One thing is for certain: Manufacturers in the technological market aim to cater for each possible niche and consumer type. Thanks to this approach you don’t have to settle for a SmartPhone if the screen is too small but you also don’t have to lug around a large table or laptop.
Enter the Phablet. And we’re going to help you pick the best one of 2018.
- Features to Consider in Cheap Phablets
- Best Cheap Phablets Under $100
- Best Cheap Phablets Under $200
- Guide to Buying the Best Cheap Phablets
Features to Consider in Cheap Phablets
What’s great is that you don’t have to settle for the usual products if it won’t suit your application or your budget. If you’re currently frustrated with the tech you’re using it may be that you’re simply not using the right type yet.
What is a Phablet Exactly?
These phablets were actually designed to meet people’s needs when certain groups of people couldn’t afford or didn’t want to own and carry around both a phone and a tablet. As a result brands designed mobile devices that contain a bit of both in one:
- You get the benefit of a large screen which is often welcomed by older generations. They can view text and images in larger format & if there’s a touch screen it’s easier to press the keys of the keyboard accurately.
- It usually has a unique battery that will last long so users don’t have to recharge during the day.
- The screens are designed to allow working with a stylus so taking notes becomes easier than on a Smartphone.
This type of mobile device has been around since about 2011 although similar designs were made as far back as 1993. Since then the specifications have changed some but in general a phablet incorporates:
- Screens ranging from 5.1” to 7”.
- 16:9 aspect ratio.
Below we list a few of the best ones and to pick the most appropriate one for you you should look out for these important aspects.
How to Pick the Best Phablet for You
If this is the kind of phone you’re after you should judge your phablet according to its capabilities in various aspects.
You want a phone with a camera since it’s so much part of daily life these days. If you’re young you want selfies and if you’re old you want to capture good memories of the family.
The phablet should also work fast and well thanks to a quality CPU and enough storage space so saving a few pictures won’t slow it down.
Then of course the size is important. Do you want it to fit in your hand or are you after a huge screen? The latter makes it easy to view images and can make it more comfortable to work especially if the user has limited sight.
To help you gauge what you need we compiled reviews and an easy to use comparison table. Let’s find you the perfect phablet.
Best Cheap Phablets Under $100
This is a good all rounder and that’s why it’s first on our list. It performs well in most aspects related to phablets so if you’re not particular about certain features this usually does the job.
However you may be impressed by some features that show how far technology has come. And now you don’t have to pay a hefty price tag for it anymore.
You can control features of your phone with your voice and it will even gauge when you’re in a unique setting such as a meeting in which it should not act on your commands.
No matter what you use the phablet for a camera is usually important to consumers. This one is bound to impress with the 2MP camera in the front and an astonishing 13MP in the back.
The camera is embedded with tech that helps you get the best shot such as taking pictures even before and after you’ve pressed that button. That gives you a chance to pick the best ones.
And we love that the camera feature is activated by simply flicking your wrist. With no lengthy process you won’t miss capturing precious moment anymore.
The picture you take will be displayed on a 1080p screen and all of it is encased in dimensions of 5.54”x 2.85”x 3.88” with a 5.2” screen. At 144g it’s in line with what most phablets weigh these days.
All of this is powered by a Qualcom Snapdragon 801 CPU that also has quad-core technology. Thanks to the 2300mAh battery you can expect a whole day’s battery life while using a mixture of its functions.
2. LG G3
This is the future but it’s happening now. The AI in this phone will gauge which adjustments or features you will find beneficial and make suggestions accordingly. This includes suggesting you delete apps you don’t use so your phone always functions optimally.
It can be a personal and work phone since you can activate guest mode to keep your files private.
There are some concerns about its durability and how long the touch screen will keep working. This is probably why it’s available at such a low price.
It does have a front camera but it’s the rear one that will impress. It’s a 13MP camera but it’s better than most since it has laser auto focus. This makes for quality photos even if the subject is moving around.
Ever heard of a floating lens? That’s why the photos taken with this phone seems so steady.
You can view your quality pics on a 5.5” screen. It only weighs 6.4oz which is one of the lightest options on this list. It’s also compact at 2.9”x 0.4”x 5.8”. Note that it’s not as thin as many others but it will still slide into your pocket easily.
The Lithium Ion battery is removable which is great. Unfortunately it may also be necessary to replace this as it’s not known to perform extremely well. Once again this is the type of sacrifice you make when shopping on a budget.
This is not the most technologically advanced machine you’ll find but isn’t that exactly what some people need? It has features and processing capacity to handle basic functions so it will keep you in contact with your world if that’s what you’re after.
Don’t think its simple design makes it out of date. It has state of the art features such as fingerprint recognition.
Despite its minimalism approach you still get two cameras. At the back you have a 13MP camera and at the front a 5MP one. That’s pretty impressive for such a budget friendly device.
It also has flash features so you can take pictures in dim light. However you may find it difficult to know just how amazing your photographs are. If you download them and view them on a computer they will look vitally different than what you see on the very dim screen.
The focus here is on giving you a large display and some durability. This phone should be able to handle a few knocks and falls—which could happen thanks to the very sleek front—so it will probably serve you well for years. At the back the plastic is more soft to the touch so use this to get a bitter grip on it.
This is one of the larger screens at 6” and the entire device is 8.7”x 4.3”x 2.3”. It weighs in at 11oz.
Thanks to the 1.5Ghz Octa Core processor you’ll get pretty good service out of this. It won’t be the fastest and it will slow down if you try and use too many apps but it suffices for those of us that simply need the basics of mobile phone functioning.
4. LG G2
It’s not really a lower end model since you get GPS, Bluetooth and Wireless N Wi-Fi features. This brand just did the homework to put essential features into an affordable phablet.
The 1080x1920p display stretches from side to side and you can view images you stored on the 32GB memory. That’s enough for general use.
LG also added some amazing features such as activating the screen by simply mimicking knocking on a door. The strong processor allows a few very handy functions such as turning it into a remote control or making notes on any screen you have open.
This is more than basic functioning. It’s your affordable PA wherever you go.
Few phones will be respected these days if they don’t have front view cameras. This one isn’t impressive at 2MP but it’s adequate. After all we’re shopping on a budget.
At the back you’ll still find high quality in the 13MP camera that even has OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). That’s pretty nifty for a budget purchase. You can even take family pictures with everyone’s faces in focus because it has a total of nine AF (Auto Focus) points.
Because the entire front is used for the 5.2” screen the phone is only 2.6”x 0.4”x 4.7” and weighs around 4oz. Note that it’s quite smooth which can cause it to slip out of your hand easily.
The speed is powered by a 2.26 GHz Snapdragon CPU with an 800 quad core. That’s why it’s one of the fastest and most reliable units on this list.
The length of usage between charges are determined by the 3 000mAh battery which can give you more than 17 hours of talk or work time. This is thanks to SiO+ technology and this even allows the phone to be more compact without compromising on battery life.
Want to know how impressive this actually is? If you simply need a phone on standby this one will keep working for almost an entire month.
5. Blu R1 HD
This one looks quite modern in its sleek black casing and with Android 7.0 operating system that drives it, it could be the phablet solution for those of the newer generations. It’s even available in gold which is a favorite of many young people.
The features will resonate with anyone as it has fingerprint access and on the curved glass display you’ll find easy navigation.
This brand also knows the newer generation requires quality imaging because you’ll see there’s a 13MP camera at the back paired with a 5MP camera at the front. That’s more than satisfactory quality for selfies or even quality imaging.
It’s the simple design society has come to love with a single button on the front to help you operate the phone. With the 5.2” screen it’s not too big so you can manage this with one hand.
You’ll view the images or videos you take on a 720×1280 resolution and experience high quality thanks to 282 ppi.
All of this only weighs 0.9lb. Granted this is a bit heavier than many other units you’ll find here which is why it’s not at the top of our list. Luckily it’s still compact at 5.8”x 0.3”x 2.8”.
The processor that will keep this running is 1.5GHz Octa core Mediatek 6750 with mali-t860 GPU. Not the best you can find but still sufficient to power basic functions. Just don’t overwhelm the system by downloading too many apps.
Best Cheap Phablets Under $200
1. Lumia 640 XL
Note that this is a Windows phone so you get access to the same programs you have on a PC. This makes it a very smart phablet option if you need it for work reasons. You get Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote built in.
The Windows 8.1 operating system is loaded which is one of the latest versions available. It’s not Windows 10 yet but you’ll be able to handle most of your work from this device.
Thanks to high end wireless technology such as 4F-LTE you’ll always be in touch with your clients and co workers no matter where you are.
Your selfies will be in high definition thanks to the 5MP camera on the front. At the back there’s the 13MP camera which is the least you’d expect from a camera slightly elevated in price.
The screen is slightly bigger than the basic phablets so you can view your images on a 5.7” screen with 720x1280p resolution.
It measures at 3.2”x 0.25”x 6.21” which is quite compact and it only weighs 6.03oz. That’s super light so you can carry this in your pocket all day.
The layout can be customized as you can enlarge, move and shrink the program tiles according to your personal needs.
The quality programs are powered by a Snapdragon processor and you get a Lithium Polymer battery which can drive it in standby mode for almost 40 days. We love that the battery is replaceable as it’s not something you see in modern phones anymore.
2. Honor 7x
It’s a phone for the individual who loves images since many of its best features are centered around the camera and the display. But it’s a work phone too as can be seen from the features that make work easy. You can activate the phone or even menus simply by touching the back cover. You also have split screen options if you need to multitask.
We loved the 16MP camera at the back. Since phablets should provide both work and personal applications this could be the ideal phablet for anyone that uses images as part of their daily work.
It’s just unfortunate that the same can’t be said of the front camera as it’s only a 2MP unit. This is much less impressive than most other devices you’ll find on this list.
This is a unique design since the screen ratio isn’t the customary 16:9 but 18:9. This could be ideal for the movie lovers catching up via their phones or if you want to use the split screen feature to use two apps at the same time.
It’s a metal casing which should be more durable than other plastic devices. It’s also ultra modern because there’s no seam where the screen meets the casing.
Unfortunately the 5.93” (that’s quite big) screen scratches quite easily and it’s quite heavy at 12.8oz. You’ll need to take extra care not to let the 6.2”x 3”x 0.3” phone drop from your hand.
You need a powerful battery to drive exceptional imagery and that happens thanks to the 3340 mAh battery. On a full charge you can go more than a day without charging. The power saving features also helps with this.
3. ASUS Zenfone
This is another example of a phone that gives you useful options in various aspects of the phone. If you’re not sure what to get or if you’re not pedantic about certain features this is bound to suffice.
At the back you’ll find a 13MP camera with a 5MP at the front. That means your images will be high quality; or at least as good as this price range will enable you to make them.
What you will appreciate is the auto focus which will help you get images on the go. On the 5.5” 1280×720 display you can enjoy viewing them.
The engineers focused on creating a comfortable hold with a very thin phone and smooth round sides. It measures at 8”x 3.3”x 1.6”. Let’s be honest and say there are much smaller devices that can do the same as this phablet but the feel is very comfortable.
The only concern is that the smooth edges could let the phone slide out of your hands. This could determine whether someone of the older generation—whose hands are less able to grip tightly—will find this as useful.
It weighs 9.6oz and has no buttons on the front; only the touch screen features and small icons at the bottom. Thanks to Gorilla Glass 3 your phone should be scratch free for long.
Asus uses 1.8GHz Quad Core processors. You have reasonable storage space of 2GB Ram + 15GB storage. If you’re going to take many photographs this will quickly fill up though and that will affect its functioning.
4. NUU G3
This is a phone that incorporates the latest in aesthetic design with a very reasonable price tag. If you’re particular about how your phone should look this could be your ideal option. It looks ultra sleek thanks to the rounded glass edges.
Of course not everything will blow your mind so don’t expect the best ever audio. Some conversations may sound muffled.
You get a 13MP and a 5MP (front) camera but what is impressive is that you can view these images and your videos in 18:9 aspect ratio instead of 16:9. Add to this that your screen has HD features and you get why consumers can pick this above an ordinary computer screen. A portable movie quality screen in your pocket!
The rounded edges make the viewing area slightly larger and that’s why you get a 5.7” screen in a phone that’s only 6.02”x 2.76”x 0.35”. Do you see how ultra thin this one is? It weighs 6.4oz which is very reasonable.
You have a 3000mAh battery supporting its functions. Another high tech feature you get in this lower end model is fast charging and battery optimization. That makes this a very practical purchase as it should keep power for an entire day before a charge is needed.
With the Helio P25 Octa Core 2.39GHz processor it works reasonably fast. It also helps that it comes with 64GB RAM so you won’t quickly fill up the storage and slow down the phone. You can even upgrade to 128GB with a microSD card so if you love storing photographs this is a safe option.
5. Blu Vivo XL3
With this you get a slim, sleek phone with some great technology such as the impressive cameras. Its sleekness is enhanced by the metallic shine that blends well with the smooth shiny screen. You can also order Gold or Silver models so this is really a style statement; and it’s available at a reasonable price.
Along with style you get good tech since it has built in facial recognition and fingerprint sensors. That makes it easy to keep your data safe if you need a phablet for work purposes.
The cameras are what makes this model stand out from the crowd. Your selfies and your other images will be of the same quality thanks to the two 13MP cameras embedded here.
You can view them on the 18:9 5.7” screen which is great if you want to edit some details or if you need a clear view for work reasons. This is what makes a phablet better than a normal SmartPhone.
This is one of the heavier phones which is unfortunate because it’s so compact and comfortable to carry around at 5.8”x 0.3”x 2.8”. Still the brand manages to install a 5.5” screen; that’s impressive!
It’s driven by a 3 000mAh battery which isn’t the best this brand has to offer but that’s why you can get some other amazing features for a good price. The 1.3GHz processor is also mediocre and take note of the limited 32GB storage space.
Guide to Buying the Best Cheap Phablets
When you’re shopping for high tech devices it’s all about matching your unique application to available features. You’ll use it in a unique way so make sure you pay for what will really be valuable to you.
What Will You Use it For?
Why are you considering this phone?
The original purpose for these devices were to offer consumers a compromise between a laptop and a phone. Perhaps you don’t want to carry two devices or you can’t afford both. In this situation it makes sense to get one.
However there are other circumstances where they also come in handy:
- Older individuals who want larger screens to compensate for diminishing eye sight.
- People frustrated with small buttons on touch screens of normal sized phones.
- If photographs are central to your work and you need a quick and easy way to showcase them to clients; A slightly larger screen can make a huge difference when compared to regular phones
If you know this is the most appropriate device for your application you know you’re not wasting time and money in reviewing these items. Let’s delve deeper.
Do you know which features you want? Don’t settle for the most basic features if you’re using this for work. Advanced apps can benefit you and a long battery life keeps you connected all day. Therefore it makes sense to spend a little more.
However if you’re getting this for your grandmother who only wants to make a call or text a message you don’t have to splurge on a state of the art camera or battery life.
See how you have to narrow down your priorities? Now let’s browse through the specs you’ll need to match to how you’ll use these phablets.
The Specs That Really Matter
It’s easy to get derailed by marketing jargon so we’re going to list the main features you need to consider when purchasing a phablet. When you understand what they’re about you’ll easily match them to how you’ll be using your device. Knowing about the tech makes it easy to only pay for what’s really necessary.
This is about how much data, files, images and documents your device will hold. Remember if you use too much of the space it will start affecting the functionality of the phablet so purchasing one with enough memory is vital.
Of course it’s ideal if you can add additional storage such as inserting a memory card.
If you know images will be a type of document you often work with it’s smart to get ample space. These phablets start with internal storage as low as 1GB but you can increase it to as much as 128GB if there’s a SIM slot or a microSD expansion option.
This closely relates to storage as high quality images will require more space.
You have to consider two features:
- The front camera which is handy to take selfies. This will be a prerequisite for most of the young generation.
- The camera at the back that’s often of a better quality than the front camera.
You need to gauge the quality of these cameras and pick ones that won’t disappoint when you look at your images.
You can also look at the different camera features. If you’re shopping on a budget you may find low end phablets that don’t have panorama shots as an option. But if that’s not a priority it could be the bargain you’re looking for.
Here’s one of the prime reasons you’re considering this, right?
When defining a phablet its screen should be at least 5.1”. And yes it’s probably safe to say the bigger the better. However don’t get carried away because you’ll still have to keep your large phablet somewhere. If you’re used to carrying it in your shirt pocket you should make sure it will still fit in there.
An important consideration here is your hand. Do you want a larger unit that still allows for one handed operation? Then it should fit snug into your palm while allowing your fingers to reach the screen.
Alternatively you’ll use both hands and maybe a stylus. Since many older individuals are used to using two hands compact design is a less important consideration for them. For them the bigger screen means it’s easier to see details.
Size also refers to the thickness of the phablet. Society is continually looking for sleek and thin devices. If this is important to you you may have to spend a little more as it takes some smart engineering to fit high tech features inside such a slim case.
A large device doesn’t have to be heavy since it’s all about the materials the manufacturer decides to use.
This shouldn’t be a deal breaker unless you’ll be carrying your phone in your hand all day and you don’t want it to get uncomfortable. However in this regard most problems have been solved by engineers as you can see by none of the devices on this list weighing over 200g.
Once again it’s good to consider but it’s not a deal breaker in our books.
Now we’re getting technical.
The operating system determines how your phablet will work and also what the layout of programs & apps will be.
It’s safe to say most people have a preferred operating system, picking from one of these:
- iOS (Apple)
In this type of phone you’ll also come across lesser known operating systems such as OxygenOS.
We would suggest sticking with what you know unless you’re willing to go through the learning process. You may not find a new OS as intuitive.
On the flip side you may experience enhanced functionality if you try something new. Certain operating systems favor working with images—editing them for example—so stay open minded when shopping for your phablet.
It’s also important to check which version of the operating system the phablet is manufactured with:
- Older versions aren’t as impressive
- You’ll spend time and data on downloading new ones
Along with your storage space this is what determines how fast your phone will work and respond to your actions. If speed isn’t high on your priority list—it’s not for many older generations—you can settle for something else than the fast CPUs such as the SnapDragon many consumers love.
It’s safe to say this matters to most people unless you don’t travel much during the day and you’re close to a power outlet. If you’re out snapping images for a living you don’t want to run out of battery power quick.
Of course it matters how you operate your phablet. Keeping the screen brightness at its peek all day will eat up your battery life quick. Be prepared to have a slightly larger phone if you want an impressive battery.
If you only use basic features you can have your phablet’s battery last up to 10 or 20 hours which is more than acceptable. Remember this depends on your usage of it. On standby mode some of these items can last you more than 600 hours.
Made your decision yet? We’ve given you insight into the leading items on the market in different price ranges. All you need to do is match your preferences to one of these phablets. With today’s technology companies can cater for almost any unique application. Don’t miss out on what a phablet can do for you at work or for play.