Year in Review: The Best Phablets of 2014


We will forever remember 2014 as the year phablets went mainstream. When Apple entered the fray with the iPhone 6+ in September, the giant ensured that phablets were going to become a part of everyday life. But what else happened this past year for the innovative phone-tablet hybrids? We’ve got the lowdown on the best phablets of 2014.

The Industry Giants Delivered

It would be silly to center the conversation on anything but the big three names: Apple, Samsung and Google. While the year began with the releases of mildly interesting phablets such as the Nokia Lumia 1520, 2014 became truly interesting in September. That’s when Samsung introduced its Samsung Galaxy Note 4, while Apple countered with the new iPhone 6+. A couple months later, Google entered the equation with the new Nexus 6, establishing a triumvirate of phablets set to battle for dominance over the next few years.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4

In the battle of the phablets, Samsung had one considerable advantage: it was already established in the market. As the name suggests, the Galaxy Note 4 had three predecessors, all of whom distinguished themselves as market leaders in the emerging phablet industry.

That position showed in the specs of the newest model. The Note 4 offers the best front and back cameras, highest pixel density and best processor, and has generally received the best reviews of the three hottest phablets.

The Apple iPhone 6+

The news that Apple may enter the phablet market first emerged in spring, making ripples throughout the consumer electronics industry. When the product was released in September, just a week after the Note 4, the reaction was mixed. Strictly speaking, the iPhone 6+ (essentially a larger version of the iPhone, which also received a larger screen) cannot stack up to the Note 4 performance-wise.

But while expert reviews panned the product, the public—enchanted by fancy features such as the new Apple Pay and fingerprint sensor, along with the Apple brand cult—disagreed. According to CNet, the iPhone6+ has outsold the Note 4 so far in Samsung’s native country, Korea.

The Google Nexus 6

And then there was the Nexus 6, Google’s entry into the phablet market that added to the already heated competition between Samsung and Apple this past November.

Though nothing special feature-wise, and falling squarely between the Note 4 and the iPhone 6+ in terms of specs and performance, the Nexus 6 will provide tough competition in the months ahead for one reason: Google is using it as a release-ground for its new software. The new Android Lollipop OS was released first on the Nexus 6, providing millions of potential phablet buyers a reason to veer toward Google in the heated holiday competition.

Now’s the Time for a Profitable Buyback Program

The year 2014 saw the entry of the biggest industry players into the phablet market, which will have significant impact on the recommerce industry. Due to the increased competition, phablets are expected to outsell tablets in 2015 and beyond, leaving plenty of consumers searching for ways to monetize their old devices while upgrading to the next big thing.

And that’s where you can step in! By offering buyback programs, you can help your customers save money in the upgrade process while also significantly helping your own recommerce efforts. Contact us to implement an effective strategy to be prepared for the newest consumer electronics developments!



Justin Finkelstein

Co-Founder & CTO at Sourcely; server swiss army knife; flavor architect; the wildcard.