Whether you enjoy watching videos, gaming on the go or simply texting with fewer typos, the best big phones offer a lot of benefits. These devices — once called phablets — also tend to pack larger batteries than their smaller brethren, which translates to longer battery life.
These days, there are plenty of options for those who prefer larger handsets. Practically every high-end model comes in a bigger option, from Apple's iPhones to Google's Pixels and Samsung's Galaxy S20 series. And alongside their more expansive displays and improved longevity on a charge, many of those companies' super-sized flagships pack more elaborate cameras, with a greater quantity of lenses and the best optics and sensors on the market.
Keeping in mind all of the reasons why it pays to go big with your next smartphone purchase, we've compiled a list of the best big phones you can buy today. And if you'd prefer one of the best small phones, we've got you covered there, too.
- Best phones overall: Our top picks right now
- Longest-lasting phones: The best phone battery life
- Best wireless chargers for Android phones
What are the best big phones?
Apple's massive 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max leads our list of big-screen behemoths, thanks to its gorgeous Super Retina XDR display, gobs of power and immaculate triple-lens cameras.
However, Apple's recently received competition from Samsung, whose 6.7-inch Galaxy S20 Plus and 6.9-inch Galaxy S20 Ultra offer dazzling displays and cutting-edge camera systems; and OnePlus, whose new OnePlus 8 Pro establishes a new value proposition in the Android flagship market. In fact, the new Pro variant of OnePlus' latest premium handset matches the Galaxy S20 Plus in many important respects, yet still costs $300 less.
And that's to say nothing of the best big phones from last year, one of which also came courtesy of Samsung: the 6.8-inch Galaxy Note 10 Plus, with its stunning design and versatile S Pen stylus. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Pixel 3a XL, which brings Google's computational photography expertise down to a 6-inch device that costs just $479. The Pixel 3a is due to be replaced by the Pixel 4a in the coming months, and rumor has it Google won't build a larger version of its upcoming cheap phone this go around.
We also like the Moto G Power and Moto G Stylus, a pair of 6.4-inch handsets that each go for less than $300 and sport phenomenal battery life. That's especially true of the G Power, which lasted the longest of any phone we've ever run through Tom's Guide's custom web-surfing battery test at a whopping 16 hours and 10 minutes, even though it costs just $249.
Read on for a deeper dive into the best big phones of 2020, comparing specs, displays, performance, cameras and more.
The best big phones you can buy today
1. iPhone 11 Pro Max
The best big phone money can buy
Display (Pixels): 6.5-inch OLED (2688x1242) | CPU: A13 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage/Expandable: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB / No | Cameras (Back/Front): 12MP wide, telephoto and ultrawide / 12 MP | Weight: 7.97 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:44
The iPhone 11 Pro Max is a familiar-looking phone that happens to pack a lot of improvements under the surface. Chief among them is the camera system. Now upgraded to three lenses, comprising wide, ultra-wide and telephoto optics, the latest range-topping iPhone has the versatility to capture stunning photos in any scenario.
But it's not just hardware that makes the device perfect for capturing moments. Apple's breakthroughs in computational photography take center stage on the iPhone 11 series, thanks to improvements to Smart HDR, the all-new Night Mode and another new feature coming soon called Deep Fusion. All of these software enhancements automatically balance lighting and detail based on contextual awareness gleaned through machine learning, so the new iPhones are as intelligent as they are powerful. And with a fantastically bright 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display at your disposal, you'll have all the room in the world to view every photo and video you take — in stunning HDR, no less.
Read our full iPhone 11 Pro Max review.
2. Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
The best big Android phone
Display (Pixels): 6.7-inch OLED (3200x1440) | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 12GB | Storage/Expandable: 128GB, 512GB / Yes | Cameras (Back/Front): 12MP wide, 64MP telephoto, 12MP ultrawide, VGA time of flight / 10MP | Weight: 6.56 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:31
Samsung's Galaxy S20 Plus finishes so highly on our list of the best big phones precisely because it offers the best mix of specs and features for the money. If the 6.4-inch Galaxy S20 is lacking in some respects, and the 6.9-inch Galaxy S20 Ultra is simply too expensive for a modest camera upgrade, then the Plus variant is just right.
For $1,199, the S20 Plus offers a striking display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, 5G connectivity, Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 865 processor, and solid battery life. S20 Plus buyers do miss out on the S20 Ultra's 108MP camera and 10x lossless hybrid zoom, but we think most people would be willing to accept those sacrifices for a $200 discount.
That's especially true since the S20 Plus boasts strong cameras in its own right. The new sensors capture bright and colorful photos, and the 3x lossless zoom is more powerful than what the iPhone 11 Pro Max delivers. The regular S20 Plus is a good choice at $999, too, if you prefer a slightly smaller display. But if you want a big screen and future-proof 5G for years to come, the S20 Plus is the sweet spot in Samsung's flagship lineup for 2020.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review.
3. iPhone 11
The best big, cheap iPhone
Display size (Pixels): 6.1-inch LCD (1792x828) | CPU: A13 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage/Expandable: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB / No | Cameras (Back/Front): 12MP wide and ultrawide / 12MP | Weight: 6.84 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:20
Think of the iPhone 11 as occupying sort of a middle ground for display sizes on Apple's latest iPhones — not as massive as the iPhone 11 Pro Max, though not as compact as the iPhone 11 Pro. At 6.1 inches, the iPhone 11 gives you plenty of screen space to work with. Best of all, there's nothing middle ground about its price — at $699, it's the least expensive of the new iPhone models Apple introduced in 2019.
You don't have to make many tradeoffs for that lower price tag either. The iPhone 11 has the same top-of-the-line A13 Bionic processor found in the pricier Pro models, and though it only has two cameras to the three lenses on back of the iPhone 11 Pro, it offers many of the same photographic capabilities. This is the iPhone to get if you're overwhelmed by both the iPhone 11 Pro Max's size and price.
Read our full iPhone 11 Review.
4. OnePlus 8 Pro
The new value among big flagships
Display size (Pixels): 6.78-inch AMOLED (3168x1440) | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 8GB, 12GB | Storage/Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No | Cameras (Back/Front): 48MP wide, 48MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto, 5MP color sensor / 16MP | Weight: 7.01 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:05
Measuring 6.78 inches from corner to corner, the OnePlus 8 Pro has one of the largest displays on any smartphone you can buy today. It’s also one of the prettiest AMOLED screens on any modern handset, with a quad-HD+ resolution and a peak refresh rate of 120 Hz.
While the OnePlus 8 Pro isn’t far from the first phone with a 120 Hz panel, it does one up the displays in Samsung’s latest Galaxy S20 series of handsets, because OnePlus’ device allows you to use the phone at its maximum resolution and refresh rate simultaneously. This is something avid gamers and streaming enthusiasts will appreciate, along with the panel’s boosted 240 Hz touch sampling rate, which makes the screen as responsive as it is smooth.
There’s a lot to like about the OnePlus 8 Pro aside from its screen, too — like its speedy Snapdragon 865 power and gobs of superfast LPDDR5 RAM, respectable quad-lens camera module and lightning-quick wireless charging, which can get the battery to 50% in just a half hour. At $899, it’s one of the most expensive handsets the company has ever released, though it slides in at several hundred less than the similarly-sized and specced Galaxy S20 Plus, making it a compelling alternative to Samsung’s flagships and one of the best big phones there is.
Read our full OnePlus 8 Pro review.
5. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
The only choice for the stylus faithful
Display size (Pixels): 6.8-inch AMOLED (3040x1440) | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 12GB | Storage/Expandable: 256GB, 512GB / No | Cameras (Back/Front): 12MP wide, 12MP telephoto, 16MP ultrawide, time-of-flight VGA / 10 MP | Weight: 6.91 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:47
Samsung miraculously found a way to shoehorn a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display in the Galaxy Note 10 Plus without making the device's footprint significantly larger. It's quite an impressive feat, especially considering the Note 10 Plus also packs a big 4,300-mAh battery with superfast 45-watt charging, a microSD card slot and an S Pen stylus that can be used like a remote control, with gestures for shortcuts.
When it's time to snap some photos, a quartet of camera lenses on the back is built to handle everything from shallow depth-of-field portraits to ultrawide-perspective landscapes, and you can switch between each shooter with the tap of a button. It's not quite our favorite flagship mobile camera around, though it is tremendously versatile, and feeds the Note series' reputation as the jack-of-all-trades among modern smartphones.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review.
6. Moto G Power
The longest-lasting big phone
Display size (Pixels): 6.4-inch LCD (2300x1080) | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 4GB | Storage/Expandable: 64GB/Yes | Cameras (Back/Front): 16MP main, 2MP macro, 8MP ultra wide (Rear): 16MP (Front) | Weight: 7 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 16:10
Big screens tend to drain batteries faster than their more compact counterparts, but that's not a concern with the Moto G Power. Equipped with a 5,000 mAh battery, the Moto G Power was the longest-lasting phone we've tested in some time, holding out for 16 hours and 10 minutes on our battery test. That places the Moto G Power at the head of our list for best phone battery life.
But there's more to the Moto G Power than just a big battery. You get a sizable 6.4-inch screen to work with, though we wish the G Power produced more vibrant colors. The processor and cameras aren't high-end, but they do produce performance and pictures that measure up well against other phones in the Moto G Power's price range. And speaking of price, that's probably the best thing the Moto G Power has going for it — at $249, this phone is one of the most affordable phablets around.
Read our full Moto G Power review.
7. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
The ultimate big phone
Display (Pixels): 6.9-inch OLED (3200x1440) | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 12GB | Storage/Expandable: 128GB, 512GB / Yes | Cameras (Back/Front): 108MP wide, 48MP telephoto, 12MP ultrawide, time-of-flight VGA / 40MP | Weight: 7.7 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:58
If you want the biggest and baddest of Galaxy phones and have a whole lot of cash to burn, look no further than the gargantuan 6.9-inch Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Absolutely everything about the S20 Ultra is big, from that 120 Hz display to its 5,000-mAh battery, sub-6GHz and millimeter-wave 5G connectivity and 7.7 ounces of heft. And then there's the quad-lens camera system, which combines a 108-megapixel main sensor with a 4x telescopic optical zoom telephoto, 12-MP ultrawide shooter and a time-of-flight sensor specially designed to deliver improved depth effects.
Truth be told, the S20 Ultra doesn't always produce the finest photography, though the versatility of that Space Zoom shooter and the insane level of detail that a 108-MP sensor can provide make it arguably more versatile than the triple-camera stack in the latest flagship iPhones.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra starts at a very pricey $1,399 — and that assumes you’re satisfied with the 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in the base model. Still, the S20 Ultra is a testament to just how much power companies like Samsung can pack into a handset when they put their minds to it.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review.
8. Google Pixel 4 XL
The smartest big phone
Display size: 6.4 inches (3040x1440) | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 6GB | Storage/Expandable: 64GB, 128GB / Yes | Cameras (Back/Front): 12 MP wide, 16 MP ultrawide / 8 MP | Weight: 6.81 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:42
Google's latest big-screen phone retains the same screen size as last year's Pixel 3 XL, but that's about all that the Pixel 4 XL has in common with its predecessor. The divisive notch is gone, with Google turning instead to a larger top bezel to house the front camera and sensors that support the Pixel 4 XL's face unlocking features and air gesture controls. Flip the phone around, and you'll find a second rear camera — a telephoto lens that gives the Pixel 4 XL a 2x optical zoom.
Google improved the camera's software, too, with a dual exposure feature that lets you tweak brightness and shadows on the fly and an improved Night Sight mode that can capture starry skies. If you're finding it hard to decide between the 5.7-inch Pixel 4 and the larger XL, consider that this model packs a bigger battery, helping it last considerably longer on a charge.
Read our full Pixel 4 XL review.
9. Google Pixel 3a XL
The best big camera phone at an unbeatable price
Display size (Pixels): 6-inch OLED (2280x1080) | CPU: Snapdragon 670 | RAM: 4GB | Storage/Expandable: 64GB / No | Cameras (Back/Front): 12 MP / 8 MP | Weight: 5.9 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:44
The Pixel 3a XL takes the phenomenal 12.2-megapixel camera on the back of the Pixel 3 XL and incorporates it in a $479, 6-inch handset. While the 3a XL features a slower Snapdragon 670 processor compared to the flagship model's Snapdragon 845, the rest of the device is surprisingly similar.
You still get three years of guaranteed software updates from Google and all of the Pixel line's best AI-boosted features, like Call Screen and Night Sight, for snapping photos in the dark. But one area where the new midrange Pixel actually bests its pricier siblings is battery life, thanks to that efficient silicon and a 3,700-mAh battery — the largest ever in a Pixel device. And if you want everything this phone offers in an even cheaper and slightly smaller package, the $399, 5.6-inch Pixel 3a is a fantastic option, too.
Read our full Pixel 3a XL review.
10. iPhone XR
The cheapest full-screen iPhone
Display size (Pixels): 6.1-inch LCD (1792x828) | CPU: A12 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage/Expandable: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB / No | Cameras (Back/Front): 12 MP / 7 MP | Weight: 6.8 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:26
The iPhone XR may no longer be the new 6.1-inch kid on the iPhone block — that'd be the iPhone 11. But there's still plenty to like about this year-old phone, starting with its price tag.
With the release of the iPhone 11 family, Apple kept the iPhone XR around and cut its price to $599. That means you still get an impressive iPhone for less than $600. And even though Apple's newer phones feature a faster processor and significant camera improvements, the A12 chip inside the XR still outperforms Android devices powered by the more recent Snapdragon 855 chipset. That makes it the best big iPhone if you're keen on spending the absolute least amount of money.
Read our full iPhone XR review.
11. Motorola Edge Plus
A good big phone for Verizon users
Display size (Pixels): 6.7-inch OLED (2340x1080) | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 12GB | Storage/Expandable: 256GB / Yes | Cameras (Back/Front): 108MP wide, 16MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto, time-of-flight VGA / 25MP | Weight: 7.16 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:55
The Motorola Edge Plus marks Moto's return to the flagship phone game, and it's a compelling option for $999. The Edge Plus packs a quad-lens camera system that makes use of the same 108-megapixel main camera as the Galaxy S20 Ultra, a 6.7-inch, 90 Hz display that wraps around the sides of the device, a gigantic 5,000-mAh battery and the latest and greatest in performance, thanks to a Snapdragon 865 system-on-chip and 12GB of the fastest-available LPDDR5 RAM.
There's just one big catch to the Edge Plus: it's exclusive to Verizon. That means you can't use it on any other carrier, let alone unlocked. It's a shame, especially when you realize the Edge Plus is one of an increasingly small number of high-end phones that packs a headphone jack.
There are a few other sticking points; namely, we would've liked to have seen IP-rated water resistance and a commitment to long-term software support and updates from Motorola. Nevertheless, the Edge Plus is still a good phone overall, and if you happen to be a Verizon customer it's worth a look — especially compared to the Galaxy S20 Plus, which costs $200 more.
Read our full Motorola Edge Plus review.
12. Moto G Stylus
A budget big phone with a stylus
Display size (Pixels): 6.4-inch LCD (2300x1080) | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 4GB | Storage/Expandable: 128GB/Yes | Cameras (Back/Front): 48MP main, 2 MP macro, 16MP Action Camera (Rear): 16MP (Front) | Weight: 6.8 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 12:13
You don't have to shell out big bucks for a phablet that comes with its own stylus like the Galaxy Note 10. The Moto G Stylus offers a built-in input device of its own, and, at $299, it costs hundreds of dollars less than Samsung's big-screen phone.
Granted, you won't get S Pen levels of functionality here, but the stylus that comes with the Moto G Stylus comes in handy when you want to quickly jot down notes without having to unlock your phone. Just remove the stylus from its dock on the bottom right corner of the Motorola device and start scribbling on the screen. The stylus also helps you edit photos and take screenshoots.
You'll get a long-lasting phone with the Moto G Stylus, which held out for more than 12 hours on our battery test. And while its processor and camera won't set the world on fire, they do keep pace with other phones in the sub-$300 price range.
Read our full Moto G Stylus review.
How to choose the best big phone for you
- Android or iPhone? Android phones give you more choice in terms of price, size and innovative designs — many of them happen to be larger, too. However, iPhones offer speedier software updates, better games and apps and better security and privacy. See our iPhone vs Android face-off.
- Unlocked or carrier? Most shoppers in the U.S. buy new phones through their wireless carrier. But an unlocked phone gives you the freedom to buy the device without any sort of contract and then bring it to the provider you want to use.
- Screen size: For fans of big phones, 6 inches and up is a good place to start. The biggest phones are 6.5 to just under 7 inches. If you want something you can easily use with one hand, go with one of the best small phones with a screen under 6 inches.
- Cameras: Don't pay attention to the megapixel count. Instead, look at camera face-offs between phones to see the photo quality and look for special features like Night Mode to get better quality in low light. Also see our best camera phone roundup.
- Battery life: Generally, phones with larger batteries (measured in mAh) offer the longest battery life, but that's not always the case. That's why we run our own custom battery tests, where phones repeatedly load webpages over a T-Mobile data connection while set to 150 nits of display brightness until they run out of juice.
How we test smartphones
In order for a smartphone to make our best phone list, it needs to excel on several tests that we run on every handset. We perform some of these tests in our labs and some in the real world.
When it comes to performance, we rely on such synthetic benchmarks as Geekbench 5 and GFXBench to measure graphics performance. These tests allow us to compare performance across iPhones and Android devices. We also run a real-world video transcoding test on each phone using the Adobe Premiere Rush app and time the result.
To measure the quality of a phone's display, we perform lab tests to determine the brightness of the panel (in nits), as well as how colorful each screen is (DCI-P3 color gamut). In these cases, higher numbers are better. We also measure color accuracy of each panel with a Delta-E rating, where lower numbers are better and score of 0 is perfect.
One of the most important tests we run is the Tom's Guide battery test. We run a web surfing test over 5G or 4G at 150 nits of screen brightness until the battery gives out. In general, a phone that lasts 10 hours or more is good, and anything above 11 hours makes our list of the best phone battery life.
Last but not least, we take the best phones out in the field to take photos outdoors, indoors and at night in low light to see how they perform versus their closest competitors. We take shots of landscapes, food, portraits and more, and also allow you to be the judge with side-by-side comparisons in our reviews.