I hate big phones and I cannot lie.
Some of you may remember when smartphones were called handphones. Because they were phones that were meant to stay within the size of your hand. Those were good ol’ days when phones weren’t defined by how big they were. We went through early giant phones to tiny Nokias and normal sized thingamajigs to Blackberrys.
It was a lot of corporate culture driving needs then. No one needed a mobile phone. We had pay phones and pagers which were great for making coded messages (like the one below). They were awesome. Then there were text messages on mobiles and when the iPhone came about, the smartphone industry really took off. And for a while it was good.
Then the phones got bigger, and bigger and bigger. To the point where phones became bigger than hands. It’s not a hands-phone. It’s a handphone. Meant for one hand, not two. Which frustrated me to no end because smaller smartphones got the short end of the stick when it came to specs. Lousier tech, poorer cameras and all despite the fact that new processors were becoming more power efficient and made greater sense with a smaller phone.
When Sony released their X series compacts and iPhone the SE series, I thought that might mean the times were a changin’. The SE in particular sold very well and it looks like Apple will be making a second edition of the phone this year. Unfortunately, a Nikkei report suggests the new iPhone SE 2 will be supersized to over 6 inches. (See below.) Bugger.
I had an iPhone SE and it was a great phone until a colleague accidentally swiped it off the table onto a cement floor and it pretty much split in two. That’s when I had to scout around for another option and the choices were… limited. Plus frustrating. I made the switch to the Pixel 2 and it’s a great phone but given all my other devices are Apple Inc, it’s a little challenging to make everything work together.
The Pixel 2 is a great phone. (You can refer to our review of the XL, which has identical specs except it’s… bigger.) This isn’t a comparison between two platforms or phone types. It’s simply different. But I do wish the Pixel 2 was half an inch smaller length and breadth-wise. That would be a lot more convenient. Although I do appreciate the larger screen size, it seems odd that Google wouldn’t go with the bezel-less trend of phone designs, while throwing in stereo speakers on the front. (They did, but only for the XL.)
I understand the appeal of a bigger screen. Kindle app reading is much more convenient with a bigger screen. Flipboard reads easier. Photos look better and videos are brilliant to watch. But having to use two hands to operate a phone seems to be a self-defeating design for me. Where I could practically operate a phone without having to glance at it in the past, this was no longer possible.
People who gravitate towards smaller, one-handed smartphones are like singles trying to buy public housing in Singapore: you’re only getting the second best options on the market. Like it or not, that’s all you’re gonna get.