:51

7. gigaraga (Posts: 1454; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)

They might be cheap but this list doesn't have any decent phones. Even if its more expensive by a little bit, I'd take the Mega 6.3 over all of these, maybe only except the Mate 2, which has good battery life. Rest no thanks, its either chinese or nokia which are both untrustable...

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 21:38 1

14. joey_sfb (Posts: 6600; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

Mega 6.3 only has 1.5G ram.

The XiaoMi has exceeded both Note 2 and Mega 6.3 performance.

posted on 21 Jul 2014, 00:38

23. fireblade (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)

Once you get Asus Zenfone, you'll love it. It has a powerful Intel dual core inside. It's UI is beautiful too

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 20:13

9. realjjj (Posts: 375; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)

not even close and 5.5 inch is not extra large anymore.

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 20:21 1

10. mafiaprinc3 (Posts: 575; Member since: 07 May 2012)

huawei ascend mate 2 4 of course,and please stop including the imaginary OnePlus One,it basically cant be bought!!!

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 21:15 1

13. fzacek (Posts: 2486; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)

OnePlus One is a dead phone...

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 20:24

11. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2236; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

I just ordered my 64GB OPO this morning. The case selection needs to get better, soon, but hard to argue with $363.14, shipped.

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 21:41

15. mafiaprinc3 (Posts: 575; Member since: 07 May 2012)

ordered it from where,which oppo are you refering to?

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 21:46 1

16. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2236; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

OnePlus One, and from the OnePlus One Store. I got my invite yesterday afternoon.

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 21:47

17. mafiaprinc3 (Posts: 575; Member since: 07 May 2012)

good for you,hope you enjoy it. they need to make it easier for everyone to buy it,i would buy two

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 22:23

18. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2236; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

True. I am looking forward to getting my 3 invites in a couple of weeks so I can hook some others up with one. Of course, I may not need them, soon, anyway, if they pull their heads out of their @sses.

posted on 21 Jul 2014, 00:23

20. joey_sfb (Posts: 6600; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

Do share your experience when you get the phone. Heard good thing about them too.

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 23:34

19. HugoBarraCyanogenmod (Posts: 1357; Member since: 06 Jul 2014)

XiaoMi note, Huawei mate, Lenovo s930

posted on 21 Jul 2014, 00:35 1

21. swiekekodok (Posts: 58; Member since: 19 Jul 2014)

Hewm,i think Asus Zenfone 6 is more than $300 in my Country,Indonesia...this phone whooping overprice,coz its very rare distribution,...cmon Asus,... #thumbdown

posted on 21 Jul 2014, 00:37

22. fireblade (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)

Nice article. This will be my reference. One of them will be in my wishlist

posted on 21 Jul 2014, 11:04

26. xche78x (Posts: 101; Member since: 11 Mar 2014)

Well if LARGE is what you need i think the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 T311 8inch tablet phone blows em aways in screen real estate lols. Huawei Mediapad M1 also fits the bill... Lenovo Ideatab A3000? ASus Fonepads?

If money is not an object then the Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and Mediapad X1 are jampacked full hd high quality screens...

In other news here in asia, we are currently in process of having Sony Xperia Z Ultra Google Play Edition nearing the $300 price point ($381 to be exact).... which is a great value if one wants a high end phablet on the cheap...

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