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back to article World+Dog to demand ever larger tablet-phones

We're not speaking to people on our phones, these days, we're mostly browsing the web. And that, says market watcher ABI Research, is driving demand for devices that lie in the grey area between smartphones and tablets. Come 2015, shipments of these big-screen phones or small tablets - or, as we used to call them, Mobile …

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Stop

bigger != better

More screen real estate is helpful for seeing things (obviously) for me this is a "mobile device", i.e. mobile first, device second.

I'm sick of manufacturers adding capability to the Device at the expense of Mobility. My current smartphone sits nicely in my trouser pocket, alongside my wallet...I know that when it comes time to upgrade I'll have more device than I can fit into my pocket

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Re: bigger != better

Why are you "sick of" of manufacturers doing something? They aren't forcing you to buy them. There are litterally hundreds of choices out there. You can still get smaller smartphones. My contract came up for renewal so I got a Motorola Defy + which was a really nice size (flogged it on eBay for £170). My wife has a Samsung Galaxy Y which is even smaller. There are loads of smaller phones being released but they tend not to be at the very high end so you don't see reviews for them on sites like this. Sony (Ericsson) are little doing the Xperia Mini Series which are amazing phones with a really nice UI skin to get around the problem of the screen being so small.

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Paris Hilton

Re: bigger != better

I'm also sick of it - there aren't enough choices. I want a top-spec phone that's the same size as my current Nexus One (and also, shocking though it is, the most successful smartphone - the iphone). No such thing exists. If I want decent build quality, all mod cons (top-of-the-line processor, bluetooth 4, high-res screen etc.) then I have to get a massive device. I looked at the HTC One S thinking it was the smaller version of the One X but it's huge! There's no way I could reach the top of the screen with my thumb. So now I'm looking at legacy devices like the Sensation and Desire, which have underpowered processors for ICS (which I need).

Paris natch, for a comment about whether size is important

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Samsung Galaxy Y

Samsung Galaxy Y - slightly larger than my current smartphone, and with an inferior spec.

Motorola Defy - ditto

Xperia XP10 Mini Pro - comes with Android 1.6 (upgradeable to 2.1)

It just doesn't look to me like the manufacturers are working on providing good features and decent capability in a traditional "candybar" (shape and size) form factor.

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Joke

Re: bigger != better

@Bassey: "They aren't forcing you to buy them. There are litterally hundreds of choices out there." Perhaps the OP has an iPhone...then you're wrong on both parts (first part is in the T&C under "recurring business requirement", right after the "proselytizing" section).

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Re: Samsung Galaxy Y

SE Mini and Mini Pro - 7.5cm screen, comes with Android 2.3.4, Sony have committed ICS for the phone (if you want ICS on a 500mb, 1gHz handset)

Currently available for a bit over £100 SIM free.

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Thumb Up

Note this ...

My Samsung Galaxy Note is the best phone / pocket computer I've ever seen or used. It fits comfortably in my hand and is a pleasure to use. All other smartphones now seem too small to my eye. That said, my female partner can't easily hold the Note because her hands are slightly too small and therefore she's waited for the SIII which is perfect for her.

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Bronze badge

Re: Note this ...

I'll second the praise for the Galaxy note, it really is better to use than any other phone I've tried.

Although I perhaps ought to mention that I use a much smaller Nokia phone for calls, the Note is more of a data device for me.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not the length, it's the thickness that counts.

or so my misss tells me....

I loved the formfactor of the HTC Legend (3.2in), but it lacked a snapdragon, so I went for a bigger Xperia Arc S (4.2in), which is VERY slim, and still not too unweildly.

I can't ever think I would want anything bigger thou. The Xperia is perfect, as it's a VERY slim phone and fits in the pocket nicely despite it's 4.2in screen.

A 5in phone seems outrageous.

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Alert

Re: It's not the length, it's the thickness that counts.

Crikey, I find myself in the unusual situation of agreeing with Barry.

5 inch phones make me feel too much like Dom Joly. The current iPhone's 3.5 inches is now starting to seem a little too small (rumour is it'll get bigger in the new iPhone).

Personally, I feel the sweet spot is around 4 - 4.25 inches.

YMMV

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Silver badge

How about

a really simple phone that can be used as a phone but also connects to (and clips to?) my tablet/laptop computer easily simple and efficiently using open standards.

That way I could have a phone that slips into a small pocket on the beach, turns into a tablet phone when stuck on my tablet when I have bigger pockets etc

Like a phone and not a 'phone and half a computer' and most of my bank balance every couple of years.

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Re: How about

Sounds a bit like the Asus Padfone to me.

Smartphone when you want one, tablet when you want more and you can add a keyboard if you actually want to do some work.

Looks to me like the best of all worlds except for the price.

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Re: How about

Playbook does just that - but everyone moaned about lack of native 3G!

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these things need a proper new name

As pointed out, Smartphones are a phone as their 3rd, 4th or 32nd function... how much longer can they be called "phones" for? Surely a proper new name is needed for them that the unwashed masses can actually be told to use. The Germans call them a "Handy" which despite being the word "Handy" and sounding exceptionally camp in my head, makes a lot more sense...

Where me Keys? Where me portable computation and communication device?

Where me Keys? Where me portable computation and communication device?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: these things need a proper new name

oh, how about, umm... "PDA" :-)

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Re: these things need a proper new name

I reckon the Samsung Galaxy Note is the first modern phone that feels like a decent replacement for the Psion Series 5mx. It's big enough to use for web browsing, remote server management, and looking at photos, but fits in the pocket better than the Psion did.

In fact, since pockets are usually designed to take an adult hand, a PDA that's hand-sized is probably the ideal size :)

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Dell Streak, Galaxy Note

The Dell Streak (5" screen) was the first in this category - it was very good, but not supported well by Dell. I'm now on a Galaxy Note (5.3" screen) and it's great - the screen makes it great to use on the web and for applications. Vastly better support & professionalism from Samsung than we had from Dell.

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Go

Choice

Obviously it's just good to have the choice of what size of phone you want instead of everyone having to be the same. Do small ones and big ones!

Personally I just want a bigger tablet maybe even as large as 20", but without yet having that choice I can't really tell if that would be too big (I guess it would depend on the weight).

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Trollface

I got to "upgrade" a new employee from his old personal high end Nokia to a Blackberry 9900 and I forgot how good phones used to be more akin to jewellery than technology demonstrations... That Nokia was a real pleasure to use!

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Silver badge

Agreed. I've resurrected my Razr V3xx for weekend use (don't need smartguff outside work) because it has a three day battery life and still does pretty much everything I want.

The thing about good old-fashioned phones is that they're brilliant phones. Smartphones tend to be mediocre at many things.

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Anonymous Coward

It's all a conspiracy by the clothing industry

as title

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Anonymous Coward

I always thought the bluetooth headset would make a comeback (since i rarely see anyone using them anymore) as phones get bigger and more tablet like...

Personally I will be buying a new bluetooth headset to go with my new 4.8" phone..

but the fact is there is a nice variety of smart phones, from 3.5" to 5" so choose the one that suits you most, for me I have big hands so a bigger phone is better when it comes to a smart phone. but a small bluetooth headset will mean no need to take the phone out to talk!

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Meh

a phone...

...is a phone is a phone.

I'm sticking to my good old E51 until it falls apart...

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Bronze badge

not for me

A phone is a phone is a texting tool is a web browser is an mp3 player is a portable games console is a remote admin tool is a laptop substitute is a GPS tracker etc etc

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This post has been deleted by its author

Flame

Bigger phones.....Stop this madness!!

Bigger phones.....Stop this madness!!

"We're not speaking to people on our phones, these days, we're mostly browsing the web. And that, says market watcher ABI Research, is driving demand for devices that lie in the grey area between smartphones and tablets."

No..No...No.....most phones are asleep for much of the day and are mainly employed, as an uncomfortable bulge around the trouser department. Sitting down with one in your pocket is becoming a nightmare!

Please make one the size of the Orange San Fransisco but with the power of the Gallaxy s3. Trust me the demand is there.

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Thumb Up

Re: Bigger phones.....Stop this madness!!

Count me in, I'll have one of those.

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Meh

Re: Bigger phones.....Stop this madness!!

Yes please, I'd very much like a high-end phone in a small form factor. Since I 'upgraded' from a Nexus One to a Desire HD I've found the extra size to be a total pain. It's uncomfortable in my pocket and too big to operate with a single hand without frequently dropping it (I've never dropped any phone as much as I have this one) and the despite the jumbo size, the screen is the same resolution as the N1 (although let's not kick off the old debate about AMOLED/Pentile displays!!)

I don't miss the buggy touch screen and pitifully small RAM/ROM on my Nexus One but I do miss the size and I long for a high spec phone running ICS which is the same size, (actually I really miss the trackball too!)

The smallest quad core phone I can find announced on GSM Arena is a 'Meizu MX quad-core' (http://www.gsmarena.com/meizu_mx_quad_core-4697.php) which has a 4" screen. Who the F**K are Meizu?

At 3.8" and below (with at least a 1GHz CPU) the best I can get is dual core and none of the 7 options on GSM Arena are much good - the best looks like a Micromax A85 but it's only available in India. Another is a T-Mobile. The Lenovo S2 looks weird and Sony are releasing three new Xperias, but they've all got inches of trim around the screen.

Ho hum, one day I might be able to buy a phone which I actually like :-(

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A massive screen please, so I can watch netflix in bed, watch youtube vids in high def, so I don't have to squint when reading webpages and facebook.

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My Galaxy Nexus goes great in my pocket.. could probably go bitter, like the Note, without any problems. It's also thin and somewhat lighter than earlier smartphones I've had.

I imagine the S3 is a similar form factor.. not a problem at all.

I tend to agree with the article - big is better for browsing, email, and 4.6" is about the smallest I could imagine running an SSH client for example (could definately do with bigger for that).

I also agree with an earlier poster that calling them phones is becoming a bit silly - they're mini-tablets now.

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Big and small?

I am in the camp of wanting a bigger display and also in the camp of wanting a small phone, bit of a dillema. I have a hope that in the future something like google glass will allow me to have both.

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Re: Big and small?

You should perhaps try a Galaxy S3 in a store when it finally ships. It's supposedly not much larger than the S2, but with a 4.8" screen. The S2 is thin enough to fit in most pockets, and I guess the S3 will too.

My experience is that thickness matters a lot more than width/length.

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Nokia had the right idea....

..... with the nokia 9210. Phone on the out side, then unfold for large screen and full(ish) keyboard.

They can now make it a touch screen.

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xyz
Devil

Ah the phablet...

voice phoning will die off, as we all video skype now we've got eat all you can data, so you just need a bluetooth headset, a sling pouch for your phablet and if you want to do that old fashioned number punching thingy, you can get a bluetooth strap with the numbers on it

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Bronze badge

re: bluetooth

Yes, I was going to ask, do people still hold their mobes up to their faces when making a call nowadays?

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Anonymous Coward

Apple 5"?

Am I the only one who thinks that an iPhone with a 5inch screen will look terrible?

Either Apple will have to abandon the 4:3 ratio, or it will be wider than a S3 with huge expanses of wasted black space top and bottom.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: Apple 5"?

If the 5" screen takes up the entire phone - no bezel - and it's super thin, that could be sweet. But I don't even know that's possible.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple 5"?

The iPhone is 3:2, not 4:3 (like the iPad is), though it seems to be a bit of a common misconception.

The hot rumour is that they'll add vertical pixels to take it to 16:9 without developers having to tweak the width of apps, and they can letterbox apps till they get updated.

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Happy

The problem with trends is that they tend, albeit temporarily, to become the........

......new norm. If the over 4.5 inchers are seen to be selling extremely well (and indeed one has to say that something like Sammy's "Note" is a very fine piece of kit) then world+wife+dog amongst the OEMs will start, herd-like, to produce little else. My good lady was very impressed with a colleague's Galaxy Note but she (the missus) is only about 5ft in her socks and under 8st wringing wet. You can imagine that with her hands the Note would be very difficult to use in the usual way. One handed texting would be quite impossible for her. I do hope that the producers bear in mind that not all customers are equipped with the kind of shovels yours truly has on the end of his wrists!

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JDX
Gold badge

Time to lose screens entirely

We clearly need it beaming the display directly onto your retina. Or something.

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Devil

Oiy!

What with all this talk of ladies and miss's hands, I shan't think this is a geek website anymore. Now, back to your basements! The DM is getting lonely.

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Nev
Stop

Prophetic..?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xut__-uXG8U

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Go

Reminds me

of that episode of Corner Gas where Brent and Davis are having penis wars over who has the smallest phone. They keep buying smaller and smaller phones to outdo each other, until Wanda mocks them by calling them "small-phone", at which point Brent and Davis start toting 90s-style housebrick phones instead.

Brent Butt was a prophet. First the phones got smaller, now they're getting bigger again...

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