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Lenovo PHAB Plus Hands on First Look

What is a phablet when phones regularly measure 5.5-inches? Lenovo is aiming to answer this with the supersized PHAB Plus but is it any good? Let's find out

Published onSeptember 5, 2015

Smartphones are getting bigger and while phone with 5.5-inches were once known as phablets, the size has quickly become the norm. With this in mind, Lenovo is aiming to reinvent the phablet with the PHAB Plus but does it succeed? Let’s find out.

The key standout feature on the Lenovo PHAB Plus is the incredibly large 6.8-inch Full HD display that offers a modest 324 pixels per inch density. At 229 grams, it’s certainly not the lightest smartphone in the world but the weight distribution makes the PHAB Plus feel considerably lighter than it actually is.

Lenovo claims that the handset design is “optimized for one handed use” which is certainly a bold claim given the size and, for the most part, this is definitely a phone you’ll use with two hands. However, it does have a cool software trick that lets you shrink the display to a much more manageable smaller display that is comfortable to use with one hand.

Measuring just 7.6mm thin, the metal unibody design of the PHAB Plus feels premium and for the most part, the experience delivers. The handset is powered by an octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 with 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage that can be expanded using a microSD card slot.

On the back the Lenovo PHAB Plus has a 13MP rear camera with dual LED true-tone flash, while the front 5MP snapper should be good for selfies. The whole package is powered by a modest 3500 mAh battery that Lenovo claim should last an entire day and with dual SIM support, you’re able to use two SIM cards on LTE at the same time.

The PHAB Plus runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop and, just like you’ll find with its other recent devices, Lenovo has decided to keep the software experience as close to vanilla Android as possible. As a result, the performance is certainly slick and there should be no performance concerns with the PHAB Plus.

The term phablet was first coined to describe the large screen devices but as 5.5-inches has become the norm in the industry, the term phablet has ceased to become relevant. When planning the PHAB Plus, Lenovo said to us that they wanted to create an experience that served the middle ground between 6-inch smartphones that are very expensive and underpowered 7-inch tablets that are very cheap.


At a cost of $299, the company has certainly delivered on this claim and while many may think that the 6.8-inch display is too big for day-to-day use and phone calls, it’s worth remembering that the way we use our phones is changing. As Lenovo put it to us:

Smartphones are rarely used for phone calls so why does it need to be small so it’s comfortable to hold against your face?

And there you have it for our first quick look at the massive Lenovo PHAB Plus. What do you think of Lenovo’s new phablet-sized monster? Let us know your views in the comments below guys and don’t forget to check out all our great IFA 2015 coverage.