Humongous smartphones. Phablets. Call them what you will, it's evident that the trend of ultralarge phone displays over 5 inches is here to stay. Travel back in time with us, from some of the most recent to the first of their kind.
LG's second stab at a bendable body and self-healing coating uplift the 5.5-inch LG G Flex 2 from a mere curiosity to a phone handset worth seeking out.
Talk about surprise. The 6-inch ZTE Grand X Max+ didn't make a stellar first impression, but after spending some quality time with this well-priced phablet (now on sale in the US and other markets), the Max+ has really grown on us.
It's been a long time since we've seen a smartphone screen size balloon to 6 inches, but the Motorola-made Google Nexus 6 has that dubious honor. More or less an inflated version of the likable Moto X (second generation), the Nexus 6 really is a darn big phone; one that's stuffed with high-end features as well.
For the Note's fourth anniversary, Samsung kept its Galaxy Note 4 at 5.7 inches. Instead of increasing screen size, the vendor focused on refining the stylus-equipped device with the most competitive specs and a few new software capabilities.
With the Note 4 under way, the arrival of the more expensive Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge came as somewhat of a surprise. A curved portion of the display acts as a second screen for launching apps and viewing notifications, but it also turns into a menu strip when you open certain apps.
The way Apple carried on about its 4-inch phones, it's almost a wonder that the iPhone 6 Plus is here at all. The 5.5-inch screen is Apple's biggest yet -- by a long shot -- and also has the iPhone's most advanced camera, one that comes in optical image stabilization.
LG's 5.5-inch G3 is a smartphone beast that finally shows what LG can do. It's one of the first phones to have a 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution, plus a 13-megapixel camera and ultrafast quad-core processor.
Start with the G3 and turn it down a couple notches. What you're left with is the LG G Vista. Sold in the US with Verizon, it houses a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 8-megapixel camera. The 5.5-inch screen drops down to a 720p HD resolution, making the Vista a much more budget option for those on the hunt for a large-screen phone.
The 6.1-inch Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G steps up the Mate line in this sequel with LTE support, Android 4.3, a quad-core processor, and a 13-megapixel camera. The 5-megapixel front-facing camera is also an impressive spec.
As if taking a bow, the LG G Flex folds its 6-inch OLED display forward toward its toes. Strangely featuring Android 4.2, the G Flex has LTE, a 13-megapixel camera, and a 3,500mAh arched battery developed by LG Chem. No longer limited to South Korea alone, you can also buy the Flex stateside with AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.
The 6-inch Vivo Xplay 3S may never leave China, but it did earn bragging rights for being the first smartphone with a 2K resolution display (2,560x1,440 pixels). High-flying specs make it on par with the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G in the previous slide.
Start with a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and bend it slightly from edge to edge. This, in a nutshell, is the Samsung Galaxy Round, the electronics giant's twist on smartphone displays. Like the LG G Flex, the Round uses a flexible AMOLED display that Samsung helped pioneer. While sales appear to be limited to South Korea where the G Flex is not, the Round is the better phone of the two.
The first large-form Windows Phone sports all the high-end specs you'd want to see, including a 20-megapixel camera, a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, and a full-HD screen. We take you into the slim, stylish Nokia Lumia 1520 here.
The less expensive, more feature-light Nokia Lumia 1320 Windows Phone is still a great value for those seeking a 6-inch smartphone at a portion of the price.
The HTC One Max retains the same aluminum body as the original, but then adds in a fingerprint scanner on the back, and a microSD card slot. The larger screen size isn't as sharp as the original One, and all that premium metal makes for a heavy-handed experience. The phone also oddly loses Beats Audio. Check out our One Max review.
The third iteration of Samsung's Note line, the Note 3 brings on the muscle with a 5.7-inch display and top-shelf hardware, including a 1080p HD screen resolution, a quad-core LTE processor, and the same 13-megapixel camera seen in the Galaxy S4 flagship.
A bounty of software to support the stylus -- including a terrific redo of the S Note app -- make this the most useful phablet around. Read the pros and cons of Samsung's all-around excellent Galaxy Note 3.
Somehow, the Samsung Galaxy Mega's rounded edges make its undeniably oversize dimensions easier to palm. Videos and images viewed on its 6.3-inch, 720p HD screen are notably noisier and fuzzier than watching the same videos on incredibly dense superphones with smaller screens (like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One), but the price -- about $150 on contract -- makes the phone a budget bargain. Read our full Samsung Galaxy Mega review to find out if this phablet's right for you.
A relative phablet pipsqueak at 5.2 inches, the LG G2 is the phone-maker's most ambitious model yet. And yes, with its screen size larger than 5 inches, it's absolutely in phablet territory. Piling on a 1080p HD display, a 13-megapixel camera, and a powerful quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, LG is revving its engine to compete against its most deadly rival, Samsung. Read our full LG G2 review.
An absolute pocket-buster, Sony's Xperia Z Ultra comes in at 6.44 inches, the largest smartphone yet. Those 90-degree corners and a single stylish round power button on the right spine look fantastic. All those angles, however, make the Z Ultra a sharp, awkward handful. The smaller, 5-inch Xperia Z is much easier to handle. Check out the light, waterproof, and humongous Sony Xperia Z Ultra.
The LG Intuition/Optimus Vu was large and in charge when it launched in September 2012 to answer Samsung's Galaxy Note tablet. One of the Intuition's major issues was that the body lacked a holster for the phone's included stylus. Read the pros and cons of the LG Intuition/Optimus Vu.
The second in the series, Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 pushed the envelope at its October 2012 release with a 5.5-inch screen and more-streamlined productivity tools with its stylus. Now that the Galaxy Note 3 has been revealed, the Note 2 will become the bargain version of the Note line.