With CES being last week and the Mobile World Congress being just around the corner, the phone community is buzzing with rumors and anticipation for new mobile devices. Very recently, supposed specs got leaked for an Optimus G Pro phone, which will apparently be equipped with a 5 inch, 1080p display. This phone follows closely on the heels of last years HTC Droid DNA and the infamous Galaxy Note II.
All of these phones are sporting 5+ inch displays, some with full HD quality. However after using my own 4.65 inch display on the Galaxy Nexus, I’m forced to wonder when big becomes too big. Are phones just going to keep increasing in size exponentially until everyone walking down the street is holding a 10 inch tablet to their face?
I remember a long time ago, Steve Jobs was explaining his devotion to the 3.5 inch form factor. He said that the thumb can get to anywhere it needs to be on the screen without adjusting the grip. Some people bought in to this while others laughed. At the time, while holding my 3.7 inch Nexus One, I was one of the latter.
The problem is that now this joke has become a reality. It is IMPOSSIBLE to do much on today’s phones with one hand (or at least without adjusting the grip). Try type sending a text with the stock keyboard on a Galaxy Note. It’s impossible, and you may just drop your phone in the process.
Now, I don’t represent everyone. I do have fairly small hands, however I doubt anybody aside from Shaq will be able to get their thumb across 3+ inches wide of screen. Not to mention the distance between the keyboard and the notification drawer is massive. The drawer, which is the iconic feature of android as well as one of it’s biggest selling points, is rendered nearly useless.
I understand the desire for huge screens with impressive graphics for consuming all the great media the internet has to offer. It’s one of the reasons smartphones are great. I just find myself complaining when I have to use my device for what it actually is, a phone. I reminisce to the days of old where I could text someone while drinking a soda pop.
Am I just being lazy? Possibly. Do I raise a valid concern? Yes. Phones are still flimsy enough that with all this hand adjusting on the go, you very probably will drop your $300 dollar device. Even safety aside, phones are just becoming unwieldy and uncomfortable to hold in just one hand. I think a compromise needs to be made between these amazing display resolutions and actual functionality. Maybe it will come soon, maybe not. Maybe that joke about talking on a tablet will become a reality.
Until something shows, I’m going to be sitting here dreaming of 4 inch smartphone with a 720p display. Who’s with me?
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