How big is too big for a smartphone?

Summary:With Huawei showing off a 6.1-inch screen, are we blurring the line of smartphone and tablet too much?

I've been using the Samsung Galaxy Note II, courtesy of Ting.com, for a couple of weeks now. If you're not familiar with the smartphone, or "phablet" as this type of device is being called, the Note II features a number of features, most notably a 5.5" HD Super AMOLED screen and a stylus or "S Pen", as it's known. The reason it's being called a "phablet" is because it's a phone and a tablet--some would argue it's more tablet than phone, but that's another discussion.

I'll be sharing my impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Note II in the coming days, and in the interim, you can read Matt Miller's review .

The reason I bring up this discussion, though, is that when we first started with the Palm and Pocket PC, we couldn't wait to get all of that power into the size of a phone. I remember using the Pocket PC Phone (with stylus) from T-Mobile, and while I had a ton of power, I wished it would be smaller, and couldn't wait for Microsoft to come out with the "Stinger". Fast forward to 2013, and we've got a tremendous amount of power, constant connectivity, and arguably a portable computer in our hands, but at what cost? Instead of a sleek phone, we're carrying around 4-5.5" displays! I don't mind the display size, but we're getting closer to the iPad mini, Nexus 7, and other 7-inch tablets now, not to mention that Huawei is showing off a smartphone with a 6.1-inch screen at CES this week, known as the Ascend Mate!

ascendmate

 

So, can you really be productive with a phone the size of a tablet? Will they continue to get bigger? Will the lines continue to blur, or will we see a return of the smaller smartphones?

Perhaps it's time for some advances in flexible and expandable displays? We're certainly seeing a number of them being shown at CES this week. Or maybe we return back to the idea of modular phones, and we can snap in whatever screen size we want at the time? Then again, a friend argues with me that we just haven't found that perfect sized smartphone yet. With the 6.1-inch now being a reality, I'm not sure what sizes are left to try.

In the meantime, I'll continue to carry around my phone, during the day, use my tablet on the couch, and get in front of my 22-inch display when I really need to get serious work done. It's definitely sounding like the modular concept could work well for me, given my work flow.

Share your thoughts below.

Topics: Smartphones, Google, iPhone

About

With more than fifteen years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands, technologies and services into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the Vice President of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider. Prior to Mobiquity, Evans was Managin... Full Bio

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