Everyone and their pockets hates the size. Everyone including the American Dialect Society hates the name. But so-called "phablets" are on the rise, from production to sales to even more unveilings at CES this week, because, well, everyone still wants a big-screen cellphone — our modern habits almost demand one.
Techies like to argue that the new breed of extra-large smartphones don't have a "sane" aspect ratio, but considering the way people actually use their smartphones these days, 5.5 inches of screen on the Galaxy Note may suit a lot of them a lot better than a baby 4-inch iPhone 5.
And, sure, a big phone looks kind of funny when you're holding it up to your ear, but talking on the phone hasn't been the primary function of a cellphone since 2009 — a trend that has only continued as our smartphones do more things with data. Also, because of brain-cancer fears and hands-free use, a lot of people use headphones and headsets to make their phone calls these days.
These minor aggravations, meanwhile, seem more than overwhelmed by the many benefits of a phablet's ginormous screen — benefits, it turns out, we really want. As you can see in the chart of daily phone usage below via a June 2012 Telegraph article, most of the time we ignore ear-centric functionality for those things that involve our eyes and fat fingers: