One of many phablet demos by one of many suppliers selling English language versions.

I’d always thought large screen smartphones (phablets) were too big. However; after trying out the 6.3 inch Samsung Galaxy Mega (Pocketlint Review) I realised that a 6.3 or 6.5 inch phablet was the perfect phone for me and bought one from China.

At last, phones that make internet browsing easy and videos a pleasure. It makes my purchase of a tablet unnecessary, and I can use these phones without my glasses!! Yes they’re big, but they do fit in my pocket.

Unlocked 6.3 inch Android Samartphones at 40% of the price

Demand for phablets has rocketed in Asia; consequently many 6.3, 6.4, or 6.5 inch Android phones are manufactured in China.

With models starting from as low as $193 / £120 including delivery (as @ 1 Jan 2014) they may be your bargain alternative to the 6.3″ Samsung Galaxy Mega.

Are they any good?

Well mine is brilliant value (my review). I’ll include pros, cons and issues for the different models in the Phablet List; in summary:

All models I found had twice or four times the internal storage of Samsung’s Galaxy Mega 6.3.  Screen resolution is the same (720×1280) or better (1920 x 1080 FHD); ditto the cameras. Figures don’t tell the whole story but users appear happy with display, picture quality and game performance.

GSM (2G) should not be a problem; but make sure you check the 3G frequencies (shown in the Phablet list). The Galaxy can handle 850/900/1900/2100MHz.  My phablet and most other Chinese models only operate on 850/2100MHz. This works fine for me in the UK; and I believe suits networks in China (naturally), most of Europe, Australia etc and some US carriers. Some US networks operate on 1700 or 1900MHz; these phones will only work in 2G if you use these carriers.

If you want to use the phablet for SatNav etc be careful which model you choose (mine was fine). Getting GPS to work properly out of the box appears to be a (solvable) issue with many (see list [coming soon]) Chinese smartphones.

Too good to be true?

Prices don’t include import (sales) taxes. For example in Europe, if your package is checked you will be charged VAT (20% in the UK).

I did wonder whether the products would be as claimed  – mine was; and forum comments and tests indicate the phones match manufacturer specifications.

Many China related websites/suppliers of Chinese phones have a bad reputation for resolving after sales problems. My phone was perfect; but I suspect quality control for Chinese brands won’t match the likes of Samsung –  so the chances of receiving a defective phone and ending up out of pocket may be higher.

After a lot of research I’ve produced a shortlist of suppliers I’d be prepared to use.

Coming soon:

  • a list of 6.3, 6.4 and 6.5 inch phones with comments, brief specifications and where you can get them