So it sounds like a name we just made up, but phablets are quickly becoming a big deal. Larger than smartphones, smaller than tablets, phones like the iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and brand-new Huawei Mate 9 are all proof-positive that when it comes to phones, bigger is sometimes better. One caveat: You may need to invest in jeans with bigger pockets…

Remember the days when smartphones were getting smaller and smaller, and if you couldn’t fold up your phone into the size of a Tamagotchi and tuck it inside your combat trousers, then frankly it wasn’t worth having?

Well, times are a-changin’, and as our demands on our phones grow, so do their size.  

If you’re really looking for the ultimate viewing experience, I mean have you seen the Samsung S8 plus?!, then it’s time to take your affair with the smartphone to the next level and try a phablet.

Hang on, hang on: what’s a “phablet?”

It’s not just a name we made up, honestly. Basically, it’s the Brangelina of the phone and tablet (back when they were still together, but unfortunately no other celeb name mashup conveys the marriage of the two concepts quite so well. Fine, Kimye works too).

Get it? So when you’re using a phone with a screen that measures between 5.5 and 7-inches diagonally, you’re looking at a phablet. That means a bigger screen for watching shows, gaming, Internet surfing, email-checking… all without compromising on portability.

Why do I need a phablet?

We know what you’re thinking: doesn’t a bigger phone just mean carrying around a bigger, bulkier handset? Luckily, the manufacturers are way ahead of you. Despite having a stronger and more durable screen, phablets are now lighter and easier to handle than ever.

Unfortunately, until we start to evolve to suit our smartphone habits, our hands aren’t getting any bigger either, so usability is still crucial when it comes to finger flexibility. Thankfully, most phablets are fully equipped with a super-slick design and plenty of comfortable gripping points so you don’t have to worry about pulling a muscle in your hand… just yet. Plus, all that extra room on the screen means you can finally say farewell to sausage-finger mistakes and embarrassing typos.

The other benefit of a phablet is getting to use of all those fantastic tablet-like features, while still being able to slip it in your coat pocket.

Like more storage, a bigger screen size and a faster processor. Plus, with some phablets, you can run two apps at once in a split screen, meaning you won’t have to enlarge or distort images.

There’s also the added bonus of more battery power, without compromising on design or weight – as phablets tend to last a little longer than standard smartphones.

Although, we should warn you: these bigger phones do tend to slip out of the back pockets of your favourite skinny jeans, and you may struggle to squeeze them into any of those trendy mini-bags the catwalks are raving about. But who cares about that when you’re faced with the double-camera action of the iPhone 7 Plus?

Huawei Mate 9

Or the awesome camera on the new Leica-engineered Huawei Mate 9? Huawei is quickly developing a reputation as the brand with the totally profesh phone cameras, and the Mate 9 doesn’t disappoint: it’s got a Leica dual-camera equipped to do all of those photo effects you’re desperate to try (we’re looking at you, bokeh. And you, wide aperture. And you, 4K video).

The Huawei Mate 9 also boasts a 12MP RGB sensor to capture colours at their most vivid, and a 20MP monochrome sensor to pick out every single detail and make your photos sharper than ever. Hybrid Zoom is a must-have for those long-distance landscape shots (move over, Ansel Adams).

With split-screen capabilities and a fingerprint sensor security scanner, the Huawei Mate 9 also has a battery that’s built to last. After a speedy 20-minute charging sesh it can run all day – thanks to Huawei SuperCharge – or expect up to two days’ battery life when fully charged. Good stuff. 

How do I know if a phablet’s right for me?

If you’re an avid gamer, an eBook junkie, love doing your online shopping from your phone, or use your phone for business and are a regular when it comes to on-the-go emails and viewing documents, then chances are you will have a much better experience doing all of these things with the extra space of a phablet.

Maybe you’re looking for the power of a tablet but the connectivity of a phone? Or perhaps you’re just after a different handheld experience?

Either way, pop into your nearest Three store and you’ll be able to try out some of the best phablets around, like the iPhone 7 Plus or the brand-new Huawei Mate 9 with its 5.9-inch screen, 12MP colour-lens and 20MP monochrome camera and super-fast Kirin 960 processor.

Main image: Pexels via Pixabay