I'll never go bigger than a 5.7-inch smartphone

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: August 29, 2013

Do you remember the Dell Streak? I do. It's been a long while since that device was first introduced, more than three years in fact, but I can still remember it. Not because the device itself was all that great, but because of its size. Back then, it was huge. Back then, right around the time the device was first announced, there were pictures of the thing mocking it. Holding it up to their head, making jokes and what not.

So here we are now in 2013, where last year we saw the release of the Galaxy Note II, and we're right on the cusp of the launch of another Galaxy Note device that's supposed to bridge the gap between a smartphone and a tablet. The big defining feature? That big display. The Galaxy Note II measured in at 5.5-inches, and rumors suggest that the Galaxy Note III will boast a 5.7-inch panel.

What's noteworthy about that? Well, it brings me back to the Dell Streak. The Streak measured in at 5-inches, and apparently in three years we've completely accepted that size into our lives. Just a few years ago we were making fun of the Streak as a phone, and now, we've got devices like the Galaxy S 4, which is the same size, and I see that phone all over the place.

So, five inches. It used to be too big. Now? Now it's becoming the norm.

A couple of days ago I published my review of Samsung's Galaxy Mega 6.3. As is usual for devices like this, the numbers indicate the size of the display. Six point 3 inches. And, let me be really clear, here: It's a very, very big phone. So big, in fact, that it's legitimately too big.

For me, anyway.

My time with the Galaxy Mega 6.3 showed me one thing, and really one thing only: I absolutely won't use a phone that has a display anywhere near that size again. It's just not for me. It's too big. I thought maybe I could, but I can't. And when I was using it out in public, people legitimately stared at it.

And some? Some would ask me if it was the Galaxy Note (meaning the Note II, mind you). They saw a huge device, and so the question was an obvious one. But, when I told them what it was, and I let them put it in their hand and put it up to their face (like a phone should), they immediately gave it back to me and shook their head.

Some even had Galaxy S 4s, and we put them side-by-side. I told them that the Galaxy Note II had only a slightly bigger display than their Galaxy S 4, and they said they could handle that. But, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 was just too big . . . As a phone.

And I would agree wholeheartedly. For me, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 is too big, and even if it were a Galaxy Note device, with an S Pen and all the included features and benefits, I still wouldn't use it. It was just uncomfortable to use for text messaging, or even to take it out of my pocket. It wasn't worth the inconvenience of the size.

But, there were some who fell in love with the size. They wanted it just for the size. Any features that I could have spoken about didn't even matter. They just wanted the big screen. And I get that. After all, looking at pictures or watching movies was pretty great. Using the camera was like looking at the world through a huge viewfinder, and not a smartphone camera.

But ultimately, it isn't for me. I'm okay staying below five inches more often than not, but I'll wager that I can swing using the Galaxy Note III when it launches -- as long as it is 5.7-inches, and nothing bigger.

So tell me, how big of a phone do you want? How big of a phone can you stand using? Do you refuse to use something like the Galaxy Note II, or even the Galaxy S 4 because it's too big? Or is something like the Galaxy Mega 6.3 just perfect for you? Let me know!