Boards are fundraising to help the people of Ukraine via the Red Cross at this horrific time. Please donate and share if you can, you will find the link here. Many thanks.

Why are 99% of phones so comically large?

  • 08-11-2021 8:51pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭ Markus Antonius

    I had to buy a 2017 phone in order to get anything even remotely close to the size that I want (a 5.7" moto g) and even this is like a caricatured clown phone. Why are 99% of phones so ridiculously huge? With the exception of Iphone and google pixel and the folding phones everything seems to be 6.5"+!

    Why?? Is it because they are all buying components from the same supplier? Is it market research/profit margin? Surely a company that releases a slightly smaller phone would hit a huge market for those who want it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,568 ✭✭✭ recode the site

    Size of components that increasingly powerful and app capacious phones have to hold plus demand for larger screens for doing everything from composing excel sheets to watching movies. One would think there is still a fair market for neater phones though.

    I remember the days when analogue phones started out huge with big antenna, then a couple of years after going digital it was the coolest thing to own the tiniest phone out there, and some were minuscule and got rather pathetic WAP services.

    модерирует путин is the ultimate tongue twister 

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,916 ✭✭✭ 28064212 - There's a hundred phones released after 2019 with a display size under 5.5"

    Boardsie Enhancement Suite - a browser extension to make using post-migration Boards on desktop a better experience (includes full-width display, keyboard shortcuts, and a dark mode setting)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭ Markus Antonius

    But this is the problem, the bigger they make the screens the bigger the components they need to output the higher resolutions required. It's a compounding problem every year. One of the students at work came in recently and honest to god, his phone was bigger than his head.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 70,310 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn

    It's the only way to go if you want to do more than text people and make calls/

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭ Markus Antonius

    About 8-9 years ago, Sony Ericsson made a small smart phone about half the size of an iphone, especially to give all the functions people wanted but in a size that you could use with one hand. It was the business. If they made one again I would buy it in a second.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,366 ✭✭✭✭ kowloon

    I'm having the opposite problem right now. I have **** eyesight so I use a Samsung S6 tablet as a phone. Has a 10.4" screen so I can read texts and use Whatsapp and the like. I have to change device to use a blood glucose sensor and it flat out prohibits any device not on the manufacturer's compatibility list from running the app. I'm going to find screen sizes around "6.5 or less hard to work with.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 30,544 ✭✭✭✭ listermint

    Find a stand alone glucose sensor that doesn't need an app?

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,366 ✭✭✭✭ kowloon

    The sensor is just a probe that sticks into your skin with a little sealed transmitter. The advantage is it continuously reads your blood glucose and warns you before things go south and you go low or have a seizure. But you need something to read the sensor and display the data. It lets you have much tighter control than a separate meter that you have to use blood test strips with.

    I'll find a suitable device, but I wish larger phones/phablets were more mainstream. The likes of the Fold Z 3 would be ideal as it has the larger screen size covered, but it's not priced as a mainstream phone and the folding screen is still a bit rough. Give it a few years and I'm sure I'll have something like that.

    I think a folding device would solve the problem the OP is having while also allowing plenty of screen space for people need to be able to get the most out of the device.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,303 ✭✭✭✭ jimmycrackcorm

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,366 ✭✭✭✭ kowloon

    I do, but there's a limit to what they can do for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,828 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    A big screen is paramount really..phones now are mini tablets. Users demand a similar media as well as overall functionality...

    when it became all about tiny phones I had a Motorola V something i can’t remember the exact phone name but it was too small. One of those flip jobs, It was a novelty... “ wow cool it’s tiny “ you’d hear... battery was ****, you kept hitting the button adjacent to the one you were trying to press an SII after that which was excellent...a big slim phone with great screen, camera and apps....

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,889 ✭✭✭✭ Donald Trump

    Is that you Zoolander?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,541 ✭✭✭ riclad

    Because people use phones to watch YouTube videos, tik Tok, Instagram, browse the Web, you can still buy 4 or 5 inch phones if you like, Also for millions of people the only Internet device the have is a phone, a 6.5 phone is 150 euro why would you buy a small phone if you want to browse the Web use YouTube etc some people play games on phones

    Almost anyone can afford to spend 150 euro on a phone why buy a small phone?

    Most people buy TVs at least 40 to 50 inch screen why not they are so cheap

  • Registered Users Posts: 933 ✭✭✭ notAMember

    This is pure consumerism.

    You buy a 50 inch tv, now you need a massive house to put it in. Where does it go after it’s lifespan with you? Landfill in Southeast Asia?

    With every purchase you make of a “thing”, that thing has a lifecycle. Created, stored, maintained, through to its destruction. waste management, environmental impact all through its life. The bigger it is, the larger the impact.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,366 ✭✭✭✭ kowloon

    I ended up getting a 6.8" phone that was compatible with the glucose monitoring system. I'll see if its as usable as my 10.7" tablet

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,573 ✭✭✭✭ B.A._Baracus

    To answer your question op, screen size is dependant on what people want to use it for.

    To give an example, in the early to mid 2000s small phones were all the rage. The smaller the better it seemed at one point. But most people didn't use their phone for Internet (wap sucked) and there was no watching movies or YouTube on it.

    Now it's all about YouTube, movies (Netflix etc) apps etc. People want and need a bigger screen.

  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 19,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Mr.S

    Because we live in an age of rich media, mostly consumed on mobile devices. People want bigger screens - to a certain degree.

    Pre 2007ish, all people did was phone, text and some light media like mp3 - no need for a big screen, which is why we saw phones getting smaller and smaller.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭ Markus Antonius

    I think the "market data" that people want bigger phones is a load of BS. It's the manufacturers dictating what the market wants purely for manufacturability and thus profitability. The dead giveaway is the complete lack of choice (with the exception of Apple) Nearly every popular new phone release is the exact same size regardless of who manufactures it. 5 years ago they were all 5.8" phones. 3 years ago - 6.2" and now they are 6.8".

    If the manufacturers wanted to get ahead of the rest then why not just release 7, 7.5", 8" phones right now?

    Any phone that you have to remove from your pocket to sit down is too big.

    I do like the look of the foldables but thy are just too expensive at the moment

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,242 ✭✭✭ Royale with Cheese

    I think it's odd there's so few decent options with Android under 6 inches while the fairly small iPhone lineup has the mini and the SE. My mother was looking for a new phone and I found it very hard to recommend anything to her as all the good options are 6.5"+. She's always used Android and has no interest in switching, otherwise I'd be recommending an iPhone to her.

    My wife uses an iPhone SE and has always found my phones comically large, if she ever wants to get something better she always has the option of getting the 13 or 12 mini. She's only ever used iPhone and I've half heartedly suggested switching to Android to her in the past as there are far more options in the budget/mid level range, but the physical size of everything on Android would definitely put her off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,149 ✭✭✭ The J Stands for Jay

    It was terrible. I still keep it to remind me how bad it was

  • Subscribers Posts: 35,347 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat

    heres a list of over 7000 different phones with screen sizes 5.8" or less

    heres a list of over 1770 different phones with screen sizes 5.9" or more

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 87,006 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight

    Oddly enough as display technology has moved from CRT to CFL to LED the power usage of TV's has remained constant because they get replaced by much bigger ones. And they are a lot lighter and thinner too so less materials and easier to wall mount.

    Richer Sounds offer a 6 year warranty because any half decent TV should easily last that long. And thanks to smart sticks you can upgrade the features of any TV so you don't have to worry about them becoming obsolete. It's likely you can cast from an ap on your phone to your TV already.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,202 ✭✭✭✭ Spanish Eyes

    I'm another one who hates big phones, but I am stubborn and a Philistine I suppose. Have an IPhone 8 64GB. It is perfect for me. I know it is not the latest la di da millions of data and whatnot, but I like it, and hope that by the time I need to replace it something of similar size or an affordable flip type will be available.

    I use it for Netflix, YouTube, Audible, and the usual apps like Whatsapp etc. Never had an issue touch feckin wood. But I am boring so it suits my needs to a T.

    I wish they would incorporate a fold out stand for phones though. That would be ace.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,417 ✭✭✭ dotsman

    I'm not sure why you think the good options are 6.5"+?

    Take the S21, it's only 6.2 while the S21 Fe is 6.4.

    The Pixel is 6.4", while the Pixel 4a is only 5.8".

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,242 ✭✭✭ Royale with Cheese

    The Pixel 4a is what I recommended initially, she ended up keeping her phone for the time being though. Google were charging full price for it after a full year on the market too and didn't discount it at all for Black Friday. Not exactly great value either.

    6.2/6.5... no difference. It's not a small phone either way.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭ Markus Antonius

    Most of those are watches or 10+ year old/discontinued phones...