Mobile tech: Is bigger really better?

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The release of the Samsung Galaxy Note, Google Nexus 6 and iPhone Plus show the continuing trend for larger devices in the world of mobile tech.

But is bigger really better?

When Samsung released the first Galaxy Note everybody was laughing. Nobody thought that the idea of a gigantic phone would take off and last long. The same way that everyone thought a gaming console with two screens would last when the Nintendo DS was released but how wrong we all were! It seems now that people are happy to carry around large phones with them and are comfortable with whipping out a full sized iPad whilst on the BTS.

But what do you get from the larger size?

Most phones now have large screens such as the Galaxy Note 4, the Google Nexus 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus but, apart from that, surely the phone is still a phone? Manufacturers are happy to say how well their phone is when it comes to the clarity of display or the light and thin materials used but, at the end of the day, the phone itself has never been upgraded.

A phone is still a phone after all. Just because the phone has a better camera or the latest OS version it can still only really make or receive calls. Sure, there is email access and the internet but many people still buy the latest phones with no real knowledge or need for such things. So surely phone manufacturers should focus on other areas beside phone capabilities?

Why has nobody released a battery for a mobile phone that can go without charge for a week?

andorid battery_1

Smartwatches are still in their infancy but my Pebble watch can outlast the battery life of the Galaxy Gear and the LG G Watch easily and that is because the Pebble watch focuses less on features and more on practicality and smartphone manufacturers should do the same.

People are still more than happy to buy a cheap mobile phone. Nokia may be down but they are not out and their cheap phones still make Nokia the premier provider in developing countries. With Nokia now focusing on affordable Android devices it shows that they still may yet remain relevant in the smartphone industry.

Practicality vs performance with new mobile tech

Project ara

Google’s new ‘Project Ara’

However, customers seem to want the latest specifications and the best features whichever form of mobile tech they happen to be purchasing.   Customers have not yet made the shift to want practicality over performance and that is why the likes of Apple and Samsung never really change their flagship mobile devices yet they always sell in millions.

It should only be a matter of time before customers decide with their wallets by not purchasing the latest devices and that is why Google and its ambitious Ara project may still prove to be the turning point of the mobile industry for when practicality is more important than performance.

But, until Google releases Ara, and they may not get it right the first time, it seems that we will still want to buy the latest and greatest smartphone models and this means, as we saw with the iPhone 6 Plus, from a company whose creator said they would never release a large screen phone, that things may be getting even bigger – but will it ever actually get better?

Ian
Ian, in what little spare time he has, is always interested in all things tech. Ever since the Commodore Amiga up until the latest smartphones and consoles. If it’s great tech then he is passionate about it and loves writing about it to anyone who is interested in reading it. Ian currently divides his time between the UK and Thailand.
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6 Comments

  1. jeffrey346 on

    Keep you eye on Huawei and Xiaomi. They are building phones that are just as fast (and often more stylish), all the while being significantly cheaper than what Samsung, Apple, LG and the other major manufactures are putting out.

  2. Bigger is not necessarily better.

    Have been using a 5,5″ for the last year or so, but have recently “downgraded” to a Z3 Compact. Ideally I would like to have a 5″ mobile, but I could not find any new models in that size now.

  3. Yes, larger is definitely better.
    – If your eye sight is good and you own a rooted android phone, you can change the DPI settings in build.prop to make everything smaller and fill much more information on the larger screen.
    – If your eye sight is bad, larger phones, with their default DPI settings, make everything look bigger obviously, so far more readable.
    – Using the virtual keyboard is far easier on larger screens (although one hand operation is usually impossible)

  4. Jan Moeskops on

    Electricity travels the speed of light. In a second electricity can travel around the world like 7 times (or was it nine?). So that’s fast, hey?..but you do have to travel. 1.7 Hz means 1.7 Giga electric pulses. So thats a lot, hey?..but you need that. More is better and to much is never enough. But when the device is big…the distance is larger than when te device is small. So looking at it, that way. Small devices are better.

  5. David jerauld on

    Up until last year when I bought my first 5″, large screen phone, when I traveled, I had to carry two devices; a mobile phone and a 8″ tablet for reading publications. Now, my current 5.5″ phone is suitable for those publications so the tablet is unnecessary, one less device in my bag.

    Both the Lenovo P780 and Huawei Ascend Mate are large screen phones with 4000 mAh batteries; maybe not enough for a full week but with a little care, three or four days moderate use.