AH Samsung Galaxy Note 4 -4

AH Primetime: Android’s 40 Biggest Smartphones

June 25, 2015 - Written By Phil Bourget

Now, the trend towards the phone big and powerful enough to replace your tablet, a phablet as it was originally called, is nothing new, and has placed these once gargantuan phones into the realm of relative normalcy.  The first phone to truly push the envelope was the Samsung Galaxy Note, back in the fall of 2011, with its 5.3-inch display.  Before that, phones usually had the 4.x-inch displays that made iPhones the truly smaller product.  Now, we have the phone intended for developers, the Nexus, reaching the 6-inch mark, and phones with 4.x-inch displays being relegated to the mid- and lower-tier in performance and customer respect.  Size doesn’t matter normally (it is in fact how you use and utilize it), but here’s a rundown of 40 of the biggest smartphones to grace the Android operating system.  We’ll be going smallest (relatively speaking, of course) to largest.  Let’s see what’s first.

oppo-n1

First, we begin with the sub-6-inch displays.  The HTC One Max, from 2013, featured a 1080p 5.9-inch display, as well as a swipe-based, rear-facing fingerprint reader, and a Snapdragon 600 working with 2 gigabytes of RAM and a 3300 mAh battery.  Also at 5.9 we get the LG G Pro 2, with a 1080p display, a Snapdragon 800 and 3 gigabytes of RAM with a 3200 mAh cell.  And best yet, this device got the update to Android 5.0, Lollipop, to make it look good too.  The Oppo U3 also sits proudly at 5.9 inches, with its 1080p display, 64-bit, octa-core MediaTek MT6752 processor and its 2 gigs of RAM.  What makes this one a nice device to stretch your pockets are the cameras, at 13 megapixels on the back and 5 megapixels up front, for the high resolution selfies we all apparently need to take.  And rounding out or sub-6-inch display category is the Oppo N1. The N1 featured two things never before seen on a consumer device: CyanogenMod and a swiveling camera.  The N1 came in two variants, one running Oppo’s ColorOS overlay, and the other running CyanogenMod 10.2, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.  The camera, as mentioned, had dual flash modules, and came in at 13 megapixels.  What made it special was that it was situated on a horizontal swivel hinge that allowed the rear-facing camera to rotate around top to become the best selfie-oriented camera.  And with that, let the slew of 6-inch phones commence.

HTC One Max full

A lesser-known smartphone manufacturer, at least here in the United States, is Acer (yes, the company that makes the 15-inch Chromebook).  Their phones are rather stylish, and this one is huge, the Liquid S2.  The Liquid S2 has got the 1080p display most of us would find adequate, as well as the 13 megapixel camera many of us desire, as well as a Snapdragon 800 and 2 gigs of RAM, but other than that, this phone has its looks to go on.  Alcatel OneTouch is also a company with a growing global presence, especially since they’re working to quench the globe’s thirst with 6-inch phones.  Their POP Mega, Hero 2 and Hero 2+ all feature the huge 6-inch canvas some of us want on our phone.  The POP Mega features a budget-minded 540 by 960 resolution, with an 8 megapixel back camera, as well as good and very old Android 4.3, Jelly Bean.  And it’s got the still reliable Snapdragon 400 running at 1.2 GHz across its four cores, with a single gig of RAM to smooth it all out.  The Hero 2 moves up and has a full HD display, an improved MediaTek octa-core processor, the MT6592, backed by 2 gigs of RAM.  The Hero 2 also features a nifty bonus: the inclusion of both a stylus for precision and a dual-paned multitasking interface.  Now, the Hero 2+ is a lot different, at least software-wise.  The Hero 2+ has the same hardware as the Hero 2, but instead of Alcatel’s overlay, it runs Cyanogen OS 11 based on Android 4.4.4 Kit Kat.  A stylus and Cyanogen OS make this an interesting buy worth watching out for.

Alcatel OneTouch POP Mega LTE

Asus’ recent Zenfone 2 has had people riled, with its Intel processor and impressive price point, but global fans of Asus might recognize this is not the second Zenfone from the Taiwanese manufacturer.  The Zenfone 6, with a screen to match its name, features a 720p display comes with an Intel Atom Z2580 dual-core processor running Android 5.0 Lollipop, courtesy of the recent update from Asus, with the company’s Zen UI overlay on top.  Gionee is a company that many outside Asia might not recognize, but their upcoming Elife E8 is a phone you will and should know.  It’s got a gorgeous AMOLED QuadHD, 2560 by 1440 pixels, display, running a MediaTek MT6795 64-bit octa-core processor to speed along in Android 5.1 Lollipop, with Gionee’s Amigo 3.1 UI overlay on top.  The phone’s 64 gigabytes of RAM and 3 of RAM should make this a phone to beat for many Asian manufacturers big and small.  Taking us back to the mid- and low-range of specifications is the HP Slate 6 Voicetab II.  HP doesn’t make many phones but the Voicetab II is a big one to make, with its 6-inch display, ostentatiously large top and bottom bezels, this guy runs Android 4.4.2, Kit Kat, using a Marvell PXA1088 running at 1.2 GHz across its four cores, and a 3000 mAh battery inside to let you use its 720p display for ages and ages before needing to hunt for an open outlet.

HP Slate 6 VoiceTab II

Huawei, now known for offering the most stylish and delayed Android Wear smartwatch, the Huawei Watch, also make a full range of smartphones and tablets, and the Ascend Mate 7 is one from last fall that fits right in here, with its 6-inch screen.  This one has a 1080p display, a HiSilicon Kirin 925 octa-core processor, as well as Android 4.4.2, Kit Kat, with Huawei’s Emotion UI 3.0 on top.  This phone is well deserving of a spot here, since it’s got a massive 4000 mAh battery inside, giving a huge amount of juice to a huge amount of device, for once.  As the new owner of Motorola Mobility, Lenovo became known to the majority of U.S. customers, even though their smartphones have yet to see official launches in the States.  The company has two among us right now, the S930 and the Vibe Z2 Pro.  The S930 is a mid-range performer, with a 720p resolution 6-inch panel, showing off the aged Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, run by the MediaTek MT6582, a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor, backed by only a single gigabyte of RAM, with only 8 gigs of internal storage.  The Vibe Z2 Pro, on the other hand, is an extremely high-end device, with its QuadHD display, Snapdragon 801, and 3 gigs of RAM.  This phone came out last fall, and still has one of the highest quality constructions there is, with its aluminium body and sharp look, not to mention the 16 megapixel camera and 32 gigabytes of internal storage.

Huawei-Ascend-Mate-7-AH-22

LG is no stranger to all ranks and tiers of the smartphone business, and when they announced the G Flex back in 2014, with its massive and curved 6-inch display, people were talking about them for months to come.  The G Flex had the same internal specs as the Nexus 5 from the previous fall, with the same Snapdragon 800 and 2 gigabytes of RAM, but also upgraded a few things.  It got a 13 megapixel camera, trading in the OIS of the Nexus 5 for more pixels, an OLED display for richer colors, and an absolutely stunning 3500 mAh battery to power the phone’s 720p display.  This one set up the market for the curved fad over a year ago, and it got its Kit Kat, and even Lollipop updates, and still is chugging right along other phones from the same time.  Another company we don’t hear a lot about, except if we’re reading about India, is Micromax.  The India-based company makes a rather interesting set of phones, including the Canvas Doodle 3 and Doodle 4.  The Doodle 3 has humble specs, with the display being the selling point.  It’s got a 480 by 854 pixel display, a dual-core MediaTek MT6572 clocked at 1.3 GHz, with a single gig of RAM and only 8 gigs for internal storage.  The Doodle 4, just like the 3, is a low-range device, with a 540 by 960 display, as well as a MediaTek MT6582M running four cores at 1.3 GHz with a single gig of RAM and 8 gigs of internal storage.  The good news is that the Doodle 4 comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop, so the specs matter less than the experience.  And, as per usual, both phones are made for India, and they are dual-SIM devices.

LG G Flex

Motorola is not getting cut off this list either, especially having manufactured Google’s latest and largest Nexus phone yet.  The Nexus 6, as given in the name has a 6-inch canvas for Android 5.1, or Android M if you’ve got the developer preview installed, to play on.  The Quad-HD AMOLED panel is powered by a Snapdragon 805 and 3 gigs of RAM, with a generous 32 or 64 gigs for storage.  The battery, however argument-causing, sits at 3220 mAh.  Oppo hits the list again coming with a 6-inch device, the newly announced R7 Plus.  This one is fresh, getting launched in May of this year, and starring the Snapdragon 615, a mid-powered octa-core 64-bit processor made of a quad-core running at 1.5 GHz and another quad-core at 1.0 GHz, as well as a generous 3 gigabytes of RAM to run the new version of Android, 5.1 Lollipop with Oppo’s ColorOS 2.1 overlay on top.  The 6-inch display is full 1080p HD and it’s got a sizeable 4100 mAh battery to power the show.  Another carrier you don’t likely know is Plum.  They’ve got a following in Latin America because their devices are affordable and dual-SIM, and that’s what the Coach Plus II has in store.  The phone has a 720p resolution display, with a MediaTek MT6582M powering it with the help of 512 megabytes of RAM and 4 gigs of internal storage.  Sadly, the budget nature of the device only offers a 2400 mAh cell to actually power it all.

Nexus-6-Android-M-AH-1

Surprisingly, Samsung hasn’t made the list until now, with the Galaxy Mega 2.  This guy is huge, with the same 6-inch display that many other devices before have, but with more Samsung-like features.  It’s got a 720p display of AMOLED technology since this a Samsung device, 16 gigs of storage, 1.5 gigs of RAM and either an Exynos 4415 (quad-core clocked at 1.5 GHz) or a Snapdragon 410 (a 64-bit quad-core clocked at 1.2 GHz).  It’s got reasonable specs, but seems unnecessary among Samsung’s fleet of phones, especially since this one is only from September of last year.  Sony also has yet to make appearance until now, and it won’t be the only one, and it come sin the form of the Xperia T2 Ultra.  You might not know this model specifically, but it’s typical Sony design, just with a 6-inch 720p display.  A Snapdragon 400, 1 gigabyte of RAM, and 8 gigabytes of internal storage make this a good device if you need water-resistance in a big package, and it’s a package made sweeter since the T2 Ultra has a planned update to Android 5.1 Lollipop, as well as a 13 megapixel camera and 3000 mAh battery to give it enough juice.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 2

Vivo is an odd company, not having much presence here in the western hemisphere, but their Xplay 3S apparently made its mark, being the first 6-inch Quad-HD display.  That means that you’ve got a powerful but dated Snapdragon 801 powering that massive display, with 3 gigs of RAM to back it up and 32 gigs of storage to run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.  Though it’s old by many people’s standards, it was quite the accomplishment and bragging right when the device debuted in 2013.  ZTE is where we round out the 6-inch bracket, with the X Max+ and Grand Memo II LTE.  The X Max+ has a Snapdragon 400 powering the 720p display, with the aid of 2 gigabytes of RAM and Android 4.4.4 Kit Kat.  For a budget phone in 2015, those sound pretty great for specs.  Meanwhile, the Grand Memo II LTE is dual-SIM, and reins from 2014 with essentially the same specifications as the X Max+.  And the 3200 mAh battery inside makes this device just as worth a look if you need a budget phone.

ZTE Grand Memo II LTE

To the slightly larger 6.1-inch phones we go, and it’s really only a pair of devices, The Huawei Ascend Mate and the Ascend Mate 2.  The Ascend Mate, from back at the beginning of 2013, featured an oddly-sized 6.1-inch, 720p display as mentioned before, with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Huawei’s Emotion UI 1.2 overlay inside.  It had a Huawei K3V2 quad-core running at 1.5 GHz, as well as 2 gigs of RAM, but only 8 gigabytes for storage, though there was a MicroSD card slot.  The Ascend Mate 2 obviously improved over the original with a Snapdragon 400 1.6 GHz quad-core, the same 4050 mAh battery as before, and 16 gigabytes of internal storage to keep those 13 megapixel photos handy.  To grout another similar screen size is the 6.3-inch display found on the original Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3.  This first-generation Mega had a 720p LCD panel, which was odd for Samsung, but it had Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, with updates to get it to rest at 4.4.2 Kit Kat currently.  It offered a Snapdragon 400, clocked at 1.7 GHz for its two cores, 1.5 gigabytes of RAM and 8 or 16 gigabytes of internal storage.  With the 3200 mAh battery inside, this was essentially a less expensive supersized Galaxy S III, and that apparently sounded good to folks in 2013.

Huawei-Ascend-Mate-2-4G-Review-AH-12

Now we come to yet another odd screen size: 6.4 inches.  At 6.4 inches, the Archos 64 Xenon from early 2014 brought great specifications for the budget price.  The phone packed a 720p display, as well as a 2800 mAh battery, but it also boasted dual-SIM capabilities, a quad-core MediaTek MT6582 clocked at 1.3 GHz, a gigabyte of RAM, and 4 of internal storage.  If you needed screen real estate, you got it.  The same went for the ZTE Nubia X6.  This phone, however, had a lot more going in the specifications field, with its 1080p display, Snapdragon 801, and 4250 mAh battery.  The Nubia X6 also had an interesting variant system, with a 32 and 64 gigabyte model having 2 gigs of RAM and the 2.5 AB version of the 801, while the 128 gigabyte model had 3 gigs of RAM and the higher-frequency 2.5 AC version of the 801 inside.  To cap this phone off, it had dual SIM slots, adding more icing to the cake.  The 6.4-inch realm is not complete, and you might know exactly which device is missing: the Sony Xperia Z Ultra.  This 6.44-inch behemoth launched in 2013, showing people you could have a huge phone from a well-known company.  It brought a Snapdragon 800, 2 gigabytes of RAM, and 16 gigs of storage, as well as Sony’s water resistance and glass-paneled design to a phone the size of a pocket-friendly tablet.

Sony-Xperia-Z-Ultra 1

Now we jump the shark and reach 6.8 inches.  This will be tablet territory soon, but not quite yet.  The Hisense Infinity MAXE X1 comes from 2014 with a 1080p 6.8-inch display panel, and a Snapdragon 800 running inside.  Android Kit Kat was the version it came with, and the massive 3900 mAh battery kept it going for long enough and then some.  The phone also featured a nice 13 megapixel back sensor to fill up the 16 gigabytes of internal storage.  Interestingly, this device made it to the U.S.  And to finish the 6.8-inch bracket is the Huawei P8 Max.  The P8 Max is due out this July, and will feature an as-mentioned 6.8-inch 1080p display panel.  It’ll have Huawei’s Kirin 935, a 64-bit octa-core beast clocked at 2.2 GHz with Emotion UI 3.0 running atop Android 5.0.2 Lollipop.  The phone will also have an interesting dual-SIM tray, with the second SIM slot doubling as a MicroSD card slot (but it means you can’t have a second SIM in at the same time).  It’s got a rather plentiful amount of RAM at 3 gigabytes, as well as 64 gigabytes of internal storage.  Huawei and huge screens means big enough batteries, and the P8 Max will have a 4360 mAh cell to power the show for a good long time.  Lastly before we hit the tablet size of 7 inches is the Cube Talk 69, at 6.95 inches.  This device is from a company you probably never heard of and might not again, as many Asian manufacturers pop up with various unique and interesting devices before fading back to regular ones.  The Talk 69 is unique because of that huge display, but also for the fact that it only cost $247 USD at launch early last year.  Oh and the device came with MIUI as the overlay on top of Android.  The Talk 69 was a big device with a lot to offer for under $250, with the 2 Ghz octa-core MediaTek MT8392 processor inside, as well as a 1920 by 1200 display resolution, and 2 gigabytes of RAM.  With only a 2500 mAh battery though, that’s not a lot of calling, and that might be a good thing.

Huawei P8 Max

We’ve finally reached the floor of the tablet world.  The 7-inch display has been the starting point for many tablet manufacturers in their quest to cover the 7-, 8-, and 10-inch display sizes, but some of them still want phones to be as big as customers want and need.  These five phones are still smartphones, but you would feel utterly ridiculous with any one of them against your ear.  If you need a 7-inch phone, have a look at these, and also consider a Bluetooth headset for your reputation’s sake.  The BLU Studio 7.0 gives everything you need to know, from what size the screen is to who to blame or thank for that.  The Studio 7.0 has the low-end covered, with a 600 by 1024 resolution display, dual-core 1.3 GHz processor, and only a 3000 mAh battery stuffed inside.  BLU went for budget, and if you buy the Studio 7.0, that’s what you’ll get.  Well, budget and Android Kit Kat.  Next up is the Celkon Xion S CT695.  You’ve never heard of Celkon, I’ve never heard of Celkon, and we might never again, the CT695 features very much the same budget presentation as the Studio 7.0, with the same display resolution and shockingly small battery, but the CT695 includes a dual-core MediaTek MT8312 processor, whirring along at 1.2 GHz with the help of a single gigabyte of RAM.  These two might be sibling devices, who knows.

blu studio 7 5

Now we come to a company you might know if you follow global Android happenings, CoolPad.  They make ‘interesting’ devices.  Enough said.  Their 7-inch offering has two names, because of regional reasons.  The device is called the CoolPad Halo by some, and the CoolPad Great God by others.  Needless to say, the names are awesome.  And interestingly, the Cube Talk 69 was a direct competitor to this device when they both launched in 2014.  The CoolPad featured an octa-core MediaTek MT6592, clocked at 1.7 Ghz, with Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean being powered by it and 2 gigabytes of RAM, on a 1920 by 1200 pixel display.  And this one even packed in a 4000 mAh battery.  Not bad CoolPad, not bad.  Huawei’s MediaPad X1.  Yes, the name includes the word ‘pad’, which is usually reserved for tablets.  Sweep that aside for a second, and consider what a 7-inch phone from Huawei could land you: 1920 by 1200 display, Kirin 910 (quad-core running at 1.6 Ghz), 2 gigabytes of RAM, 16 gigabytes of storage, Android 4.4.2 with Emotion UI 2.0 overlayed, and a 5000 mAh battery.  Not bad for a ‘tablet’ eh?  And one that gets cell service too.  Now, at the last device of this roster, comes a name you might not have expected, and  a short story about it before you go off and Google this to fact-check me.  Samsung’s Galaxy W.

CoolPad Halo Great God

The Samsung Galaxy W was first launched in 2011, also carrying the name ‘ Galaxy Wonder’ alongside Galaxy W.  This device ran Android 2.3.5 until the day Samsung forgot about it (probably) when the Galaxy Nexus launched in December of that year, and the S III in the April of 2012.  This phone had a lovely pocketable 3.7-inch 480 by 800 display.  This is not the Galaxy W we’re looking for.  Our Galaxy W features something that Samsung wouldn’t be blamed for trying out: a 7-inch display.  Samsung makes 7-inch Galaxy Tabs, and the Galaxy W.  The W featured a 720p display resolution, 16 gigabytes of internal storage, and 1.5 gigabytes of RAM to help the 1.2 GHz quad-core processor.  This phone, tablet, whatever was launched back in September of 2014, and we seem to be working out way back up towards this ridiculous standard of displays.

Samsung Galaxy W

While smartphones have historically increased in leaps and bounds regarding internal specifications, build quality, and even number / population, it’s safe to say that not every average consumer would immediately run out to purchase the 7-inch Galaxy S9 or the HTC One M12 with a 6.8-inch display and BoomSound speakers.  Hopefully, we’ve learned our lesson and it’ll stick at least until we can get battery technology figured out and improved.