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Large and able to hold a charge The best upcoming phablets

first_imgIf there was any doubt as to whether phablets were just a passing trend, CES 2013 has dispelled them. . Several new models from manufacturers that are not Samsung will challenge the Galaxy Note 2 — which may soon hit the 10 million sold plateau.The biggest name in the bunch was Sony. The company is still trying to make its presence felt in the post-Ericsson era, and the brand-new Xperia Z looks like it could be a winner. It’s a 5-inch slab with a 1080p HD display and a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor under the hood. It’s fairly thin at 7.9mm and ridiculously light for a device this size, weighing just 146 grams. And even though Sony’s managed to keep the weight down, you won’t sacrifice on battery life. The Xperia Z packs a 2400mAh battery, which should keep you running for well over a day at a time.As you’d expect from the folks who produce the uber-popular Exmor sensors that so many smartphone producers rely on for imaging duties, Sony has also included a top-notch 13MP shooter on the Xperia Z. Sony says it also has the fastest shutter speed of any similar device on the market. It’s also a phone that will stand up to abuse. The Z is IPX5/7 water-resistant and IPX5 dustproof. The Xperia Z also features Gorilla Glass 2 on both the front and back.ZTE got things rolling by unveiling the Grand S. Like the original Samsung Galaxy Note%displayPrice% at %seller%, it’s got a 5-inch display. ZTE, however, has opted for a full 1080p HD panel for a whopping (if not over-the-top) 441 ppi. It’s also packing a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at a blistering 1.7GHz, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage.Despite sitting comfortably in the phablet zone, the Grand S still measures just 6.9mm thick — quite a bit thinner than either the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy S3. Here’s hoping that the 1780mAh battery has enough juice to keep the massive, high-res display, gutsy processor, and LTE radio up and running for a decent amount of time.Rumblings about Huawei releasing a behemoth of a phone started in the weeks ahead of CES. When the show opened, the company officially took the wraps off the Ascend Mate. It’s a 6.1-inch goliath, looking a bit more like a small Nexus 7 than a big Galaxy Note.It’s a real beast, with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. While it doesn’t have a 1080p display, the Ascend Mate does offer the same 1280×720 resolution as the Galaxy Note 2. The lower ppi shouldn’t cause any readability issues since you don’t need to hold a 6-inch screen right up to your face in order to read it.While the size of the Ascend Mate has elicited plenty of raised eyebrows, the equally massive battery pack may be its best feature. At 4050mAh it beats the Galaxy Note 2 by nearly 1000mAh and Huawei says it should be able to run for two days without recharging. That endurance comes at a slight price: the Ascend Mate weighs nearly 200 grams and is about 10mm thick.Kogan probably isn’t a name you recognize, but you might want to jot it down. The Kogan Agora might be worth mentioning if you know someone who’s in the market for a phone with a high quality, oversized screen and doesn’t want to spend a ton of money. For less than $200, the Agora will have you staring down a 5-inch screen.Unfortunately, the native resolution is just 800×480 and the Agora is powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor. It’s also got just 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. Fortunately, there’s a micro SD expansion slot at the ready. Front (VGA) and rear cameras (5MP) are included, though they’re not earning rave reviews for their quality. The Agora is also a dual-SIM phone, but the HSPA radio maxes out at 7.2Mbps.One other trade-off with the Agora is that it’s considerably thicker than other phablets. It measures 9.8mm thick, though it manages to match the Galaxy Note 2 in terms of weight at 180g. At the end of the day, it’s much more akin to the many plus-sized, off-brand Android phones you can buy at PandaWill than any of the other models mentioned here.Read more: 5 upcoming Android phoneslast_img read more