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You don't need a bigger phone

You don't need a bigger phone

OK, it's official. Smartphones are too big. Every year, manufacturers make bigger phones, and consumers line up for them. But, bigger isn't always better, people. At this rate, we'll be using smartphones as big as houses within 10 years. It's madness. Do you really need a bigger phone every year?

Your pockets are too small

Either pockets need to get bigger, or phones need to get smaller. Trying to sit down with a phone in your pocket has become impossible. To illustrate my point, here's a fun story:

When I put the average-sized 5.2-inch Moto X (2nd Gen) in my pocket and tried to sit down, guess what happened? My pants ripped as I tumbled over. So, for some of us, the average size is too large. But, as I said, phones get bigger every year. The next generation of the Moto X produced the whopping 5.7-inch phablet Moto X Pure. At a whole half-inch bigger than the phone that caused my pants to rip, I wouldn't recommend you put this one in your pocket either. Nor can I recommend trying to use the phone one-handed, and I say this as someone with big hands.

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

Your hands are too small

Products and tools that are meant to be used with human hands tend to be sized for, you guessed it, human hands. You can expect books, scissors, door handles and steering wheels to be of a certain consistent size. Scissors don't get bigger every year. Though for some reason smartphones do, despite the fact that the average male's hands remain a consistent 8.1 inches every year.

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

At what point is it enough? 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 37
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. Remember when making calls with a sleek new phone used to look cool?

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 make calls comfortably and without looking like a big dork. 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. Phones are just too big to put up against our faces nowadays.

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 giant brick in your pocket every day for two years. Think about the story I told you, and ask yourself, "Can my pockets handle the phone without ripping?"

Opt for the 5-inch Google Pixel instead of the 5.5-inch Pixel XL. Or, go even smaller with the 4.6-inch Xperia X Compact.

AndroidPIT huawei mate 9 0144
You don't need a giant 6-inch Huawei Mate 9. / © AndroidPIT

For me, around five inches is about perfect. For you, a phablet like the 5.5-inch OnePlus 3T might be best, if you're a giant. But, I urge you to think about whether you really need a bigger phone, because I doubt your face and hands are getting bigger every year.

When is enough, enough? What's your optimal phone size? Let me know in the comments.

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72 comments

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  • I had a 5-inch regular Z1 on a 2-year contract but after 14 months I wanted out. Bigger screens would be OK if the bezels didn't make the whole phone so big. The S8 seems too long.
    I now have a 4-inch iPhone SE and am still surprised by how easy and ergonomic it is to use. The keyboard is small but glide typing with Gboard takes care of texting. There is such a thing as big enough. For now, with the phones currently available, I will not sacrifice compactness.
    My 4.6-inch Z5 Compact was absolutely perfect and I would never want more. The bezels were beautifully small.


  • Sorin Jan 5, 2018 Link to comment

    For those who are truly passionate about large diagonals, they can use a 10 "tablet as a handset, and then they even solve all the chores, or just as well for those who truly love big diagonals are the 24" you practically use a TV for your phone calls.
    My personal opinion is that a 5.5 "diagonal is enough for anyone who wants a relatively large screen, or a maximum of 5.7 or maybe 6" for 18: 9 screen phones, in which case the edges of the screen be very narrow. I can see that the trend is big diagonal, about 5.5 ", a diagonal that offers good quality to read various information. For general use, even 5 to 5.2" screen phones are very practical and very easy to use with one hand.
    It's just a taste of taste.


  • Well, after the death of my Z3 Compact 4 days ago, I had no choice but to buy a big one yesterday, because Z5C is almost the same thing as Z3C in hardware and expensive (sony totally screw it), and Xperia XC is too expensive in my country.
    The other small phones are too weak in hardware, so I had to move from a 4.5 inch to a 5.5 inch phone (Moto Z play).
    I do not know how I am going to handle that since I hate these big screens (and my hands are small if compared to man average hands size). Unfortunatelly it was the only option with a current acceptable hardware which I could afford. My friend has a Z3 5.2 inch, for me it is big, not outrageously big, but big.
    I hope I will get used to it. As long as it fits in my pockets (I hate have to carry any kind of bag, men usually do), I think it will do fine.
    I'm still waiting the delivery.

    I don't blame the manufacturers for doing big phones, because in fact they should. But I like the high performance and small screens (anything between 4.5 and 5). The sad part is, the only flagships in small size today are with Sony. If you want to reduce size in other manufacturers, you also drastically reduce hardware .
    The day when technology allow us to completely fold our phones, I think it will be great, I will not complain anymore. :)


  • For me 5.7 inches was perfect. That phone has since been recalled and a 5.5 inch Edge is standing in until the S8 Edge or Note 8 is available. As for too big, I'm always using Bluetooth and hold my phone like a tablet - using both hands most of the time. Considering the studies that talk about how filthy an average phone screen is, who wants that next to their face anyway?


  • C H Dec 20, 2016 Link to comment

    5.0" is too big, bring back 4.5". I need a replacement for my 1st generation Moto X and there is nothing available that size on verizon. I don't watch videos or play games and I prefer to use my phone one handed. I am a big guy (6'3") but I like small phones.


  • For me, it's got to be 5.5 inches or bigger. I've got the S7 Edge, which is perfect because it has a high screen to body ratio thanks to the curved edges. It's not bulky like the Iphone Plus and has the haptic and physical home buttons so even the bit beneath the screen is usefull space.

    I honestly couldn't go back to a smaller, non curved phone easily!


  • I just got a ZTE Zmax Pro, a whopping 6" "phablet". I LOVE IT! For one thing, now I don't feel that I'm just speaking out into the air, but actually INTO THE PHONE. I always hated that about tiny smartphones. For another very important point... I really hate, loathe, and despise phones and phone calls; I can forgive mine for being a phone, because it's actually a computer -- which I love! It may be huge as phones go, but it's quite small, as computers go; it's considerably smaller than my 7" Samsung tablet, and MUCH faster, being an octa-core; it may even be faster than my dual-core i5 laptop PC -- which can't make phone calls. But anyone who says that a 6" phone is huge apparently doesn't recall when phones were metal, were attached to the wall, actually *dialed*, and made a "scritch" sound while doing it. THOSE phone handsets were huge, and also heavy -- probably about the same weight as my 6" handheld computer with case and glass screen protector... which also happens to be a phone.


    • Andria, I remember the funny old days of huge landline phones mounted on the wall. We're so lucky to live in a time when we have phones/computers that can fit in our pockets (and the option to text instead of making dreaded phone calls!). Thanks for your comment!


      • Still, nothing conveys your feelings like a phone call. My family would rather receive a thoughtful call than a cold text.


      • Most of my family wouldn't know what to do with a text. ;) But it's better to text my husband at work, if it's not terribly important -- hate to interrupt him at work just to tell him to stop by Kroger on the way home. :D But speaking as a relative newcomer to smartphones... it took me only a few weeks to be really glad for the nifty computer in my purse, if I needed to look up a location, or whatever. I resisted mobile phones till May of this year, but I'm a complete convert -- which is why it took only 7 months to go from a 4.5" budget phone, to a 6" "phablet" with considerably more power and speed.


  • My opinion is that an ideal phone should be between 5 and 5.5 inches. With a screen that big you can easily enjoy media, games and maybe everything that you do with your phone. But if your hands are smaller and these phones are maybe too bulky for you than you should take a smaller device, or if you prefer to watch movies and a lot of youtube than you should aim for a bigger screen.
    Manufacturers made phones in all sizes, styles and functions so that we the costumers can freely choose the one that fits best our needs and taste. It is true that you can make a standard size that would fit everybodys needs but the best thing is that you dont have to. You can choose whatever phone you like and that is why I like android phones so much, because there is a phone for every user no matter the price or size or UI or whatever people are looking for in a new phone.


  •   1
    Deactivated Account Dec 18, 2016 Link to comment

    Omar Hamwi perhaps have small pockets and small hands? My trusty old z ultra fits fine in my regular pants.. in my hands and to my face.. 6,4 Inch screen 18 x 9 cm ~ 7 x 3,5 inch.


  • My current phone is 5.2, will go for a 5.5 next time. Being able to see the screen is the most important thing.
    You can squint, I have old eyes and don't want or need to.


  • No one ever went to their grave wishing they had a smaller phone.


  • 5 inch all the way.


  • For me I find that the Galaxy S4 is the best phone from it's size and feeling of the touch, I tried many phones ( big new ones ) but I downgraded back to the 5.0 inch Galaxy S4. And for those who read and say wtf is this guy saying the Galaxy s4 is a 2013 phone get the hell out of there, I say that I customized the ROM as I want it to be ;) Any way this is to support the opinion of 5.0 inch phones are the best to handle.


  • andy Dec 17, 2016 Link to comment

    I want a bigger phone than my one plus one as my eyes are f@cked ,the only thing that keeps growing is my ears and eye brows 😨😨


  • Toin Dec 17, 2016 Link to comment

    i have a 6-inch screen phone. putting your phone in your back pocket is never clever. with my phone in my front pocket I can sit down without problems. You are making a fuzz about nothing. Calling people dorks because you have another opinion. Poor.


  •   12
    Deactivated Account Dec 17, 2016 Link to comment

    Progress is progress thanks to Samsung if they didn't exist everyone would have tiny useless handsets ask Apple.


  • Old eyes (like mine) like bigger phones. Used to use a Galaxy S3 for almost 3 years. Once I went to LG G4 & v10 love the bigger screen. Tried a Galaxy S7, returned it for the S7 Edge.


  • People used to complain about larger screen phones, but watching videos and playing games on large screen phones are superb for viewing, now it 2017 we might get folding phones that can be double opened to make them like using a tablet, this would be very popular indeed reguarding the cost of this type of phone, just look how popular thats Samsung Note series phones are so popular with consumers, now everyone else is releasing large screen phones


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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!
    SIMPLE.


    • True! Looking at the photo in the article, my reaction was "wait... you mean keeping your phone in your *back* pocket?" It just seems so counter-intuitive. You might as well keep your phone in the road outside your house.

      Not to mention that my Note 4 has a number of different options for one-handed operation. I like screen reduction, meself.


  • 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 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!


  • I use the sony xperia compact line of phones for this reason, I LOVE the smaller form factor. My dream phone would be the original Moto X with Sony's latest camera sensor in it, it was the perfect size and shape .


  • What kind of pants do you where? I can put a 5.3 inch galaxy note with 5000mah battery, 5,5 inch zuk z1 , galaxy Spica and LG cookie in my pocket, and no I do not where wide skater pants. Personally I love big screens my current phone has 5,5 inch which is perfect for me


  • Toin Nov 19, 2015 Link to comment

    On my huawei mate 7,on 6". Battery life is no concern. I like the size for watching movies and photographs. I think the article is too negative. Never experienced problems putting it in my pockets.


  •   31
    Deactivated Account Nov 19, 2015 Link to comment

    if it's just phone calls I'd go "compact" but it's multi media usage that has me using and liking a large device, currently I swap sims between a 2nd gen moto x for reasonable portability and a nexus 6 for everything else.
    there is no definitive size, it's such a personal thing, the most important thing is having a choice.


  • When I hag Samsung GS4 I thought to myself that it is perfect size with its 5inc my girlfriend at the time had Samsung note4 and it seamed gigantic to me as did iphone 6plus that I saw some using it on the bus but now I have Samsung GS6Edge+ and my old GS4 Looks to small to me but when I see note4 still seams to big and iPhone 6splus to. So I guess 5.7 inch is the right size for me no bigger. But it has to be gs6edge+ and yeah I dont feel it in the pocet at all some times I think I have lost it and have to check the pocet. And smartphone manufacturers did stop with size two years ago.


  • Mark
    • Admin
    Nov 19, 2015 Link to comment

    To me the perfect phone size is 5 and 5,5 inch screen I prefer one closer to 5. If I am traveling or know I will have lots of down time waiting. I will bring an 8 inch tablet for games and videos. That way I don't drain my phone battery playing and watching. It is not a mater of hand size for me I wear 3xl gloves. The smaller phones fit nicely into a pocket, and when traveling I usually have a small back pack for tablet and other things.


  • I'm agree with you but from my point of view big smartphone is good for entertainment while waiting videos 📹 playing ▶ games. ✌


  • storm Nov 19, 2015 Link to comment

    Wait until you get older and your vision changes. Big is GOOD.


  • Apple seems to realise this so they just sell a larger version of their phones instead of making all iPhones larger!


  • I've been thinking the same thing. I'm a pure Android user, and favor the Nexus phones. I had the Nexus 4 for three years, and for the last two years I've been using the Nexus 5, I was thinking about about upgrading to a new Nexus this year, but haven't done so because to me both the Nexus 5X and 6P are to large for me. Sad but I'm left with either staying with the N5 for another year which is Ok with me because I still like the phone, or dare I say possibly for the first time buy a Samsung S6 which is just about the right size for my taste.


  • I have the LG v10 and don't mind the size. I am older and I can see stuff on the phone better. One handed is not real easy but I adapt. Love the phone better then the Galaxy s5 I had


  • The size of my Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is absolutely perfect. 5.1 inches. Perfect I says.


  • The right size is what works for the person. Your opinion is only good for you, not anyone else. I have a 5.7" and I would like to have one bigger like 8" and then have no need for a tablet.


  • The perfect size is similar to the iPhone 5s


  • java Nov 19, 2015 Link to comment

    I'd love a smaller Note. I miss the squatter shape of the original Note.

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