Size Doesn’t Matter: It’s How You Use It

Brace yourself for large smack of innuendo.

It’s 2011. Hidden away in a not-so-top secret room in the basement of a hotel somewhere in Barcelona. Myself and a small group of intrepid journos are shown the first glimpses of a Galaxy S2. It looked big.

Think contextually: In 2011 a 4.3’’ screen was considered to be pretty enormous. The Galaxy S2 was only matched in size by HTC’s behemoth HD2. At the launch event and throughout the week of the Mobile World Congress, people’s reactions to the Galaxy S2’s size were mixed. Most people said something like “It’s just too big”, or “Imagine holding it up to your face!”, and more than once “It’s like a phone from that Dom Joly sketch”.

That Dom Joly sketch:

At the end of 2011, Samsung announced the Galaxy Note in Berlin with it’s 5.3’’ screen. JK Shin announced it as a “New Category” between a smartphone and a tablet. Opinion was divided on this size – I’d say about 50-50. I heard many “industry experts” (apparently every single person who attends these events is an industry expert) reject the size entirely – saying that it was far too large and just a marketing gimmick. Today the Galaxy Note size has been affectionately and readily adopted by consumers as a “phablet”… but already the “standard” smartphone size isn’t too far behind…

With the 4.8’’ screen of the Galaxy S3 and 5’’ screen of the newly launched Galaxy S4: Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone range is already catching up with the phablets.

The Galaxy S4 has a 5’’ display inside a chassis the same size as the 4.8’’ Galaxy S3. Image from KensTechTips

So, given the initial resistance to larger smartphone sizes, why is it that manufacturers are making bigger and bigger flagship devices? Samsung have recently announced the “Galaxy Mega” which is in the 6’’ range, and we expect the Galaxy Note 3 to be up there, too!

The Galaxy Mega is a whopping 6.3’’

Well, there are undoubtedly many advantages of a larger device. As long as you can fit it in your pocket, then the bigger the better!

  • Multimedia: You get a much richer multimedia experience. A larger screen size makes it easier for the eyes to pick out details, as there will be more pixels to look at. It’s also much easier to type on a larger display, as you don’t have to be as accurate with your finger taps.

  • Samsung’s larger phones allow for split-screen multitasking, so you can look at an manage two Apps at once.

  • You can fit a larger battery into a larger device. Even though the screen is larger and using more power, you are able to fit considerably larger batteries. The Galaxy Note 2 has a 3100mAh battery, and one of the best battery lives of all smartphones.

The disadvantages are few and far between. Larger devices are somewhat less portable, and perhaps the glass is more likely to break when dropped (as there is more of it), but then again, glass is always likely to break when you drop it!!

So what does the future hold for smartphone size? Samsung is making a bold move by moving their new flagship ranges entirely into the 5’’+ category, leaving anything below for the rest for their so-named “Mini” devices (which would be considered large 2 years ago!).

4’’ Galaxy S3 Mini (left) compared to 5’’ Galaxy S4.

I think it’s fair to say that once you’ve got used to using a larger device, it’s hard to go back to a smaller one. Screen technology is certainly evolving quickly… but when do you think that enough is enough? Some people would have it stop at 6’’ … but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going a little big bigger!

What do you think about phone size – are flagship phones getting too big?! Let us know!


Opinion 9
Related newsLatest news

Leave a Reply

4 years 19 hours ago

what are you talking about? size is important, S4 size & design is epic fail believe me.

4 years 23 hours ago

I would say S3/S4 are hitting the sweet spot, they are just perfect, any bigger than that it will be to big for my taste.

4 years 1 day ago

By the way, ifones are made for girls with small hands. Nuf said.

4 years 10 hours ago

Wrong. The reason why the iphone 4 alone outsold the entire andriod phones combined is because its the perfect size and we dont need a purse to carry it.

These idiots designing the mobile phone forgot what mobile means. mthe htc 1, the s4, the sony z, etc etc. Just way too big. Unless ur a giro and have a purse to carry ur phablet and tampnons.

Now we know why samsung made the S4 to look like a soap bar. To match the thampons u need to carry for owning this girly device. i have another idea for the S4. since it can monitor ur nbood pressure and all, they should add a pregnancy test app too.

4 years 1 day ago

>> As long as you can fit it in your pocket,

Pants manufacturers didn’t realized that yet!
They should start making larger pockets ASAP!
If your phone doesn’t fit in your pocket, make a larger pocket! Your phone size is not the problem! Your pant is.

4 years 22 hours ago

Well, for girls this is a fact, but they have a purse. For guys it shouldn’t be a problem, all of my pants pockets fits my 7″ Tab 2, on the front AND back pocket.

4 years 1 day ago

I think the S3 and S4 are as big as a phone can be without losing customers. They can feel welcome to shrink the bezel as much as they want and fit a larger screen in there, but I really hope they don’t make the actual device bigger. My S3 already is destroying my earphones in my pocket because of its size.

4 years 23 hours ago

Exactly my thought, this is the perfect size.

4 years 1 day ago

Seven inch is a tablet if you ask me.
6.5 is my limit to still call it a phone.