When is a smartphone too big?

When is a smartphone too big?

Do tell us you noticed it too. Phones are getting bigger and tablets are getting smaller. In 2013, the industry was somewhat on the verge of perfecting the “phablet” (phone-tablet) form factor. MWC’s here and they’re announcing 5 to 7-inch phones in every corner. So, we’re throwing the question: when is a smartphone too big?

Of course, phones weren’t this compact either before. We had huge telephones predating back to 10 years ago. Times have changed and holding those up to your ear can be very awkward.



Asus just announced the FonePad, a 7-inch tablet that can make phone calls. Apart from that, we have the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 that can make phone calls as well. If MWC still doesn’t cut it for you, I’d like to burst it by saying Samsung has been investing a lot in the “phablet” space already ever since the first Galaxy Note, even the first Galaxy Tab.

Aside from phone calls, people are also more comfortable using their phone’s camera rather than a dedicated point-and-shoot.


We understand that bigger screens give way to more content and a better multimedia experience, but we also believe things should have limits. Local companies such as Torque & Cherry Mobile are following suit. If this is the case with the future, are you okay with it? Do you think the idea of having a 7-inch all-around phone is practical? Or do you think this is all just a fad of “bigger is better”?

Bob Freking occasionally contributes articles to the website. He is a UST Graduate of Commerce & Business Administration, Major in Marketing Management, and a full-time Sith Lord with three dragons.

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29 Responses

  1. Lex says:

    Smart phones that hav a 5 inch screen with a 6 inch body look big already, especially if held by a woman. But the size is still acceptable. Imagine a 6 to 7 inch screen phablet and try making a call with that. Nakakatawa ang itsura

    • TacticalNinja says:

      I agree with everything you said, although pwede rin naman gumamit ng headset (bluetooth or wired para mabawasan ang awkwardness sa pagcall), may time din dati na awkward gumamit ng phone kasi parang ‘sinlaki ng 2-by-4 (or dati eh yung may strap pa mismo na parang may malaking shoulder bag ka) yung mga cellphone noon.

  2. paolo says:

    I’m a guy and I own a 4.7 inch nexus 4. I’m very happy with the phone’s performance but sometimes I kinda miss one-hand texting. It is hard even if my hands are not that small. Maybe 4 to 4.5 inch is the limit? But then again, I also think the 4 inch iphone 5 is small for a touchscreen qwerty keyboard

  3. Wis says:

    If we’re talking smartphones, i think 5″ is the maximum size or 5.3″ maybe with edge to edge display sans the bezels…more than that it would be phablet…so it’s a question of , if you want a phone or a phablet…

  4. HiERARCH says:

    Gamit ko dell streak. at 5 inches, uncomfy siya kasi di ko malagay sa bulsa ko. I used to buy secondary phone na mas handy.

  5. Freeje says:

    These companies won’t make these all-in-one products if they think no one is going to buy them. This was what people thought when the Galaxy Note came out. Apparently some people, mostly with bad eyesight like me (I won’t say aged), do want an all-in-one phone judging from the comments from some of them when the Fonepad was announced. But they are not exactly going to hold the phone up to their ear. Not unless they want to hide from someone at that very moment but that would look really silly! There is such a thing as a bluetooth earphone or even a wired headset. I don’t mind getting a bigger screen as I find it hard to read web pages even on my S3 but I must admit that these megaphones are not ‘pocket-able’. There is the inconvenience of lugging around a small bag with you or you have to have clothes with extra large pockets (cargo pants?).

    Samsung took a risk coming out with their big screen phones but the gamble paid off. Now, others are doing the same but they are just taking it to the next (absurd?) level. Will they be as successful too? We will know soon enough as consumers will surely vote with their dollars.

  6. itachi1 says:

    For me, the dimensions of the Galaxy Note 2 is just right… large enough for me to watch videos, surf, and play games. From my female colleagues’ perspective, it doesn’t look silly at all for guys to take calls on larger phones such as this. Plus, there’s a one hand feature that I use so I can use the keyboard and keypad within my thumb’s reach. This is one feature that made me decide to buy this in the first place, ’cause I’m worried about it (and many people too as well).

    On the other hand, it poses a problem to my 2 pairs of jeans which have shallow pockets :P

  7. jonski22 says:

    Unless you’re Shaq, 7″ is big enough for a phone. I think the solution is a Bluetooth headset, either those ear type or basic phone type…so as not to look stupid talking to a 9″ or 10″ “phablet”…

  8. rhk111 says:

    The bigger, the better. However, I think 6″ is the maximum size for a Phablet. Any bigger than that, and it looks too silly already to put it next to your head when calling. Currently using a Titan TV with its 6″ screen …

  9. Benchmark says:

    gulong ng palad…

    sa ngayon, nasa peak tayo na palakihan ang phone, soon, masasaturate at may makakagawa na pedeng ma-fold ang touch screen phone mo…then paliitan yan, hangan masmaliit pa sya sa coin purse mo…then the wheel will turn again…

    soon, magpaparang Total Recall movie (2012 edition) yan, na sa sobrang compact ng phone, nasa kamay mo na yung phone mo…needs operation para i-install ang phone sa palad mo.

    in my opinion, 4″ to 4.9″ would be fine, bigger than that, BIG na yung phone.

  10. rintao says:

    im 32yrs old prelance. income lyk junior manager,i love gadget i had ip5 but im using nokia/chery low end blackNwht phone coz tagal ng lyf s twag almost 3dys. im using smartphone 4 email,picture coz handy. cguro qng bata p aq alwys(gaming/social media). pag lalabas ang 6.3-6.4 screen size ng tabphone isa aq s market nila. bulky kc ng tf700 parang laptop din. nokia blackNwht screen + 6.3-6.4″ tabphne plus laptop okay n ang mobile world q.

    • Justin says:

      Ganda ng spelling mo, bro! Jologs na jologs.

    • Prelance says:

      w0w!! PaReha pAla taYo PRelance! 32 ka na d k pa marun0ng mag Spilling

    • Reader says:

      “Prelance” means a temp, someone who’s occasionally a bum and just does “work” once in a while. People like this guy are taking false pride but in reality, will not accomplish anything concrete, now or ever. This is the kind of people who never had proper education as evidenced by his horrible grammar and syntax. Kids, you do not want to be like this guy. Stay in school.

  11. Justin says:

    Companies may come out with bigger 8.5″, 9″, 9.5″, etc phones, but it still boils down to choice. What YOU, the consumer, would buy.

    Personally, my limit is a 5-incher. I’m 6 feet and 195lbs so it suits me. But if you’re a midget and would like to hold one of those 7″-8″ phones by your ear. By all means, feel free to do so. Like I said, it’s your choice.

  12. FMZ says:

    it’s too big when it comes with a wall bracket in the box!!!

  13. roiji says:

    my first smartphone was the 3.2″ Samsung Galaxy Spica.
    my 2nd the Motorola Milestone at 3.7″
    then my 3rd was the Sony Ericsson Xperia minI pro at 3.0″
    then my 4th was the LG Optimus 2X at 4.0″
    then my 5th was the Cloudfone Thrill 430g at 4.3″
    then my current smartphone is the Sony Xperia V at 4.3″

    I am left handed and I have short and fat fingers. (typical filipino hand)
    I can say the optimum screen size is anywhere from 3.7″ to 4.0″

    it is enough that you can reach the menu (…) button located at the top right corner [like in the Play Store]
    or back navigation [like all others]

    also texting on portrait on a 3.7″ ~ 4.0″ is better since all keys can be easily reached.
    texting on a 4.3″ screen is a key too short.

    I don’t text using both hands. It’s impractical. I’d rather type on a full sized keyboard if I’m gonna use both hands!

  14. rosenburg says:

    My current phone is note2 pero naliliitan pa ako so i bought cherry mobile titantv. 6inch screen and i am happy with the size.

  15. notesheep says:

    5 to 5.5 is the right size. just try using a 5 inch phone for one day and I’m sure you’ll never want to use a smaller phone again.

  16. App says:

    ok na 5 inch ang biggest screen size. it would be too big kung sa nilaki ng screen, walang magandang camera at di makapaggames.

  17. Paolo says:

    I think a phone is too big if you need two hands to use it. This is specially true for busy people. I own an HTC One X, I love my phone, but I can definitely see why Apple would stick with that size for the iPhone, because it’s more convenient to use.

  18. thejorlanb says:

    5 inch, di na kasya sa bulsa pag mas malaki pa.

  19. pabs says:

    I like the galaxy note 2 and I want to buy the cherry mobile titan tv. Malabo kasi mata ko and believe me, you wont go back to small phones once you’re used to it. I don’t care what others say when I’m calling with a phablet .

  20. Love Rebosa says:

    I own a Samsung Galaxy S3. I used to think it was too big at first but now that I use it all the time, I think it is just right. I still think the Galaxy Note 2 is still too big and I look at the 4-inch phones as the new small. I guess 5-inches is the max size for Smartphones. Anything bigger than that, in my opinion is too big.

  21. mark says:

    nasa mismong gumagamit yan eh. hndi ntn dpt tinatanogn sa iba ung kung ano mgndang size ng screen, etc kasi ikw ung gagamit ng phone eh.

  22. Alvin says:

    4-inches screen is the most suitable size for me, i like my iPhone 5..best phone for me so far,

  23. Name: portos says:

    5-6 inches: Comfortable reading to the eyes, not too hard to hold, any bigger is tedious. Smaller is… bad for the eyes. Like the iphone…

    Tama di ba?

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