Are Smartphones Getting Too Big?

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iPhone Mini
Photo by Onur Binay on Unsplash

I wish Apple would bring back the iPhone Mini!

The other morning I decided to commute to work by train, I left the house bright and early, rented an e-scooter and went to the train station.

It was quite a chilly morning, so I got myself a coffee. I then went to the platform with my phone in one hand and my coffee in the other. I proceeded to check my emails and scroll through X. That’s when I realised how annoying it can be to use a large smartphone one-handed.

I know that most smartphones have a one-handed mode built into the keyboard, but that doesn’t stop the phone from being cumbersome.

I tend to use 3 smartphones, I have my iPhone 14 Pro Max, which is currently my main phone, and I have a Google Pixel 7 Pro which I use for testing and for my side hustle. I also have a Samsung Galaxy A34 5G, which is my work phone.

All 3 of those phones are rather large, both the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Google Pixel 7 Pro have a 6.7-inch display, whereas the Samsung A34 has a 6.6-inch display.

In comparison, my previous iPhone SE (2nd generation) has a 4.7-inch display and the iPhone 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch display.

If Apple were to release a new iPhone Mini, I would definitely consider buying one, here’s why…

They are the perfect size for a phone!

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes, it’s nice to have a large phone, you can see more, I find it easier to use the camera, and it’s a better size if you want to watch videos or play games.

However, I don’t tend to play games on my phone and I rarely watch YouTube videos on it. To me, my phone is a tool which I use for work, browsing the internet and social media and above all, keeping in touch with people.

I also tend to keep my phone in my pocket, and sometimes it can be uncomfortable to carry a larger phone, especially if my pockets are small.

That is why, having used many smaller phones in the past, I am starting to miss them.

The one thing that the Google Pixel 7 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max have in common is that due to their size, typing one-handed can be rather difficult even with one-handed mode enabled. I can’t count the number of times I nearly dropped my phone while typing!

But are smartphones getting too big?

There are many advantages to having a bigger screen on a phone, especially from the usability perspective, the only trouble is that it is difficult to use them one-handed.

This leads me to my next question, are phones getting too big?

Personally, I wouldn’t buy a phone that is larger than 6.7-inch, no matter how good it is. I guess that means that I won’t be getting the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. But I don’t have a problem with that as with my hands, I can barely manage to use a 6.7-inch phone.

Moreover, I remember that the first tablet I ever had was an Asus MemoPad HD7, which had a screen size of 7 inches. I just can’t get over the fact that smartphones have similar screen sizes as tablets did many years ago!

The truth of the matter is that over the last couple of years, smartphones have been getting bigger and many manufacturers have found a solution to the problem. The funny thing is that it means making the display even bigger than before!

Is the solution to make smartphones even bigger?

It kind of is, I mean the truth of the matter is that it’s nice to have that screen real estate, it just needs to be usable, especially if you are using it one-handed.

The solution is to make phones foldable.

If you prefer a larger screen, maybe because your phone is your primary device, or you use it for work, it’s always good to have that extra room when you need it. But you should be able to it as a phone as well without having to do any hand exercises to hold your phone in one hand.

Take the Samsung Galaxy Z-Fold 5 as an example, the main display is 7.6 inches whereas the sub-display is 6.2 inches, which is a nice size, especially if you are using your phone one-handed. The Google Pixel Fold also has a 7.6-inch main display, but the sub-display is 5.8 inches, which is another nice size!

Those phones are the perfect size to hold in your hand and as a bonus, you get a larger display for when you require it.

The Verdict

To answer the question, I definitely think that smartphones are getting bigger, but to make them more convenient and technically smaller, we have to make them even bigger and foldable.

I think that a 6.7-inch smartphone is where the limit is for me, especially since I already struggle to use it single-handedly.

That is why if Apple releases a new iPhone Mini, I would strongly consider buying it. But I don’t think it should be only Apple that releases smaller smartphones, I feel that brands such as Google and Samsung should give it a go too!

Do you think that smartphones are getting too big? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!