Jumbo phones finally going mainstream

zteLAS VEGAS — It seemed like only yesterday that we mocked the idea of holding  up a 5-inch smartphone to your ear for a call.

Now, we’re not even batting an eye at 6- and 7-inch displays on smartphones.

Such is the quick ascent of the “phablet,” the official name for jumbo phones  that lie between a traditional smartphone and the larger tablet. Phablets are no longer a niche product:  Accenture found in a recent survey that more than half of people who were asked  about their next smartphone said they would prefer the bigger phone.

At the Consumer Electronics Show here,  three phablets popped up: the Huawei  Ascend Mate 2 4G, the Asus  ZenFone 6, and the ZTE  Iconic Phablet.

In a show where phones often take a backseat to other consumer electronic  products such as televisions, speakers, and now wearables, having three of the  higher-profile mobile devices be phablets says a lot for how the category has  grown, and the increasing tolerance for larger sizes.  More