Large phones have won the battle, but not the warAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Have you ever heard the phrase, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"? If you haven’t, then congratulations - you're probably the trendsetter in your neck of the woods. If the phrase doesn't speak for itself in so many words, it basically means if you can't get what you want then you might as well give in to what everyone else is doing. It's a perfect phrase to describe how I'm feeling when it comes to my battle against gargantuan phones - slowly but surely it looks like what initially started out as a niche product, or a fad, has turned into a very real future for all of us.
It's time to dust off my white flag.
Phones have gone through a lot in a very short amount of time. Really. I mean, when I was just around 13 years old the coolest phone to have was that Nokia brick that was more dangerous to the floor than the floor was to the phone. It made calls and you could text. A year or so later we had flip phones, with color and internet and it could play “real tones” (you were lucky if you could make out the song through the static, but hey, it was real!) Soon enough we had phones with keyboards to aid the texter’s ever-loving addiction to typing, and then we had the iPhone. That was a real turning point on how we saw phones. The funny thing is, the iPhone was considered huge at the time, and I don’t just mean huge for the market. I mean physically people thought it was huge for a phone.
People got over that fact fairly quickly when we started realizing just how much more that “phone” does – people were willing to give up size for functionality. Soon the phone wasn’t seen as that big anymore once other manufacturers stepped in and decided to take it a step further when it came to size. The most notable example I can think of was the release of the HTC EVO 4G. The EVO was the first phone with 4G to hit the market, had a fantastic 8-megapixel camera, and it was positively ginormous at 4.3-inches. Seems almost miniscule now, but when it was released in mid-2010 it was quite the giant. And guess what? People loved it. Why? Because of the features, that’s why.
That seems to be when this race really started; the race to have the biggest, baddest phone around - the Fonzie of all phones. Ayyyy!
The thing about Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone is that none of their main features ever focus on phone calls themselves anymore. Nobody really makes a big deal about the clarity of the calls or anything like that. They care about data speeds, memory, and battery life. They're just not "phones" anymore, they really have become more of portable computers. So perhaps that's where this whole big phone thing comes in, because let’s face it: most of the time we're not holding the phone up to our heads anyway. When I look at my bill details every month it's clear to see that my data usage and text messaging far exceeds the amount of time I spend actually talking on the phone. So in the end why does it matter how big or small the "phone" really is? It's just measuring the size of the screen in front of our faces most the time, and it would make sense to say that bigger is better in that aspect.
Not so long ago I wrote an article regarding how size really isn't the issue anymore, speed is. As time goes along and I see new devices being released in the market I only see them getting bigger and more powerful - it only makes my argument for small phones tougher, especially when my only real example of a prime small phone is the iPhone, which is a phone that receives enough scrutiny as it is. At some point I think I have to realize that this "big phone" thing isn't something that will phase out overnight. After all, history has a tendency to repeat itself, so it makes sense that large phones are back in style. So what am I going to do about it? I can't beat ‘em.
So I join ‘em.
I will continue to have a sweet spot in my heart for small phones, but the odds are against me now. The time for wanting a big variety of smaller devices is not the present. I await the day that the small phone trend picks back up. For now, large phones may have won the battle, but they have not won the war!
Readers, how do you feel about the plethora of large phones being released? Do you think that the time for small phones has finally run out, or do you still feel that manufacturers should still make some top-tier phones for those who prefer small devices? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!