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Best budget 'phablets' you can buy

Check out these impressive big-screen phones that won't drain your wallet.

Josh Miller/CNET

As phones grow bigger and bigger (and tablets continue to fall out of popular use), the term "phablet" may be a little dated to describe generously sized handsets. But whatever you call them, getting one for cheap is pretty hard -- especially if you want something with a 5.5-inch display or larger.

These days, most flagships tout big screens, but they have expensive price tags too (sometimes upward of $650 unlocked). However, there are a few gems out there that can satisfy your big-screen needs and have an inexpensive price. Below I round up some of the best big phones that won't break the bank.

Editors' note: The piece was originally published on February 2, 2015, and is updated continually.


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The Max XL offers 5.7 inches of screen for less than $150.

Josh Miller/CNET

ZTE Max XL

At just $130 from Sprint's prepaid networks Boost Mobile and Virgin, the 5.7-inch Max XL packs a lot. It has a fingerprint reader, a 13-megapixel camera and an eight-core processor. Plus, you can expand its storage up to 128GB, so there's no need to fret about running out of space if you insert a microSD card. Read the Max XL hands-on.


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You can get your doodle on with the Stylo's embedded stylus.

Josh Miller/CNET

LG Stylo 3

With its 5.7-inch display, the Stylo 3 (or Stylus as it's known globally) features a stylus that you can tuck away inside. With this pen you can jot down notes, draw doodles and annotate images -- all for about $152 on Boost Mobile. Read the Stylo 3 hands-on.


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There's also a 6GB variant of the ZenFone 3 Deluxe, but it costs a bit more.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Asus ZenFone 3 Deluxe

At 5.5 inches, the $400 ZenFone 3 Deluxe isn't as big as the others. But it serves up sleek looks, two rear cameras (which includes a 16- and 8-megapixel shooter) and a great battery life. Read the ZenFone 3 Deluxe review.


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The 6X features two rear cameras and dual-SIM capabilities.

Josh Miller/CNET

Huawei Honor 6X

After a $50 rebate, the Honor 6X costs just $150. With that you'll get a dual-camera setup, a 5.5-inch HD display and an eight-core processor. It also packs a fingerprint reader (though no NFC) and dual-SIM capabilities. Read the Honor 6X hands-on.