Your buying guide for the best big phones in 2019

Phones used to be small. Even the first iPhone only had a 3.5in display that today looks remarkably tiny. The iPhone XS Max has a 6.5in display, and it isn’t the only phone with one that big. In fact, Apple was relatively late to the big phone party.

You may have heard the term phablet, which means phone-tablet. If you’re anything like us, you might even want to use a large phone all the time and not even have a tablet at all.

Should I buy a smartphone now or wait for Black Friday?

Black Friday is one of the biggest sales events of the year, and in 2019 takes place on 29 November. We're already seeing some great consumer tech deals and expect them to continue right into January, with Black Friday deals followed by Cyber Monday deals, Christmas deals, Boxing day deals and then we've got the January sales.

That's both good and bad, of course, because how do you know that a product won't drop in price the very next week? The truth is you can never be entirely sure, but we're now close enough to the main event that many retailers have already begun their Black Friday sales. Of the big UK retailers, Currys has started its Why Wait? sale, guaranteeing that products won't drop any further in price for Black Friday, while Amazon has a range of Black Friday Countdown deals, with its main event starting on 22 November. 

They aren't the only ones, and we've been busy hunting down the best phone deals so that you don't have to. While prices may go down further for Black Friday, some discounts will also end sooner, so unless you're sure that a product will be discounted it's always best to take a deal at face value: if you think the product is worth that amount of money, go for it. Sometimes it doesn't pay to hold out for something that will never happen.

Below we've provided some buying advice on what to look for in a phone: even if the products we round up here are not discounted, you may find similar products at much lower prices - and if our #2 or #3 ranked product is discounted, that be enough for you to consider it over the #1 smartphone.

Size matters

Most phones with displays over 5.5in (measured corner to corner) are considered phablets, but in recent times phones have got taller and thinner displays in order to fit in larger overall displays. Most of the phones in this chart have these taller aspect ratios as they are known.

That's why in our chart below we've listed the screen sizes and aspect ratios of the phones to give you an idea of how wide or tall the displays are.

Not all phones with large screens could be considered ‘big’ though - Despite its 5.7in screen we wouldn't consider the regular Galaxy S9 to be a phablet, because its tiny bezels mean it's not a huge handset, yet we would consider the iPhone 8 Plus a phablet with its 5.5in screen, a regular 16:9 display aspect ratio and big bezels. 

Samsung, Huawei, LG and others all have phones that require two handed use most of the time, such is the size of their displays. But big phones have other great benefits like larger batteries and the pay-off is often well worth it. Though some need the large battery as the big screen drains the cell faster. 

The benefits

Watching films and TV becomes much more pleasant on a large screen phone and you’ll find yourself appreciating the photos you take even more when viewed on a big, vibrant display. 

Take into account that the number of pixels will be stretched over a larger screen area, so a Quad-HD screen will be appreciated here more than it would on a compact phone. That said, though, even a full-HD screen will look crystal clear on a big phone - just watch out for anything lower in resolution than this. 

Best big phone 2019

The prices listed below for each product in this feature are updated automatically, and include the latest early Black Friday deals and sales.

1. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 6.8in
Aspect ratio: 19:9

Samsung has never done a plus model of the Note range before but here's 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 Plus is a phablet-lovers dream.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ review

2. OnePlus 7 Pro

OnePlus 7 Pro
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 6.67in
Aspect ratio: 19.5:9

The OnePlus 7 Pro's display is not only big, it's beautiful: this curved glass AMOLED screen has a 90z refresh rate and HDR10+ support, which means it makes just about everything else look better. Throw in a great triple camera, top specs, and strong software and you have a strong package indeed.

Read our full OnePlus 7 Pro review

3. Asus ROG Phone 2

Asus ROG Phone 2
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 6.59in
Aspect ratio: 19.5:9

It's a bit of a brick but the Asus ROG Phone 2 is truely outstanding in many ways. This is a gaming phone through and through with powerful performance along with a huge screen that's got a slick 120Hz refresh rate. It's also got a whopping 6000mAh battery.

It won't appeal to everyone one but this thing is a beast.

Read our full Asus ROG Phone 2 review

4. Google Pixel 3 XL

Google Pixel 3 XL
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 6.3in
Aspect ratio: 18.5:9

If you can handle that notch then the Google Pixel 3 XL is one of the best big phones you can get right now. It's got the best cameras on a smartphone, good software, solid battery life and a well calibrated OLED panel.

Read our full Google Pixel 3 XL review

5. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 6.4in
Aspect ratio: 19:9

The latest Galaxy S phone is best when big. The S10 Plus boasts the best display on any phone with a pill shaped cut out in the top right corner for the front facing cameras. Performance is outstanding and the triple rear cameras are very versatile. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review

6. Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 6.47in
Aspect ratio: 19.5:9

The P30 Pro is probably Huawei's best phone yet: a big display and beautiful design paired with a phenomenal triple rear camera boasting a 5x optical zoom telephoto lens.

Read our full Huawei P30 Pro review

7. Huawei Mate 20 X

Huawei Mate 20 X
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 7.2in
Aspect ratio: 18.7:9

With the largest screen of any phone on this list, the Mate 20 X is a souped up version of the Mate 20 Pro. It has a headphone jack, tiny notch, fingerprint sensor and blazing fast performance, topped off with truly world beating battery life.

Read our full Huawei Mate 20 X review

8. Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 6.7in
Aspect ratio: 19.5:9

The Reno is another big-screen phone that uses a clever trick to make the most of that space: hiding its selfie camera and flash module inside a 'shark fin' that rotates out of the top of the phone. Silly? Yeah. But it does let you enjoy that giant AMOLED without distractions.

Read our full Oppo Reno 10x Zoom review

9. Apple iPhone XR

Apple iPhone XR
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 6.1in
Aspect ratio: 19.5:9

The iPhone XR is the best value high-end iPhone to date with a display larger than the regular iPhone XS. It's LCD but still a very well calibrated panel with excellent touch response. If you're a gamer it's a great choice, and comes in six colours.

Read our full Apple iPhone XR review

10. Moto G7

Moto G7
  • Rating: ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Screen size: 6.2in
Aspect ratio: 19:9

The best cheaper phone with a large display, the Moto G7 does a lot of what pricier phone can do for less. You compromise on screen quality and resolution, but if you want a phone with a big screen and decent performance that doesn't break the bank, this is it.

Read our full Moto G7 review