PhoneArena Awards 2015: Best large smartphone

PhoneArena Awards 2015: Best large smartphone
It is known that humans are creatures of habit – most of us don't like change, or at least not when it comes suddenly. That's simply how our brains are wired. The scope of this statement extends to technology as well, which is why many were skeptical about extra-large smartphones when they started to pop up. Remember the first Galaxy Note smartphone and how it was made fun of because of its size? Yeah, nobody's laughing at it now, as Notes are selling by the millions. The market has grown mature enough to accept smartphones of large size – or phablets, as they're often called – and to appreciate their benefits.

This brings us to today's post in our PhoneArena Awards series – it is time to honor the best extra-large smartphone of 2015. And our top pick will hardly come as a surprise. It is made by the company that single-handedly kickstarted the phablet category and made us rethink what the upper limit to a phone's size should be. Ladies and gents, the best large smartphone of 2015 is the...

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

If a large, powerful, well-made smartphone is what you need, this is definitely one of the first models you should take a look at. And look at it is what you'll be doing for quite some time, as the Galaxy Note 5 is quite the attractive smartphone – made of glass and metal, it is a device that makes heads turn. But design is far from the only reason why we chose the Galaxy Note 5 as this year's best large smartphone. The Galaxy Note 5 also performs to par in every department, has the specs to make a geek drool, and packs a rich set of functional features, the S Pen stylus being among them. Simply put, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has all it takes to justify both its premium price tag and its top place in the category.

Runner-up: Huawei Nexus 6P

Powerful and stylish, the Huawei Nexus 6P is a worthy successor to last year's Nexus 6 and one of the best large smartphones you can get right now. There's just so much value that you get for your $500 bucks – premium design and build quality, a big and crisp display, a fast and capable camera, and the buttery-smooth performance of the newest Android release to date, 6.0 Marshmallow. And that's just part of the whole package. The Nexus 6P also treats you to goodies like front-facing speakers, a fast fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C connectivity and fast charging. If that's not enough to make a great phablet at a great price, we don't know what is.

Story timeline

Related phones

Galaxy Note 5
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh(22h 3G talk time)
Nexus 6P
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3450 mAh(23h talk time)



1. hateftotti

Posts: 233; Member since: May 03, 2011

Note 5 deserves it. And thank you PA for choosing Nexus P6 as runner-up not 6s Plus

10. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Ok we all know they did it to save themselves from all those crazy commets. But come on, how many believe that it is better than the 6s+? Apart from it's weight and bad screen to body ratio, I can't seem to understand how the Nexus 6p is better than the 6s+.

12. Nexus4lifes

Posts: 302; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Me, have both iphone 6s plus( office) and 6p (personal). Find myself using 6p more than 70% of the time.

24. ph00ny

Posts: 2074; Member since: May 26, 2011

Is it because you have more invested in the iOS ecosystem?

44. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Your question should be the other way round or if you want to stand corrected, maybe his comment should be the other way round.

13. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

How about value? I am not defending the nexus, but man, your bias towards Apple is not good.

19. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Bias towards Apple? How long have you been on this site? While the 6s isn't on top of the list of phones I would buy, the 6s+ is definitely one of the best. An outstanding battery life, 1080 screen, brilliant camera sensor with OIS, superb build quality, fastest fingerprint scanner, and 3d touch is shaping up to be the next big thing in the smartphone industry. The poor build quality on the Nexus 6p is enough for me to dismiss it from being the 2nd best phablet on the market.

22. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Sure the 6s+ is great, but you are saying that 6P's advantages are only weight and screen to body ratio without looking at other aspects, doesn't that make you bias?

23. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Well the 6s+ has the best processor on a smartphone atm. It's screen, and although it is an 1080, looks better than the one on the 6p. The camera is better. One of the best performers when it comes to battery life. 7000 series aluminum, 3d touch, and the best apps in terms in quality are found on iOS. Again, I don't need to defend myself of being biased towards Apple, those who have been long enough on this site knows that while I hate Apple with passion, I tend to give them credit where is due.

25. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

You lost me at the screen part. Conversation over, doesn't make sense anymore.

27. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Coming from the guy that said that the iPhone 4 design was "heavily" inspired from Sony. And go change that username of yours for God's sake, Sonyfanboy would fit you better.

67. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I just stated a fact that about Sony now you label me as a Sony fanboy? I don't even own a single Sony device lol. Thank you for confirming your level of intelligence.

32. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2280; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Amoled > LCD. Dxo ranked it way above the 6 plus on camera. Android 6 has a lot of useful features not found on the os that the 6 plus is running.

37. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Dxo ranked the Z5 as the best mobile camera in the market. And everyone with a pair of eyes can tell that this isn't the case. Their ranking system is kinda flawed as of late. Note 5 and iPhone 6s+ have been proven throughout tons of reviews that they are the best 2 camera phones in the market. The Note 5 has advantages in some areas, then the 6s+ has it's advantages in other scenes.

40. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2280; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Not the case? See here: Maybe just the S6 beat it. But the point is that I was telling you why they think the 6P is better than the 6plus..which you didn't agree with

35. Carlitos

Posts: 693; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Better screen? Better camera? Now I'm officially lost

42. Andrewtst

Posts: 697; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Hahaha! The day hilarious comment! 6s+ screen better than 6P? Is time you visit doctor checking your eye. 6s+ camera is better? Against you not only need to see eye doctor but as well your brain because you can't even differentiate which is better nor worst.

68. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

6p and 5x has the fastest finger print scanner.

21. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Oh and about valio, apart from the US, the nexus isn't necessarily that cheap when compared to the iPhone 6s+. Here in Lebanon, the 6s+ starts for $780, while the 6p starts for $700.

36. jellmoo

Posts: 2673; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Wow, that's a big worldwide difference that is just plain odd. Here in Canada, the base Nexus 6P is $700. The base iPhone 6S Plus is $1029. Even *if* the 6s Plus were the better device, I simply can't see it being $330 better.

38. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Note 5 $610 and S6 Edge+ $625. And that's true, while I think it is the better phone, it is no way $330 better.

41. jellmoo

Posts: 2673; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Wow. The pricing is crazy there. I'm not sure if it's a case of the 6P being too high, or everything else being artificially low. The Note 5 is $850 here, while the Edge + is $950. It makes the 6P look like a better bargain in Canada.

43. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012 Check this list, it has the pricing of the latest smartphones here in Lebanon.

47. jellmoo

Posts: 2673; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

It looks like the prices are in USD. Do you have to do the conversion to the Lebanese pound?

48. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Electeonics are usually priced in USD, same goes to cars. And you can either pay in USD, or in L.L(Lebanese Lira aka Lebanese pound), which is 1515 L.L for every US dollar.

50. jellmoo

Posts: 2673; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Everything in Canada is pretty much tied to the carriers. You can buy them outright at the prices listed above, but those prices never change. If I went to my carrier tomorrow, the price of an LG G3 (for example) bought outright is exactly the same as when it launched. The only thing that ever changes is the on contract price. It sometimes creates weird pricing. A Galaxy S6 at my carrier is: 32GB: $730 off contract / $50 on a 2 year 64GB: $840 off contract / $210 on a 2 year 128GB: $950 off contract / $320 on a 2 year

52. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I remember when I went to Canada in 2007, I was shocked to find that we in Lebanon were enjoying the latest Nokia phones like the N95(when Nokia was still relevant) while in Canada Rogers were offering the Nokia 5300 as their best phone. I ended up going with Fido and that stupid LG Chocolate.

65. Yousefjaber

Posts: 53; Member since: Nov 24, 2015

in my country new note 5 costs around 600$ now i dont know why it is so expensive in your country

49. Andrewtst

Posts: 697; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Malaysia 6s Plus price is hilarious! - Nexus 6P 64GB - RM 2698 = USD $ 624.25 - Note 5 32GB Dual SIM - RM 2699 = USD $ 624.48 - S6 Edge + 32GB Dual SIM - RM 3099 = USD 717.52 - Z5 Premium - RM 3099 = USD 717.52 - 6s Plus 16GB - RM 3699 = USD $ 855.86 - 6s Plus 64GB - RM 4199 = USD $ 971.54

69. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

You can get a note 5 or edge+ at half the cost if you buy it from Verizon. You'll be saving a lot more and that makes them an even better phone.

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.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless