Sometimes, bigger is better
Android phones come in all shapes and sizes. From the small to the gigantic, there is a phone to suit just about everyone out there. We like it that way, and never want it to change. We think the market should tell CEOs what type of products to build, instead of the CEOs telling the market what kind of products to buy.
Because nothing seems to satifsy everyone, there is constant debate over how big is too big when it comes to our Androids. Some think the "right" size for a smartphone has been eclipsed by huge offerings from the various Android OEMs, while others think we need to go bigger. I'm in the midst of an experiment all about phone size, and it's making me rethink some of the things I'm looking for in an Android phone.
I'm not a little guy. I'm not that tall, but I'm wide and "beefy." My hands are big and meaty. Not Andre the Giant big, but bigger than average. Maybe it's genetics, or maybe it's something in the water, or maybe Three Mile Island, but it is what it is. Even when younger and skinnier, I still had these big meathooks on the ends of my arms. But I always have preferred smaller phones because they are so much easier to carry.
But that may be changing.
It all started with the LG G Flex review. Yes, I have had plenty of time with the Note 3, but to be honest when I had it all I wanted to do was play with the awesome S Pen, so I never paid a lot of attention to why, when and where the big size made a difference. But the G Flex didn't have a built-in doodle making machine, so I used it pretty much like I would use any other smartphone. Except a series of ice storms and other generally shit weather kept me imprisioned in my house for the best part of three weeks.
Because I didn't have to worry (unnecessarily, I'm finding) about lugging around this whopper of a phone — the G Flex has a 6-inch screen — I wasn't constantly telling myself that I hate this big-ass phone because it doesn't fit in my pocket the same way my smaller Moto X does. That makes a difference. Instead, I played games, surfed the web, and watched videos on YouTube — a lot more than I do with my Moto X. It finally clicked.
Big phones are a much better experience for entertainment than smaller phones are.
You've got this huge, bright screen to watch all those Top 10 Best Fails of 2013 videos on, or to catch a season of Family Guy on Netflix, or to play your favorite tablet games on, or to surf the web and troll Google+ with. And because they are so big, you've also got the battery that allows you to do it for a long time. I was totally digging it, and didn't care that it was big because I wasn't stuffing it in my shirt pocket while at the grocery store or eating breakfast with my old man's club at the truck stop. One device had replaced both my phone and my tablet.
Once the weather broke (for a little while, at least), I decided I was going to try carrying this behemoth around. Granted, it doesn't ride nicely in my shirt pocket like the Moto X or any other "normal" sized phone would, but it will fit into your front pants pocket, or back pocket, or in my case my jacket pocket. Once you tell yourself to stop worrying about it, you hardly even notice it's there.
Sure, there are still things I dislike about the size. Grabbing it in the morning when the alarm goes off is frustrating because you almost have to touch the screen and Timely backgrounds itself and takes you to the home screen. It also means I need to buy a new car dock, but I work for a company that sells that sort of thing so I think I can find one that fits. And I still instinctively reach for my shirt pocket when I need to use my phone or when it rings. But I'll get past all these.
In fact, I'm going to have to get past them because I just bought myself the biggest of the big phones, the Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition. I've put my own personal SIM card in it, and it's my new phone, at least for a while.
I'll certainly miss a lot of things about my Moto X — which I still think is the best mix of function and features of any Android phone, but the small size isn't going to be one of them. I think I'm going to enjoy my new membership in the big phone club.