Back in October of 2012 I purchased my first handheld device. The iPod touch 2nd generation. I was thrilled. I could listen to music on the go, play a few games here and there, and the orientation the screen even changed when I held the device in different positions. On the front there was a vibrant 3.5 inch 480×320 display, which made consuming media wonderful. I didn’t even question the screen size, it was the norm at the time.
After a few months of owning this, I got frustrated with it’s limited support in the App Store (because of an outdated version of iOS). I sold this wonderful little device for something way more beautiful: the chunky and very plasticy feeling iPhone 3GS. I could now download any app I wanted from the App Store, and I even had the ability to have a background wallpaper (revolutionary, right?). The display was similar to my iPod: lower resolution than current devices, but still the same size as most. Unfortunately, this phone lasted even less than the last, ending it’s life through an exploded battery (long story).
Continuing to rethink things, I decided to try a new operating system: Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 on the Google Nexus S. With a screen size increase of 1/2 an inch, how could I go wrong?
And being a Nexus, naturally I could always stay up to date on Android. The size bump of the display seemed great, almost excellent. Although I concluded that 4.5 inches, just half an inch bigger, would be pretty much ideal.
About 10 months passed, and this phone became painfully slow. Luckily I found a great deal on a Samsung Galaxy S3. Now this guy really seemed like a mammoth. It had a 4.7 inch display. This brought a whole new feel to the device, it was so much more captivating. But as time went on, I again came to a new ruling: 4.7 inches is great, but around 5 inches would be absolutely perfect.
And that, brings me up to the present. The acquiring of an LG G3. This exceeded my most previous “around 5 inches” resolution. It has a 5.5 inch display. This was up with the big guys. I was a little worried that it might be a little too big. And if it wasn’t too big, I probably had reached my maximum.
Nope, not yet.
At first it seemed a little big, but I could definitely manage it. Use with one hand wasn’t perfection, but it certainly wasn’t hard. The actual experience of the big screen was fabulous, I again received the wonderful feeling of carrying a theater in my pocket. After a day or two the screen size became to feel normal and completely manageable. One handed usage really wasn’t a problem. And then I again decided: I think I could go bigger.
There has been a trend phones getting larger, and there’s a reason: large phones give you a much better experience than smaller phones do. I don’t think I really need to explain this: a big display creates a larger interface that can fit more stuff. And we’re all about fitting a bunch of stuff right? Not only this, but a bigger phone usually also have bigger batteries. But just try using a phone whose screen is even a little bigger than what you’re you used to, it’s pretty great. It gives a whole new feel to your user experience.
Of course there are limitations to how practical large phones are. I mean we can’t go around having tablets in our pockets. A person with small hands can’t easily handle a 5.5 inch device, as well as someone with bigger hands can. But there’s also a sacrifice aspect involved: is it worth sacrificing one handed usage for a bigger display? In our multitasking society maybe not, but its certianly somthing to consider. People also misconstrue the size of a device because of large cases. For example, my Galaxy S3 with a bulky case is almost the same size as the G3 without a case. But that depends where you’re at with protecting your phone. Decisions have to be made. It all really boils down to what you can and can’t handle. For me, I just haven’t found what I can’t handle, and I think I’ll keep going bigger until I find my limit.