All those who once said that phones with larger displays were just a no-no, have been proven wrong in the last one year. Although Samsung's Galaxy Note has been instrumental in bringing this change, we think the Dell Streak deserves to be mentioned for taking the initial plunge (though not successful) and breaking the 5-inch display barrier. The “age of the phablet” is here. The openness of the Android platform also ensures that 5-inch displays aren't limited to only high-end devices. Indian phone makers have shown us how to fit a 5-inch phone in a sub-15,000 budget, thus giving us a wide range of affordable 5-inch smartphones as well. So, no matter what your budget, there's a 5-inch smartphone in the market for you.

Let's take a look at all the 5-inch smartphones that are available in the Indian smartphone bazaar.  

Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100 – Rs. 36,000
The Galaxy Note II needs no introduction; it is one of best-selling high-end devices in India. With an extremely steep price tag, it competes with the iPhone 5 and is the crème de la crème of the 5-incher Android phablet category. Powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core processor and running on Android’s Jelly Bean version, it delivers a solid performance. It is truly a polished version of the original Note with an improved S-Pen. The S-Pen is now longer, thicker and ergonomically designed with better precision, so you can expect some badass personalised and expressive content creation, making it the ultimate smartphone for on-the-go creativity. You can read the complete review of the Note II here.

Breaking the 5-inch barrier

Breaking the 5-inch barrier

A quick look at its specifications:

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a 1280 x 720 pixel density
  • 4G LTE, EDGE, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi HT40, NFC
  • GPS with GLONASS and A-GPS support
  • Bluetooth v4.0 with USB 2.0 Host
  •  8 megapixel AF/ Touchfocus camera, 1.9MP VT Camera, BSI front-facing camera
  • 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, all with expandable support up to 64GB

Galaxy Note – Rs 30,500
The Galaxy Note, the first of the phablets to bear that rather odd tag, was the courageous smartphone that broke the 5-inch screen barrier and paved the way for the phablet era. It introduced us to the 5.3-inch display and, of course, the S-Pen experience. A large screen smartphone wasn’t something novel as we had seen the Streak get trashed, but Samsung crafted the device with some nifty features and emphasised on the need for larger displays. It runs on a dual-core 1.4GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor and a Mali-400MP GPU with an Exynos chipset. Click here to read the complete review of the Galaxy Note. 

Comes with the S-Pen

Bringing the S-Pen experience

A quick look at its specifications:

  • 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED WXGA capacitive touchscreen with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution
  • 3G, EDGE/GPRS, Wi-Fi
  • GPS with A-GPS support and Google Maps
  • Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, USB 2.0 HS
  • 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, 1080p video recording
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • Memory expandable up to 32GB via microSD card

LG Optimus VU – Rs 26,700
The LG Optimus Vu is yet another 5-inch high-end option available in the market. LG put forth this phablet to compete with the sales-hogging Galaxy Note/Note II in the Korean market, but soon decided to launch it in other regions as well. It reached our labs too and here’s the complete review. One unique aspect of the Vu is its 4:3 ratio IPS display, which means it doesn’t have your usual form factor. The ergonomics may suit some while others may find it uncomfortable. It also bundles up a stylus (not attached to the device). The device is fuelled by an Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC, so you get four CPU cores and twelve GPU cores. It runs on Android 4.0.4 and has a sheath of LG’s own Optimus UI. It is available for as low as Rs 26,000 in the market.

Uniq5-incher with unique ergonmics

5-incher with unique ergonomics

A quick glance at its specs:

  • 5-inch, 4:3 ratio IPS display with 1024 x 768 resolution
  • 3G, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, HDMI, DLNA, NFC
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • Bluettoth v4.0 with A2DP and microUSB
  • 8MP rear camera, VGA front facing camera
  • 32GB internal memory

Samsung Galaxy Grand – Rs 21,500
Samsung recently launched this mid-segment smartphone in the Indian market dipped in Metallic Blue and Elegant White. The device runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. To make the package attractive at the price point, Samsung has bundled the device with a flip cover along with Rs 8,000 worth of free movies and music plus 50GB of space on popular cloud-storage service Dropbox as part of the introductory offer. It is a dual-SIM phone that runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual core processor.

A large-screen handset for those who can't afford the Galaxy Note II

A large-screen handset for those who can't afford the Galaxy Note II

Here's a quick look at the specs of the Galaxy Grand smartphone:

  • 5-inch WVGA TFT LCD display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels
  • 3G, EDGE/GPRS, Wi-Fi capabilities
  • A-GPS Glonass
  • Bluetooth
  • 8MP camera
  • 8GB + microSD expandable up to 64GB

Micromax Superphone Canvas HD A116 – Rs. 14,999
This Micromax smartphone brings a high-end phone experience at an affordable price. It carries a superior set of features like a 5-inch display, quad-core processor, 8MP snapper and more, at a budget price of sub-Rs 15,000 to woo the Indian audiences. Expected to hit store shelves in the coming weeks, it is accused of stealing Samsung Galaxy Grand's thunder (for obvious reasons). The Jelly bean-enabled A116 Canvas HD is powered by MediaTek’s MT6589 SoC, which contains a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU and PowerVR Series5XT GPU. So one can expect a snappy performance. On paper, it seems like a really good deal.

Affordable 5-inch quad-core smartphone

Affordable 5-inch quad-core smartphone

A quick look at its specs:

  • 5-inch IPS display with 480 x 854 pixels resolution
  • 3G, EDGE, GPRS, Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi Hotspot), DLNA
  • GPS with A-GPS support
  • Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and microUSB
  • 8MP rear camera and 1.3MP front facing camera
  • FM Radio
  • 4GB internal memory, expandable up to 32GB

WickedLeak Wammy Note – Rs 11,000
The Wammy Note II from WickedLeaks is yet another 5-inch phablet available for the Indian market that is powered by a 1GHz processor. Affordably priced at a little over Rs 10,000, this phablet recently got the Android Jelly Bean update. One of the highlights is the 8MP snapper with Burst mode that snaps 16 photos in 5 seconds. All the Wammy Notes shipped from December 11, 2012 onwards will be pre-loaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. WickedLeak claims that Wammy Note users can listen to FM radio on the device without connecting a pair of earphones. The smartphone comes with an analogue TV antenna.

Wammy Note

Wammy Note

A quick glance at its spec:

  • 5-inch capacitive Super HD touchscreen with a 800 x 480 pixel resolution
  • 3G, Wi-F, EDGE,GPRS
  • GPS with A-GPS support and voice navigation
  •  Bluetooth, USB port
  •  8MP camera with flash and auto focus, 1.3MP front-facing camera
  •  FM radio
  • 4GB internal memory, expandable up to 16GB via TF card

Karbonn A30 – Rs 10,999
Last year, we saw Karbonn try to break barriers further by launching the A30 with a 5.9-inch display. This gigantic screen along with an 8MP snapper is being sold for a little over Rs 10,000. Most of the affordable 5-inchers come with the dual-SIM capability and the Karbonn A30 is no different. Powered by a 1GHz processor, it runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Karbonn A30 phone with a  5.9-inch screen

The Karbonn A30 phone with a 5.9-inch screen

Here's a quick look at the specs of the Karbonn A30:

  • 5.9-inch capacitive touchscreen with 480 x 800 resolution
  • 3G, EDGE, GPRS, Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front facing camera
  • FM radio
  • 4GB internal memory, expandable up to 32GB


Micromax Superfone A100 and Micromax A110 Canvas 2 – Rs 9,990
The next in our list is the Micromax A110 aka Canvas 2 and its predecessor the A100. The Canvas A100 was the first Micromax handset to feature a 5-inch display at an affordable entry-level price. The aesthetics and feel are some of the main concerns along with the performance when it comes to affordable feature-loaded phones. But Micromax proved everyone wrong with this nifty device that became quite popular and grabbed many eyeballs. Here’s the review of the Canvas A100. The Canvas II, on the other hand, turned out to be quite disappointing and couldn’t match the performance of its predecessor, though it was launched with a similar price and huge advertising blitz. Read our review to know more.

Main visual

Micromax Superfone A100

Specifications of the Micromax A100:

  • 5-inch TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen with 480 x 854 pixels resolution
  • 3G, Wi-F, GPRS, EDGE
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth
  • 5 megapixel rear camera, 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 4GB of internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD card

Zync Cloud Z5 – Rs 9000
The Cloud Z5 is a home brewed dual-SIM phablet by the entry-level phone maker Zync. It comes with a 1GHz single-core processor and  512MB of RAM. The Cloud Z5 runs on the Android v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system and has a battery life of 2500mAh with a talktime of up to 5 hours.

Zync unveils dual-SIM phablet, Cloud Z5 for Rs 9,490

Zync dual-SIM phablet

Look at the spec sheet of the Zync Cloud Z5:

  • 5-inch capacitive, multi-touch display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels
  • Wi-Fi capability
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth
  • 8MP camera, 0.3MP dual-front camera
  •  FM radio
  • 4GB internal memory + 32GB expandable memory

Lava Iris 501 – Rs 9499
Just like Micromax and Karbonn, most Indian phone makers are trying to attract audiences by putting superior specs at a low price point. Yet another entry-level phone maker is Lava, who has put forth its affordable 5-inch touchscreen phone dubbed the Iris 501. This could be an option for those with a budget under Rs 10,000 who want to own a 5-inch smartphone. Unlike the Karbonn A30 sold at a similar price, the Iris has a meagre specs sheet. It runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by a 1Ghz Dual Core processor.

A dual SIM 5-incher from Lava

A dual SIM 5-incher from Lava

Here are the key features of Lava Iris 501:

  • 5.0-inch capacitive touchscreen with 800 x 400 resolution
  • 3G, Wi-Fi, EDGE, GPRS
  • Bluetooth and USB
  • GPS
  • 5MP rear camera and 0.3 MP front camera
  • 4GB memory card free, expandable microSD card up to 32GB

iBall Andi 5c – Rs 13,000
iBall has been expanding and strengthening its Andi series of smartphones all through last year. It also launched the Andi 5c for the 5-inch budget market space with dual-SIM capability. Even with its single-core 1GHz Cortex A-9 processor, the device performs pretty smooth and fast enough for daily use. Read our review here.

Andi 5c has a large 5-inch IPS display

Andi 5c has a large 5-inch IPS display

A quick glance at the complete spec sheet:

  • 5-inch capacitive touchscreen with 640 x 480 resolution
  • 3G, EDGE/GPRS, Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth
  • FM Radio
  • 5MP rear camera, VGA front facing camera
  • 4GB internal memory, expandable up to 32GB

Spice Stellar Horizon Mi-500 – Rs 12,499
The Spice Stellar Horizon Mi-500 is a dual-core device sporting a 5-inch display. It runs on Android ICS. In our review, we found the Mi-500 to be a pretty good piece of hardware that looks good, functions well enough and has quite a few handy features. Even if the handset doesn’t seem to quite utilise the dual-core processor as well as other devices, it is definitely worthy of consideration.

Simple, neat packaging

Simple, neat packaging

A look at the specs:

  • 5-inch TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen with 480 x 800 pixels
  • 3G, Wi-Fi, EDGE/GPRS,
  • Bluetooth and USB
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • 5MP rear camera, VGA front facing camera
  • FM Radio
  • 4GB internal memory, expandable up to 32GB

Intex Aqua 5.0 – Rs 9,690
Joining the dual-SIM, 5-incher affordable phablet brigade is the Intex Aqua 5.0. This entry level device sports a large display, is powered by a 1GHz processor and runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

Yet another affordable, dual SIM 5-incher

Yet another affordable, dual-SIM 5-incher

A quick glance at the specs:

  • 5-inch capacitive touchscreen with 480 x 800 resolution
  • 3G, Wi-Fi, GPRS, EDGE
  • Bluetooth with A2DP
  • GPS
  • 5MP rear camera, VGA front facing camera
  • FM Radio
  • 4GB internal memory, expandable up to 32GB

For some reason Indians seem to be crazy about phablets that have a 5-inch screen and some of the devices listed above are turning out to be best-sellers for the respective companies. Given this fact ,one shouldn’t be surprised if a 5-inch display becomes a standard feature on smartphones.

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