Is usage directly related to screen size?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Lankyman, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. Lankyman macrumors 68000

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    #1
    I have been reading an article in our newspaper which was discussing smartphone screen size in relation to the way we use them.

    The thrust of the piece being those who use their smartphones for streaming TV, playing back videos, using their phones to display the photos they've taken and general Internet use are more likely to own a 'phablet' sized phone.

    The second part of the piece could have been written about me - I don't do any of the above, I don't even use it for music. I only tend to use the Internet app if I'm visiting somewhere of interest and I want to reference it on Google, though I do use a news feed. If I use YouTube it's only to find what I want and then I cast it to our large screen TV. I download photos straight to my NAS to display them on our TV. I also use it for messaging plus checking and sending the odd email.

    Apparently the older you are the more likely you are to use the phone like I do and the younger you are then the more likely you are to own a phablet.

    The conclusion of the piece was that the iPhone SE or similar would be ideal for someone like me whereas the younger buyer should be getting the 6s plus type phablet phones.

    I realise that's a generalisation but do others think the piece is broadly correct in its assessment? You sometimes never think of these things until you see it all laid out.
     
  2. Closingracer macrumors 68020

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    #2
    I've seen quite a lot of older people (60's+) with the iPhone 6/6s plus along with note devices, and etc. Probably not the majority but a lot that it's noticeable.
     
  3. Lankyman thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    I suppose you would have to add failing eyesight into the equation for the older user. There's no doubt as a more mature person myself I can read text much easier on a larger phone, though it's not something I would personally wish to own. My phone is 4.6 inches.
     
  4. PaladinGuy macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I'm not sure about that data, in terms of age. I guess it wouldn't surprise me, but I think it has much more to do with how a person uses their phone. I used to do a lot more on my MacBooks, but these days I hardly ever use a computer when I'm not at work. My wife is the only one that uses the computer. I do almost everything on my phone now. I think that's been the huge game changer for me that's resulted in the 6s probably being the smallest screen I can handle now. I would massively love it if they could get the 4.7" screen into a phone closer to the size of the SE/5 series. That would be the perfect phone, and I'd buy it in a heart beat.

    I should add that I'm 30. So not sure where that would put me in this supposed article.
     
  5. Lankyman thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Demographic was 12 to 40 for the phablets. After that it tailed off to the smaller phones for us oldies.
     
  6. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

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    #6
    I don't know about the conclusions as far as age goes, but it makes sense that people who use their phone for viewing media and web surfing (ie. Like a tablet) would benefit from a larger display.
     
  7. fausername5 macrumors newbie

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    #7
    100% agree. I just finally realized this for myself a day ago. I have an SE on the way.
     
  8. GrumpyMom macrumors 603

    GrumpyMom

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    #8
    I used my iPhone 6plus and my current 6S plus very much the same as I did my iPhone 5S and iPhone 4. Actually I used to read ebooks on my smaller phones but I rarely do on the larger devices...go figure. I do prefer the larger screen for use as a GPS, though.

    For some reason I have always preferred to handle my email on my iPhones, no matter how small or large they may be.

    I greatly prefer my iPad mini 4 for my tablet needs and do not use my iPhone for web surfing unless I'm traveling. I do enjoy the large screen of my iPhone for photo album use and communicating on Facebook.

    But if I had to do it all over again, knowing that the SE was coming up, I would have transitioned from the iPhone 6 Plus to the SE instead of the 6S Plus. However, now that it's here, I don't think I will sell my 6S Plus and get an SE. It's too good of a device, possibly the best iPhone I've ever had. It's been very stable and pleasant to use. I just find it challenging to carry around.
     
  9. HAudidoody macrumors newbie

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    Aug 24, 2013
    #9
    Both my parents are around 70 years old and they both want the plus... so I guess not for them.

    It's easier to type on them, and the screen is easier to see from distance, just for starters.
     
  10. Lankyman thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #10
    But I did say the article is a generalisation so won't apply to everyone. You don't say how your parents will use their phones.
     
  11. HAudidoody macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Standard usage: email and messaging, maps, internet and basic photo viewing... no video other than a link to youtube.

    And being older, the screen size is very, very important.

    As for myself, I probably use my phone at least three times more than I used to with the 4/5 size... which I find just annoying to use at this point. It's like a toy IMO, useful maybe around the house, but totally obsolete otherwise.
     
  12. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Definitely a broad generalization, but broad generalizations are what they are, and tend to become self-fulfilling prophesies.

    The thing about the SE is that it doesn't do less than larger models. On an objective level, size should mostly be a matter of ergonomics, bulk/weight, utility, and price. On a subjective level, I think there's a lot of symbolism as well.

    Someone who says, "I don't need larger because I only use it for..." may be expressing a subconscious desire to minimize the impact the thing has on their life. Some people object strongly to the always-connected lifestyle, so they certainly don't want something that looms large in their pocket, or may tempt them to become part of that lifestyle.

    And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Some people just won't find a smartphone all that useful. Why carry a big thing around that you barely use?

    Still, size shouldn't be based solely on how often you use something, but also on whether it's the right size when you do use it. You wouldn't buy an undersized raincoat because you only need it occasionally.

    Size certainly makes a difference for those with diminished vision and diminished manual dexterity - smaller is not necessarily a help for seniors, though to someone coming from a flip phone, a phablet probably seems stupidly large. I can see older people being steered (or gravitating) to the SE despite matters of ergonomics, or solely due to price.

    The OPs usage description is interesting. To a large degree, he's saying, "I do that sort of stuff at home." I don't compartmentalize like that. With a smart phone I can have it now, wherever I happen to be. I don't see the point of deferring my activities, so long as I'm not being rude to the people I'm with. Computers are central to my daily life and work, so now that I can have one wherever I go, I'm delighted.

    While it's certainly possible to classify usage into categories like "media consumption," I'd find it more interesting to learn whether there's a correlation between size and how much time is spent using the device. The more important it is to ones daily life, the more willing one may be to carry a larger/heavier tool.

    For me, my iPhone 6 is the right size. I moved to it from an iPhone 4 - the larger screen was very welcome for my aging eyes, more so than the 5s. The 6 Plus was less appealing - it seemed too bulky for my pockets, and a bit over-large for even my good-sized hands (I have no thumb-reach issues with the 6). Others will certainly find that the SE fits perfectly into their ergonomic sweet spot - smaller hands, better eyesight - why not?
     
  13. fausername5 macrumors newbie

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    #13
    I thought the font size was the same for the phones. The 6 you just see more at once on the screen.
     
  14. ditzy macrumors 68000

    ditzy

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    #14
    I found I did a lot less on the 6s because it was uncomfortable to use. So I only used it when I really needed to.
     
  15. PDFierro macrumors 68040

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    #15
    It does seem like a lot of older people got the Plus. On the other hand, I'm in my mid-20's and just got the SE. I like smaller phones.
     
  16. Laserducky macrumors regular

    Laserducky

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    Dec 29, 2013
    #16
    +1

    The 6S Plus's screen size while being one of its positive attributes, becomes a negative one when it comes to handling.

    I could carry my 5 in my jeans pocket without a care in the world : with the 6S Plus you gotta be more careful ;-)

    Cheers !
    --- Post Merged, Apr 3, 2016 ---

    With a larger screen and very powerful processor, I hardly use my Macbook Pro or iMac outside of work unless I have to edit photos/videos, use excel etc : my 6S Plus can take whatever I throw at it (including some damn good looking games!).

    So yes, usage patterns and device size will nearly always be a function of each other. For some, size will dictate their usage patterns while for others, their usage patterns will dictate a larger or smaller size.


    Cheers !
     
  17. Qbnkelt macrumors 65816

    Qbnkelt

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    #17
    I'm on the wrong side of 40 and I use my iPhone 6s Plus almost as a laptop replacement. I do everything on it. I literally can't remember the last time.indid anything on my laptop except for iTunes.
     
  18. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

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    europe
    #18
    as for "eye-comfort" ("eye-string"and "headache"-urban legend concerning the 4" form factor) -
    a short recommendation from someone already having reached the grandfather-age:

    1) If you disable the useless transparency-gimmick of the GUI in IOS 7, IOS 8 and IOS 9 you gain performance and battery live PLUS much better eye-comfort.

    2) If you look about other good features, you will find the "more contrast" option and "bold" option.
    These two latter options are fantastic: A giant step for eye-comfort and readability - I can nothing but recommend this! It is real pleasure and a giant step forward to use this!
    Especially contacts are much better and easier to read in bold and with enhanced contrast!
    And you can easily zoom in in safari - so what?

    with the
    3) TrueClear Anti-Glare Screen Protector
    by belkin (for me the best on the market) the screen stops definitely glaring and irritating you in bright light - also a strong recommendation for better eye-comfort (which has again nothing to do with the 4" form factor as such).

    Single thing still embarrassing has - again - nothing to do with the 4" form factor, but with an customer-hostile Jony-Ive-exageration still existing in IOS 9: You cannot zoom contacts, notes and apple store (BTW: not even in OSX) - this is RIDICULOUS !!
    You should be able to zoom everything.

    The keyboard would be absolutely sufficient if apple was leaving the big bezels and finally fill (at least nearly) all the surface of the type-5-form-factor with SCREEN - as do already their competitors. and of course stay with the classic dimensions of the iPhone 5 outer form factor the which could not be better in terms of ergonomic features.
     
  19. Lankyman, Apr 4, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016

    Lankyman thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #19
    I think what many of these posts suggest i.e. the ones where the user now hardly ever uses their main computer but instead relies on their phone, that they never really needed a 'proper computer' in the first place. There is no way I could be writing a large amount of emails all evening at home or preparing a ten to fifteen page presentation for work etc. on my phone it's just not feasible.

    Those I mention are simply Internet browser users, plus check the odd email etc. My Mac gets a great deal of use in our home/office. Things will surely change one day when I retire but not just yet.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 4, 2016 ---
    I read with interest what you have to say, although this thread isn't really about me. However, regarding my own usage, I am not allowed to even have my phone on in the office at work never mind use it. I commute to work each day by car so again using the phone in the UK whilst driving is against the law. Even if it wasn't I wouldn't do it as it's a very dangerous thing to do. Therefore, as you will note my opportunities for using one apart from some leisure time is limited, hence my limited use.

    When I am at home, with the facility to cast media to a large screen TV and my iMac in the next room I see little benefit in squinting at a tiny phone screen.

    I actually think the phone I own with a 4.6" screen is the optimum size, but that's simply my opinion.
     
  20. Qbnkelt macrumors 65816

    Qbnkelt

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    #20
    I split my personal use from work use and speak strictly of personal use. Of course I can't perform my work without a computer. I consider that to be a given.

    However, for personal use, I've stopped using my laptop. For personal use I define as personal messaging and mail, music, TV or films while on a flight or on the train to and from DC/NY which I do often, Web browsing, shopping, personal banking, even pictures, since I hardly ever carry my dSLR. For this use, I don't remember the last time I used my laptop. My 6s Plus does it all.
     
  21. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #21
    generally speaking, I am going to say yes. People with larger screens are probably using their phones differently (or they think they are) than people with smaller phones.

    I really want to point out the part where I said people "think" they are using it differently. I cannot tell you the number of people who talk about using a larger phone for videos and what not, but they themselves do not use the phone like that.
     
  22. Qbnkelt macrumors 65816

    Qbnkelt

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    #22
    I do!!!!
    I'm hooked on The Walking Dead. I also keep Doc Martin and Downton Abbey for travels or when I'm too keyed up to go to sleep.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  23. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    #23
    You are exactly the person who needs a phablet then! I personally never really consume media (outside of youtube) on anything other than a TV. College, between classes, was a different story. If I was in College today I would probably have a phablet or always have an iPad mini with me.
     
  24. mrochester macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I'd say the bigger your phone screen, the less id expect you to use your phone given how cumbersome it would be for long periods of use on the go. A smaller screen will probably result in higher usage.
     
  25. Qbnkelt macrumors 65816

    Qbnkelt

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    #25
    My Plus is very useful. I really do take advantage of the size.
     

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