Author Topic: The future of compact smartphones  (Read 2007 times)

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Offline 2397

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The future of compact smartphones
« on: September 26, 2018, 02:00:32 PM »
With the iPhone SE (123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm) out of production, the smallest smartphone I can find is the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact at 129 x 64 x 9.3 mm. The iPhone SE was already taller than the iPhone 4S (115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm), which I thought was a pretty good size.

The Xperia XZ2 Compact is even larger at 135 x 65x 12.1mm. Is there anyone who's trying to make the compacts more compact, or are they only compact relative to the ever embiggening smartphones?

Google Pixel 2 is larger than Google Pixel. Samsung Galaxy S8 is larger than Samsung Galaxy S7. S9 looks to be slightly smaller, but still larger than S7.

Maybe 90% of what I use the phone for is podcasts and audio streaming. The main reason I stopped following channels on YouTube was because YouTube intervened to make it so you couldn't listen to videos with the screen off. And that they stopped it being possible to buffer up videos for more than a few minutes. The point being I'd prefer to have a smartphone that's just big enough to browse up the audio content I want, along with sizable storage (we should be getting more storage per volume with time, anyway), and otherwise as small as possible. Is there not a market for that?
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 02:05:46 PM by 2397 »

Online Rai

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2018, 02:28:13 PM »
I feel you

Phones are becoming bigger and bigger (and ever fancier), while leaving my needs behind

I would love to see a compact. smart or a half-witted phone with some internet access that allows me to listen to podcasts or music through Spotify and use whatsapp (or telegram or whatever) and not much more. Sadly the market is going the other direction.

Offline Captain Video

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2018, 04:03:38 PM »
I'm happy with the bigger phones.

I complained and resisted using cellphones for a long time because they were so small, I have big hands.  The average land line still has a larger headpiece than a smart phone and I miss them.
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2018, 04:21:54 PM »
It feels like there's this unnatural expectation that everyone wants to follow the same trend.  I disliked the 2005-ish trend toward ever-shrinking phones, and applaud the current trend toward larger ones.  But I reckon there should be a market for both, shouldn't there?
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2018, 07:36:58 PM »
Apple still manufacture iPods. Maybe that's what you want, rather than a phone.
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Offline 2397

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2018, 08:54:01 PM »
I sometimes use a clip-on iPod Shuffle when exercising, which they've also discontinued and I'll have to find an alternative to at some point.

But I don't see it being more convenient to carry a phone and a WiFi capable iPod than a reasonably sized smartphone.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2018, 09:26:06 PM »
Well then the question is, as you say, "is there a market for that?" The big manufacturers have apparently decided that there isn't. Here's a fairly recent article, though, which might give you some ideas.

https://3g.co.uk/guides/best-compact-smartphones-available
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Offline moj

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2018, 09:27:25 AM »
I won't be happy till all smart phones and watches merge and look like this


Offline superdave

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2018, 09:38:27 AM »
I bought an unlocked smartphone to use on wifi only, and use a dumbphone for calls.  I like this system because the dumbphone plan is practically free (seriously its like 9 dollars) and the battery, even after years of use, can easily go 2 or 3 days per charge.  the dumbphone is also tiny compared to todays phone so its easy to pocket.
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Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2018, 09:57:58 AM »
I bought an unlocked smartphone to use on wifi only, and use a dumbphone for calls.  I like this system because the dumbphone plan is practically free (seriously its like 9 dollars) and the battery, even after years of use, can easily go 2 or 3 days per charge.  the dumbphone is also tiny compared to todays phone so its easy to pocket.
I thought about the wifi only approach but I'm rural and instead got a Project Fi smartphone ($27USD/month with my typical limited usage). Also have a pre-pay US Cellular flip phone ($7.50USD/Month). The flip phone is now 10 years old, holds a charge for a week, is tiny. I like the smartphone features and it's better-easier for texting but it's heavy and power thirsty and fragile. I want an implanted phone that runs off my microbiome and uses a forearm as a keyboard and a true retina display not that fake Apple shit.

Offline brilligtove

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2018, 04:06:25 PM »
I won't be happy till all smart phones and watches merge and look like this



I run a game set in 2034. Your phone is a slab of battery and silicon wrapped in an e-paper display, but you only use that display when you don't have on your AR glasses or contacts. Full mixed reality is ubiquitous for almost everyone almost all the time.

I want this future.
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Offline 2397

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2018, 08:40:27 AM »
Well then the question is, as you say, "is there a market for that?" The big manufacturers have apparently decided that there isn't. Here's a fairly recent article, though, which might give you some ideas.

https://3g.co.uk/guides/best-compact-smartphones-available

Primarily the idea that they're all bigger than the discontinued iPhone SE, and that I can't find a "small" smartphone that even stays the same size with new models.

Not sure how the model numbers work for the Samsung Galaxy A3, but the 2017 model is larger than the 2016 and 2015 models. And the Samsung Galaxy A8 is 149.2 x 70.6 x 8.4 mm.

I guess I can see how the WiFi only approach works in practice, once I de-SIM my current phone.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 08:50:12 AM by 2397 »

Offline Jeremy's Sea

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2018, 01:10:09 PM »
I bought my iPhone 8 before they revealed Apple was slowing down older phones based on battery life. If I had know a battery change would add life to my iPhone 5s I would have kept it longer, it was kind of the perfect size IMO. The 8 isn't terrible, and I do appreciate the better camera, but just not worth the $800 crossgrade.

I like the idea of having a small phone for calling and a smart phone for wifi only. I might consider that in the future...
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Offline JohnM

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2018, 06:10:22 PM »
« Last Edit: October 21, 2018, 06:21:08 PM by JohnM »

Offline daniel1948

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Re: The future of compact smartphones
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2018, 09:42:47 AM »
I bought my iPhone SE the day they came out. (Actually I pre-ordered it from Verizon, and they delivered it to me on day 1.) It's the perfect size for me. I expect it to last me several more years, but when the time comes to replace it, I really hope I don't have to get a larger phone. For some things, the small size is awkward. Now that I'm farsighted I pretty much can't read anything on it without my reading glasses. But I can see the Google Maps display well enough to use it for navigation (the principal application for which I decided to get a smartphone) and the ease of holding and pocketing it more than make up for the need to use my reading glasses. (And even a much bigger phone would still be too small for me to read easily without glasses.)

It boggles my mind that Apple does not see enough demand to justify continuing it. But they're pretty savvy marketers, so maybe they're right that not enough people want a small phone.

The main reason I stopped following channels on YouTube was because YouTube intervened to make it so you couldn't listen to videos with the screen off. And that they stopped it being possible to buffer up videos for more than a few minutes. ...

Those features now require a YouTube Red subscription, which eliminates ads, allows downloading of videos, and allows listening to audio when the app is in the background.
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