I hope some manufacturers stick to smaller screensAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
2014 is upon us now, as many of you know (or perhaps you don't if you're still recovering from a crazy New Year's Eve party - no judgements here) and with the new year brings a lot of potential for new smartphones and devices to come during the next 12 months. It's an exciting time, and as we patiently wait and twiddle our thumbs while we wait for CES 2014 to begin next week I'm sure many of you are in the same boat as me and still find yourself daydreaming about what fruit the new year will produce.
Right now I find myself curious about what kind of screen sizes will come out of the new year.
It's not the most exciting spec, but it's one of the most intimidating and important when it comes to choosing the next smartphone you'll be carrying for what's likely to be the next several months. The past couple of years have been particularly interesting when it comes to screen sizes for the simple fact that they just keep getting bigger. In 2013 alone we saw an influx of devices with screens larger than I could have ever imagined a smartphone would ever have. Not only did we have the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which was a given looking back at the daring sizes of the original Note and the Note II, but we also other manufacturers get in on the big phone bandwagon as well. We have phones like the HTC One Max, the Nokia Lumia 1520, and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. A 5.9-inch phone, a 6-inch phone, and a 6.4-inch phone. And of course we can't forget about the Samsung Galaxy Mega, which came in both 5.8 and 6.3-inch iterations. If 2013 was to be known for anything, it would probably be known as a year that produced really big phones.
So the question remains whether 2014 will produce big phones as well, or will the sizes mellow at this point?
My hope is that the sizes mellow out. After all, some phones (or phablets) are already cutting it close as to whether they're more phone than tablet, or whether they're just tablets with phone features on them. There's nothing wrong with this if the device sells, but it seems like a lot of manufacturers are following the "bigger is better" motto, and although I'm a little more open to the idea of bigger screens now myself (as oppose to before where I was adamantly against them) there is still a spot in my heart where I hope that some models of phones will continue to allow customers to appreciate the smaller things in life, if you will.
Take the iPhone for example. Although my fellow editor Evan would probably disagree, I feel like the iPhone should stay small for as long as it possibly can. In a world where phones only seem to get bigger, the one thing that the iPhone has been able to stay strong about is staying small, or small-ish. I'm not saying that the iPhone would do badly if it were to have a bigger screen; perhaps an iPhone phablet is something that Apple could benefit from selling. However, I think it would be a disappointment for a lot of people if Apple opted to give the iPhone an even larger screen and leave some consumers, many who are still used to 3.5-inch screens, in the dark.
Do I think 2014 will produce bigger devices? Definitely. There are already next generation devices that are rumored to have larger screens than they had last year, such as the HTC One's follow-up device and the Galaxy S5(?), and of course we can safely assume that the next Galaxy Note device will also one-up its previous generation. But while I think that 2014 will continue to produce bigger devices, I am hoping that some flagships will be able to improve in specs and performance without needing to increase the screen size on all of them.
Human hands can only handle phones so big. I don't think anybody is ready for the Samsung Galaxy Mega... Mega.
Readers, what do you hope to see when it comes to screen sizes in 2014? Do you hope to see phones get bigger, or are you hoping to see some smaller screens? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!