Here's why Lenovo's new Android 5-incher is a 'tablet'

What's wrong with a smartphone being too wide?
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Details have leaked of a new 5-inch Android-powered device that Lenovo has in the works ... and it's not a smartphone, it's a tablet.

Engadget has the scoop. This new device will be called the IdeaTab (everywhere except China, where for some reason it will be called LePad ... go figure). But why is it a tablet and not a smartphone? Allow me to explain.

The problem with devices with 5-inch displays is width. Let's take the now dead Dell Streak 5 as an example. This device had a 5-inch screen and this gave the device a width of 3.1 inches. That doesn't sound wide, but it's a heck of a lot wider than say the iPhone 4S, which has a 3.5-inch screen and the handset has an overall width a shade over 2.3-inches.

So what's wrong with a smartphone being too wide? Basically it means that you can't use it one-handed. The screen ends up being too wide to traverse with the thumb and the device ends up needing two hands to operate.

One-handed operation, smartphone. Two-handed operation, tablet.

Is the IdeaTab really a tablet? I'm not sure I'd buy it. Personally I think calling it a smartphone/tablet hybrid would be more accurate, but that's quite a mouthful for the marketing folks. While the IdeaTab might be quite a small tablet, it's still a tablet.

[poll id="711"]

Editorial standards