Are smaller phones making a come back


macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 9, 2008
just wondering what you all think , are smaller phones coming back ? Are phablets going to be a thing of the past ?


macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2015
London, UK
I also partly think that the market for phablets created it self, partly though offering top specs in the biggest phones, and partly through creating the notion that small phones are mid market and big phones are the latest hotness.

Apple is pretty much doing the same thing y offering the SE at a slightly lower price point with some compromises that may matter to the phablet crowd, like the screen. It overall as a phone they made a flagship level phone with the SE and that is why we're seeing a mass shortage of it across the globe.

It makes sense why they stuck to the old screen really, people who want to consume a lot of entertainment contents need a great screen and would always go for a bigger screen as it is more sensible and a pleasurable experience. People who want a small phone, want a small phone that is more about the day to day experience rather than visual consumption, hence wouldn't have too much qualms about compromising screen quality.


macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 9, 2008
I have the plus and the 6 and feel that the 6 or a tad bit bigger would be great, some where in range of the s7 size. The plus just seems big


macrumors regular
Jun 27, 2010
SE reminds me of how much I loved the 5S but having tried all iPhone until now (first with iPhone 6, then iPhone 6S Plus) i'm definitely going to get an iPhone 7 and no longer a plus, SE's too small. I could use the normal 6s with one hand without problems, I won't be definitely getting another plus with same bezels and chassis as current one, heavy and uncomfortable at least for me.
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macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
Boston, MA
What makes you ask this question? I don't mean that critically. I am truly wondering what your thought process is here. The SE is just about the only 4" device I am seen receive any fanfare. And I think there are a multitude of reasons for its demand. Sure, the smaller size is a huge bullet point. But that fact that it's got the same internals and is less than 2/3 the price of the next cheapest current gen phone will surely have a lot to do with sales.

As for actually trying to answer the question, I agree with what has already been said. I think the demand was always there, but I don't think the demand is increasing.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2011
Yeah, I've… I can sort of understand the giant phone thing for a particular group of people…?

But on the whole, I mean… I've only ever thought the portable device should be pocket-sized. When introducing the iPad after a decade of failed attempts at netbooks and heavy tablets, Steve reiterated on that devices have to have a "reason for being," and that the iPad's was the ability to do what it does better than a phone and a notebook.

With the large phones, the only "reason for being" I can see is to satisfy that particular group (all right, not that it's wrong or anything), and to compete with rivals.

That said, I did like the original reshape of the iPhone from its original size to slightly taller for a true sixteen-by-nine screen size – that actually made an appreciable difference when watching things in coffee shops, et cetera.


macrumors 6502
May 8, 2014
I was never a big fan of big screened phones till my dad got his Boost Max. (It has a 5.7 inch screen) Toying around with it, i found that i loved all that extra space. Till then id thought that the 5S was the only way to go. Now look at me, soon, i'll be getting a BLU Studio XL. (That has a 6 inch screen!) :D


Jun 18, 2010
Nope. Better to have all the options instead of trending into one particular size since not everyone is the same similar to clothing and shoe sizes.

I prefer the "4.5-"5.2 but see myself gravitating towards the "5.5 or higher. My tablets have "9.7 and "10.1, so I can be used to carrying around larger devices. Going back to "3.5-"4 is too archaic for me especially at what I do most on my phone which is texting, typing notes, and browsing. A comfortable virtual keyboard is very important to me. A "5 display generally hits that sweet spot for typing in portrait mode.

Better to have more choices than leaving one segment out. All sizes should be here to stay. I can't wait for the foldable displays coming from Samsung next year. Clamshell form factor might make a comeback and change the game for phablets and tablets forever. A smartphone with a "7-10 display will be a lot more comfortable to carry around if folded like a book. Within four years, people like me preferring the "4.7-5.2 will be laughing at ourselves for preferring such an anemic size under "6 inches. Same ones laughing at themselves now for preferring "3.5-4 like four years ago and typing on them now feels like a kid's toy.

Most of us do EVOLVE with the changes in technology even if some of us can't adapt as fast as others...
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macrumors newbie
Mar 26, 2016
There will always be a market for small and portable phones. But I can't see the majority of the market trending back towards a small phone. Thinner, yes. But smaller? Probably not. We're too used to bigger screens, going back to small screens would be like Sony making smaller and smaller TV screens
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macrumors 603
Mar 19, 2008
I don't quite understand why people think "a couple years from now we'll be laughing at sub 6" phone users"..

There are tangible physical limits to the size that is comfortable to carry around, use in your hand, put in your pocket, etc..

I'd say the iP6+ is basically at that upper limit already (physical could shrink bezels and get a bigger screen of course).

..and small phones will always have a use case and be preferred by many - It just depends upon what you do with your phone.
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