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Cell Phone Size Comparison: Is Huge Here To Stay?

Phone Size Comparison

This week at work someone brought me their old Blackberry. Not uncommon as they shift to an Android or iPhone model, but this version was a lot older than most. It was one of the first color screen Blackberry’s available in the 7290 version. This smartphone was released almost 10 years ago in 2004, but it wasn’t the age that caught my eye. It was the size.

The 7290 was huge and I think people forget that before we as a market wanted the sleekest small phone, we had large phones. Before this Blackberry was available Nokia, Motorola and Ericson made very small dumb phones.With the evolution of the PDA phone or what we refer to as smartphones, there have been a few major shifts in size and keyboard offerings.

Some people now think many of the Android phones offered are clunky and too big. Checkout the picture above of the Blackberry from 2004 versus a Samsung Galaxy S3 that is even supporting a case.

The Blackberry is actually wider and over twice as thick as the Samsung. (5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 in) versus (4.45 x 2.93 x 0.87 in). Of course the S3 is taller by three quarters of an inch, but it also has a 4.8″ display compared to the 2.6″ Blackberry screen. After seeing the direct comparison it makes sense why everyone wanted to carry the Blackberry’s on a belt clip and not in their pocket.

Of course phones come in even larger sizes like the Samsung Note and Droid DNA, but their sales indicate people don’t mind the large size. Apple has stuck to their guns with the iPhone size. The iPhone 5 finally moved up to a 4″ screen from 3.7″ like on all previous models.

Many bloggers believe Apple will release an even bigger screen this year, but also a similar sized model at 4″. Will Apple break their trend of smaller being the right size or will they give consumers a choice between two models in the same product cycle? I think Apple will release a 4.3″ or 4.5″ version and people will finally see what they have been missing out on with a larger screen.

I think the larger phones and phablets are here to stay, for now. The technology in phones has grown at an alarming pace over the past 10 years. What we now view as a standard will be replaced with new form factors within 5 years or so. Physical keyboards were replaced with larger touchscreen slabs and these touchscreens will be replaced by something else.

If you look at two new products coming out soon, it could be a combination of each. Samsung’s S4 has a new feature that was demonstrated as ‘hover touch’. The feature allows users to control the phone without actually touching the screen.

Google has a highly anticipated Google Glass product that displays a small screen just outside your straight vision line. I think it is only a matter of time before we are wearing some form of computing that can read our gestures and display anything we want, without ever needing a phone with a large screen. The living room has been a hotbed of rumors for this type of gesture based tech, but outside of the Xbox Connect and PlayStation Move there have been little advances. Apple could be readying this feature with the iTV, but we don’t know if that product is even a year or two away.

As a consumer I think we are ready for a jump to wearable computing. Small advances with fitness products have shown a major interest. From the Nike FuelBand and Fitbit type products to the newest smartwatches from Pebble and I’mWatch, people appear to be ready. These products should serve as a stepping stone to the new technology that will replace or work directly with some form of phone.

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