Phablet

The phablet is a class of modern mobile devices combining or straddling the size format of smartphones and tablets. The word itself is a portmanteau of the words phone and tablet.

Phablets feature large displays that complement screen-intensive activity such as mobile web browsing and multimedia viewing. They may also include software optimized for an integral self-storing stylus to facilitate sketching, note-taking and annotation. Phablets were originally designed for the Asian market where consumers could not afford both a smartphone and tablet as in North America; phones for that market are known for having "budget-specs-big-battery" with large low resolution screens and midrange processors, although other phablets have flagship specifications. Since then, phablets in North America have also become successful for several reasons: Android 4.0 and subsequent releases of Android were suited to large as well as small screen sizes, while older consumers preferred larger screen sizes on smartphones due to deteriorating eyesight.

While Samsung's Galaxy Note (2011) is largely credited with popularizing the phablet when launched in 2011, examples of earlier devices with similar form factors date to 1993. The term "phablet" became increasingly widespread in the industry from 2012 to 2014 although its usage has declined since as average smartphone sizes eventually morphed into small tablet sizes.

Related glossaries: