In the beginning of 2013, Sony teased us with leaked images of the front plate of their coming phablet the Xperia Z Ultra. One of the first in a trend of phones to blur the line between smartphone and tablet, I was driven to write a compelling and widely ill-received article to the phablet community posing the question “how big is too big?.”

I’ll admit that back then I was using a Galaxy S III, and was perfectly content with its size. At the time phablets had never appealed to me, I honestly didn’t understand them, so the desire of others to own them seemed to me just a contest to have the biggest device. Nick Schiwy wrote an interesting article with touches on my original thoughts about the screen size race: Don’t Be A Spec Whore; This Isn’t A Spec War.

Then A Phablet Stole My Heart

Now I’m able to draw a bit more from experience though, I’ve had the chance to review the LG G Flex and the Blu Studio 6.0 HD, both of which I really enjoyed. To take a snippet from my article Life Pure XL By Blu, Why I’m Trading In My Nexus 5:

Right now, the two mobile devices I use every day are the Nexus 5 and the Blu Studio 6.0 HD. The Nexus 5 as my phone and main device, the Blu as a my media delivery system. Ebooks, YouTube, games and web browsing are just a few of the things I find to be much more pleasing on a 6 inch display. I even prefer the size and form-factor of the Studio 6.0 HD to a traditional 7 inch or larger tablet.

The question I want to pose here is: how do you use your phablet? Why do you want a large screen? Are you just caught up in the spec race? Did you just see someone else with a huge device and think “Oh my word, I NEED THAT”? There are a ton of reasons and none of them are wrong.

To my mind, the reason that the large screen devices are becoming necessary in this market is because of the growing number of users who don’t own a desktop or otherwise non-mobile solution to their computing needs. There are a ton of people out there right now whose only connection to the internet is on their smartphone or tablet. Even though that seems an odd thing to think about to people like me who grew up with multiple computers in the house at all times and have always owned computing device in pretty much all available form factors.

What I would like to see in the future is more answers to traditionally desktop related tasks on these phablet devices. I love knowing that I can use VNC Viewer to remotely log into my home computers when I need to start a download do banking on my secure home network and owning a phablet makes that a lot easier to accomplish.

The biggest problem which has yet to be addressed, and I honestly can’t think of any way to improve, is text entry. I love Swype, Minuum and several other of the keyboard replacement apps brought to us by talented developers in the community, but so far something offers a speed to rival that which people who type on a computer for a living can achieve with a keyboard. Maybe this won’t be an issue for the generation which is growing up with touch-sceen devices, who knows.

For what tasks do you still find yourself reaching for your computer when you wish you could just use your phablet? Let us know in the comments below! Let’s figure out how to make our devices fit our lives better.

Definition: Phablet Device

About the author

Tony McAfee