My first real smartphone was an HTC Desire S Mini. I loved that thing, it did everything I wanted it to. It ran Android, the camera was surprisingly good for the time, it never glitched, crashed or let me down. Plus, it was kind of cute and it was small enough to fit in my pocket. It came in at 115 x 59.8 x 11.6 mm and with weighed 130 g. That was ok, but when time came to get an upgrade I ideally wanted something the same size or smaller.
No dice. The best I could get was a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. It’s the phone I have now and I do get on with it. I don’t love it as much as I loved my HTC but it does the job. The camera is kind of annoying but it does about works and the Andoird OS still suits me fine. Its battery life is kind of atrocious these days but that’s just how smartphones are, I guess. It’s 124.6 x 61.3 x 8.94 mm and weighs 107 g. So lighter (which I don’t care about at all) and slimmer (which is fine, I guess) but a little broader and a good bit taller. Ugh, fine, it’s a good phone and it still, just barely, fits in most of my pockets.
Everyone knows that as technology advances gadgets and devices can get smaller. So, since it’s now four years since I got my first smartphone, and since we haven’t encountered and insurmountable boundaries to technological advancements, surely I should finally be able to get the tiny phone of my dreams. Actually, scratch that, not “tiny” just “normal sized.” Designed to be held by a normal sized person with normal sized pockets. I don’t want to have to use two hands to text anymore!
Are you ready for a shock? I bet you can’t guess what it is.
Not only can I not find a new phone that’s smaller than my current handset, I can’t find one that’s as small as my current handset. When I search for “small smartphones” or “compact smartphones” I get promising review articles about little handsets that still pack a punch, but the authors of these articles consider a 5 inch screen to be little (my Samsung has a 4.3 inch screen and that’s too damn big).
I’ve heard good things about the Xperia Z5 Compact, and I happen to usually quite like Sony’s products, but while its relatively high spec is tempting, it has a 4.6 inch screen and its dimensions are 127 x 65 x 8.9, which is impressive given that it’s pretty powerful and only weighs 138 g (again, not that I give a damn, I’m not benching it) but it’s taller and broader than my current device and only a whisper slimmer.
I went to the online o2 store and sorted phones by screen size. They have only two available with smaller screens than my Samsung, both would be significant downgrades in terms of hardware and OS and both have abysmal reviews. They’re very cheap but they’re also very old. They’re being sold as budget phones for emergencies when you’ve broken your phone and can’t afford a new one, or for young kids. That’s not my situation.
Which is why, although my phone is a bit worse for wear and although I’m due an upgrade, I’m hanging on to my Samsung for now. The battery life gets worse every week and there’s a small crack in the screen. It sometimes crashes, but I’d rather have that than a phone that takes up any more space. I’m debating just buying a new one.
The other option is to keep it ’til it dies and then buy a Nokia 3310 for calls and texts and a tablet for everything else. If phones are turning into tablets anyway I might as well try to get ahead of the curve.