When it comes to smartphones, how big is too big?

Taylor Martin
 from  Concord, NC
| Published: February 6, 2011

I can remember back at the launch of the original iPhone when I thought it was a “big phone.” Oh, how times have changed. Over the past year, a certain trend has settled in for the smartphone world. More and more devices are launching and a good portion of them are rather large handsets. The question at hand is: how big is too big?

When the EVO 4G was first rumored, the tech world was in awe of the phone that would change everything. Not only was it the first 4G phone to hit the United States, it was also one of the first modern smartphone with a touchscreen larger than 4-inches. It dwarfed my brand new Nexus One, stole the glory of several other flagship Android devices, and finally suppressed the woes of customers who find other touchscreens too small for comfortable use.

Some will argue that 4.3-inches is a perfect size for a phone. Based on my personal experience though, I find that specific screen size a tad too large. Even though I could be the leader of  the Fat Finger Club, 4-inches seems to be the sweet spot. Big enough to comfortably type and browse the web with, without being terribly bulky. I'll admit that the extra real estate makes a difference when typing or in use, but that is the point that pocketing the device can become a hassle. I carried the Droid X for several months. It was a great phone and I loved using it, but the bulk finally wore me down. I moved to a more comfortable size, 3.8-inches.

I'm aware that the subject is entirely based on preference, but the size of smartphones is starting to blur the line between phones and tablets. Most touchscreen smartphones' displays range from 3.2- to 4.3-inches, but it doesn't stop there; manufacturers apparently want to keep pushing the limits. Dell launched the Streak late in 2010 with a 5.0-inch display, and Samsung has at least one device coming in the next few months sporting a 4.5-inch display, with several other rumored devices following.

It's funny to think back at how manufacturers – prior to this smartphone boom – were pushing to see how small they could make phones. I figured we would eventually reach the days of carrying around phones like Derek Zoolander's. I couldn't have been more wrong. People are now carrying around phones that are being called "tablet phones."

Let's be honest, walking around talking on a 5-inch phone looks a little ridiculous. Not to mention, it is'nt exactly the easiest thing to slip in your pocket or sneak a text on. Phones larger than 4.3-inches are a little unrealistic and I can imagine they're somewhat awkward to hold and use. That said, what size phone do you use? Do you find it too big, too small? Will your next phone be bigger or smaller?

Image via Vuuuv

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