Phones used to be small - the first iPhone only had a 3.5in display, which today looks comically tiny. 2020's iPhone 12 Pro Max has a whopping 6.7in display and it isn’t the only phone with a sizeable screen. In fact, Apple was relatively late to the big phone party.

You may have heard the term 'phablet', which is a portmanteau of 'phone' and 'tablet'. If you’re anything like us, you might also prefer to use a large-screened phone all the time instead of having to resort to a tablet for specific situations.

Best big phone 2021

1. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Best overall

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 6.9in
Aspect ratio: 19.3:9

While it's not quite Huawei Mate 20 X big, Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is still one of the biggest devices on the market - certainly the biggest-screened phone we tested in 2020.

Its display also happens to be among the best there is, with its crisp WQHD+ resolution and adaptive 120Hz refresh rate; not to mention superb colours, viewing angles and overall brightness.

It's also a great surface to show off the phone's integrated S Pen stylus, which also boasts the lowest latency yet at just 9ms.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review

2. iPhone 12 Pro Max - Superb all-rounder

iPhone 12 Pro Max
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Screen size: 6.7in
Aspect ratio: 19.5:9

Technically, the iPhone 12 Pro Max boasts the highest resolution display ever on an iPhone (even if this unique claim to fame amounts to the same, 458 pixels per inch as its last two predecessors - which sported smaller screens).

Much like 2020's Sony Xperia 1 II, Apple chose to ensure the fundamentals of the 12 Pro Max's Super Retina XDR OLED panel were rock solid before moving onto adding in high refresh rate visuals.

On the one hand, there isn't a lot to complain about with the similarly-specced screen used by the 11 Pro Max, so the fact that the panel is even larger (and flatter) here, without a drop in pixel density, can only be a good thing for media lovers and mobile gamers.

On the other, we would have loved to have seen Apple's 120Hz ProMotion technology for the first time on an iPhone, but that clearly wasn't meant to be this generation.

Read our full iPhone 12 Pro Max review

3. OnePlus 8 Pro - Great performance

OnePlus 8 Pro
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Screen size: 6.78in
Aspect ratio: 20:9

The OnePlus 8 Pro pushed the screen size even larger than its predecessor and jumps to 120Hz in the refresh rate department. It's still AMOLED, with a Quad HD+ resolution and support for HDR10+.

There are plenty of other excellent features and specs here, all at a lower price compared to key rivals, like a powerful Snapdragon 865 chip, IP-certified water resistance, one of OnePlus best camera setups yet and even wireless charging.

Read our full OnePlus 8 Pro review

4. Oppo Find X2 Pro - Best camera

  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 6.7in
Aspect ratio: 19.8:9

Oppo's latest and greatest doesn't only possess a big screen but a crisp one too. The Find X2 Pro is one of the only devices to pair a 120Hz refresh rate with a 1440p resolution and AMOLED technology, resulting in super-sharp and responsive visuals that are hard to beat.

HDR10+ support doesn't go amiss either.

5. iPhone 11 Pro Max - Still excellent

Apple iPhone 11 Pro
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Screen size: 6.5in
Aspect ratio: 19.5:9

The biggest and brightest 2019 iPhone is fronted by an expansive 6.5in 'Super Retina XDR' OLED panel that offers up a treat for the eyes.

Established Apple display tech like True Tone also features, along with wide colour gamut, HDR10 and Dolby Vision compliance.

You also get Apple's brilliant A13 Bionic SoC running the show and a killer set of triple rear cameras with noticeably-improved low-light capabilities than any previous generation iPhone.

Read our full Apple iPhone 11 Pro review

6. Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC - Most affordable

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC
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Screen size: 6.67in
Aspect ratio: 20:9

A great affordable entry with an expansive 6.67in display - the Poco X3 is an extremely affordable offering from Xiaomi.

What it offers up - in terms of stellar battery life, good performance and 120Hz high refresh rate-viewing - is made all the more impressive by the low price tag.

Read our full Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC review

7. Oppo Find X2 - Best design

Oppo Find X2
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Screen size: 6.7in
Aspect ratio: 19.8:9

If the Find X2 Pro is too rich for your blood, the standard Find X2 costs notably less, without skimping on many of the features that make the Pro model such a great device, including an absolutely stellar OLED display that supports QHD+ and 120Hz refresh rate viewing, simultaneously.

Read our full Oppo Find X2 review

8. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ - Great for productivity

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
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Screen size: 6.8in
Aspect ratio: 19:9

Samsung had never made a plus-sized model of the Note range before but here stands its first the 6.8in whopper. It's 0.4in bigger than the Note 9's display, yet the phone itself is only marginally bigger.

With the S Pen, Wireless PowerShare and other features, the Note 10+ is a phablet-lovers dream and, at this point, markedly more affordable than the newer Note 20 Ultra.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ review

9. OnePlus 8T - Best for ease of use

OnePlus 8T
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Screen size: 6.55in
Aspect ratio: 20:9

Bigger numbers in all things except price render the OnePlus 8T a great buy. It's cheaper than the OnePlus 8's original RRP and yet sports a smoother 120Hz refresh rate display and is the first of the company's phone's to integrate blisteringly-fast 65W fast charging.

It's also one of the first phones outside of Google's own Pixel 5 to boast the latest and greatest Android 11; in this instance, covered by OnePlus' OxygenOS 11 user experience on top.

Read our full OnePlus 8T review

10. Samsung Galaxy S20+ - Great all-rounder

Samsung Galaxy S20+
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 6.7in
Aspect ratio: 20:9

The bigger (although not the biggest) of Samsung's 2020 Galaxy S flagship line is an outstanding device with a beautiful WQHD+ HDR10+ display that supports up to 120Hz visuals, top-tier performance and a capable triple-lens camera.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20+ review

Your buying guide to the best big-screened phone for you

Size matters

Most phones with displays over 5.5in (measured corner to corner) and sporting an aspect ratio of 16:9 are considered phablets, but in recent times phones have got taller and narrower, allowing displays to get bigger without the phones feeling huge. Most of the phones in this chart have these taller aspect ratios.

Such a quality is the reason this roundup includes both the screen sizes and the aspect ratios of these devices; so you have a better idea of whether a phone is generally big or just tall.

Not all phones with large screens are considered ‘big’ - despite its 6.2in display, we wouldn't consider the regular Galaxy S21 to be a phablet, because its tiny bezels and narrow aspect ratio mean it's not a huge handset.

Samsung, Huawei, LG and others all offer phones that require two-handed use most of the time as a result of their displays, but to their credit, big phones don't just offer a better viewing experience, they boast other great benefits, like larger batteries.

Resolution

It's also important to take into account that the bigger the screen, the more resolution matters - so Quad HD is favourable to Full HD and anything less than 1080p is probably best avoided, where big phones are concerned.

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