I've never been sold on large smartphones. I have small hands and the unwieldy nature of holding something Galaxy Note sized and above has rarely appealed to me. I've also never been sold on large tablets, since at 10-inches and above I'm just going to carry my laptop. But that's just me. Something around 4.7-inches on a phone and 8-inches on a tablet is pretty much my perfect two device combination.
But recently I've been playing with – and also reviewing – the Huawei Ascend Mate 7, the first really large phone I've reviewed in my time here. There was the ASUS Fonepad, but that doesn't really count, at least in my eyes, since it's a 7-inch tablet with a dialler. But in the Mate 7 I've not only warmed to the idea of a huge phone, it's also almost pretty much replaced a tablet, too. For me, it's the perfect in-betweener.
At 6-inches it's large for a phone and small for a tablet. That said, Amazon has just launched a 6-inch version of its Fire tablet, and Sony did an albeit limited run of its gargantuan 6.4-inch Z Ultra in a Wifi only flavor. But while it's perhaps bigger than I'd like for some daily use – sending text messages and calling people with one hand is a challenge – because it's taken over much of what I'd be using a tablet for most often it's something I'm learning to live with.
I don't use a tablet to work, not really. Not beyond some basic note taking and a little light typing from time to time. I mainly use a tablet for consumption. Music, video, gaming, reading. And the 6-inch Mate 7 is perfect for every one of those. I'm actually preferring it to a tablet for gaming because it's big enough without being awkward to reach onscreen controls. Music is no better or worse really, perhaps marginally better because the phone fits in my pocket (just) and for video the bigger the screen the better the experience.
It's reading eBooks that has perhaps surprised me the most. Something I avoid doing traditionally on a phone because I'm either struggling to read small text or forever turning the page if I make it larger, neither of which I particularly enjoy. The 6-inch screen is still smaller than an eReader or an actual book, but it's by far the best reading experience I've ever enjoyed on a phone. And it's so much easier to hold than even a 7-inch tablet.
So, using a big phone I'm back down to one device, a cellular one at that (I usually only buy Wifi tablets) and one with a much better camera, too – as well as not being 'that guy' taking photos with tablets everywhere. While I still prefer smaller phones, the convenience of getting two devices worth of experience in one is keeping me using this giant phone for now. Maybe there's something to these big ol' phones after all. If you're in a similar position, think I'm completely mad or anything in between, sound off in the comments below.