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Upgrading phones: Size really does matter

Last week, I was fortunate enough to buy myself a new phone. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Rather than buy the next incremental upgrade, I decided to take the plunge and considerably increase the size of what I kept in my pocket. That’s right, in the ever-changing selection of smartphones; I chose a ‘phablet’ (phone meets tablet).

I upgraded from a Nexus 4 to a Nexus 6 (size comparison). The difference between these two (other than the upgraded internals) is a whole 1.3 inches. The Nexus 6 is a whopping 6 inches diagonally on its screen compared to the 4’s, by no means small, 4.7 inches.

Image credit: Jon Carter/cartertoons.com

Image credit: Jon Carter/cartertoons.com

A significant number of people I know are sceptical when it comes to these larger than life phones, with the opinion that it is purely too large. I too had initial doubts in the agonising wait for it to arrive in the post, but I can honestly say, after being a proud owner of nearly two weeks, I will never go back to anything smaller.

The first thing I thought was “wow, it’s huge.” And this seems to be the initial reaction from surrounding friends whenever I use my phone now. People see it and tell me, as if I didn’t already know, that my phone is huge.

The best way to describe it to a small phone owner, is to imagine that for the 4 or so hours that we on average spend on our phones every day, you had to do all of that looking at your phone through a keyhole. Now, imagine then doing the same thing, but through the biggest window you can imagine. It really is that different, and is hard to understand until you’ve lived with a beast in your pocket.

The amount of space on the screen really brings to life the everyday tasks that we carry out. Scrolling through the daily news is much closer to reading an actual print of the news. The extra size makes viewing photos much more enjoyable and writing emails and messages is far easier and less error prone with a less cramped keyboard.

There are a few warnings to heed before you jump the small screen ship. There have been one or two heart stopping moments where the phone has felt as if it was slipping out of my hands when operating it one handed, and on that note, one handed use is not as straightforward as you may be used to on a smaller device. These can all be attributed to the fact that I am still getting used to how a new phone feels, and they are merely teething issues.

The trend seems to be upwards in terms of screen size. Even Apple (typically slow in terms of innovation) have accepted that phones are increasing in size and when the 5S is no longer sold, they won’t have a phone smaller than 4.7 inches (iPhone 6). Even this size of screen will seem a large step up to those of you with a traditionally sized iPhone.

In the future, consider a larger phone than what you already have. It doesn’t have to be the largest one available but in this scenario, bigger really does seem to be better. I picked up my old phone at the time of writing, and I couldn’t believe I had ever survived with such a small screen. After a few days, what seemed huge when I first got it, now just seems like normality and I could never go back.

If you’ve been having thoughts about upsizing, I absolutely recommend going for it, I certainly haven’t looked back.

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