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2013: The Year Of The Phablet

So, we all know by now that Samsung has really caused a breakthrough in the current mobile space with the success of their Galaxy Note devices. The release of the 5.3-inch Note and 5.55-inch Note 2 form factors was a bold move, considering the past failures from other OEM’s (remember the Dell Streak?)

By August 2012, Samsung announced that they had sold over 10 million units of the Note devices, causing a definite ripple effect in the industry, even perhaps having an influence on Apple’s decision to up the screen size of the iPhone.

As expected, other manufacturers are looking to get a piece of the action and have started to announce their own phablet releases for 2013. After just announcing global availability details of the LG Optimus G Pro at MWC this week, LG communications director Ken Hong commented via Asia One on the growing consumer demand for plus-sized phones, “It’s a growing trend, especially in Asia, and a lot of these phones are favoured by women, who don’t have to worry about putting it into their pockets as they carry it in their purses.”

As such, I thought I would give a brief run down about what we have seen announced thus far in 2013, thanks to product unveils at CES and MWC. Although there isn’t a true definition of what constitutes a phablet, I consider 5 inches to be the starting point for when to classify a phone as “abnormally big”.

So without further ado, here are five upcoming devices that will soon offer the Note company in the phablet section of your local cellphone store.

 

1. LG Optimus G Pro

LG-Optimus-G-Pro

Optimus G Pro

  • 5.5″ 1920 x 1080p display, 401ppi
  • 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal memory
  • 13MP camera + 2MP front-facing camera
  • 3140 mAh Battery
  • microSD memory card slot
  • Android 4.1.2

As Tim described, “According to the latest news, we should be seeing this device in North America  in Q2 of this year. For the time being, there aren’t any carriers or prices listed but as I imagine this to be a direct competitor to the Note II, I could definitely see it launching on every carrier.”

 

2. Sony Xperia ZL

Xperia ZL

Xperia ZL

  • 5″ 1920 x 1080 display, 441ppi
  • 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal memory
  • 13MP camera + 2MP front-facing camera
  • 2370 mAh Battery
  • microSD memory card slot

This one has been confirmed to arrive in April on Rogers, Bell, Mobilicity, MTS, Videotron and Wind Mobile. No pricing info has been released, but I am going to predict it to be $649.99, at least on Rogers and Bell.

 

3. Huawei Ascend Mate

Ascend Mate

Ascend Mate

  • 6.1-inch 1280×720 display, 241ppi
  • 1.5GHz HiSilicon quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 8GB of internal memory
  • microSD memory card slot
  • 4,050 mAh battery
  • 8-megapixel rear camera + front-facing camera
  • Android 4.1.2

No availability has yet to be announced for Canada, but look for Wind and Mobilicity to pick this one up sometime soon.

 

4. ZTE Grand Memo

zte-grand-memo

Grand Memo

  • 5.7″ 1280 x 720 display , 258ppi
  • 1.5GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal memory
  • 13MP camera + 1MP front-facing camera
  • 3,200mAh battery
  • microSD memory card slot
  • Dolby Digital technology
  • Android 4.1

ZTE says the Memo will launch globally during the second quarter with “varying specifications” in different countries.

 

5. ZTE Grand S

zte-grand-s-jpg1

Grand S

  • 5″ 1920 x 1080p display, 441ppi
  • 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal memory
  • 13MP camera + 2MP front-facing camera
  • 1780mAh Battery (yikes!)
  • microSD memory card slot
  • Android 4.1

The device is hitting mainland China markets soon for a price somewhere between $480 and $550. No pricing or availability info has been released yet for North America.

So there you go. As you can see, the only one we know for sure is coming to Canada is the Xperia ZL, but it would be a huge shock not to see the Optimus G Pro as well. As for the ZTE and Huawei phablets, your guess is as good as mine, but we’ll keep you posted on Android in Canada.

  • Kevin

    great article, nice summary.. however I don’t think the LG has 441ppi, it should be less than the sony (with the given resolution)

    • Mark Roberts

      Woops, my bad. Should have been 401ppi. Thanks.