Are the days of a 4" one-hand usable smartphone over?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by unagimiyagi, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    It doesn't appear that a 4" iphone 6 will appear.
    I do not consider 4.7" iphone 6 to be one-handed, which I find to be my usage pattern. The mockups make it as big as a galaxy s5 or htc one.

    Any advice on how you've made the transition to carrying a phone that doesn't fit nicely in your pocket and requires two hands to use alot of the time? I feel it's inevitable so trying to hold out is a futile attempt at this point. Did anyone else swear by one-handed use and then somehow discover that it's not a big deal anymore? I've tried bigger phones and haven't yet appreciated them because of the what I perceive to be poor ergonomics, but it appears that I've got little choice but to adapt now!
     
  2. ZombiePete, Jun 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014

    ZombiePete macrumors 68020

    ZombiePete

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    #2
    4.7" really isn't that bad for the purposes of one-handed use unless you have small hands or some kind of medical issue. I have light carpal tunnel so even 4.7" can become uncomfortable to me if I try to use it one-handed for too long, but it's doable. I had a Nexus 5 for a couple months and at 5" it was at about the absolute maximum I would consider acceptable for one-handed use, and 95% of the time I used two hands.

    For me, since at 4.7" I would probably rely on two-handed use anyway, I've been consider the bigger iPhone (should the rumors actually come to pass) simply because I will likely end up using two hands no matter what most of the time anyway. With a swype-type keyboard it's a lot easier than it would be without that option, so that's a plus anyway. The bigger screen is nice for some things, and it may have a bigger battery being larger (though between the iPad rMini and Air the difference can't be seen in battery life) so that's another spec that would sway me.

    In generally it does seem like one-handed use is a smaller priority for most consumers, so for those of us who like the 4" iPhone, we're going to have to find a new way to use our phones. I'll deal.
     
  3. Amplelink macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I agree, I think 4.7" is right on the cusp of usable one-handed operation. Any bigger and two hands is a must.

    I'm really curious to see how Apple spins the bigger of the two though.
     
  4. iPhone7ate9 macrumors 6502a

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  5. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #5
    I tried the s4 at the verizon store, I did not find one handed operation very easy.
     
  6. nnacrumors macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I agree.

    Your brain will adapt quickly if given no other option.

    Me too. Just because people say they can hold the S4 in one hand doesn't mean you can reach all parts of the screen with your thumb without having shuffle the phone around in your hand (thus increasing the risk of dropping it).
     
  7. ZombiePete macrumors 68020

    ZombiePete

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    #7
    This is something that I think a lot of people who have these bigger phones neglect to mention when they brag about being able to use their 5" phone one-handed; unless you've got Peter Mayhew hands there is inevitably some juggling the phone around to perform certain tasks, and reaching across the phone without loosening your grip is nigh impossible.
     
  8. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    #8
    To be honest, I already do this with the iPhone 5/5s. I reckon the only thing that will be different with a 4.7" iPhone for me is that the 4.7" will actually be comfortable to use two-handed in portrait mode.

    Personally, if Apple releases a 3.5" iPhone with top of the line specs (even at $199/649 pricing), I'd go back to that. Alas, I don't really see that happening.
     
  9. Gin Gin macrumors regular

    Gin Gin

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    #9
    I'm a woman with fairly small hands and I use my iPhone one handed frequently. Anything bigger and I'm sure I won't be able to reach the whole screen with my thumb. I'm not looking forward to a larger iPhone. I have an iPad Mini for when I want a larger screen.
     
  10. sunking101 macrumors 603

    sunking101

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    #10
    This has to be done on the i5/5S to a degree anyway, so it will just be a case of expanding the technique a little. I doubt that Android forums are full of people with small hands bemoaning the size of their handsets...
     
  11. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #11
    The iPhone has an advantage that it has a flat backside and only the frame of it is rounded. It won't be as bad as a change as it seems on paper.
     
  12. ZombiePete macrumors 68020

    ZombiePete

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    #12
    I don't feel like I have to juggle my 5S at all; certainly not to the degree that I did any of my bigger Android phones. It's easier to maintain a grip on the phone because it's thinner, so even when I do have to stretch my thumb up a little bit the phone always feels secure in my hands.

    Android users are used to the bigger phones, so you're correct that there's not a lot of complaining about the size. In general, though, a lot of them are just used to using their phones two-handed as well, so one-handed use isn't something a lot of them think about. I didn't like the fact that the Nexus phones were getting bigger and bigger, but I just got used to using them two-handed so it's not as if it's something I fumed over all the time. It's just a different way of doing things.

    By the way, can we just cut it out with all the small hand jibes? I don't have small hands, I have a minor medical condition that makes big phones uncomfortable for me. Do I constantly need to be berated and insulted simply because smaller phones are more comfortable for me? Thanks.
     
  13. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    #13
    Totally agree! I have long fingers but still find the 4" to be about as big as I want. It's already awkward in landscape, so I use it mostly in portrait. And don't get me started on pants pockets! They're wide enough for my 5, but definitely too shallow. And of course there's purse weight. A bigger phone is going to weigh more.

    People around here say 4.7" isn't that much of a difference and that we'll just have to suck it up so they can have their 5.5" iPhablets. I got my mini for the larger screen, and I don't have to compromise on storage or suffer a smaller screen for movies.

    I'm reserving judgement until the announcement, but if there isn't a 4" option (and I don't mean the 5s or 5c) then I'll just stick with my 5. It's not that far out of date yet.
     
  14. sunking101 macrumors 603

    sunking101

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    Some people don't want a mini though, or a full size tablet. They either haven't got the money, nor the inclination to juggle several different gadgets. The 5.5-5.7" phablet category is a true device for all seasons, and many people want it. Those who only use their iPhones for calls, emails and SMS but leave it unused whenever a tablet is around are a small minority these days.
     
  15. ZombiePete macrumors 68020

    ZombiePete

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    #15
    How do you substantiate this claim?
     
  16. sunking101 macrumors 603

    sunking101

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    #16
    Just about everyone who bemoans the upcoming size of the iPhone 6 mentions that they 'have an iPad for when they need a bigger screen'.
    I wasn't suggesting that they do nothing else on their iPhones, but the general impression I get is that these people don't live on their iPhones. They aren't their primary web and media device.

    Despite owning a laptop and an 8" tablet, my iPhone is my primary device. I live on it, and the screen is way too small. I'll happily sacrifice a little hindrance when it comes to one-handed operation because it will overall tick more boxes for me.
     
  17. Izauze macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Re: the supposed death of the 4"...

    Doesn't it make sense that the 4 inch will continue as the budget phone option? It seems very likely to me that we'd see a 4" iPhone 6c at the mid-cycle refresh next year. Until then, the 5s or c will be the go-to "free" phone.

    And so all 3 sizes will continue getting periodic refreshes.
     
  18. cynics macrumors G3

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    #18

    Maybe they understand how to use the phone and it's gestures and never NEED to reach the the entire screen?

    It's possible to use a 10" screen one handed if you only ever need to touch the bottom 3".

    Swiping from off screen on the iPhone already goes back. Gestures like that.

    Pinch to zoom is Apples hold up anyway. Try this, open a Google map app, double tap the screen with your thumb but on the second tap hold down on the screen. Then slide it up and down. Zooming with one hand.

    Gestures are a wonderful thing.
     
  19. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    #19
    That's a generalization. My iPhone is my main device while my iPad is secondary and usually when I don't want to bother with my MacBook Pro.

    Not everyone needs a device in each category, but I find that each suits my needs. My iPhone is for communication but also for browsing the web when I can't or don't want to connect to wifi as well as listening to music. My iPad is more convenient for web browsing and movies, but it's wifi only. I can also get a limited amount of homework done on it, but it lacks the file system I prefer on my computer. My MacBook Pro is the powerhouse that does everything except make calls and SMS (Continuity will change that, but I'm not sure I want it to). I made things work before I got the iPad, but I've found where it fits into my workflow.

    From what I've observed, people who use tablets as their main devices are replacing computers not phones. I think of my mom who thinks she doesn't need a smartphone but justified an LTE 4th gen iPad and now rarely uses her 17" MacBook Pro. She has a PC at work. My boyfriend uses his iPad mini much more than his Lenovo laptop but still uses his iPhone 5 a lot too.

    There are people who find reason to have three or more devices, and I'm not sure why Apple would want to lose that. A bigger iPhone will mean fewer iPad sales.
     
  20. BeeGood macrumors 65816

    BeeGood

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    #20
    I just tried that...no idea the google maps app did that! Pretty slick :)
     
  21. sunking101 macrumors 603

    sunking101

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    #21
    ...but more iPhone sales.
    If they stick with the smaller screen then too many people will jump ship to Android. The iPhone is Apple's biggest selling product.

    It's true that sales of the Mini will be hit but not the full-size iPad, and let's not forget that Steve Jobs never believed in the Mini anyway.
     
  22. ZombiePete macrumors 68020

    ZombiePete

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    #22
    Look, here's what it boils down to: I prefer a thinner phone. It's not a deal breaker for me; as I've indicated, I've owned several larger phones and I was never upset over the size, I just like my 4" phone the best. It's not an issue for debate, especially now that it's clear Apple is adopting the big phone mentality in reaction to the market. Great. I will buy the iPhone 6 without hesitation; I may even buy the 5.5" if it has better specs at all because at that point it makes little difference to me.

    I don't understand the need some of you have to debate this point over and over again. It's a preference. I'm not saying that Apple should stick with 4" phones; I see where the market is headed and yes, it's likely that for now smaller phones are headed to the wayside. Fine. I'll deal. But would I like the option to have a 4" phone? Yeah, probably.
     
  23. Enabledobject macrumors 6502

    Enabledobject

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    #23
    Whew, sorry guys, I got here as fast as I could.
    Heard there was a dead horse that needed beating.
     
  24. sunking101 macrumors 603

    sunking101

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    #24
    Are your hands big enough to successfully hold the whip and use it properly? :)
     
  25. ZombiePete macrumors 68020

    ZombiePete

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    #25
    You're a funny guy.
     

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