Samsung was on to something when they launched the original Galaxy Note back in 2011. The fourth-generation Galaxy Note is the same 5.7" size as its predecessor but packs a Quad HD display, a more premium and much requested part-metal construction, and an improved 16MP camera with optical image stabilization.
While virtually every other manufacturer began pumping out phones with increasingly larger screens in the wake of the Galaxy Note's success, Apple held off as long as it could while still selling millions of iPhone 5 and 5s handsets. Apple's response finally came in the form of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus -- the latter of which represents its first foray into phablet territory.
Nokia is hoping that their 6-inch Lumia 1520 will give the Note 3 a run for its money. The Lumia 1520 is the first Windows Phone to come with a Snapdragon 800 SoC, the first with a quad-core CPU, the first with a 1080p display, and the first to compete on a hardware level with top Android devices. It also sees Nokia’s vast imaging expertise put to good use with the inclusion of a 20-megapixel PureView shooter sure to please enthusiasts out there.
Many companies have tried to make a large, note-friendly smartphone, but none have succeeded quite as well as Samsung. While the first Galaxy Note was rather large and lacking in refinement, Samsung has steadily improved the line, this year releasing the brand new Galaxy Note 3, and it has some true competition for the first time.
With no less than 30 devices in their Xperia smartphone range, Sony certainly doesn’t shy away from releasing multitudes of Android devices. However, nothing Sony has released thus far can be likened to the Xperia Z Ultra.
For the first time, the Japanese company has released a phablet. Sporting a gargantuan 6.4-inch display and powerful Snapdragon 800 processor in a body that’s easily the largest, but also the slimmest that I’ve ever seen in a similar smartphone.