Almost 90 percent of smartphone owners want a larger display, claims a report by The Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Lab.
It also turns out that those surveyed prefer a device with a screen in the 4.0-inch to 4.5-inch range, as long as the device is thin.
"Almost 90 percent of existing smartphone owners surveyed chose a prototype smartphone with a display larger than their current device,' commented Paul Brown, a Director in the Strategy Analytics User Experience Practice. 'This trend is driven by increased mobile web browsing capability, as well as engaging video and gaming experiences."
This has lead to some speculation that the next iPhone may get a display size bump up from the measly 3.5-inch that the current models have sported. After all, there is a huge difference between a 3.5-inch display and a 4.5-inch display.
But is 4.0-inch to 4.5-inch really the sweet spot? In theory, I agree, but in practice, I'm not so sure.
Smartphones sporting 4.5-inch displays are pretty large beasts. Take the LG Optimus 4G LTE for example. This handset measures 133.9 x 67.9 x 10.5 mm, which doesn't sound much until you put it up against the iPhone 4S, which measures in at 115.2 x 68.6 x 9.3 mm. That might not sound like a big difference, but in your hand it is.
On the iPhone my thumb comfortably travels across the screen, but in a larger handset I can't do this, which makes using the handset a two-handed job. This is not always an issue, but for tapping out a quick text message or email, having to wield a big smartphone turns the job into a hassle.
Another problem I find with larger smartphones is carrying the thing around. I find that the iPhone is about the right size for pocket storage --- even though I still have mine in a belt pouch for each access and because I carry too much junk in my pockets. However, a smartphone with a 4.5-inch screen is a big slab to carry around with you. It's not exactly a tablet, but it's still a pretty big bit of kit to store in a pocket.
For me, a 4.5-inch smartphone is almost too impractical for pocket carry. It's also too large for a belt pouch because I don't want to go around looking like Batman.
So how does anyone carry around a slab of a smartphone? Maybe if I carried a bag around at all time, but the truth there is that I'd never have the smartphone with me because I'd never have the bag with me. It kind of defeats the object of having a smartphone in the first place.
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