Sunday debate: Are phones getting too big?

30 September 2018
With each release, smartphones are getting bigger and bigger by the year. Is that good or bad?

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Most people with average hands don't bother reaching the top two corners of a screen as phones have become longer while keeping the same width, width matters more than length. I can handle a phone with a 5.7" 18:9 screen (even larger as the aspect ratio increases in length). It's not all bad but phones today are basically as wide as a Galaxy S6 today, it's rare to see a modern 18:9 smartphone with a screen of the same width as something like a Moto E2 which is very comfortable for my hand, it's a 4.5" 16:9 screen which is equivalent to a 5" 18:9 in width, a few entry-level smartphones offer that screen side and aspect ratio, smaller phones are too rare now. The used market is the best option for consumers looking for one-handed use with their smartphones

  • Bobram

i wish the mini/compact versions of flagships still exist. my favorite phones have been the iphone se, the galaxy s4 mini and the galaxy a3 2016. i just sold my huge LG g7 to go back to the 2017 model of the a3. i miss small phones that were just there to do basic tasks and more a toy than an actual high tech device trying to replace your laptop and your tablet only to end up failing at both and costing you over 1000$. this is ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

I have been using smartphones for many years, started from the pre-iphone era- windows mobile 2003 5 and 6. Anyhow, since 2010, I have been switching between iOS and Andriod even windows, and was upgrading my phone almost every two years, started from 3gs then Galaxy S1, HTC One X (my favourite phone-size), Lumia 820, iPhone 5s and 6s. I stopped buying smartphones in 2015. My iphone 6s is dead. But I'd rather to use my old iPhone 5s, instead of buying a new one! Only because I cant find the dimensions and aspect ratio that I like. The only available one is iphone 8 which costs me more than 1000AUD to buy a 2018 phone! Perhaps, I should stop using smartphones!

  • Anonymous

Should be phone maximum size limit, maybe 6 inch

  • Anonymous

Get an iphone se

  • Anonymous

its not just phone size its the weight as well. Due to my slimmish wrists and preferring to use a phone one handed a phone heavier than 158g I would have trouble with as I would have a case on it too which would then increase the weight to 175g +.

I currently have an s6 edge plus. Perfect for me as it has a wide screen (not skinny like a lot of current phones) so easier to use the keyboard and it weighs just 153g despite a 5 7 screen and 3000mah battery. With a case mine is 175g. Can't go heavier than this one handed.

  • Anonymous

Galaxy Alpha sized phone with bezel-less screen and good performance + camera (doesnt have to be a flagship) would be compelling option.

  • Old Guy

Chip seems to think that "Half a decade ago" is ancient history. Well it's not. My Droid Mini was released in 2013 with a body size of 4.78 x 2.41 x 0.35 in. It fits in my hand, my pocket and on the dash. Has a touch screen and does everything my wife's giant new phone does.
Yes I would like to buy a new cell phone. But I don't own any cloths that has a pocket big enough for the new phones to fit in.

  • rlk

I have the opposite issue -- I want a bigger phone -- but a lot of the problem is due to the same issue: the increasing aspect ratio of phones.

The result is that the diagonal length may be large, but the surface area isn't, and the very narrow screen makes it very hard to type into. I wouldn't mind a 6.6" screen, which doesn't sound all that much bigger than what's currently there, but I'd prefer it to be 3.5*5.6 aspect ratio, which would be a 16:10 ratio, or perhaps 3.75*5.625, which would be 3:2. I don't carry it in my pocket; I use a belt holster for it, so that size (even with a large, OtterBox Defender type case) would not be prohibitive. My hands are easily large enough for that to be comfortable.

  • FeelsBadMan

I dont like how BIG the phones are getting now. Its a big problem for someone with small hands(Like me), make it so hard to find a right phone and i wont use a backpack,purse or anything like that just because my phone can fix in my pocket.

Most of the phones nowaydays are 6 and above. My hand cant deal with that size.

  • User X

Yes, they are getting ridiculously big and impractical due to their huge physical dimensions.

Anything longer than 140 mm and wider than 70 mm is very uncomfortable to handle. Phone designers should know that. Phone thickness is irrelevant (as long as it's under 10 mm thick) and is only a marketing trick.
Yet, manufacturers like Huawei, Oppo and many others released phablets 170+ mm in length and 75+ mm in width, which are not just looking ridiculous but also can't be operated comfortably. In this case single-handed operation is impossible. They also don't fit in the pockets, so you have to carry a backpack or a purse for them.
The problem is that those very few manufacturers who make reasonably-sized smartphones install very weak hardware in them.

In the future, unfortunately, there will be even bigger phones, possibly the size of an 13.3" laptop. But don't worry, they'll be just 4 mm thick so they'll be super-duper portable. NOT!

And one more thing - smartphone or phablet is not a replacement for laptop or PC, both of which are much faster, have much bigger screens and are much more comfortable to work with. :)

  • Pk

Women carry a purse, for the most part, I refuse to wear anything like that, so I wear a case on my hip for my phone.
It could be mistaken for a holster, but since I do carry a concealed weapon, I feel like an Android with all of this stuff!!!

  • Anonymous

Flagship phone is getting too big (too long to be exact) to carry it in a pocket. Android phones like Pixel 3, Samsung S9+, etc are specially bad in this aspect. I am a long time Android phone fan, pondering to switch.

  • Anonymous

I'm a shorter woman, but rather average. There are many like me. It is important to me to be able to use my phone effectively with one hand and to be able to carry it comfortably and safe in my pocket. I don't believe people forgot how simple, important and convenient these aspects are... I am simply NOT willing to buy any phone which is bigger than 140×70mm. No way. That's already bigger, than comfortable.


the phone most beatiful i see xperia x8 blackberry pearl bb curve the most speed for write and the bb storm the rest is copy the htc and iphone the most beatiful is 4s i say

Jon.SWE, 03 Oct 2018S6 is older than note 5 though. It was the year after that they ... moreYes it could have been great. Basically a good and cheap to produce compromise.

But it seems like they are going in the opposite direction.
It is not easy to find them for the Note8 any more. And the WW edition of the S8 is not that easy to find either at a good price. (the German QWERTZ version is easy to find though)

The main issue is definitely that they have not found a way to let light get through.

And it is bad for the learning curve that the alternative characters are NOT at the same letters on their virtual and physical keyboard....
It would have been clever if they offered a virtual layout matching the physical. That would have helped learning the positions quicker....

cog, 06 Oct 2018It seems The 66% have girlish hands or they're tiny that's why t... moreRemember that many with normal hands will happily use a phablet with two hands to get a large display.
So sounds plausible that only a part of the remaining third got oversized hands.

  • Mr Magic

cog, 06 Oct 2018It seems The 66% have girlish hands or they're tiny that's why t... moreWell said dude

  • cog

It seems The 66% have girlish hands or they're tiny that's why they voted for smaller screens

  • S6 User

EskeRahn, 02 Oct 2018I'm certainly with you here! Let's get devices designed for the ... moreYes the user's needs & common sense will prevail one day soon :)