Best Big Android Phones Android Central 2020
What we consider a "normal" phone size today would feel downright gigantic just a few years ago. And that normalization of large phones has made it even easier for companies to make even bigger phones at the very top end of their lineup. When you're in need of a big phone to give you the largest screen and most capabilities, the Galaxy Note 10+ is the best of the bunch. Not only does it have a huge display, but it's a great display — and everything else about the experience backs it up.
- Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
- Best Without a Stylus: Samsung Galaxy S10+
- Best Value: OnePlus 7 Pro
- Best on a Budget: Samsung Galaxy A50
- Best Camera: Google Pixel 4 XL
- Best Outside the U.S.: Huawei P30 Pro
- Best with 5G: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G
Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
It's easy to argue that the Galaxy Note defined the "phablet" category, and several generations in it's still the standard. The Note 10+ has a massive 6.8-inch display, and, wow, is it incredible. The rest of the hardware experience is as solid as it is beautiful, and conceals a packed spec sheet capable of powering anything you want to do. Battery life is great, as is its charging speed, and its cameras are some of the best available. It all adds up to make this a real complete package for anyone who wants a do-everything big-screened phone.
On top of it all, where the Note 10+ really stands out is its S Pen. It's a feature you either completely get and love, or don't really care for — but for those who utilize the S Pen it's hard to think of using a phone without one. You can write, annotate, sign, and draw, but also remotely control the phone wirelessly to take photos, advance presentations and more.
- Incredible, huge display
- Hardware looks and feels expensive
- Outstanding performance
- Great battery life and fast charging
- Consistent camera performance
- Best stylus experience on any phone
- Much more expensive than Galaxy S10+
- Inconsistent in-display fingerprint sensor
- Software requires lots of tweaking
- Low-light camera quality is weak
The phone that defined what 'phablet' meant
The Note 10+ is the absolute best big phone. A massive screen is backed up by incredible capabilities, plus an S Pen stylus.
Best Without a Stylus: Samsung Galaxy S10+
The core of what makes the Note 10+ a fantastic big-screened phone can be found in the Galaxy S10+ — albeit at a slightly smaller 6.4-inch display size. The screen is still just as bright and beautiful, and is backed up by the same incredible specs and features.
You do lose out on the S Pen, but there's a good chance you can look past that to save a couple hundred dollars for what is otherwise an identical experience. The performance, capabilities, battery life and cameras are all effectively the same, which is a fair trade-off and makes the Galaxy S10+ an incredible buy.
- Best display you can get
- Top-end specs
- Filled with useful hardware and software features
- Fun triple camera
- Headphone jack
- Inconsistent in-display fingerprint sensor
- Software requires tweaks and management
- Charging speed behind the competition
- No S Pen
Best Without a Stylus
A slightly smaller Note 10+, sans stylus
Everything that makes the Note 10+ great is found in the S10+, minus some screen real estate and the S Pen. In return, you save a couple hundred dollars.
Best Value: OnePlus 7 Pro
OnePlus keeps making incredible flagship-level phones without a price to match, and the 7 Pro is its biggest phone yet. The 6.67-inch display is the star of the show — it's big, bright and crisp, and has a buttery-smooth 90Hz refresh rate that makes motion seem effortless. The software doesn't necessarily have any features that specifically target the bigger display, but that doesn't matter; you'll enjoy doing everything on the screen.
The cutback in price manifests itself in the cameras not being quite up to speed, and the phone missing out on little extras like water resistance and wireless charging. But it's pretty easy to look past those things to get this big phone with a fantastic screen.
- Excellent 90Hz display
- Smooth, intuitive software
- Fast in-display fingerprint sensor
- Jam-packed spec sheet
- Well-made, attractive hardware
- Wonderful haptics
- Large and heavy
- Wide and telephoto cameras are subpar
- No water resistance rating or wireless charging
- Battery life just average for a phone this size
A big phone with a great price and minimal compromise
The OnePlus 7 Pro brings great hardware and incredible software to a buttery-smooth 90Hz display, all for hundreds less than competing devices.
Best on a Budget: Samsung Galaxy A50
The Galaxy A50 isn't quite as big as the Note 10+, nor does it have an S Pen, but it's also just a fraction of the price. But for the money, it has an incredibly high quality 6.4-inch display, really good specs and strong battery life — all things you want out of a big phone. And it even has a flagship-style triple camera array that holds its own.
The rest of the experience is typical Samsung quality, minus the necessary corner cutting required to get the price down. But what's important here is that the core parts of the experience that make it a great big phone are all accounted for.
- Flagship-style triple camera
- Top-tier display
- Strong battery life
- Great specs for the money
- Considerable bloatware in the software
- Portrait mode shots are weak
- No MST Samsung Pay support
Best on a Budget
Great Samsung quality for a fraction of the price
A big high-quality screen, good battery life and great specs make the A50 an incredible buy at a fraction of the cost of the Note 10+.
Best Camera — Google Pixel 4 XL
The Pixel 4 XL has the best overall camera you can get on an Android phone, no matter the price or size. In daylight, mixed light, and even super-low-light, it consistently takes better photos than any competition. While we had issues with the 3 XL's speed, the camera app is also now fast and fluid. A secondary telephoto lens, paired with clever software, takes great zoom shots. Its front-facing camera isn't as wide as before, and that's really the only marginal downside here. It still takes crisp, colorful and bright photos, along with great portrait selfies.
Its screen, coming in at 6.3-inches, is right on that borderline of what you'd consider a phablet. But the screen quality is good, and has a 90Hz refresh rate — but again this phone is all about its camera and software.
The Pixel 4 XL, as a whole phone, is unfortunately let down by a few shortcomings. Its battery life is the weakest of the phablet competition, which is probably the biggest downside for people who are looking for a big phone. It has lower RAM (6GB) and storage (64GB) than the rest, too, and its Face Unlock system has only been adopted by a handful of apps. However, that shouldn't detract from all of the great things this phone does — and it is still fully in the conversation of the best phones you can get today.
- Super-smooth 90Hz display
- Simple, useful and fast software
- Excellent face unlock
- Top-notch camera quality back and front
- Nice-looking and feeling hardware
- Incredibly weak battery life
- Motion Sense has little real-world use
- Low RAM and storage for the money
- Most apps still incompatible with Face Unlock
The best camera you can get in a smartphone today
The Pixel 4 XL has excellent hardware and the best camera, but is let down by weak battery life and specs for the money.
Best Outside the U.S.: Huawei P30 Pro
The P30 Pro is Huawei's answer to the Galaxy S10+, and it goes toe-to-toe in every respect. The screen is just a bit bigger at 6.47-inches, and nearly as good. The spec sheet absolutely matches, as does the hardware experience. The cameras even best the Galaxy S10+ in some ways, and match it everywhere else. The software is absolutely a shortcoming, but like the Galaxy S10+ it can be tweaked to work the way you need it to. It's a proper flagship phone in every respect.
You can, technically, buy and use a Huawei P30 Pro in the U.S. — but considering Huawei's unstable position in the country it isn't a great choice to do so in terms of support or future updates. But if you're outside of the U.S., those same issues have led to reduced prices that make the P30 Pro even more enticing as a big-screened phone option.
- Versatile camera combination
- Extreme battery longevity
- Super-fast wired charging
- Delightful design
- Huge display
- Software can be overbearing
- Not available in the U.S.
- Too large for some hands and pockets
- Uncertain software update future with current U.S. policies
Best Outside the U.S.
Filled with features and an incredibly versatile camera setup
Huawei's P30 Pro is big, and offers one of the best and most enjoyable camera experiences to date. That it's also a great all-around phone is a welcome bonus.
Best With 5G — Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G
The biggest thing the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G has going for it is that it's the exact same platform as the Galaxy Note 10+. The Note 10+ 5G is the same in terms of size, specs, and capabilitities; it has the same amazing screen quality, high-end internals, consistently great cameras, and feature-filled Samsung software. Plus, it still has the S Pen.
But for a couple hundred dollars more than the Note 10+, it's incredibly tough to justify the extra experience to get 5G. If you're on a compatible carrier (like Verizon or T-Mobile), and that carrier offers 5G where you live, it may be worth looking at — but chances are you're going to find the value just isn't there.
- 5G connectivity for upcoming networks
- Huge, high-quality screen
- Complete Galaxy Note 10+ experience
- Extremely expensive
- Limited to just Verizon right now
- 5G networks will be limited for some time
Best with 5G
The future is now … depending on where you live
The Note 10+ 5G has access to the future of networking, but you spend a whole lot to get it. 5G aside, it's effectively a Note 10+.
When you're looking for the biggest-and-best phone available, the Galaxy Note 10+ sets the standard. Not only does it have a massive display, it's also the best display in terms of quality across the board.
And Samsung makes use of it with an incredible spec sheet, tons of features, and a unique S Pen that you can't find anywhere else. You pay dearly to get this complete package, but there's something to be said for going all-in to get the best phone possible when you need a big screen. The Note 10+ rewards you for that decision.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring is Android Central's News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He's been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012, and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Andrew Martonik is the Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central. He has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.
Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he's writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there's a correlation.
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