BIGGER IS BETTER?
SMARTPHONE DISPLAY SIZES RANGE FROM 2.8 INCHES TO 5.3 INCHES. ARE THERE ADVANTAGES TO THE DISPLAY BEING SMALLER RATHER THAN BIGGER?
Gone is the era when mini spelt ‘coveted’ in the mobile handsets market. Remember that perky ad about a woman talking into a tiny phone and misleading a man into believing she was giving him the come-hither signal? Today’s phone world is all about big, bigger, biggest.
And yet, this beggars a question: Is bigger better?
It all started when Apple first introduced THE 3.5-inch screen and took the market by storm. All phonemakers followed the trend. Today, we have phones which have much larger displays than the Apple iphone—the Samsung Galaxy S2 and HTC Sensation have 4.3-inch displays, the Acer S300 has an 4.8-inch one, while the Galaxy Note will boast a 5.3-inch screen. This has led to the availability of a large range in display sizes, from 2.8 inches to 5.3 inches and everything in between. All along Apple has kept to a 3.5-inch screen. Does the company feel that increasing the display size involves diminishing satisfaction for the user? Let’s check. Remember when a 2.8-inch display in a Windows Mobile phone used to look huge? That was the time when we were ecstatic about resistive touch technology (which accepted touch input using a pointed tip, be it stylus, pen nib or a finger nail). Perhaps display size wasn’t such a factor then. Today, capacitive touch technology in most touch phones has allowed the human finger to replace the stylus. It has also meant that the majority of touch phones come without a physical keypad. In such a scenario, the touch display needs to be big enough for human fingers to move around, type, navigate and even pinch to zoom.
Although, the finger experience isn’t horrifying on a 2.8-inch or 3-inch display, it is not the smoothest either. A user might feel comfortable browsing the menu but typing on the cramped onscreen QWERTY keypad isn’t too pleasant. One might consider phones with a 3.5-inch display more comfortable to operate on, but those with even bigger displays are the ones that tax your patience the least.
But also consider the flipside to this. It is not a comforting thought to be saddled with a big phone that doesn’t fit into pockets and is fairly difficult to hold up to the ears for conversations.
Tip: We have checked the phones sporting 4.3-inch display and these are easy to get used to. The 4.8 and 5.3 inchers are yet to come to the Indian market. The Dell Streak with its 5inch screen was an awkward device