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Congratulations Jumbophone Jerks, You Finally Convinced Me: 4 Inches Is Too Small.

By Michael Fisher March 5, 2013, 3:01 pm

It happened so slowly I didn't even know what ya'll were up to.

Editorial after editorial, I lamented the ballooning size of the smartphone screen. I wasn't any sideline observer, either: I'd carried devices in sizes ranging from the Centro and Veer to the Droid DNA and Galaxy Note II. I knew the advantages of large screens; I just didn't think they overcame the absurd feeling of carrying a lunch tray in my pocket. But you jumbophone-buying masses got the better of me.

Somewhere along the line, something started surreptitiously scratching away at my "no-superphone" stance. Probably it was the endless parade of steadily-growing smartphones that crossed my review desk, all of them offering the added utility of larger displays for my web-browsing, Kindle-reading, and Netflix-watching needs. Bigger, better touch keyboards likely had something to do with it. Sharing photos more easily with family members plagued by diminishing vision probably played a part, too. Gradually, I adopted a pro-jumbophone attitude — without even realizing it.


It took reviewing the BlackBerry Z10 for me to discover what had happened. While I enjoyed using the device and readily embraced the gestures familiar from the old webOS days, I quickly started chafing against the screen size. Like Shakespeare's Macbeth, I found myself "cabin'd cribbed, confined ... bound in to saucy doubts and fears."

Well, maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but I definitely didn't like doing work on that display. A display which, at 4.2 inches diagonal, is essentially identical in size to that of the HTC Evo I found gigantic not three years ago, and which is .2 inches larger than one of the most popular smartphones on Earth, the iPhone 5. I quickly found myself yearning for the comparative expansiveness of my Lumia 920, or the full-on acreage of my Galaxy Note II. And when I finally did return to those daily drivers, relief washed over me in an awesome wave.

A sensation similar to, but distinct from, that of listening to the new Robert Palmer tape.

So congratulations, jumbophone lobby. You've converted another skeptic with your underhanded ways. This time next year I'll be lugging a 6.3-inch phablet around, wondering how I ever got by on my "tiny" Note II, and singing songs of joy for the return of the belt-mounted phone holster.

But mark my words, internet: the minute I start un-ironically using a Fonepad, I'm done. You heard it here first.

The Pocketnow TLDR is a series of sub-500-word editorials aimed at getting you in, out, and back to life. Comment is always invited below, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.


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