A Phabulous Start
The HTC Advantage X7500 (HTC Athena), launched in 2007, is believed to be the first commercial phablet. It ran on Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC Phone Edition.
Technology has come a long way since the days of Graham Bell. Nanotechnology has led to the rapid shrinking in size of gadgets. The first mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell and Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola, in 1973. The device weighed in at a massive 2 pounds and was sold for whopping USD 3,995. Over time, the mobile phone has shrunken in size, and even the phones from a couple of years ago now seem gargantuan when compared to some finger-sized 'ultra' mobile phones in the market. But within the past two years, there has been a complete reversal of this trend. The market suddenly seems to be flooded with mega-sized mobile phones, which can easily be mistaken for a notebook!
Phablets: The Best of Both Worlds
While we are all familiar with tablet devices, which have been around for quite a while, and cater to a niche segment of the crowd, a new segment that seems to be booming right now is that of the Phablet. A phablet is perhaps the perfect marriage of the tablet and mobile phone.
Ranging from 5" to 6.99", phablets are just about pocketable, although you probably would have a tough time walking around with one of the larger phablets jutting out of the pockets of your trousers. They also have phone functionality, but you might want to get yourself a Bluetooth headset to make calls; that is, unless you want to reminisce the good old days where people used to walk around with a huge stereo system on their shoulders. It also has all the other features of a regular mobile phone, like SMS, MMS, email, multimedia functions, etc.
Phablets bring in all the goodness of tablets, albeit the large and chunky construction. They make for a perfect multimedia center, thanks to the large screen. More screen real estate also means navigating through the tablet's OS is an absolute breeze; it also brings in more flexibility in the way you can interact with the device.
Advantages Over Traditional Phones
- The large screen is perfect to view images, videos, and multimedia content.
- The screen size makes navigating through the tablet's UI very easy.
- The larger construction has more room for a beefier battery.
- It has more room for a bigger internal storage and memory.
- The large size of phablets also ensures that there is better heat management.
- It offers a lot more input options.
Advantages Over Traditional Tablets
- They are comparatively more pocketable.
- They have all the functions of a phone.
- They are a lot lighter.
- The screen resolution is a lot better.
- They can be used on the go.
Image Source: samsungmobilepress.com
Are Phablets the Perfect Crossovers?
As good as they seem, phablets aren't without their own set of problems.
- The large screen size may not be supported by all software and videos. You could end up with a letterbox view.
- The large screen can drain out the battery real quick.
- Single-handed use can be extremely cumbersome because of the size.
- They aren't very comfortable to carry around.
- It is almost impossible to make phone calls without a Bluetooth headset.
- Typing on phablets can be a challenge because they can be too large to deal with one hand, and too small to use two hands.
- The build quality may not be as good as that on mobile phones. Plastic is usually used for the body to keep the overall weight of the device down.
- They can be quite an eyesore in tiny hands.
- Because of their unusual size, accessories may be hard to come by, except for expensive ones from the manufacturer.
The popularity of phablets is on the rise, with plenty of handsets from almost all mobile phone manufacturers lining the stores. People seem to be perfectly at ease with the size of these not-so-mobile phones, and are soaking in the goodness of the bigger screens. Moreover, with the prospect of this segment seeing a further rise in interest levels, mobile phone manufacturers are releasing phablets which are now 'towering' over their vertically-challenged siblings, both in terms of size and functionality. Going by the current trend, this is just the beginning of a phabulous phase for phablets. So, if you are a gadget freak (and are blessed with large hands, and a large pocket!), visit your nearest mobile store, and try one on for size! Cheers.