Nokia might be jumping the gun on the rumored Lumia 1520Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
A "big" trend in the mobile industry (hurr hurr) lately has been to make big screens - really big screens, in some cases. It's not just flagships anymore, either. Phones that are considered mid-range, and even low-end also seem to tote considerably larger displays these days. But for the most part so far, we're seeing the larger screens come from manufacturers of one platform, and that's Android. Lately we've been seeing hints of other manufacturers trying to get in on the phablet fun, with rumors of a 5-inch BlackBerry A10 phablet and, bigger yet, is Nokia's rumored Lumia 1520 6-inch phablet.
While a 6-inch screen is still not the largest we've seen, it's definitely a huge step up from the 4.5-inch Nokia Lumia devices that we're seeing today - many consider it to be too big of a step given that the screen size will increase a whopping 1.5-inches, putting it at just one-inch shy of being labeled as a tablet. I'm sure there are some people that are interested in a device this big, but for the most part, it seems like a very small number of people actually want to cut it this close when it comes to phones being a "phablet". Given that this device will also be running Windows Phone 8, I'm not sure if this is really the best move for Nokia or Windows Phone. Not yet, anyway.
Phablets are booming, that much is true. But what's not booming yet is phablets of this size. Whether it's because there haven't been many that have been released yet (only one so far in the U.S., the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3) or because we have finally reached the line between what's "too big" and "not big enough", there's still not enough evidence that this size of a device is what really sells. That, and then you have to consider that Samsung can release this type of device mostly because they're Samsung, it runs on Android, they have a boatload of money and it doesn't matter whether it flops or not. They've still got the Note and the Galaxy S line to save them from any sort of downfalls. Nokia doesn't have as much leeway at this point in time to experiment with such extreme measures.
That being said, I do think that Nokia deserves a phablet. I mean, they've got this great line of devices and doing their darndest to sell Windows Phone 8. The only thing they're missing that they really have control over is a bigger phone, and that's something they haven't done yet. What I think they should do is be a little more gradual about it. People seem to really dig 5 to 5.5-inch screens; at least, that's what seems like the sweet spot these days. 4.7-inches is also a good size to go with, but with the flagship Lumias already being 4.5-inches it wouldn't be enough of a jump to make it a point of interest, not to mention that 4.7-inches technically isn't phablet territory. 5-inches probably would have been a good starting point, maybe even a little bigger, and then slowly working their way up to get to that 6-inch mark if consumers showed enough interest.
On the other hand, Nokia might be in a position where a 6-inch device would benefit them. Nokia is at the forefront for Windows Phone 8, but is oddly missing from the tablet aspect of the market, which Windows 8 is doing notoriously badly in lately when it comes to selling devices like Surface RT. Although there has been rumors of Nokia coming out with a tablet of their own for Windows 8 sometime in the future, perhaps mashing the two together might seem like a better solution for the time being given that Nokia isn't exactly well-known for its fabulous tablets. However, it might be able to ride on its good reputation for having great phone hardware.
I know that people like me, who tend to lean towards smaller devices anyway, probably have no issues with the current 4.5" model of the phone; but I do know that those who have gotten more accustomed to larger screens would have even less interest to switching platforms if they don't have something comfortably comparable. What are your thoughts, phablet fans? Do you think that a 6-inch Nokia Lumia is pushing it too far when it comes to trying to please the crowds who want a larger phone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Image via Windows Phone Central, Digital Trends