Big Phones

September 24, 2014

Kevin Berger


Rants, Trends

A few years ago phones were getting smaller and smaller to the point that they were hard to read and the idea of a phone/watch ala Dick Tracy didn’t seem too far away.  In the last few years we’ve seen the trend in phones go the other direction, to the point that one handed texting and app control is just about impossible.  The Phone/Watch has now evolved to become one of the myriad of phone accessories that are accessed via Blue Tooth or other means.  My wife, Dr. Rebecca Berger, wears ReSound hearing aids which are wirelessly linked to her phone for streaming music and even cooler, making the phone work to isolate conversations in restaurants.  (No, not other people’s conversations – the conversations at our table!  Less repeating for me… though no less repeating for her…)

Phones continue to get thinner, but they are getting larger and larger screens.  Great for watching videos, but that’s not why I have a phone nor how I use it most of the time.  The last go round I got a new Droid Razr Maxx replacing my previous Droid Razr Maxx that I loved.  Even though the increased size is minor, it’s enough to make it almost impossible for one handed use.  My thumb just won’t reach that far!

So though it pains me to admit this, maybe Steve Jobs got it right with the size of the original iPhone…  At least that’s what this article at Quartz posits.  The rise of the tablet has caused this and I’ve already opined on why I think that’s a step backward here.  I am pleased with the Swype feature for texting and typing on my phone (Something sorely missing from Apple products), but any additional growth in screen size will make this a two handed operation.  That’s not what I want in a phone.  I want a phone that I can put in my pocket.

As with most trends, there will probably be ups and downs over time.  I hope functionality wins out or at least “optionality”…  so I can have a phone that does what I need at a size that doesn’t split pocket seams and cause thumb strain…

Source:  Dick Tracy Image from

Source:  Thumb Reach picture from

Source:  Thumb Strain picture from

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