PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best phablets

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

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

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

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. 

Story timeline



1. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 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!

15. HalaMadrid

Posts: 92; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

iPhone 5S is best phablet tbh

16. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

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

22. pookiewood

Posts: 631; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

What do you think this is The Verge or Gizmodo?

28. darkkjedii

Posts: 31313; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It's not part phone

63. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

No iPhone Phablet❔

17. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

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

33. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

I'm actually disappointed they didn't.

59. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 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

60. skyline88

Posts: 698; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

and Macbook is the best paperweight back in my home

68. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

Beauty of SARCASM:D

72. Ashoaib

Posts: 3298; Member since: Nov 15, 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

2. ocilfa

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

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

18. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Proud owner of the best phablet of 2013. :)

21. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

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

31. utg001 unregistered

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.

54. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 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"?

62. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Screen size bud.

64. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

You have a Lumia 1520❔

3. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 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

8. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

Such hate and anger in them words.

39. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

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

12. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

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

41. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

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


Posts: 225; Member since: Oct 10, 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!

42. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

"only some apple hype tech media "???? All the so called "tech media"

48. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 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.

55. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

Not only "Gizmodo", Mr Advocate

66. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Dude supply some links or stfu

70. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

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

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.