Best Budget Phablets For Sale in 2019
Nowadays, buying a regular sized smartphone is not enough. With all the great content swarming in social media, highly addictive, intensive games and cool applications, settling with a measly 5.5-inch screen would not give you a large enough display to enjoy a pleasurable viewing experience.
On the other side of the spectrum, we also have tablets. Sure, they give you an ample amount of screen space to let you do your tasks, however, portability is not in the picture. Forget about placing them in your pockets since that would not be possible.
Top Budget Phablets in 2019
Let’s look at our top picks for the best budget phablets. Rest assured, we kept the important features mentioned in our Buyer’s Guide (at the bottom) in mind when coming up with this list. Make sure to read our short description of each phablet as well as their pros and cons.
1. OnePlus 6 – Best Budget Phablet In 2019
The first entry on our list is from one of the most underrated smartphone companies in the world, OnePlus. Hearing the brand name might be new to you, however, the company has already been making waves across the globe thanks to their affordable smartphones with top-notch specs that give more prominent companies such as Apple and Samsung, a run for their money.
Even at a lower price compared to other flagship phones, the OnePlus 6 boasts an excellent set of configurations such as a 6.28-inch screen, top of the line processor and one of the best camera setups we have seen thus far in this price range.
Whether you like it or not, the OnePlus 6 joins the bandwagon of wearing a notch at the top portion of its screen. It may seem polarizing at first, but once you get used to it, you will actually appreciate it for giving you more space for enjoying content on your phone.
It also has one of the best displays at this price range, although not as excellent as Samsung’s AMOLED displays. It has a resolution of 1080p which is good enough to produce accurate color reproduction with good viewing angles.
Under the hood, it is powered by the new Snapdragon 845 processor coupled with an Adreno 630 GPU. This kind of setup is typical for a smartphone twice the price of the OnePlus 6.
In terms of rear camera, it dons a dual 16 mp +20 mp camera setup. With an aperture size of 1.7 for both cameras, expect the phone to be capable of producing good lowlight shots and extra smooth bokeh portrait shots. The front camera has a megapixel count of 16 mp, enough to
produce accurate looking selfies.
One of its caveats are the subpar speakers as well as average battery life.
- Latest Snapdragon processor
- Capable cameras
- High-resolution display
- Excellent build quality
- Subpar speakers
- Average battery life
Ever wondered if there is a phone that is equipped with a fast processor, loud DTS speaker setup, capable dual cameras at a reasonable price? Well, Asus has answered your wish by releasing the new ZenFone 5.
Carrying the tagline “back to 5”, Asus has returned to form after a slew of missteps by releasing a smartphone that carried the same quality that made the first ZenFone 5 way back in 2014 so popular.
The ZenFone 5 is equipped with a 6.2-inch screen that has a Full HD+ resolution. To make the screen more robust, the company employed the use of Corning Gorilla Glass protection. This allows the display to withstand accidental drops and scratches.
Under the hood, it is powered by a modest yet capable Snapdragon 636 processor. While this is inferior to the Snapdragon 845 processor or Mediatek’s Helio P20 processor, doing day to day tasks with the phone is still fluid with no lag.
One of the highlights of the ZenFone 5 is its dual rear camera setup which produces good lowlight shots and creamy bokeh shots. The camera setup also allows pro mode capture wherein you can adjust a ton of settings such as exposure, vibrancy, ISO and more to help you enhance your shutterbug skills.
Lastly, one of the great things about the ZenFone 5 is its DTS speaker setup. We consider the phone to have one of the best audio outputs in its price range. The audio is crisp with just the right amount of bass and treble for audiophiles.
The things that bog down the ZenFone 5 despite its numerous good traits are the subpar front camera and unbalanced headset output. We do hope that Asus addresses these issues through OTA updates in the future. Nevertheless, this is still a bang for the buck phablet.
- Capable processor
- Excellent rear camera setup
- Vibrant screen with accurate color reproduction
- Manual Mode for rear camera
- DTS Speaker Setup
- Subpar front camera output
- Unbalanced headset output
3. Honor View10
Another worthy entry on our list is the gorgeous looking Honor View10. Being a subsidiary of Huawei, Honor is also one of the up and coming smartphone companies in the market. They are known for producing phones with good specifications at a humble price.
Once you lay your eyes on the Honor View10, be prepared to be mesmerized by its sleek looking and modern design. Sporting an iris purple gradient at the glass back cover, the Honor View10 is sure to turn heads. Honor has been putting a lot of attention when it comes to design. Their efforts have pulled off since there line of honor smartphones have constantly been included in the top 10 best looking phones by various reviewers.
When it comes to its specifications, it surely gives excellent value for your money. It features a 5.99-inch Full HD+ display. With this, expect to see accurate color reproduction, crisp text, and almost no visible pixels.
It features an almost bezel-less screen with the notorious notch at the top housing the front camera as well as some sensors.
The Honor View10 is powered by Huawei’s new Hisilicon Kirin 970 processor which can go head-to-head with flagship processors such as the Snapdragon 845. One of the key features is its whopping 8 GB of ram. That’s twice as much RAM compared to the usual ram configuration of today’s smartphones.
Being equipped with this set of specifications, expect a fluid experience as you do day to day tasks on your phablet.
A big letdown for the Honor View10 is its subpar camera quality and weak audio output.
- Gorgeous looking design
- 8GB RAM
- Full HD+ resolution
- Compact design
- Minimal bezel
- Subpar camera performance
- Weak audio output
4. Nokia 7 Plus
Nokia, definitely the top-selling smartphone company in the early to mid-2000s, may have had their struggles finding their footing amidst the emergence of all the smartphone companies in the last decade.
However, their recent releases proved that they won’t give up without a fight. The Nokia 7 plus is a testament to their effort of bouncing back in the industry, and based on the reviews from critics and casual users, it seems that their efforts have paid off.
The phone is one of the most elegant looking budget phablet on the market nowadays. It has an all-metal build which counters the hype of glass finished bodies of smartphones today. To add more protection to the phone it has copper edges that help withstand accidental drops.
At the front of the phablet, you are greeted with a 6-inch display with Full HD+ resolution. It is one of the most vibrant looking displays we have seen in this price segment so far. The screen is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
In terms of camera, it flaunts a dual camera system at the rear and a 16 MP selfie camera. The phablet produces top-notch portrait shots with good edge detection compared to pricier phones. The cameras both front and back also do a good job with color reproduction and exposure control.
The best feature of the Nokia 7 Plus is the fact that it houses the Android One ecosystem provided by Google. With this, android updates are fast and up to date. Moreover, there is no unnecessary bloatware installed out of the box.
We noticed though that the video quality of the phablet cannot match the image output of its cameras, which we found unusual. Moreover, the sound quality is subpar.
- Robust design
- Excellent build quality
- Full HD+ display
- Android One OS
- Good image output
- Screen protection
- Inconsistent video output
- Subpar sound output
A 5.99-inch Full HD+ display with 5,000 mAh battery at a price that’s less than half of some of the premium models? Sounds impossible? Not for Xiaomi.
The last but not the least entry on our list is the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2. For the past decade, Xiaomi has been churning out premium phones at a not-so-premium price. The Mi Mix 2 is no exception.
One of the best features of the Mi Mix 2 is its big display. Flaunting a 5.99-inch Full HD+ display, you are sure to get the most out of your viewing experience. Colors look vivid, text looks crisp, and the side bezels are kept at a minimum thanks to its 18:9 display ratio.
Under the hood, it is equipped with the Snapdragon 835 processor. Along with this, it comes with 4 GB or 6 GB of ram and 64 GB as well as 128 GB for its internal storage. That’s enough room to store your files and photos.
It features a dual rear cam setup that mimics the famous iPhone X rear cam orientation. It has a 12 MP + 5 MP rear camera setup which lets you capture portrait shots with creamy bokeh effect.
One of the key features of the Mi Mix 2 is its large 5,000 mAh battery. With this large battery, the phablet can last up to 2 days with a single charge.
- 5.99-inch screen with Full HD+ resolution
- Simple yet robust design
- Capable cameras
- Large battery
- 18:9 screen display
- Availability in the US (and other countries) may be limited
What To Consider When Choosing The Right Phablet
Smartphone companies have made it possible for consumers to enjoy the benefits of enjoying a larger screen while not having to deal with the problem of constantly carrying a gadget that’s a size of a floor tile. This is where phablets come into the picture.
Normally, phablets don a screen that’s larger than 5.5 inches but is still small enough to place inside your pockets or small pouches. If you are scouring the internet to look for an excellent phablet to upgrade from your usual sized smartphone or you just want to do your day to day tasks on a larger screen, then look no further.
Before buying a phablet, there are several things to take note before buying one. Read through each one of them so that you will get an overview of how we came up with this list. Many consumers have their own set of preferences when choosing a phablet, however, these 6 features are the most sought after.
Since we are in the topic of large-sized smartphones, it would be appropriate to first talk about displays. Phablets naturally have large screens, they give you a larger display to enjoy great content on your smartphone. However, aside from size, there are also other things worth noting on a phablet’s display such as screen resolution and screen protection.
Normally, phablets have a screen size of over 5.7 to 8 inches. Anything larger than that is now considered a tablet. A phablet with a size of 5.7 to 6.5 normally fits inside your pocket. However, if you opt for something larger than 6.5 then expect to bring along a pouch or a bag to carry your phablet.
When it comes to displays, you also need to buy one that offers good viewing angles and an accurate color reproduction. In other words, you need to buy a phablet with a good screen resolution. A screen resolution of at least 720p would give you a decent viewing experience with decent pixel density.
You can always opt for a higher resolution display. Nowadays, more and more phablets don a screen resolution of 1080p with a smaller price tag offering you good value for your money.
Lastly, get a phablet that has some sort of screen protection. Most smartphone companies employ the use of Corning Gorilla Glass or Asahi Glass to help protect screens from casual scratching and accidental drops.
There are several other screen protection technologies but the two mentioned remain to be the most cost-effective, making them even more popular. With these types of highly durable screens, you need not to be constantly on the lookout if ever your screen bore scratches or dents from everyday use.
Next thing to consider is the phablet’s build quality. Having a smartphone with a larger size can be daunting for some especially those with small hands. With this, it can be uncomfortable to hold for long periods, causing accidental drops or scratches.
You would not want a phablet with a big dent after a foot drop or a scratch when placed alongside your car keys. So normally, you need to buy a phablet with good build quality. You need not to spend tons of cash for diamond built phablets or those with gold coating.
A phablet with a polycarbonate body can survive short drops and small scratches. They also provide good grip and are also not heavy to carry around compared to those other types of builds.
A metal body also provides better endurance for drops and scratches. Moreover, they look sleeker and more premium compared to polycarbonate shells. However, metal bodies are also notorious for giving your hands an instant warming pad whenever you’re using the phablet for long periods of time. However, if durability is your prime concern, then metal bodies are still considered to be the gold standard.
The market is also surrounded with phablets that don a glass body. While they certainly look great and more premium compared to metal bodies, they are also not very practical since they are more susceptible to dents and are also very prone to remain smudges which diminishes the overall look of the phablet.
Processor and RAM
Often the most overlooked feature of a phablet is the processor and ram size. Several consumers only consider the brand, camera quality, size and overall look of the phone. However, you also need to look into the type of processor used by the phablet as well as RAM size.
There are several manufacturers that produce good quality processors. Brands such as MediaTek and Qualcomm have been leading the industry for manufacturing excellent performing processors at a reasonable price. Some phone companies also have their own in-house processors. Huawei has their own HiSilicon Kirin processors. Apple has their own Apple Chip. Samsung also makes use of their own Exynos processors.
These processors have their own means of performing depending on their price category. High-end processors are usually allotted to flagship phones while entry-level processors are usually given to the budget category. However, more and more smartphone companies have stepped up their game manufacturing smartphones with high-end processors under a price that’s easy on the pocket.
Apps nowadays usually tend to be heavier, especially widely used ones such as Facebook and Messenger. So in order for your phablet to function properly without the unnecessary crashes and lags, you need a larger RAM size coupled with an efficient processor. RAM sizes of over 3 GB would usually breeze through normal day to day use without the annoying hiccups.
To provide better usage, your phablet must possess good software optimization. Even though you have top-notch specs, boasting fast processors and excellent build quality, but with a sluggish UI, then you will probably have countless head scratches due to slow app loading and unnecessary scratches.
Different companies make use of different types of user interface in order to provide better software optimization. Apple is one of the best companies that provide a fast and no nonsense user interface. They are typically more convenient and user-friendly. However, Apple products are also notoriously expensive.
Companies such as Xiaomi, Samsung, Asus, and Huawei have their own versions of their own user interface and while performances and speed may vary, it all depends on user preference.
Battery life is perhaps one of the most important things to consider when buying a phablet. When you don’t equip yourself with a phablet that doesn’t have enough juice, expect multiple charges throughout the day.
Thankfully, smartphone companies usually equip phablets with a larger battery capacity due to their larger screen size. However, they also tend to weigh the phablets down a bit, making them heavier. If a phablet comes with more than 3000 mAh battery, then that’s enough juice to last you through the day with a single charge.
Last but not least is the budget. Since we are talking about the best budget phablets, then it is with no doubt that we recommend you to look at the price tag before buying a phablet.
Unlike before, you need not to shell out a ton of cash to buy a good phablet. Smartphone companies are getting more competitive when it comes to pricing their products – more competition, more options, and more affordable prices.