Palm stretchers, a happy blend between mobile and tablet
Smartphones are being used increasingly as productivity devices during work and travel—and it’s the big-screen ones that often offer the best results
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They are unabashedly big. And though they have also been nicknamed “palm stretchers”, with some users complaining about their size, big-screen smartphones still manage to occupy the space of perfect balance that lies between a phone and a tablet. Thanks to their relatively large displays, powerful specifications and other features, the focus is on delivering productivity as well as multimedia flexibility.
While this may not be enticing for someone who wants a compact smartphone, these phones can replace the laptop or tablet for a lot of people when it comes to productivity tasks, particularly on the move.
Here are a few you might want to consider if you are on the move all the time.
Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro
The Galaxy A9 Pro has a large 6-inch Full HD display and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, with 4 GB RAM and 32 GB storage (memory card slot). The 16-megapixel camera is good news for shutterbugs. Surprisingly slim at 7.9mm, it feels well crafted, has a massive 5,000 mAh battery, and the ability to run apps next to each other in split-screen mode. While the Galaxy A9 Pro does not have any spontaneous combustion habits, don’t be too surprised if you are asked to switch off all Samsung phones on the next flight, because no one is quite sure how to identify only Galaxy Note phones.
Sony Xperia XA Ultra Dual
The XA Ultra Dual runs the MediaTek MT6755 processor, paired with 3 GB RAM, but just has 16 GB internal storage (expandable to 200 GB with a memory card). Not the most powerful specifications, but the genuine highlight is the 6-inch Full HD display with the Bravia Engine 2 image processor. The 21.5-megapixel camera does well with detailing. The 2,700 mAh battery is good enough to easily last a day.
Asus ZenFone 3 Ultra
The 3 Ultra, part of the ZenFone trio that includes the ZenFone 3 and ZenFone 3 Deluxe, is the perfect solution for someone who wants a “one device to do it all”. This is a truly big-screen phone, with a 6.8-inch Full HD display, and has a dedicated image processor similar to those found on 4K televisions. It runs the fairly powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, with 4 GB RAM and massive 128 GB storage. We feel the screen real estate and the consistent performance make this a very good device for productivity tasks. To top it off, there is a massive 4,600 mAh battery. Asus’ Zen UI interface can at times seem overwhelming, but this is one of the best crafted phones out there, in an all-metal body.
Gionee Marathon M5 Plus
If you’re looking for a large display and a massive battery, the Marathon M5 Plus is worth considering. It features a very good 6-inch Full HD AMOLED display. It runs a MediaTek 6753 processor and 3 GB RAM, has 64 GB storage on board, a 13-megapixel camera and a large 5,020 mAh battery that may see you through almost two-and-a-half days on a single charge. It has a metal frame and is slim, at just 8.4mm.
Xiaomi Mi Max
The Mi Max is well stacked with a 6.44-inch Full HD display and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor, 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage. It runs Xiaomi’s updated MIUI 8 on top of Android Marshmallow. It has a large 4,850 mAh battery as well, and all this in a 7.5mm-thin metal frame. And of course there’s that little matter of the price tag—a fraction of some of the other worthy rivals.