Big Phone Vs Small Phone? Why I Switched From the iPhone to the Samsung Galaxy Note And Back

As Huawei unveiled the ginormous 6.1 inch Ascend Mate smartphone at CES last week, the debate over how big is too big raged on, and I decided to add my two cents as someone who has months of experience using a phablet, and years using an iPhone and smaller (think LG Chocolate). But… Check out the graphic we built on this before we get into it .

a comparison of the galaxy note, iphone 4, blackberry bold, and LG Chocolate

Is bigger always better?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phone sizes vary more than teen jean sizes. I remember staring in wonder at the bricks we called phones a decade ago. I would sift endlessly through their contact books, the one feature besides calling on their black and white screen. Honestly, calculators now have better screens, but at the time the technology was impressive. From there the trend was to build lighter phones, and that was done by making chips and displays smaller and more precise, so the trend shifted to the small end.

That just about peaked with the introduction of the Samsung Juke in 2007 with dimensional height of only 1.2 inches and a width of less than an inch. Ironically, Samsung has led the crusade towards large phones only five years later.

So what’s the juicy stuff? Is there a “too big”? Yes. A “too big” point does exist, but the Samsung galaxy note and note II haven’t hit it, although they’ve tested the line. As I said in my review, when I shifted from the iPhone, I thought the Note would be way too large to use, but other than calling (which looked ridiculous) I found the extra screen real estate very helpful, and thanks to great weight distribution, and a reasonably light interior it wasn’t too heavy in the hand. It easily slid into the pockets of all but my tightest jeans, and it showed great potential on the multimedia, and office front.

Since I haven’t tried Huawei’s Ascend Mate, I can’t pass judgement on it yet, but considering how close the note (5.8 in.) comes to the not-a-phone line for me, I can’t imagine using a 6.1 inch device as a phone. Texting and typing on the go was the biggest challenge of the note (besides calling), and although having a big screen is nice, if it’s not portable enough to use while walking down the street/hallway it’s a tablet, not a phone.

People say “the line between the phone and tablet is blurring”. But was there ever a line? These are new devices and there has never been a standard, so as separate as these two purported categories have been, the only true distinction between the two is SMS capabilities and an earpiece on the top.

I’d expect to see devices that bring phone capabilities to your tablet (i.e earpieces to make it work like a phone) to be paired with existing VOIP (Voice over internet protocol) technology very soon, enabling tablets as phones.

Where do you draw the line?

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Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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