After using the Galaxy Note II, no normal-sized phone feels right

Published: November 30, 2012

In my time as a tech writer, I have used mobile devices of every size. I've had some smartphones with as small as 2.5-inch displays. And I've carried a 10-inch tablet with me almost every day for the last three years.

I love diversity, which is why I choose to carry more than one device with me everywhere I go. I carry no less than two phones – currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II and Apple iPhone 5 – and at at least one tablet with me every single day. When I have my bag on my back, chances are I have two tablets and a couple spare phones … just in case.

And I'm constantly switching things around. Even if I carry two phones as my primary devices, I sometimes pop my SIM card into another for a review or just to switch things up a bit. At the end of each day, one thing is certain: I have switched between and used several devices of all sizes.

Over the last month, however, I have begun to revisit a phenomenon that occurred back in March and April. Smaller devices are becoming more and more difficult to switch back to and fit into my routine.

Ever since I switched to the Galaxy Note II after the New York announcement party in October, the iPhone 5 has hardly left my pocket. Sometimes, I use it to answer (rare) phone calls and iMessage other iPhone users. Lately, I've even been using iMessage from my computer and iPad over the iPhone – for this very reason.

Everything from Web browsing and watching YouTube videos to messaging and other social activities has been delegated to the Galaxy Note II. Gaming, emails, taking (most) pictures, reading news and browsing Netflix for new things to add to my Instant Queue, too. Virtually everything I used my second phone for is now done with my primary. About the only thing I do with the iPhone anymore is stream Spotify in the car.

It's not comfortable to use at all. Not only do I find it difficult to cope with typing on the significantly smaller iPhone, the display used to be one of the standout features of the phone, yet it's not spectacular in any way anymore. Sure, the color gamut is extremely accurate, and it's as clear and as dense as it needs to be. But it's too small and no longer the prime example of a crystal clear mobile display. It's just another display.

That said, it's not just the iPhone that feels too small.

Earlier this afternoon, I met my friend for lunch. He carries a Samsung Galaxy S III and he recently purchased a Flip Cover for it. He sat it on the table and it hit me. "Wow, that thing is tiny," I thought. It's like my reality has become a bit distorted. The Galaxy S III certainly isn't small, and the Galaxy Note II is enormous. But after using the Galaxy Note II for a month, it feels just right. And everything else feels entirely too small for comfort.

Even when picking the One X up, it feels awkward to hold and use. When I take a minute to actually ponder the iPhone's small stature, it dawns on me how small it really is.

I'm not going to be naive enough to say I won't ever use a phone smaller than the Galaxy Note II again. I will. But that doesn't mean I want anything smaller either. I definitely don't want anything as small or smaller than the iPhone 5 ever again. In fact, unlike when I said the original Galaxy Note was borderline too big, I'm inclined to say I wouldn't mind a phone just slightly larger than the Galaxy Note II.

The Galaxy Note II is definitely a bit unwieldy at first. But after you get the hang of a 5.5-inch phone, it feels … optimal. And I definitely don't ever look forward to downsizing. I'm going to do my best to avoid it. I'm going to try to keep this phone until the Galaxy Note III comes around. (Yeah … right.)

How do you feel about the size of your phones, ladies and gents? Do you wish it were larger? Smaller? Or is it just right? Is the Galaxy Note II too big? Or the iPhone 5 too small? Sound off below!

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