The phablet, coined as a term that combines phone and tablet, is the biggest trend to hit the smartphone industry recently. The size of the screens of phablets, extending over five inches diagonally, makes it an ideal device for both leisure and work, as everything from games to movies to spreadsheets looks better when viewed on a bigger screen.
The current phablet battle pits Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, Google’s Nexus 6 and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 against each other as the holiday season approaches.
The most obvious comparison that can be made between the phablets is their screen size. The screen of the iPhone 6 Plus is the smallest at 5.5 inches, followed by the screen of the Note 4 at 5.7 inches, and the screen of the Nexus 6 being the largest at 5.9 inches.
The Note 4 and Nexus 6 both have quad HD AMOLED screens with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, while the iPhone 6 Plus lags behind as a retina HD LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. AMOLED screens look sharper and brighter, but LCD screens require less power.
The iPhone 6 Plus stands out with its flat, ergonomic design in an aluminum chassis. While preference in form varies from user to user, the aluminum, plastic and magnesium chassis of the Note 4 and the plastic and metal chassis of the Nexus 6 are nowhere near comparable to the iconic design that Apple uses on its iPhones.
Both the Nexus 6 and Note 4 pack the 2.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, while the iPhone 6 Plus features only a 1.4 GHz dual-core A8 processor. Apple’s chips require less power in order to work with highly developed software for a streamlined user experience. Qualcomm’s chips, on the other hand, boast the fastest speeds of processing and also support the latest features that can be found in smartphones.
The RAM and storage between the phablets vary because Apple utilizes optimization on apps to lessen the need for extra RAM, while Android devices often require a significant amount of RAM. The iPhone 6 Plus has 1GB of RAM and an internal, non-expandable memory of 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. The Nexus 6 has 3GB of RAM and an internal, non-expandable memory of 32GB and 64GB. The Note 4 has 3GB of RAM and memory of 16GB and 64GB, expandable up to 128GB.
The biggest divide between phablets is the operating system. The iPhone 6 Plus features the iOS 8. The Nexus 6 features the Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Note 4 features the Android 4.4.4. KitKat. iOS and Android each have their own merits — and they ultimately boil down to how a person uses a smartphone.
The final price of the Nexus 6 has yet to be determined. However, it should be noted that the iPhone 6 Plus 16GB and the Note 4 32GB both cost $299 on a two-year contract on most carriers.
The battle between phablets is only beginning to heat up. The true test for the smartphones is going to happen during the frenzy of the holiday season.