So we’re in that part of the year when we see large crowds gathering in Las Vegas for watching a Consumer Electronics Show take place and even more people watch it online via Liveblogs, twitter updates, tech-blogs, etc. CES is one big event, even if it has turned out to be a no-show in the last few years, as the attention has shifted to other larger events like E3 and Mobile World Congress where the mobile manufacturers are more likely to come up with Flagship phones. But CES has its share of phones too. And 2013 is proving out to be the year of 5inch phones.
“5 inch phones? They are so commonplace, everyone makes them! What’s new? Do you know what’s better than a 5 inch phone? A 6inch phone, that’s right!”
I bet this is what goes through the manufacturer's brains when the make phones these days. Sony, Huawei and Vizio have already gone on to announce their 5 inch screen phones at CES. Samsung has been making them for an year and a half and all others are readying their 5 inch screen phones for a Q1 launch.
However senseless the idea may seem but 5” inches is just too large to be called a phone. And there exists no such mid-range called a “Phablet” where it becomes almost humorous to see people pulling these gigantic touch-screens to their ears for listening a phone. Years ago, when Dell came out with its own 5inch smart phone it was ridiculed for its awkward design. People have found a way round this though, they’ve reduced the bezel size, the phones have come up with these awkward shapes just to fit something as large as a 5” inch screen in your palms, it still doesn’t but it has hit the markets surely.
This year companies aren’t stopping at just 5inches. They’re ready with their 6inch phones too. 5inch phones too commonplace? Looks like. The competition is for the largest possible screen in your palm I suppose.
But if we look at the whole system of pricing these phones, its becoming increasingly absurd. The low end phones that cost between Rs.15-20k are the ones which feature a 3.7-4.0” screen. The Mid Range features 4.0-4.7” screens they cost Rs.20-30k, the high end phones with their extra large 5.0 ‘or’ 5.5 or even 6” cost between Rs.30-35k. Yes! We’ve gone screen size crazy again. This is the sort of things that happened to TVs but its happening to phones as well. And it makes no sense at all.
Here’s why it doesn’t make sense to price phones by the screen size:
- Phones are meant to fit in your palms. Larger screens never meant the former statement would hold true.
- Even though big screens cost more and those phones need to be priced high but that doesn’t make phones with smaller screens low end. Pricing them low and providing them with old hardware is saying, “You may want to use these but buy our 5” inch phone, its larger and its better” Dumber too.
Here’s what the mobile manufacturers apparently think when they make these phones:
- “The iPhone has a 4” inch display. Lets dwarf it, lets make 4” inch the new low end. This way buyers will see it as a low-end phone only.”, absurd as it may seem but the truth is some people think this way too only to say that they thought out of the box.
- “Larger Screens mean more usability space, with a large screen you’ll definitely be able to use those content creation apps better.” - Thanks! but NO. I’d rather have a tablet than buy an awkwardly sized phone which doesn’t even make sense to hold it to the ear.
Here’s a quick look at a few recent and upcoming 5 or 6 inch phones which end up to be larger than necessary some of them announced at CES 2013:
Huawei Ascend Mate - 6.1inches screen. The phone was announced at CES 2013, surely no one needs a tablet now. Do they?
Sony Xperia Z - Sony isn’t far behind when it comes to following the herd. This ‘premium’ 5 inch screen phone has a glass back too.
Vizio is a lesser known company. This is their bite at limelight. A gigantic 5” screen phone bound towards China.
Here’s summarizing my stand on ‘large’ phones:
- They aren’t meant for me or any human with an average palm size.
- They look funny when someone picks them up to answer a call.
- Na’vi’s will love it maybe
- Extra large phones aren’t smart. They are dumb!
- 6 inch phones? No thanks, I’ll save my money for a mini-tablet rather.
- I’m more than happy with a 3.7 or 4.0” screen size form factor.
P.S. Here’s another phone from the 5” inch line of phones. Yes, i am not kidding its a phone! :)
* Image Credit: The Verge