At this year’s Mobile World Congress, the annual wireless industry trade show, the spotlight was focused on the trend toward big phones. As Apple did not participate with this show, the Android phones were the major smartphone platform at the show.

Mobile World Congress: Phablets Growing in Popularity

The trend toward larger phones began more than a year ago with the Samsung Galaxy Note, which had a screen that measured at 5.3 inches. This phone started the half phone half tablet “phablet” craze. Subsequent editions proved that there was a market for even larger screens.

Samsung continued to push the envelope with a 5.5 inch screen in their Galaxy Note II. There is clearly a shift in the market toward bigger devices. Samsung has reported that in the month following its release, 3 million Note IIs were sold.

Although Samsung may have started it all, other companies were quick to follow suit. Lenovo offers a 5.5 inch screen with their K900 phone, and LG also offers a screen of that size with their Optimus G Pro. For those looking for something even bigger, the ZTE Grand Memo phone has a span of 5.7 inches.  Even larger is the Ascen Mate from Huawei.  It features an impressive 6.1 inch display.

Then for those who are interested in taking the phablet concept even further, there is the Asus Fonepad.  The name says it all.  With a 7 inch screen, it is essentially a tablet that can make calls. While the Fonepad may stretch the idea of what a phone actually is used for, it also speaks to shifting nature of how people use phones to communicate.  Smartphones are used for so much more than voice calling.  As voice calls regularly take a backseat to other features, the concept of the phablet will continue to be appealing to many.

[Image via qz]