Have you moved on to bigger and better phones?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| November 2, 2013

As each new phone comes out lately, it's clear to me that the trend having a phone with a larger screen is probably not going anywhere any time soon. I kind of figured it would only be a matter of time before I myself had to throw up a white flag and admit defeat as a person who much prefers smaller phones to larger ones. I have a feeling by the time I pick up my next upgrade, my phone will be no smaller than 5 inches in screen size, simply because having better specs and a phone that runs smoothly is less agitating to me than having a smaller screen.

The majority of flagship phones that come out today will have a screen size of 5 inches or larger. If you're lucky, you can find one with 4.7-inches or so. If you prefer iOS, you better be able to embrace the small phone form-factor because 4 inches is as big as the screen is going to get for the time being. But it wasn't all that long ago that tech websites were mocking the size of phones like the Galaxy Nexus, which feature a 4.65 inch screen, for possibly being too large for the human hand to handle. Since then we've moved on to bigger and better things to mock, like the Galaxy Mega 6.3, which features a screen almost a whole 2 inches larger than the Galaxy Nexus. Two years ago, I would have wholeheartedly agreed with that article. Today, I'm relieved that that 4.7 inch screen is still around, because the 5-inch screen on the Galaxy S4 I had initially purchased really threw off my groove when it came to being able to hold the device without dropping it.

But now we have the Nexus 5, a phone that I was certain that I wanted before I even really knew what the official specs entailed. Nothing has changed, I still want it despite the fact that this phone also features a 5-inch screen. The difference between purchasing a Nexus 5 and a Galaxy S4 is that one would have locked me into a 2-year contract with no way out, and the Nexus 5 is not only cheaper to purchase, but I'm free to switch phones as I please. No contract needed. 

You see, if I had stuck with the Galaxy S4 and opted not to get the HTC One in its place, I feel like I probably would have eventually grown to be able to handle it a little better. I was incessantly annoyed at the fact that my night-time reading activities, which consists of me reading news articles on my phone before I go to sleep by holding my phone over my face while I lie in bed, become a lot more painful once I switched a phone that my hand could not exactly hold properly. I dropped my phone on my face countless times. I dropped my phone on the floor countless times. For the most part, I just dropped my phone a lot. And perhaps that has something to do from going straight to a phone with a 5-inch screen from a phone with a 3.5-inch screen. It is a huge jump, and perhaps it would have been wiser taking baby steps in order to condition myself for the change. Even the 4.7-inch HTC One was pushing the limit a little too far for me, but now I think I've grown accustomed to it. I've learned my way around the phone over the past few months where the 4.7-inch screen seems like it could be my new favorite size. I imagine at this point moving on to a 5-inch screen wouldn't be as big of a deal as I originally thought it would be. 

I think the even harder move at this point would be switching back to a smaller screen. I never realized, or maybe it's just that I never appreciated, how much a larger screen could improve certain aspects of a phone. Yes, I have owned Android phones larger than the 3.5-inch iPhone 4S before, but the issue with those phones was that I was too focused on the fact that Android was buggy, and I was annoyed with the interface overall. I couldn't care less about the screen size; it just wasn't important. What was important to me at the time was that iOS ran buttery smooth compared to the phones I had that were running Android. But now that Android has, in my opinion, at least caught up to being just about as smooth as iOS, my main concern has become screen size and how comfortable a phone is to hold in the hand. 

I think that the concern of just how large will manufacturers make phones before people stop buying them is going to be remedied by phones like the Samsung Galaxy Round, and even LG's G Flex. I have a really good feeling that curved phones will be a big hit in this industry, if for nothing else making us realize that we have been doing a great disservice to our hands by holding completely flat-backed devices when our palms have a natural curvature to them. I also think that this will make people who thought like me, who prefer smaller phones to larger ones due to discomfort, reconsider purchasing larger phones. I really think the curvature will help make getting a good grip on a device easier and more comfortable. 

As for me, I think I've already given up on smaller phones at this point. The Mini versions of phones that seem to accompany flagships now-a-days are great for people who care more about the size of a device than the performance, but since that's not how I tick, I think it's time to hang up my small-phone-embracing hat. 

Have you already made the switch to larger phones, readers? If so, when did you take the plunge? For those who haven't, do you see yourself ever going with a larger phone? 

Image via Wired