Phones Where did all the smaller phones go?

kasakka

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With bezelless phones becoming a standard, why do all Android manufacturers make the exact same size, big ass phones?

I think the iPhone X is a really great size for a phone that is easy to use with one hand and fits in the pocket nicely but on the Android side, the closest thing is the Samsung S8/9 with Sony XZ2 Compact a bit smaller and there seems to be no other options available.

Correct me if I am wrong because I would love to get a physically smaller Android phone with roughly the same screen size as my Oneplus 3.
 
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kasakka

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The people have spoken and they did so by buying bigger phones.
Because that's literally the only thing every manufacturer but Apple has offered for several years. First we started getting bigger screens on phones and people liked that, then manufacturers took it too far with phablet devices that are just ridiculous as phones and then pared it back to big but not huge devices. Somewhere along the way they just stopped catering to anyone who would like a smaller phone that still has a pretty big screen. Apple kind of excluded even if their phones up till the X had bigger bezels than necessary.
 

Michael Goff

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Because that's literally the only thing every manufacturer but Apple has offered for several years. First we started getting bigger screens on phones and people liked that, then manufacturers took it too far with phablet devices that are just ridiculous as phones and then pared it back to big but not huge devices. Somewhere along the way they just stopped catering to anyone who would like a smaller phone that still has a pretty big screen. Apple kind of excluded even if their phones up till the X had bigger bezels than necessary.
But the S9 is narrower than the X by 2mm while being taller by 4.1mm. They’re basically the same size.
 

kasakka

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But the S9 is narrower than the X by 2mm while being taller by 4.1mm. They’re basically the same size.
Yes, that's why I mentioned the S9 in the first post. It's one of the few smaller phones on the market.
 

kasakka

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Pixel 2, S9, Huawei P20, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, LG G7 all seem roughly the same size as well.
Pixel 2 has massive bezels, Mi Mix 2S (which I think you meant) is a fair bit wider and G7 taller. You are right though that the phones you mentioned are at least a bit smaller.

I think for a smaller phone the key factors are that it's not so tall that reaching the top of the screen needs finger gymnastics and not so wide that it doesn't fit smaller hands comfortably. For me the Oneplus 3 is the absolute maximum width that I can manage. I use my phone a lot with just one hand because I'm either carrying something in the other or it's very cold and I don't want to take off both my mittens. I've gotten so used to operating my phone like that so one-handed usage has become an important factor for me. So you can imagine I'm not too happy about the direction of tall, large displays in many phone models.
 

co.ag.2005

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Jun 17, 2009
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With bezelless phones becoming a standard, why do all Android manufacturers make the exact same size, big ass phones?

I think the iPhone X is a really great size for a phone that is easy to use with one hand and fits in the pocket nicely but on the Android side, the closest thing is the Samsung S8/9 with Sony XZ2 Compact a bit smaller and there seems to be no other options available.

Correct me if I am wrong because I would love to get a physically smaller Android phone with roughly the same screen size as my Oneplus 3.
Essential phone is also a very good sized android phone, same size as the iPhone X IIRC.

I do like the smaller phones (my S9 is perfect in size IMO as was the Essential Phone / iPhone X when I used them). But I don't mind larger phones if they give me a great media viewing experience or have a feature set I can't get on a smaller phone. I do wish the iPhone X sized phones were more the norm but as mentioned above, people have been voting with their wallets and it seems people do prefer larger phones.
 

Jonathantuba

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Oct 6, 2017
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I was a supporter of the Plus size phone until I got an iPhone X last year. That I now find the best balance of size between usability and carrying (fits in my pockets a lot better). The size screen is fine for on the go use (with an iPad Pro for real work). I will not be going back to the Plus size without a very good reason.
 

ryankul

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May 6, 2014
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Just bought an iPhone SE 32GB from Walmart. AT&T prepaid outright for $199. Works on AT&T postpaid sims and prepaid. Also tried with some AT&T Mvno with no issues. Great small phone. 4” display.
 
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Scepticalscribe

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Just bought an iPhone SE 32GB from Walmart. AT&T prepaid outright for $199. Works on AT&T postpaid sims and prepaid. Also tried with some AT&T Mvno with no issues. Great small phone. 4” display.
I also purchased an iPhone SE a few months ago - my first ever smart phone - and love the form factor.

The monster that work supplied me with (some Samsung thing) is far too large for me to be able to use comfortably.
 
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bopajuice

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I have been using the plus sized iPhones for a while now going back to the 6 plus. The other day I picked up an S9 in a store and played with it. I really liked the phone and the size. I was really impressed. Has made me think about making my next phone a smaller one. Easier to carry in my pocket thats for sure.

I used to operate under the idea that a larger phone will give me a more tablet like experience, but since I have an iPad with me most of the time, maybe a smaller phone would be just the ticket. Hmmm.
 

kasakka

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I have been using the plus sized iPhones for a while now going back to the 6 plus. The other day I picked up an S9 in a store and played with it. I really liked the phone and the size. I was really impressed. Has made me think about making my next phone a smaller one. Easier to carry in my pocket thats for sure.

I used to operate under the idea that a larger phone will give me a more tablet like experience, but since I have an iPad with me most of the time, maybe a smaller phone would be just the ticket. Hmmm.
My take is that smaller phones like the iPhone X are the ones that benefit from the tall display format while the phones that already had 5.5+ screen sizes only push the UI and navigation up and down respectively, without having any real effect on the reading experience.
 

sunking101

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Sep 19, 2013
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I have a Note 8 and can type one-handed on it. It's all about incremental change, if you go from an iPhone 4 to an 8 Plus then you're going to have to change how you interact with a phone. Go from an i4 to a 5, then a 7, then an 8 Plus for example and it becomes much easier. Having said that I jumped straight in at the deep end by going from an iPhone 5 to a 6 Plus. Yes there are some negatives but the pros outweigh them. You soon become au fait with the new way of doing things and now my supposedly massive Note 8 feels perfectly manageable.
 
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Lioness~

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Apr 26, 2017
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Only the small phones went into my pockets ;)

Never had anything else.
Went from 4 to 5, where I stayed wondering until SE came :)
Wouldn’t mind if they do ‘SE2’ more bezelless though.
 
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Macalicious2011

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May 15, 2011
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Small phones feel great in the hand once you are used to a large one. I've played with an iPhone 8 and S9 and almost been tempted to downsized but I haven't and many others won't. The reason is that we spend more time on our phones than any other device. I know people who don't have an iPad or rarely use a laptop outside of work. A larger phone simply makes extended use more comfortable.

I can use my P2XL at arms distance while an iPhone 5 needs to be raised to the face for an immersive experience.

Sure some are saying the iPhone X is the perfect size, but once a Plus version exist people will flock to it. The same happened a few year ago when Android phones were criticised for being too big. When Apple begin selling large phones, they sold like ice cream on a hot day.


My take is that smaller phones like the iPhone X are the ones that benefit from the tall display format while the phones that already had 5.5+ screen sizes only push the UI and navigation up and down respectively, without having any real effect on the reading experience.
That's what I found too. I compared viewing webpages on my S6 Edge+ with the S8+. Despite the S8+ having no bezels, the software buttons occupying real estate meant that it offers minimal improvements to the reading or viewing experience. The Note 8 was the only phone that was an "improvement". It shows 1.5 lines of additional text when reading articles on BBC News.
 

kasakka

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I have a Note 8 and can type one-handed on it. It's all about incremental change, if you go from an iPhone 4 to an 8 Plus then you're going to have to change how you interact with a phone. Go from an i4 to a 5, then a 7, then an 8 Plus for example and it becomes much easier. Having said that I jumped straight in at the deep end by going from an iPhone 5 to a 6 Plus. Yes there are some negatives but the pros outweigh them. You soon become au fait with the new way of doing things and now my supposedly massive Note 8 feels perfectly manageable.
You must have a lot larger hands than I do. I've tried one handed when I've tried any of the current flagship phones and they are incredibly awkward to me. Even my Oneplus 3 is sometimes like that. I know the Note has that one-handed mode to help but personally I just can't see myself wanting a phone that barely fits in my pocket.

Have you seen Iphone+ models?
Those are the double whammy of massive bezels and huge physical size. I never understood why people bought them or why Apple stuck to that ****** design for so many years when the competion made their phones physically smaller while keeping the same screen size.
 

sunking101

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Sep 19, 2013
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You must have a lot larger hands than I do. I've tried one handed when I've tried any of the current flagship phones and they are incredibly awkward to me. Even my Oneplus 3 is sometimes like that. I know the Note has that one-handed mode to help but personally I just can't see myself wanting a phone that barely fits in my pocket.



Those are the double whammy of massive bezels and huge physical size. I never understood why people bought them or why Apple stuck to that ****** design for so many years when the competion made their phones physically smaller while keeping the same screen size.
I never use the one-handed mode. My 6+ felt way more awkward than my Note 8 despite having a 5.5" screen v my Note's 6.3"…
 

Tsepz

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Jan 24, 2013
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I have a Note 8 and can type one-handed on it. It's all about incremental change, if you go from an iPhone 4 to an 8 Plus then you're going to have to change how you interact with a phone. Go from an i4 to a 5, then a 7, then an 8 Plus for example and it becomes much easier. Having said that I jumped straight in at the deep end by going from an iPhone 5 to a 6 Plus. Yes there are some negatives but the pros outweigh them. You soon become au fait with the new way of doing things and now my supposedly massive Note 8 feels perfectly manageable.
Exactly!

I love the size of my Note8, then again I owned a Note 4 prior, so I was already used to big phones and in fact the Note8 is narrower than the Note 4.

My Note8 outshines my iPad in both usability and functionality to :D I barely use my iPad, as the Note8 is so much more capable, the iPad stays at home 99% of the time now.
 
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Ralfi

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Dec 22, 2016
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With bezelless phones becoming a standard, why do all Android manufacturers make the exact same size, big ass phones?

I think the iPhone X is a really great size for a phone that is easy to use with one hand and fits in the pocket nicely but on the Android side, the closest thing is the Samsung S8/9 with Sony XZ2 Compact a bit smaller and there seems to be no other options available.

Correct me if I am wrong because I would love to get a physically smaller Android phone with roughly the same screen size as my Oneplus 3.
I know many won't like this, but a notch allows a bigger screen in a smaller form factor.

What many phone manufacturers haven't done is kill the chin to complete the job. They probably know that's what they need to do but haven't got the technology to pull it off as it has been with the iPhone X.

There's no point having a notch when you still increase the device height with a bezel down below imo.
 

Hater

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Sep 20, 2017
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The SE was exactly what the doctor ordered as far as me wanting phones goes. I (stupidly) had a 6 Plus when they were new, that was an ordeal. Awkward to hold, awkward to have in the pocket (I don't wear skinny jeans) and awkward all around. Then the 6S came and I went for a normal 6S, which was still too big. The SE is seriously the only phone of it's size on the market today. It's a pity it's not as thin as the 6th Gen iPod Touch.

I just hope they don't ruin the new one by making it bigger. I couldn't care less about the bigger screen sizes, i'd much prefer a smaller chassis and 4" screen than the current chassis + bigger screen.
 

Tsepz

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Jan 24, 2013
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I know many won't like this, but a notch allows a bigger screen in a smaller form factor.

What many phone manufacturers haven't done is kill the chin to complete the job. They probably know that's what they need to do but haven't got the technology to pull it off as it has been with the iPhone X.

There's no point having a notch when you still increase the device height with a bezel down below imo.
As someone who consumes a ton of content on their phone daily, to me the notch makes no sense as when I want to watch YouTube videos, Netflix or Amazon etc..., I want the Full screen experience, all 6.3inches of my Note8 Display must be used up by the content, now with phones with a Notch, the viewable area decreases as:

1. The notch eats in to the content and looks like dead pixels
2. The phone has to compensate for the notch and therefore kill the "ears" and basically deactivate part of the screen and you therefore lose that physical screen size, instead of a 5.8inch display you essentially have around 5.5 or 5.4, which takes away the whole point to begin with.

I look at phones with a Notch as great for Taking calls, casual Web browsing and best for being used in portrait mode, but not worth using as devices to consume content happily on as there is a higher level of compromise on all of them.

Aesthetically I understand why they need the notch there, but in terms of practicality it makes no sense to me, we are better off with a chin and forehead with the phone not having to compromise for an intrusion into the display.
 
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Zwhaler

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Jun 10, 2006
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The S9 feels small to me. I guess I'm used to the S6 edge+ I've been rocking for a few years now. An iPhone SE X or SE XI.. (lol) would be a nice compromise on size.
 

adamski23

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Aug 7, 2017
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I loved the form factor of the z3 compact when I had it. I waited for a proper successor from Sony; sadly future iterations were not for me. The form is one of the reasons why I have a regular size iPhone today (SE is too small a screen but great size).
 
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