Phones used to be small – the first iPhone only had a 3.5in display, which today looks comically tiny. 2021's iPhone 13 Pro Max sports a whopping 6.7in display and it isn’t the only phone with a sizeable screen. In fact, Apple was relatively late to the big phone party.

You may have heard the term 'phablet', which is a portmanteau of 'phone' and 'tablet'. If you’re anything like us, you might also prefer to use a large-screened phone all the time, instead of having to resort to a tablet for specific situations.

Best big phone 2022

1

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 - Best overall

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
  • Pros: Great for multitasking | Water resistant design | Consistent cameras
  • Cons: Some apps require manual optimisation | Terrible UDC | Cumbersome

Primary screen size: 7.6in
Aspect ratio: 22.5:18

There are a host of refinements that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 lords over its predecessor; with a cleaner, hardier design that somehow integrates water resistance, an expanded feature set (including S Pen support) and a lower starting price.

While processing, gaming and camera performance may not be industry-leading, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 focuses on making the foldable concept more attainable without presenting any real sacrifices in any particular area.

What the Fold 3 does highlight within this burgeoning product category, however, is that building experiences for folding form factors is hard and right now, Samsung is the principal driving force behind that getting any easier.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review

2

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra - Highly versatile

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Pros: Diverse cameras | Gorgeous display | Top-tier performance
  • Cons: No charger in-box | Expensive | No microSD expandability

Screen size: 6.8in
Aspect ratio: 20:9

Display-wise the Galaxy S21 Ultra delivers what the S20 series could not; the ability to enjoy both the phone's maximum WQHD+ resolution and its adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, simultaneously.

What's more – for the first time on a Galaxy S device – the Ultra's expansive 6.8in panel also totes S Pen stylus support, filling the productivity niche of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra somewhat – provided you're willing to fork out for a standalone S Pen (or the Bluetooth-capable S Pen Pro), plus a compatible case for storage.

After 2020's disappointing Galaxy S20 Ultra, the S21 Ultra delivers everything you could want from an Android flagship; admittedly at a price that only a few can afford, but with traits like a camera setup that's not easily matched, in terms of versatility, and some of the best performance out there, it's hard to knock it.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review

3

Google Pixel 6 Pro - Best camera

Google Pixel 6 Pro
  • Pros: Stunning 120Hz display | Superb cameras | Slick OS | Greatly improved battery life
  • Cons: Biggest, thickest, heaviest Pixel yet | Awkward fast charging | Display could be brighter

Screen size: 6.7in
Aspect ratio: 19.5:9

Google shook things up for 2021, with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro debuting the company's new Tensor silicon and a refreshed Android 12 experience, along with a completely new design and some significantly enhanced cameras.

Despite dropping the 'Pixel XL' naming convention a couple of generations back, the 6 Pro is an undeniably sizeable phone, with a stunning QHD+ curved-edge OLED that – for the first time in the series – makes the move to a higher 120Hz smooth refresh rate (just like its direct rivals in the iPhone 13 Pro range).

The camera system also relies on a new 50Mp main sensor, which packs astounding dynamic range and showcases smart new features, like Magic Eraser and rock-solid Face Unblur. It's also backed up by both a 12Mp ultrawide and a periscopic 48Mp telephoto camera, with a 4x optical zoom; a far cry from the Pixel range's old single-sensor approach to photography.

Tensor doesn't benchmark well against the competition but in real-world use offers more than enough grunt to handle the most demanding mobile apps and games, while also boasting a specialised skill set for machine learning and AI tasks that rival silicon lags behind in.

A huge 5003mAh battery also ensures some of the best battery life on a Pixel ever, even if fast charging is a bit of a mess.

Read our full Google Pixel 6 Pro review

4

iPhone 13 Pro Max - Superb all-rounder

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • Pros: Amazing performance | Great battery life | Beautiful display
  • Cons: Charging/MagSafe are messy | iOS underutilises big screen

Screen size: 6.7in
Aspect ratio: 19.5:9

The iPhone 13 Pro Max boasts the same display size and resolution as its predecessor, but with one major upgrade: it now supports 120Hz tech (which Apple calls 'ProMotion'), finally bringing it in line with Android rivals.

The wider aspect ratio Apple adopted means that while some Android devices have bigger displays on paper, few feel as big as this, especially once you factor in the squared off sides. That means the 13 Pro Max is a decidedly two-handed device, but those who relish the extra screen space will love it.

Otherwise, you get all the top specs you'd expect from the latest Apple flagship, along with a welcome upgrade to battery life that finally makes the most of the space for a truly multi-day device.

Read our full Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max review

5

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - The spec beast

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
  • Pros: Outstanding hardware | Stunning screen | Super-fast charging
  • Cons: Ugly camera module | Weak long-term update support

Screen size: 6.81in
Aspect ratio: 20:9

The Mi 11 Ultra is big, ugly and expensive, but it's also brilliant.

Provided you're comfortable with the size, weight and its plateau of a camera bump, the Mi 11 Ultra packs in some superb snappers, accompanied by a rear display that shows you the time, notifications and even doubles as a viewfinder.

Top-tier internals deliver serious performance, including super-fast wired and wireless charging, as well as a stunning 6.81in WQHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display; protected by the latest Gorilla Glass Victus. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is its most like-minded alternative, but if you're more of a Xiaomi fan, the Mi 11 Ultra has no equal.

Read our full Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra review

6

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Ideal for productivity

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • Pros: Superb display | Optimised for multitasking | Great performance
  • Cons: Exynos version is less capable than Snapdragon model | Weak battery

Screen size: 6.9in
Aspect ratio: 19.3:9

While it's not quite Huawei Mate 20 X big, Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is still one of the biggest devices on the market – certainly the biggest-screened phone we tested in 2020.

Its display also happens to be among the best there is, with its crisp WQHD+ resolution and adaptive 120Hz refresh rate (although they can't operate in tandem); not to mention superb colours, viewing angles and overall brightness.

It's also a great surface to show off the phone's integrated S Pen stylus, which also boasts class-leading 9ms latency.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review

7

Oppo Find X3 Pro - Superb camera

Oppo Find X3 Pro
  • Pros: Exceptional display | Phenomenal cameras | Excellent longevity
  • Cons: No periscopic zoom lens | Some performance throttling

Screen size: 6.7in
Aspect ratio: 20:9

Oppo's 2021 flagship doesn't only possess a big screen but a crisp one too. The Find X3 Pro is one of the few devices to pair a 120Hz refresh rate with a 1440p resolution and AMOLED technology, resulting in super-sharp and responsive visuals that are hard to beat.

HDR10+ support and 10-bit colour support don't go amiss either, especially as it carries all the way through to the phone's excellent cameras, as well.

8

Xiaomi 11T - Best value

Xiaomi 11T
  • Pros: Fast performance | Great main camera | Nice display
  • Cons: MIUI still iffy | Middling telephoto & ultrawide cameras | No IP rating

Screen size: 6.67in
Aspect ratio: 20:9

A mid-range reworking of Xiaomi's Mi 11 flagship from the start of 2021, the 11T sports a similar top-tier Snapdragon 888 chipset and other highlights, like a strong lead 108Mp camera, but all at a considerably lower price.

It lacks the astounding 120W super-fast charging of its 'Pro'-branded sibling but still supports rapid 67W speeds that aren't to be sniffed at.

The 6.67in 120Hz Full HD+ AMOLED display comes protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, while a 480Hz touch response rate and stereo speakers mean the 11T is also great for gaming.

Read our full Xiaomi 11T review

9

Nubia Red Magic 6S Pro - Best for gaming

Nubia Red Magic 6S Pro
  • Pros: Outstanding performance |165Hz refresh rate display | Great battery life
  • Cons: Clunky user experience | Bulky design | Underwhelming cameras

Screen size: 6.8in
Aspect ratio: 20:9

While only a minor update to the Red Magic 6 from earlier in 2021, the 6S Pro pushes the envelope by being one of the first phones to showcase Qualcomm's enhanced Snapdragon 888+ chipset.

The stunning 165Hz display endures, while also continuing to outpace mainstream rivals – making it ideal for gaming – and battery life is excellent too, with 66W fast charging (or 120W, if you pick up the Chinese model).

Nubia's Android launcher won't be to everyone's tastes, the cameras are only a mild improvement on the 6's and this is still a big bulky phone, but the price/performance balance it strikes and the gaming prowess it facilitates are unrivalled.

Read our full Nubia Red Magic 6S Pro review

10

Sony Xperia 1 III - Gorgeous display

Sony Xperia 1 III
  • Pros: Superb performance | Best-in-class audio | Versatile cameras
  • Cons: Underwhelming longevity | Display could be brighter | Pricey

Screen size: 6.5in
Aspect ratio: 21:9

The Xperia 1 III offers up more of what we've come to know and love from Sony's flagship phone line: namely a killer camera setup and an eye-popping 4K display.

The big upgrade for 2021 was the move to 120Hz, which joins a smattering of cutting-edge display technologies, including 4K resolution, an HDR OLED panel and an uncommon 21:9 aspect ratio that's brilliant for enjoying movies on the go.

The rear camera setup takes work to get the most out of it but offers unprecedented control, especially with regards to video capture, while the pairing of a Snapdragon 888 chip and 12GB of RAM delivers some of the best performance for an Android phone out there.

Battery life and price are the main things holding the 1 III back from true greatness but for some, it's the obvious choice.

Read our full Sony Xperia 1 III review

Your buying guide to the best big-screened phone for you

Size matters

Most phones with displays over 5.5in (measured corner to corner) and sporting an aspect ratio of 16:9 are considered phablets, but in recent times phones have got taller and narrower, allowing displays to get bigger without the phones feeling bigger overall. Most of the phones in this chart have these taller aspect ratios.

Such a quality is the reason this roundup includes both the screen sizes and the aspect ratios of these devices; so you have a better idea of whether a phone is generally big or just tall and slim.

Not all phones with large screens are considered ‘big’ - despite its 6.2in display, we wouldn't consider the regular Galaxy S21 to be a phablet, because its tiny bezels and narrow aspect ratio mean it's relatively compact in-hand.

Samsung, Sony, Motorola and others all offer phones that require two-handed use most of the time as a result of their displays, but to their credit, big phones don't just offer a better viewing experience, they boast other great benefits, like larger batteries.

Resolution

It's also important to take into account that the bigger the screen, the more resolution matters; so Quad HD is favourable over Full HD and anything less than 1080p is probably best avoided, where big phones are concerned.

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