5.3-inches is too big to be considered a phone

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| July 18, 2011

There are always trends in any market. The mobile market isn’t any different. In fact, it could be said that trends in the mobile space are probably worse than many other trends in any other market. After all, they get picked up pretty quickly by every major manufacturer out there, and considering there are so many different manufacturers out there, it’s hard to actually lose a trend, even when the trend needs to die out. We’ve seen phones get smaller, and we’ve seen phones get thinner. Most recently, though, while the trend to make our phones as thin as humanly possible is still staying strong, the general rule of thumb for manufacturers now is “bigger is better.” Unfortunately, that may be getting out of hand now.

I’ll admit that I’m a fan of big displays. I used to think that 3.5-inches was too big, but then when I got my hands on my first 4.3-inch display, I knew it was love at first touch. I don’t see the point of having a small screen on your mobile phone. After all, in today’s world there is so much to do on a phone, why would you want to experience it on a small display? A few years ago I would have said that anywhere around 3-inches would be big enough, but a few years ago I wasn’t playing incredibly detailed games, or trying to watch HD movies. Things change.

And that’s why I’m not really surprised to see that Samsung is reportedly making a device that features a 5.3-inch display. Of course, this isn’t the first mobile device we’ve seen hit the market with a display in that range. However, in that previous device (the Dell Streak), Dell was quick to point out that they’re positioning the Streak as a tablet, and not a phone. While I don’t think 5-inches warrants the tablet brand, it’s definitely too big to be a phone. And 5.3-inches, while .3-inches may not seem like a big deal, will make that “phone” feel like a behemoth in your hand.

And that’s why 5.3-inches (and probably even 5-inches) is just too big to be considered a “phone.” Seriously though, we’re in the market for huge devices and I get that, but when we’re looking at a phone that’s as big as your face, we may be pushing the trend a bit too far. The only argument that I can see for having a huge display like that, is the rumor that Samsung is installing one of their Super AMOLED Plus displays. That’s going to look ridiculous. When you look at a device like the Samsung Droid Charge and you see all those amazing colors, and you realize that it's a 4.3-inch display, then something like the Galaxy Q’s 5.3-inch monster will probably make you tear up out of joy.

And that’s probably a good enough argument, to be honest. When you look at a huge display, even when it comes to a phone, and the display is able to make you take a second look due to the color representation and detail therein, then you’ve probably got a winner in your hands. Will it be enough to convert those who think a 3.5-inch display (or even a 4-inch display) is big enough? Maybe. If you can show those folks why having a huge display like that is a good thing, then you’ve done enough to warrant their future purchase.

Will the Samsung Galaxy Q, if it is indeed a real device, be able to do that? At 5.3-inches and with the Super AMOLED Plus display, it has a real shot. But for me, I still think that 5.3-inches is too big to consider the device in question a phone. I’m not sure what to call it, considering it’s too small to be a “real” tablet, in my opinion. Maybe a mini-tablet. I’m not sure.

What do you think of the new size? Should Samsung aim a bit smaller, or is 5.3-inches perfect for you? Let me know what you think we should call a “phone” that has a 5-inch display, too. I’m curious.

Products mentioned