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HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2014: Editor's Choice - Part 1

Best Phablet

Best Phablet

Not everybody wants a phone and a tablet to do different things. Nowadays, there is an increasing number of consumers who want the best of both worlds - one device that can perform the functions of two. Samsung created the "phablet" market in 2011 with the first Galaxy Note. Today, almost every brand has a phablet offering. 

For this new Editor's Choice category, it is not about having the biggest screen size anymore. We are looking at a combination of factors such as design, handling, features and performance. In no order of merit, this year's nominees includes:



  • HTC One Max
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
  • LG Optimus G Pro
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra


And the Winner Is...

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Having created the phablet category three years ago, Samsung has more time and experience than any other brands to refine its phablets. As a result, the Galaxy Note 3 feels more complete as a phablet compared to its rivals.

Despite coming with a larger display, the third generation Galaxy Note is more ergonomically designed than its predecessor. Samsung managed to shave off some thickness and weight on the Galaxy Note 3, while we can't say the same for some competing brands. 

It may not have the biggest display at 5.7-inches, but Samsung is probably the only one who takes full advantage of the extra screen real estate on the Galaxy Note 3 with useful software features such as Multi-Window.

Furthermore, none of the competing phablets can offer a compelling alternative to Samsung's S Pen functionality on the Galaxy Note 3, which has been refined over three generations. Its suite of apps and services such as Air Command are optimized for use with the S Pen. Performance-wise, the Galaxy Note 3 pulls ahead of the pack with its ultra long battery life and smooth usage experience.

Scoring Breakdown
Criteria/Model HTC One Max Huawei Ascend Mate LG Optimus G Pro Nokia Lumia 1520 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Sony Xperia Z Ultra
Design 9.0 7.5 8.0 8.5 8.5 8.5
Features 8.0 7.5 8.5 8.5 9.5 8.5
User-Friendliness 7.5 7.5 8.0 8.0 8.5 7.5
Performance 9.0 8.0 8.0 8.5 9.5 8.0
Value 8.0 8.0 8.5 8.5 8.5 7.0
Overall 8.5 7.5 8.0 8.5 9.0 8.0
Price S$1,028 S$638 S$868 S$999 S$1,048 S$1,038

*Note: Prices listed in this article are accurate at the time of product evaluation.

For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.