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Opinion 290 Shares 40 comments

Wait: here's why you don't need a bigger phone

I have a theory: smartphones have become too big. Every year, phones get larger, but people's hands do not. At this rate, we'll be using smartphones as big as houses within 10 years. It's crazy. But do we really need bigger phones? Let's investigate.

screen for ants
Stop it... you don't need a bigger phone. / © undefined

Your pockets are too small

I put a Moto X Pure in my pocket during a recent test. Now in its third generation, the Moto X has become a phablet, at 5.7 inches in size. Now, I've got relatively large hands and, if you've never used one, I can say that one-handed use is not an option for most owners of this phone.

Sitting down with the Moto X Pure in your pocket is also not possible. But it gets better. I put its 5.2-inch predecessor, the Moto X (2nd Gen), in my pocket and guess what happened when I tried to sit down? My trouser pocket ripped as I tumbled over. What we now consider an average-sized phone is, for some of us, still too big. Either pockets need to grow, or phones should shrink.

androidpit android phone pocket
Your pockets might be too small for a bigger phone. / © ANDROIDPIT

Your hands are too small

Products are for humans. Most are designed to be used with hands and, as such, you can expect books, scissors, door handles and steering wheels to be of a certain size. Scissors don't get bigger every year. Though for some reason smartphones do – but the average male's hands remain a consistent 8.1 inches every year.

Scissors don't get bigger every year, so why do phones?

So why do phones keep growing and when will it slow down? Either when manufacturers get the point, or when humans evolve into giants. Until then, we should accept that our hands simply aren't big enough to operate ever-larger smartphones.

androidpit samsung galaxy note 5 34
If you need a stylus, it's not really a phone anymore. / © ANDROIDPIT

Your face is too small

Let's face it: every phone that came after the 4-inch Galaxy S was too big to comfortably make phone calls. Not too big to actually call someone, but rather too big to make calls and not look as though you're playing hide-and-seek. Making calls with a smartphone used to look cool, but now it looks like we'll soon be able to use smartphones to touch our ears and lips at the same time.

Making calls with a smartphone used to look cool

Your face is too small for phones to get bigger. Whether you're fashion conscious, or even just conscious, there comes a point at which phones are simply too big to makes calls. But do you make calls that often anymore? There's a reason why a majority of our communication is done via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and email. Many phones are just too big to put against our faces.

sony xperia z4 tablet as phone de
Admit it... your face is too small for even bigger phones. / © ANDROIDPIT

Think about downsizing

Should you buy a larger phone every time you upgrade? This is something to factor into your purchasing decision. Think about the practicality of its size and imagine, if you go on-contract, what it'll be like carrying a Bible in your pocket every day for two years.

Something like the OnePlus X, which has solid specs, is only 5-inches. Or even the Xperia Z5 Compact at 4.6 inches. For me, these sizes are about perfect. For you, a phablet might be best. Or even the Galaxy S. But I urge you to think about whether you really need a bigger phone. I could almost guarantee that you don't.

What's your optimal phone size? Let me know in the comments.


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  • TomUK7 2 months ago Link to comment

    As a painter and decorator I can access the tech spec in my quotes saved in google drive while at work. Before and after photos of my work are also clearer. Have never felt the need for a larger phone until cloud computing enabled me to easily integrate different aspects of my business at all times. Genius! (Now, when and where can I find an HTC Pixel?!)

  • For me is best size of phone abouth 5 or 5.2 inch.

  • Abhyuday 10 months ago Link to comment

    You can't really compare phones to other stuff we use daily, because the size of a phone is always related to the screen. When screens are bigger, a lot of stuff becomes easier- typing, watching stuff, playing games. Still, I definitely agree that you don't need 5.5 and 6 inch phones. 5 inches seems the perfect size to me.

  • You're an idiot !!!!
    My nexus 6 fits in my pocket and not too big to type on....
    And the new 6p downsized....where's the bigger theory????
    I've never had problem sitting with it in my pocket...
    And usually it goes in jacket pocket ..
    I use phone daily....if your calling that much get a headset.
    What stupid reasons !!!!
    Where's my 10 inch phone????
    I'll be first to buy it!!!!
    Why carry both a phone and tablet ?!!!
    I want it...
    Maybe it'll be cheaper so they can stop making processors smaller to fit tiny phones.

  • 5URV1V0R Nov 21, 2015 Link to comment

    Actually we want bigger phones (well to a certain extent I guess).
    And the comparison with the scissors, seriously!
    Do you read, write, watch and play with your scissors? Hope not my friend :)

  • Lea So Nov 20, 2015 Link to comment

    I'm sure that some of these tech journo's are on drugs or have delusion issues. Galaxy Notes fit my hands fine and the screen is great for a variety of operations. As for the size of phone to face, what a load of guff and twaddle, you're barking mad Omar!
    I've never ever put any mobile/cell phone in my back pocket, it puts any size phone at risk of damage or theft and discomfort if you sit on it!
    Clueless, worthless article. Millions of large Smart phones are made and sold, if there was a size issue they wouldn't sell!

  • When will these tech writers figure out that big phones have a very big market. I love the big phone, and I don't have a problem putting it in my pocket. Stop wearing skinny jeans and you will be able to have one. It's all a matter of opinion anyway, so stop trying to tell people what they want. Numbers don't lie, and Samsung has made a boat load of money selling big phones.

  • Apparently you do not have a very firm grasp of the obvious, but phones will stop getting bigger when the consumers demand for bigger phones stops.

  • Uhm I thought that my Note 3 was too big back then, so I sold it unfortunately and bought me the M8. I liked the M8, but didn't like the huge bezels after some time and the camera as well. Then I bought the iPhone 6 which was simple and fast and small..
    Well, too small. The small phone looks tiny and awkward in my (bigger than average) hands. Then came a point when I realized that the Note 3 was the best phone I ever had. Now that it's aged, I'm looking to buy me a Note device again, unfortunately we still don't have an officially released Note 5 in Europe, but I will order one from overseas.
    I certainly need a bigger phone.

  • 100% agree with java :) Original note shape was great, i prefer wider phones insted of taller, with not that large hands it's much easier to reach top of the screen in one-handed use even with not small phone like Note 1. Unfortunely today trends seems to promote rather taller phones than wider, anyway, i use nexus 5 which has very comfortble screen size in my opinion. I think 5.7 inch screen and larger make phones impossible to safe use with one hand for most people and that takes mobile phone a little bit to far from original definition of what phones are.

  • Actually I want a 6.5 inch Android phone. I currently have 5.7 inch Galaxy note, and only thing that's stopping me from upgrading is that there is no 6.5 inch phone out there with S-pen or similar stylus. Galaxy Mega looks nice if it had high res amoled screen and S-pen, but alas, Samsung designed it as a low end phone and it's looks like no new model will be introduced anyway.

  • No man worth his salt wears skinny jeans.

  • I have Nexus 5 and I think that is 5 or 5.2 inch quite enough.

  • In reference to " Your pockets are to Small" going by the pic you put your device in your back pocket, what self respecting man does that, it goes in the front, which as most people know are infact larger pockets, however if your front pockets are still to small then you need to take the skinny jeans off and give them back to your girl, you're taking getting into her pants in the wrong essence. I'm a small guy, 5'4" 140lbs, and I find my Moto N6 to be perfect, fits in all my pants pockets (upfront of course). Only time I don't have them in the front is when I wear some of my work pants, which I then have my belt clip on, since when I'm sitting I would have to otherwise stand up all the time to take it out of my front pocket. FYI, fits even better in my front pockets when I'm wearing shorts

    • I thought the same thing. I even have a small cell phone pocket my my pants that fit my gs5 just right. When I moved to the note 5 I was worried bit pleasantly surprised to find that it only increased in width by millimeters, so it fit just fine.

      Pockets are not the problem. Sitting on phones are.

  • Paolo Nov 19, 2015 Link to comment

    I like my phone screens bigger because I watch a TON of TV series, mainly CBS stuff. Sometimes though, I'd like a more manageably sized phone something along the lines of the iPhone 6S or S6 edge, if mainly because I'm afraid of dropping the Note 3 every time I walk around because it's big...

  • adr Nov 19, 2015 Link to comment

    I am over 50 years old and my eyes need the bigger phones. I have a OnePlus One which I like a lot and I shall buy a bigger phone when I'll change my phone.
    I can increase the font size in Android, but as in Windows, over a certain bigger font size, some apps are unusable.

    • I have a note 4 and like this person my blind ass needs a big screen with words to match love my note 4 every day !

  • I had a note 3,about 4 months ago I upgraded my phone and got a new Samsung Galaxy s 6 and I have regretted it ever since. I miss my note so very much. I will never go smaller again!

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