What’s that in your pocket?
There is a clear trend with mobile phones that they just get bigger and bigger. Here’s my thing: I want a small smartphone.
Yesterday I tweeted about what kind of mobile phone size I’d want:
I’d like a phone the size of an iPod nano. If Apple, or anyone else, creates that, I’m a given buyer!
— Robert Nyman (@robertnyman) January 28, 2013
I figured it would be good to write a little about it, to expand on what I mean and also to cover some of the replies I got.
Mobile phone size
To begin with, I’d like a really small and lightweight mobile phone. I fondly remember my old Nokia 8210 and how small it was. I recently found it, actually, so I can assure it wasn’t just a dream but indeed a perfectly sized phone, at that time.
Recently I got an iPod nano and the size, weight and screen is great! And that led me to thinking that that is exactly what I’d want in a mobile phone.
I think the really flat design the nano has, with a weight of only 31 grams, is something worth striving for in most scenarios.
The trend recently, though, with Android phones, the new iPhone 5 and much more is bigger screens, thus bigger dimensions. I have to say, they do work hard to keep the weight down, but honestly, they’re still way too big.
I can definitely appreciate a 4-inch or 5-inch phone (with 7 inches you’re really pushing it), but overall, I’d much more prefer a small phone.
And when companies start producing remotes for your smartphones, i.e. one small device to run your massive smart phone, then things really have gone too far.
Some of the few options that I got suggested were the HP Veer and the xPeria Mini, but I’d say that, while smaller, they’re still too big for my taste and what I believe we should be able to produce nowadays.
Also, with the Veer and HP dropping WebOS, it was discontinued and not a viable option anymore.
Phone providers, go for it!
I seriously believe there’s a great niche in the market for this, and I’m sure most people would like a very small and lightweight phone. Many would probably also get it in addition to a regular smart phone, and bring the one that’s most suitable for the occasion.
I’d be more than happy to lose a few features, as long as it has a touch screen, decent storage and the basic smartphone features, such as Internet connection, web browser and similar.
I don’t know what the margin would be in producing such a device for manufacturers, but at the same time, I think they could make up for it with bulk sales.
So, please, make it happen!
Indeed. The nokia 6210 classic [ http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=nokia+6210+classic&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=fs4HUYbzKcWQ0AW5ioH4Cw&biw=865&bih=883&sei=ic4HUey1NvLK0AX4nIHgAw ] was my favourite small phone, the web was just about browsable and it actually had buttons unlike modern phones.
That size of candybar phone is about ideal. Ideally you could have a phone this size that was basically alls screen, but with some sort of shape/texture changing so you could have the benefits of physical buttons + use it without looking.
Ah, yes, there were some old and good phones around before!
I like the idea of texture, but it would take a extreme amount of consistency in the UI then. Or only work with some screens, or similar.
I’m with you Robert. I have long wanted an iPhone Nano and don’t like bigger phones because they don’t easily fit in pockets.
Maybe flexible screens, once they’re out of development, will let handsets shrink down while keeping the larger screen sizes most people desire?
Ah, yes, flexible screens is definitely the future, but I think a first step/option would be smaller phones till we have a mass production of flexible screens.
I really want this http://www.businessinsider.com/the-iwatch-could-be-the-first-step-in-apples-plan-to-kill-the-iphone-2013-1
I have an xperia ray, while a bit bigger than the mini, I find the dimensions are quite nice. Unfortunately the android keyboard doesn’t do a good job of adapting to the size, so searching the web or typing on it is a nightmare. Turning the phone sideways makes typing easier, but the keyboard takes up the entire screen at that point.
You know smartphone sizes are getting out of control when they release a phone that comes with it’s own remote… !
Yes, it could be nice. 🙂
I’d prefer a small phone, but that’s a good start!
Good point. Virtual keyboards and size to hit might become kind of an issue.
Indeed. I had that in the blog post. 🙂
Hi! I’ve used the Sony Xperia x10 mini for some months and I like it a lot. Tiny: 2.55? TFT, 83 x 50 x 16 mm (3.27 x 1.97 x 0.63 in) and only 88g.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of 5″ screens going out at this moment but very few under 3″.
Glad you like it! It’s still a big for what I’d really want, though.
I actually own a HP Veer and I have to say its a great phone for me. The size is quite nice and I really like the hardware keyboard. A lot of my friends are envious and keen on small phones with “real” keyboards. It has its share of issues, and I really would have liked to see a Veer 2 and would have probably bought it.
WebOS is by far the easiest to develop software for (compared to iOS, Android, Blackberry and Win7 Phone) and had a thriving community. HP/Palm sat in that small phone niche you described, but they absolutely blew it – which makes me quite sad.
Interesting to hear!
And yes, it’s definitely sad how that went down.
I think a small smartphone with really good voice control and screen reading could push accessibility features into the mainstream. The better the voice interface, the less you need the (teensy) keyboard. Think Siri on steroids.
It could, indeed. Personally, I’m not a big fan of talking to the phone, so I’m hoping for some other ingenious solution. 🙂
[…] article by Robert Nyman originally appeared on Robert Talks and is republished with […]
I went on a trip recently. To enjoy a smaller phone I reactivated my favorite form-factor phone of all time–the S1.
From: this review…