Posted on 17th July 2013
With the release of the Samsung Galaxy Mega and announcement of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra it's obvious that big screen phones are here to stay. These two giants are likely to be joined by a few other super-sized smartphones before long. The Samsung Galaxy Note III is thought to be due around September, Nokia is alleged to be working on a Windows Phone with a spacious display and HTC appears to be putting together a larger version of the HTC One. So what do we know about these imminent monsters?
Samsung is rumoured to be announcing the Galaxy Note 3 at the annual IFA in Germany this September but that means we have no solid facts yet, so what's the rumour mill been grinding out?
Well to start, it's said to have a 5.99" screen, exactly 1" bigger than the S4. The exact spec of this screen is a little more mysterious though. We can expect it to be full 1080p HD but with production of Super AMOLED screens struggling to keep up with demand could the Note 3 get an LCD display, or, as a recent report suggested, could it get a flexible screen to battle it out with rumoured upcoming LG devices? Unfortunately, we'll have to wait for confirmation but the practicality of a bendy screen is certainly more realistic now than it has been, although all leaked photos show the enormous phone to be a bit more solid.
Those leaked pictures, coupled with common sense, make it extremely likely that the overall design of the mega-phone will be a big Galaxy S4. The Note looked like a big S2 and the Note 2 looked like a big S3 so there probably won't be a radical redesign.
The pictures that fly around about the Note 3 aren't all of the phone, some are rumoured to be taken with the phone. If these rumoured shots are to be believed the new device will sport a 13MP camera like the S4 but will get the benefit of Optical Image Stabilisation, which stops your photos blurring when the phone's moving.
Power is likely to be another bow in the Note 3's arrow, and three months ago when the S4 was confirmed the obvious processor choice for the Note 3 would have been Samsung's octa-core chip. Now, however, we have seen the rise of the Snapdragon 800 in the Sony Xperia Z Ultra phablet and in Samsung's Korean version of the S4, and that chip has been cruising easily past the 2GHz mark. There are even rumours that the new phone will have 3GB RAM. What we can say for certain though is that the Note 3 will be a properly powerful beast.
Rumours suggest Nokia is also planning a phablet for September. The Finnish manufacturer announced an event for 19th September via Facebook at the end of June and the only rumours around at the time were for phablets, so will that be a launch day?
If it is we can expect to see a 6", full HD display powered by the latest Windows Phone 8 software, which will likely need to be tweaked as the current software hasn't been used on a device bigger than 4.5".
This phablet will also likely get the camera from the Lumia 925, which is great for taking pictures in low light and has some cool features to add fun effects. But there are also rumours that Nokia will launch a second phablet in February with a much better camera. A report from mid-June said this Nokia phablet 2 will have a higher MP camera with a noticeable hump on the back and will include a 16 lens module that makes pictures crystal clear.
However many phablets Nokia decides to release it'll need to up the specs from those found on other Windows phones as phablets are all about powerful apps and easy multitasking.
With the HTC One done and dusted, and ever more leaks of what everyone is calling the HTC One Mini, is HTC working on the "One Max" (codenamed T6)?
Leaks online have shown us blueprints of the HTC T6 that claim it will have a 5.9" 1080p HD screen housed in a body just 9.4mm thick and 140.4mm tall. Considering the screen is more than an inch bigger than that on the HTC One it would be hard to believe these blueprints are entirely accurate as they measure the shell as just 3mm longer, so where's all that screen hiding? It's not like the plans show HTC has got rid of BoomSound, the awesome stereo speakers on the top of the HTC One. If the images are to be believed though, it would make for an astonishingly beautiful phablet.
The blueprints also confirm earlier rumours that the HTC T6 would have the super-powerful Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.3GHz and a massive 3300mAh battery. Both of these things would be imperative to a successful skirmish into the phablet market; the power is needed to run the intensive games and apps that look so good on the big screen and the huge battery is needed to keep the power coming and the screen bright.
The HTC T6 looks like it could be a direct competitor for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, but Samsung's practice in the phablet market could give them the edge in the real world.