This article was first published at thebit.nz .
OPINION: In 2012, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 smartphone. My friends found it hilarious that I'd essentially bought a tablet to use as a phone, and couldn't fathom how even a "fat-handed t…" (their words, but fair ones) like me could hold such a monster handset.
Their phones, if memory serves, were the dinky 3.5-inch iPhone 4S and the 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S3.
The "monstrous" Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in my pocket, meanwhile, was a "ludicrous" 5.5 inches.
READ MORE: iPhone prices have ballooned globally, but New Zealand is actually cheaper All the Pixel 6 surprises have leaked thanks to a careless retailer Best phone NZ 2021: What's the best smartphone I can buy in New Zealand?
It won't have escaped your notice that a 5.5-inch phone doesn't sound very big in 2021. Indeed, that's only 0.1 inches bigger than the iPhone 13 mini.
That's partly because aspect ratios have changed from 16:9 to 18:9 upwards – they're taller and thinner than they used to be, in other words. But the overall trend is pretty clear. Finding a phone that's under 5.5 inches across the diagonal is rare. Finding one that isn't marketed as "mini" or "compact" is even rarer.
The "why" of this is all speculation. No doubt the sales of Samsung's early phablets – a cringey term for "phone and tablet" which thankfully has died out – was part of the story.
As was, most likely, the extra space for a battery that a larger phone would allow. Factor in more people streaming Netflix and YouTube to the small screen over the past decade, and it's understandable that manufacturers would prioritise screen size over pocketability.
(It probably didn't help that early "mini" phones gratuitously cut corners while trying to benefit from the brand name of the full-size version. No, Samsung, I haven't forgotten the Galaxy S5 Mini, and neither have people who bought one, I'd wager.)
But it is also the case that manufacturers don't make small phones any more because they simply don't sell.
Last year, Apple introduced the iPhone 12 mini to five-star reviews across the board.
The phone was a triumph, with some outlets calling it the best iPhone of the lot thanks to its dinky size and generous specs.
The public disagreed, and it sold so badly that Apple was forced to cut production after eight months of lacklustre sales .
Indeed, it's rumoured that the only reason we have an iPhone 13 mini is because Apple was so far along with its plans by the time that the poor sales figures weren't factored in. Suffice it to say that they will be from next year, and it's expected that the smallest available iPhone 14 will be 6.1 inches instead.
There's plenty of extenuating circumstances for the iPhone 12 mini. For one, it was released at a time when much of the world was in lockdown, when portability was less important than being able to clearly make out Joe Exotic's face in Tiger King . Plus, it was hardly a vintage generation for iPhone battery life, and the 12 mini suffered most of all.
There's also the fact that the iPhone 12 mini wasn't the cheapest handset available with an Apple on it: If saving money was the top priority, then the much cheaper iPhone SE was the clear winner.
But none of these change the fact that the iPhone 12 mini sold poorly, and that should worry anybody pursuing the small phone dream.
If Apple can't make dinky desirable, then who can? The companies occasionally flying the flag for small phones include Asus and Sony, which, with all due respect to them, are hardly titans in the mobile space, with roughly 3.5 million phone sales between them in 2020. That's a combined market share of about 2.5 per cent.
There may be one hope, and that's the company that started the trend for big screens in the first place: Samsung. After years of screen size inflation, the rumour mill suggests that the Samsung Galaxy S22 will actually put that trend into reverse, with the standard model falling to 6.06 inches (down from 6.2 inches) and the Plus version to 6.55 inches (down from 6.7 inches).
Hardly tiny, but that would still make the Galaxy S22 the smallest Samsung flagship since 2019's Galaxy S10e . And funnily enough, that's the phone I have in my pocket today.
Despite being an early evangelist for big-screen phones with my much-mocked adoption of the Galaxy Note 2, I find the S10e's 5.8-inch screen perfectly well suited to my giant paws, and I'm in no rush to upgrade.
And no, it hasn't escaped my notice that the owner of the dinky iPhone 4S who laughed at my Galaxy Note now uses the monstrously large 6.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra . Funny how things turn out.
- Here’s the latest on Colorado’s wildfires and what conditions will look like in the coming days
- Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says a new iPad mini is coming later this year
- What your social life might look like post-pandemic, according to a psychologist
- 100 Years After the Tulsa Massacre, What Does Justice Look Like?
- I tried upping my Instagram game with this TikTok iPhone camera hack and I looked like a BBQ potato chip
- Prototype Apple Watch with case designed to look like a brick phone leaks
- Beyoncé stuns in a show-stopping look no one saw coming during rare public appearance
- What Will Post-Pandemic Life Look Like? Futurist Bruce Turkel Has Some Ideas
- Commentary: COVID-19 is reshaping what work looks like
- SF after dark: what will the city's nightlife look like when it's turned back on?
- Huge ‘GTA 6 leak’ appears to reveal new maps for upcoming game – and it ‘looks like Vice City’
- Mrs Hinch-inspired grey homes have no personality & look like a 1980s bank branch, says Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
- Light after the lockdown: What the future of fashion and luxury will look like
- America’s reopening: How could post-COVID life look like?
- Revealed: Here's what Apple's new 'iPhone 12' lineup looks like
- A City Under Siege: What the War Looks Like on Afghanistan’s Front Line
- What Prince Charles' monarchy will look like - seven key royals and new titles
- iPad mini 5 review: when portability matters most [Video]
- Best Black Friday Phone Deals 2020: iPhone, Samsung, and Google Pixel | Digital Trends
- Purple iPhone 12 hands-on: Wait for the iPhone 13, or buy a new phone now?
Sorry, small-handed folk – it doesn’t look like mini phones are coming back have 1113 words, post on www.stuff.co.nz at November 11, 2021. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.