Go big or go home. That’s how the saying goes. Indeed I’m a proponent of that particular theory. I’m a “big” kind of guy – and not just because I could stand to lose a few pounds. I like screen real estate as much as the next guy. I don’t want to watch movies on a postage stamp any more than any of you do. And it seems a Nokia phablet may be on its way, if rumors are to be believed. I’m a fan of big things, Nokia and Windows Phone, so I must be on cloud nine right?
Eh, not so much.
I want to be excited about a Nokia phablet – the 825 or whatever it turns out to be. I really do. This should be the culmination of every smartphone dream I’ve ever had. But it really just doesn’t seem like it’s going to be for me. This makes me a little sad.
First of all, let me just say that Android has determined that there is a market for phablet sized phones. Apple and Windows Phone haven’t followed suit yet, but the popularity of the Note II alone speaks for it. It’s a thing and it’s here. Other OEMs need to get on this train. I’ve already discussed iOS, so let’s talk about Nokia/Windows phone for a spell shall we?
Bring it, baby
Seeing as how it is a thing, Nokia absolutely should make one. There is demand for it. And multiple form factors means more options and more options means more potential customers and more potential customers means win. The extra space on a Windows Phone phablet would be especially useful for gaming, video watching and (in my opinion, the biggest coup) the home screen. A third column of tiles means more info at a glance. All good things.
And yet I find myself not excited about the prospect of it. This is purely a personal opinion of course. I was playing with my Lumia 620 the other day and that really is a nicely-sized phone. In terms of physical size (not resolution-not even close) the screen and chassis are both similar to the iPhone 4S. Now stop that, I said “similar” not “the same”. But it worked for Apple, and it works for the Lumia 620. So, small is not necessarily bad.
The Lumia 920 is larger, of course. The size of it works very well for me. But even with the size of the 920, I often find myself palm-tapping the search button or the back button (depending on which hand I’m using) when reaching for an icon/tile/whatever in the upper opposite corner. So the phablet, which would be even bigger/wider would probably not work so well for me. Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind shaving off a few millimeters on all sides of the 920. Another option would be getting rid of the static buttons at the bottom, but that’s a different conversation.
The extra column of tiles you’d get from the extra screen size is really made unnecessary by the 3rd size given to tiles. In my world, the small tiles introduced in Windows Phone 8 really do make up for any screen real estate deficiency. Four columns of tiles gets you plenty of information. I simply don’t need a taller nor wider screen.
Morer is betterer
But it’s tempting. A Windows Phone phablet – if done correctly – would actually allow for more information to be relayed. An extra column for tiles would mean an information increase of 50%, all available at a glance. If the phablet is done correctly that is. There does remain the possibility that a Windows Phone phablet would simply increase the size of the tiles. This would be an epic bag of fail. It should be mentioned that we have seen no indication that this is the route Windows Phone would go. The leaked renders we’ve seen seem to suggest an increase in the number of columns. But we’ve learned in the past leaked renders don’t always reflect the future.
But even with the increase in home screen information, I’m pretty maxed out on screen size. My 920 does the trick very well for me. The screen size is just large enough for comfortable reading/viewing, and I don’t feel like I’m slipping a dinner plate into my pocket.
That being said, there is definitely a market for phablets, and I absolutely think that Nokia should bring one to the market. Android has set many standards of late, and when it comes down to it, people want bigger. Bigger is a good thing. Bigger is a necessary thing. When it comes though, I won’t be using it. It’s just not how I roll.