5.5 inch iPhone - why?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by i0Nic, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. i0Nic macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Hey guys,

    I've always been struck with questions when I see people carrying around really big phones like the Galaxy Note, and I see a lot of people really wanting the 5.5 inch iPhone too.

    There looks to be a lot of compromises with these devices, mainly portability. It seems like most men would find it tricky fitting in the front pocket of their jeans. It looks cumbersome to use it as a phone holding it to your head. It's difficult or impossible to use one handed.

    The main purposes seem to be for someone that is interested in watching a lot of video, playing games or as an e-reading type device in place of an iPad or Kindle.

    Asides from that, are there any other reasons people are opting for these big screen phones? Or is it a case of 'bigger=better'?

    If you're thinking of getting the 5.5 iPhone, why over the 4.7? How will you carry it and do you own a tablet?

    Interested for some discussion on this.
  2. GadgetSN macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2014
    Why?? Because no one uses phones to make calls anymore. 99% of my time with a phone is screen based. Communications are data based eg whatsapp, text, facebook etc. Therefore I welcome a larger screen to read things better. Also 5.5 inches is a tiny screen. I carry a 6.4 inch Sony Ultra and that is too small for me. A 4.7 inch would be a joke for me to use.

    Im considering the Sony Z3 compact tablet as my next phone providing it has a dialler.
  3. Dave245 macrumors 603


    Sep 15, 2013
    I'm a university student in the UK, and i own a tablet (iPad 3) which i intend on updating to the iPad Air 2, when its released next month or in November. I'm not 100% if i will be getting a 5.5" (if it exists and is announced) i want to see what it looks like first, and if it has any other features that the 4.7" won't.

    But the main reason i'm thinking about getting a 5.5" is simply for the bigger screen, as a student who commutes, emails and music are things i use the most on my iPhone, along with txting and the odd game. My thinking at the moment is that a 5.5" could give a compromise between my iPad (which i currently use for notes at uni). I will decide once :apple: have made their announcement later today (UK time)
  4. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    Waiting for pendulum to swing the other way. I use the phone the most. Give us HD voice, great speaker audio, and a compact device. Phablets are stupid.
  5. Hexaea macrumors member


    Nov 29, 2008
    • Opting for 5.5. I just view 'phones' these days as more of an ultraportable computer than a telephone. As the computer I use the most during the day, I find the bigger screens improve my experience immensely.

    • I will be carrying it in my purse, so size isn't a huge factor.

    • Used to own a tablet. I was thinking of buying another iPad, but the 5.5 iPhone just might fulfill that roll for me.
  6. nnacrumors macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2014
    Agreed, maybe I'll change my mind once I have one but I've tried the Galaxy Note 3 before and hated how it two-hands was an absolute requirement to function :(

    At the moment the Xperia Z3 Compact is my personal favorite device on the horizon based on its compact size for one-handed use, flagship specs (snapdragon 801, 2gb RAM, micro SD, 20mp camera) and great battery size at 2600mAh.
  7. i0Nic, Sep 9, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014

    i0Nic thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    It just seems like to me the 5.5" phone is for people who really don't want a tablet or don't use a tablet out of the house. If this is not true for you, but you still want a 5.5" iPhone, I'd love to hear why.

    I do get that the phone is the computer we carry with us at all times and we don't really use phones as 'phones' so much these days. But is a 4.7" device not the sweet spot, where you can browse and complete a lot of screen-based tasks while comfortably fitting in your pocket and hand? Does 5.5" really offer that much more usability and with all the inherent compromises is it worth it?

    I see how it would work for people with poor eyesight, women/people that carry bags, people that watch a lot of video and play a lot of games.

    Other than that, it would make sense to me to have a slightly smaller phone and a tablet for those times you want to be more productive with a bigger screen (the original purpose of the iPad and how it was sold).

    All in all, it seems the 5.5" iPhone is for people that don't want a tablet as well.
  8. pollaxe macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2010
    West of England
    I've been hoping for the 5.5" model because I have large hands and find typing on the iPhone screen to be somewhat challenging. I own an iPad Air and a first gen iPad Mini and I've always joked that if I could make calls on the latter, then I'd be happy to use it as a phone.

    So for me it would be for more screen real estate to help my big, stubby fingers type a bit better.
  9. AX338 macrumors regular


    Dec 20, 2013
    Depends a lot on usage patterns.

    "Why take two bottles into the shower"

    I used to have an iPhone and full size iPad, then sold the large iPad and went for the mini, but was still carrying around two pieces of hardware.

    Then sold the iPhone (5) and bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, then sold the iPad mini.

    I use the phone function less than 15 minutes a month, but watch video every day and check emails and use Line messenger.

    I guess if you make a lot of calls you might not want a 5"+ screen device.

    I can never understand people who harp on about not being able to use a larger device with one hand when they have two.

    For me the SGN3 size is perfect and looking at the ugly pics of the tall new larger/plus iPhone 6 with its massive top and bottom bezel area I will be staying with Samsung.
  10. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    My Note 2 slips into the breast pocket of my jackets no problem, that's where I carry it most of the time when I'm out and about. It also slips into the pockets of all my pants, bar very tight jeans. During the summer when wearing tight jeans, then, or shorts without pockets, I keep it in a simple tote bag which I'd have with me most of the time anyway, or in a jacket slung over my shoulder.

    So, is that a big hassle? For me, no. Not when I consider what I get in return - a far, far more capable device than smaller phones. Browsing the web, reading, writing, playing games, looking at pics or videos, doing video calls, looking through my calendar, etc. Really everything aside from pure phone calls is more enjoyable and productive on a bigger device. In particular writing is what I've enjoyed most on the Note 2. I do a lot of writing in professional contexts and I've been incredibly surprised at what I can get done with the Note 2 + Swype. Many a time this phone can totally replace a whole laptop for this task.

    I doubted the format when these phones first started coming out, but with two years of hands-on and everyday experience with this, I can now say that this format is perfect for me. Actually I hardly ever use a tablet anymore. My Note 2 + MBP is all I need. And I am honestly never annoyed about the size of the phone.

    So, given that I'm currently becoming more Mac- than Windows-based, I'm overjoyed that the iPhone 6+ is coming out. The Note series phones are good, and Android still has its advantages, but the seamlessness of the iPhone experience paired with this form factor is hopefully going to make for the best "phablet" ever.

    Oh, and how many comments have I received about the handset looking weird when I actually hold it up to my head, these past two years? None. The only time people have actually noticed how big it is, is when I've shown them pictures or a website or something on it. And in those cases, the surprise has been a positive one, each and every time.
  11. GadgetSN macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2014
    Most people do not want to carry two devices. Its easier to carry one big device than two smaller ones. Tablets did not have a dialler until recently with the Tab S and possibly the Z3 compact tablet.

    Therefore phablets were the only option. Also a 4.7inch screen is too small when you surf or are using the phone for 6 plus hours a day. Fine for the odd 5 mins etc.
  12. i0Nic thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Sure but have you lived with a 4.7" device to compare or are you only comparing it to 3.5/4" iPhones?

    What I'm saying is that would you not get a lot of the same advantages with a 'medium' sized iPhone as opposed to 'large' 5.5" device, and still be able to put it in your pants pocket and use it one handed.

    Thanks for the insights!
  13. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Having the 5.5 model gives users choice. I see a lot of people using larger phones and like other said, it is their total device all wrapped into one. I, personally, like a smaller phone like the 4.7 and use my iPad Air for the Internet when at home. I can't see only having the 5.5 but that is just me.

    Having choice is good and I might just buy the 5.5 later.
  14. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    Ah sorry, I missed that point. Well, the balance of the tradeoff will be different depending on taste and how each person uses their phone. For some I'm sure the 4.7" will be big enough. For me personally I've tried smaller devices and even the 5.1" S5 felt too small, as in I felt that I was constantly missing out because of the smaller screen. If anything, I've been wanting a larger screen than the 5.5" one on my Note 2 (I would have picked up a Note 3 if I wasn't so cheap :p).

    But yeah, the balance will be different for different people, and I'm sure the 4.7" format will be the preference for many. What's awesome about today is that Apple is finally giving us all that choice. :) Of course some will prefer to stay on 4", but there I really think that the step up to 4.7" is something they could get used to if they only gave it a shot, that really is not a huge phone size. Especially considering how thin and light it will be, and the rounded edges actually does quite a lot for "pocketability".
  15. bobright macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    I'm going to buy the 5.5" in a couple years when it is the size of the 4.7" and the frame is slimmed down significantly.
  16. i0Nic thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks for the feedback!

    The decision will be a tough one, that's why I'm interested in different view points.
  17. GadgetSN macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2014
    Ive never understood the infactuation with using a phone one handed. Sure to take a call one handed use is ideal. However for everything else doesnt everyone hold the phone in one hand and use their second hand to navigate/type? I have done that since the iphone 1 and so does everyone else I know. I guess one handed operation is for when people are standing up as oppose to sitting down.
  18. nnacrumors macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2014
    I frequently use my 5s one handed since it's simply more comfortable for me to do so.

    It's like when I drive my car, it would suck if two hands on the wheel at all times were a requirement since it's much more comfortable for me to have just one on the steering wheel.

    Not to mention the times where you are walking down the street with your briefcase and want to check something on-the-go, or have a cup of coffee in your hand and want to check something on-the-go.
  19. i0Nic thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    I always use my phone with one hand except when typing or playing some games. I use my thumb to tap on screen elements.
  20. Shuri macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2011
    People with phablets always claim web browsing as being superior on a phablet, but most of the time I doubt it, it would be for me personally. I'm not one of those guys who claims that what works for me, must work for everyone else, but would like to hear an opinion from someone on the other side. :)

    I'm surfing the web on my iPhone 5 very often and 99% of the time the experience is fine for those reasons: 1.) Webpages often are fitted to smartphones. 2.) if not the double tap on text columns I want to read makes it big enough most of the time. 3) if not The reader option is there.
    It sometimes happens, that nothing works (very rare these days) and then I can still turn my phone to landscape.

    Again, I don't want to claim that a bigger phone can't be better or so, just that I never understood why surfing was any problem on a smaller smartphone. :)
  21. tpr007 macrumors regular


    Mar 1, 2007
    Hong Kong

    What a stupid question.

    a) Because people want it.

    b) Because people want it.

    People want it because, as has been alluded to, the majority of smart phone users spend more time looking at the screen than making calls. Most users want the most real estate possible in a portable form. I have a Note 3, and it fits easily into all of my clothes pockets. Using it one handed isn't as easy as the older iPhone, so that's why I might prefer the 4.7" over a 5.5, although I haven't decided yet.
  22. i0Nic thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 17, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Is it the same people that want a 15 or 17" laptop because they can see more, over the portability over smaller screen devices?
  23. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 604


    Jan 17, 2013
    Wales, United Kingdom
    I think choice is a good thing, but for me the 5.5 inch iPhone will be completely unsuitable for my needs. Its far too big to carry about day to day and I still use my phone as a phone rather than a media surfing device. I have my iPad for more demanding smartphone tasks and factor in when to do this. I wouldn't have been upset if the device had stayed the same as the iPhone 5 to be frank, but am willing to accept things change. If 5.5 was the only choice though, I would consider another manufacturer.

    Choice is good though and I am sure the larger iPhone will sell to its desired market. :)
  24. juice3250 macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2014

    I think you hit the nail on the head with this comment. Because there's a market for it is why they will make one. Maybe not this year, but eventually.

    But I wouldn't be able to afford one seeing as how it would probably be around $299 on contract.
  25. Project macrumors 68020

    Aug 6, 2005
    I have a 6.4" Xperia Z Ultra and even that fits into my pockets no problem. 5.5" is nothing. People will look back at this kind of argument and laugh as much as the Gates quote about 640k be it enough for anybody.

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