Remember a few years ago when a 4.3-inch display was considered huge? Now those screens are reserved for "compact" phones as phones with 5-inch displays have become commonplace, and we're even starting to see devices with 6-inch screens pop up on a semi-regular basis. We've yet to really see any companies come out with a smartphone with a 7-inch display, but the new X1 from Hisense certainly comes close.
The Hisense X1 features a 6.8-inch 1080p display on its face, making it one of the largest devices that we've seen classified as a "smartphone" to date. The X1 also includes all of the other trappings that you'd expect from a high-end handset, like a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 13-megapixel rear camera and a beefy 3900mAh battery to power the entire, gigantic package. One big feature missing from the X1 is 4G LTE support, but Hisense says that it's got another model known as the X3 that includes support for U.S. LTE service.
On the software side of things, the X1 being shown by Hisense at CES 2014 is powered by Android 4.3, but the company has promised that the X1 will come preloaded with Android 4.4 when it launches.
Speaking of launch, I've got some good news for U.S.-based phablet fans. Hisense says that the X1 is slated to make its way to the U.S. late in the second quarter following its debut in China. An unlocked model will be sold under the "Sliver" brand, and Hisense has said that it's also talking to two unnamed U.S. operators, suggesting that a subsidized model could also be released.
Smartphones have steadily been increasing in size in recent years, so it was inevitable that some company would eventually introduce a handset that bumps up against the 7-inch threshold that many consider to be the start of Tablet Country. Opinions on whether or not a 6.8-inch smartphone is usable as a daily driver will vary from person to person, but one thing that I'm sure most can agree on is that it's good to have a variety of smartphone size options, and expanding that list of choices is exactly what the Hisense X1 does.
What do you think of the Hisense X1? Would you carry it as your main smartphone?