Why are phones getting bigger?

GodAtum

Active Member
My iPhone is about the same size as the phone I had in the 1990s! The Samsung is even bigger plus the iPhone 5 looks like its going to be bigger then its predecessor! It is just me or are there no small smartphones?
 

ldoodle

Distinguished Member
My iPhone is about the same size as the phone I had in the 1990s! The Samsung is even bigger plus the iPhone 5 looks like its going to be bigger then its predecessor! It is just me or are there no small smartphones?

With worldwide obesity levels so high, fat fingers = big phones. Imagine texting when you can't avoid pressing 2 buttons at the same time.

This is why I think Apple came out with Siri; I think the iPhone 5 will be keyless, both physically and on-screen. Siri will be used for everything.
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
Smartphones mean surfing the net , reading emails , watching movies and multimedia content , small screens suck for that , so phones are getting bigger , simple as that.

If you want a small phone , say just for making phone calls , weird as that idea is these days , then there are plenty of them about.
 

DJSigma

Banned
Non-smartphones got smaller due to technological advances. One of the best non-smartphones I owned was a Siemens SL55 and I liked it solely because it was small, but that's because all I did with it was make calls and send texts.

A smartphone can replace a number of devices, including personal media players, computers (in terms of being able to browse the web, play games that are a bit more advanced than Snake, send/receive email etc.) and sat navs, so it makes sense - up to a point - to have a bigger screen. I went from a HTC Desire with a 3.7" screen to a Galaxy S3 with a 4.8" screen and after half a day with the S3 the Desire suddenly looked tiny, yet the S3 is still small enough to be considered pocket sized.

I guess it depends what you want a smartphone for. Also, what you use it for may change when you get one with a bigger screen. I rarely used my Desire for browsing the web, yet I found I used my S3 a lot more even though the screen was only 1.1" bigger and that influenced my decision to buy a tablet.
 

Dodgy_Geezer

Well-known Member
Not only are phones getting bigger, they've all began to look the same for some time now. Stick a Samsung Galaxy next to whatever generic HTC model is cluttering up the display shelves and you'd be hard pressed to differentiate between them. They all have the same boring menu, search and home button with a big fat display and nothing else. Software has become the key differentiator. Used to be the hardware previously but not any more.

As to why phones are getting bigger, I think there's a certain amount of **** measuring going on here. My phone is 2cm bigger than yours so the marginal increase in display size makes it 217% better for browsing plus I can see more tweets, games, photos, messages, bats, cats and dogs. Ditto the camera and octo-core CPU that means I can watch a video, check Farcebook, read an email, check Farcebook again, play Angry Brids, browse the web and download a 1GB torrent all simultaneously.

And I disagree you need a big screen for surfing or emails, it's not about the screen size, it's what you do with it that counts. For example, the BlackBerry Pearl has a small 2.25 inch screen but a very high pixel density giving a resolution of 380x400 which is better than phones with larger screens but lower density giving a resolution of say 320x240. This means the Pearl can show more on screen and is clearer and crisper than the larger screen with the lower pixel density.

I think Apple have it about right at 3.5 inches - small enough to be truly pocketable for a mobile yet large enough for a comfortable user experience. Bigger handsets like the Droid are not at all pocket friendly whilst the Galaxy Note is just plain ridiculous! One of the reasons I ditched the Dell Streak was that using it to make a call felt like I was holding a dinner plate to my head.
 
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DJSigma

Banned
Dodgy_Geezer said:
For example, the BlackBerry Pearl has a small 2.25 inch screen but a very high pixel density giving a resolution of 380x400 which is better than phones with larger screens but lower density giving a resolution of say 320x240.
These sorts of arguments may hold weight if bigger phones didn't also have considerably higher pixel density than the Blackberry Pearl.

For example: -

Blackberry Pearl = 157, 154 or 128 PPI depending which one you get
Samsung Galaxy S3 = 309 PPI
HTC One X = 316 PPI
Galaxy Note = 285 PPI
Orange San Francisco (to toss in a budget model) = 267 PPI

Which large screen smartphones have a resolution of 320 x 240??? My phone has a 1,280 x 720 screen resolution.
 

Dodgy_Geezer

Well-known Member
I'm just pointing out that larger phones = larger screen estate but you could also have smaller phones + higher pixel density = larger screen estate

No larger phones (3.5"+ inch screen) have 320x240 resolution. Again, the point I was trying to make (and not very well from the looks of it) was that it's not the screen size that counts, it's what you do with it. So for example, the Samsung Galaxy Mini and LG Optimus L3 both have a 3.2" screen but only a 240x320 resolution compared with a Pearl 3G (9100) that has a smaller 2.25" screen but a 380x400 resolution. Therefore, there isn't really any need to have these bigger phones over 3.5" as you could get the same image by increasing the pixel density.

:smashin:
 

DJSigma

Banned
Dodgy_Geezer said:
Therefore, there isn't really any need to have these bigger phones over 3.5" as you could get the same image by increasing the pixel density.
I can't see how you come to that conclusion. Pixel density clearly isn't the only consideration of a screen. After owning a phone with a 4.8" screen, I'll never go back to anything smaller than that.
 
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Dodgy_Geezer

Well-known Member
It's subjective mate, other way round for me. After being lumbered with a Dell Streak with a 5" screen, it was a relief to go back down to an iPhone and something that was actually pocketable. After all, these devices are called "mobiles" for a reason and I prefer something smaller so anything larger than a 4" screen is likely too big.

Also, a bigger screen usually means less battery power and I'd want portability and longevity over screen estate. Ultimately comes down to what you said earlier, what do you use a smartphone for?
 

DJSigma

Banned
My phone has longer battery life than your iPhone, so that's not a problem. It also fits in my pocket no problem. If it's subjective - which it is - you shouldn't be telling me that a bigger screen is pointless, not should you be implying that it's part of some "dick measuring contest". I'll not be going back to a tiddly little screen again.
 

Dodgy_Geezer

Well-known Member
I've re-read what I posted and nope, still can't see where I said a larger screen was pointless. I just disagree that you *need* one for email and browsing, it's perfectly manageable with a smaller screen. And yes, it is subjective but I stand by that it's largely a "mine is bigger than yours" contest in a market where a lot of handsets look the same.

You stick with your monster 4.8" display ok? Nobody is telling you to go smaller and if it works for you and fits in your pocket, that's great. I'll stick with a smaller handset which isn't an iPhone as you're right, the Apple battery life does suck.
 

DJSigma

Banned
Who said that you *need* a larger screen? You seem to be arguing a point that nobody even made. Maybe you're typing your posts on a PC with a 6 inch high res monitor as it's "just the same" as a using a 24" monitor and can't quite see what people have said though. lol.
 

bigbang

Banned
You don't need a big screen but a big screen is better. I own a Galaxy Note and don't find it big at all. It easily fits in my pocket. In fact I want to go bigger but am not sure what the limit will be. Perhaps 6.5 inches with a very thin Bezel.

Smartphones are getting bigger because people are making less calls on their phones and instead using messaging, internet and other text based communication. Thus the screen becomes more important so size and resolution are now key to smartphones.

It's just like how TVs have generally got bigger. My personal view is that the minimum screen size anyone should be watching TV is 50 inches.
 
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RobM

Distinguished Member
Who said that you *need* a larger screen?

If you're surfing the web then you need a big screen. Simples :)

A big screen in front of you and you still missed that?

The point I believe DG was trying to make, was that physical screen size is only half the story - you can't simply say a bigger screen is better at a specific task. If you have two screens with the same resolution but different physical sizes, they will display the same amount of content. In fact, the smaller of the two may be easier on the eye due to less pixelation.

It's very much personal preference though. I'm fortunate enough to have very good eyesight, so for me there is no difference in comfort between my current phone (Lumia 800) and my previous (One X). Modern smartphone browsers scale data so well the resolution doesn't really matter as much.

There is no right or wrong answer, nor is there a black-and-white 'this is best' answer.
 

anika hanson

Active Member
You don't need a big screen but a big screen is better. I own a Galaxy Note and don't find it big at all. It easily fits in my pocket. In fact I want to go bigger but am not sure what the limit will be. Perhaps 6.5 inches with a very thin Bezel.

Smartphones are getting bigger because people are making less calls on their phones and instead using messaging, internet and other text based communication. Thus the screen becomes more important so size and resolution are now key to smartphones.

It's just like how TVs have generally got bigger. My personal view is that the minimum screen size anyone should be watching TV is 50 inches.

I like phones too. I also have the note and don't find it big at all. To me its normal anf.all the other phones are too small. I've had the note for about 2 and a half months now and can't believe that I used to use the iphone before. It seems miniscule now in comparison.

I need a decent sized screen for web browsing and wathcing media. The bigger the better I say.
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
Having just bought a 2nd hand Note off the forums, I wouldn't want to go back to a iPhone sized screen. The flexibility that the larger screen offers, makes the whole thing so much more useable. The fact that it does surprisingly fit in your pocket makes the whole thing a no brainer if you need something more than a phone, on the move.
 

nonumb

Well-known Member
Another vote for a bigger screen here. A 3.5" screen is horrible to use after my s3 and find I'm straining a lot more. This phone is about as big as I'd want to go though as much bigger and it'll start to be a pain in the pocket.
 

WhyAyeMan

Well-known Member
I've got a Galaxy Nexus, 4.65" screen (although in reality more like a 4.3" with the onscreen buttons). Looking at iphones now they look pathetically small. And I dont have a problem fitting it in any pocket on any pair of trousers I own so the whole "pocketable" argument falls down there, unless you wear ridiculously tight trousers, but then the type of person who wears those is probably an iSheep anyway.

All these iPhone users who bang on about 3.5" is perfect presumably won't be buying the rumoured 4"+ iPhone 5?
 

jimmyb5374

Standard Member
owning a galaxy nexus and an s3 , i can safely say in my opinion a 4.5" plus screen is the best i have used so far for browsing in comfort in landscape mode "full screen" , and for viewing video's comfortably .

no doubt we will all have 5" screen handsets with 3 days battery life within a year and wonder how we coped before

james
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
All these iPhone users who bang on about 3.5" is perfect presumably won't be buying the rumoured 4"+ iPhone 5?

At which point Apple will have created a new screen-size standard, like a new discovery :rolleyes: The Apple ethos is that they tell you what is the best way of doing things-- no focus groups, no opinions, Apple knows best. Their users are fine with that but claim the opposite.
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
That's probably why Apple barely sell any phones each year and their sales are dropping year-on-year. You should write and tell them that, they'll appreciate your advice.
 

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