The Asus Zenfone 6 is the latest big boy on the block. Touting a 6-inch screen, it is uncomfortable to call it a “handset” because you need two of them to use the device. Yet it is not as much screen space as a 7-inch tablet. Lying somewhere in between, what’s exactly the appeal of these 6-inch phablets?
I have long failed to see the point of these devices, which also include the Nokia Lumia 1320, Intex Aqua Octa, Micromax Canvas Doodle 3, Sony Xperia T2, LG G Pro 2 and several others. They’re too big to be used on a regular basis. I mean, try putting one in your pocket and bending to tie your shoelaces—the edge of that phone stabbing your gut.
The only exception I made was for the Samsung Galaxy Note Note 3 (although that’s technically 5.7 inches). Why? Because of the embedded stylus and the bundled software which takes advantage of a big screen, such as splitting it into two or using the stylus to turn your device into an actual notepad. Don’t buy into the “finger is the only stylus you need” hype, on a big screen, a stylus is a wonderful addition for quick notes and simple image edits (like giving directions).
But apart from that, a 6-inch smartphone don’t make much sense. It is an experience that doesn’t leave you satisfied as a tablet user, nor as a smartphone user.
India is a price-sensitive market, so there is the argument that a 6-inch phablet gives you the best of both worlds while spending on only one. But that doesn’t hold true as much. You get good tablets for Rs. 10,000, you get good phones like the Motorola Moto E for Rs 7,000 — added together, that’s the same as the price of a Zenfone 6.
If you asked me, I would never recommend a 6-inch phone. It is denying yourself a good experience of a separate phone and tablet. Of course, if you have huge hands and a 6-inch phone fits perfectly in your palm, then by all means, go for it. But if you can’t use it with one hand, don’t bother.
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