I have to carry two phones; one for G-stuff, which is often unreleased software running on unreleased hardware, and another for my personal life. For the last few months, the G-phone has been a Galaxy Nexus and the Tim-phone a Nexus S.

I noticed right from the start that I was always using the bigger one whenever there was a choice, and I assumed that was just Ice Cream Sandwich being so much nicer than Gingerbread. But now they’re both running the same software and I’m still using the GN for everything.

[Sorry, Google, yes I have texted my kid and looked up map destinations on the “company” phone that you’re paying for.]

Yeah, there are a few occasions where I have to wiggle the phone around in my hand to reach some part of the screen. But the huge display and the soft buttons just make the Nexus S feel dinky and stupid and clumsy.

Remember, “data” is not the plural of “anecdote”. But unless I’m weird, big-screen phones are going to be appealing to lots of people.



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From: Raymond Camden (Jan 25 2012, at 14:48)

I switched to a large phone during my last update, and it immediately felt "right" to me. I now hold other phones, even ones that may be superior in other ways, and they always seem too small to me.

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From: Mano Marks (Jan 25 2012, at 14:49)

I have to agree. When I first saw the Galaxy Nexus, I thought "Woah! That's too huge, I'll never get used to that." But the large screen makes reading easier, and watching videos, makes it easier to read maps and play games. Plus, it feels like it's not much heavier, which I really like.

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From: Michael (Jan 25 2012, at 14:53)

For me, the HTC Evo hit the sweet spot for screen size on a phone. The iPhone is a little on the small size, even with the retina display and the Nexus One is too small to do almost anything.

I think it might be interesting to compare the screen size to the amount of space on the front of the phone. Android smart-phone screens go much closer to the edges than iPhone screens do.

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From: Will (Jan 25 2012, at 15:23)

Interesting observation. It is well established that humans aren't always good at judging their own efficiency when using UIs. I wonder if the increase in real efficiency matches the increase in perceived efficiency?

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From: Henning Hoefer (Jan 25 2012, at 15:34)

Are you sure your preference is because of the size and not because of the higher display density, higher display resolution, dual core speed?

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From: Nick Fowler (Jan 25 2012, at 16:17)

I still use a HTC wildfire with 2.1.

The nexus looks massive compared to mine. We jokingly call it a tablet.

I know I'm holding out of pure stubbornness.

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From: Norman Walsh (Jan 25 2012, at 19:23)

I'd be only too delighted to provide more anecdotal evidence if only G had released it in the US on a useful carrier. CDMA fer cryin' out loud.

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From: Colin Scroggins (Jan 25 2012, at 20:15)

This makes me think back to Tufte seminars where he emphasizes the importance of resolution in productivity. While the screen size is nice, the increased resolution of the Galaxy Nexus should also be credited with my preference for it.

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From: JulesLt (Jan 26 2012, at 00:32)

I wonder if 'phones' will shift back to being something small handsets, that connect to our tablets (which provide the contact management, and LTE circuitry, etc) - i.e. if main thing restricting the size is using the device as a phone, which is pretty much the thing most of us do least.

(But at the same time, as an occasional phone user, I don't want a bluetooth headset. But a simple mic/speaker/bluetooth combo would do the job)

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From: Wolfram Rittmeyer (Jan 26 2012, at 01:43)

Interesting. I haven't bought a Nexus exactly because I think it's too large.

Since it's so thin it is less worse than initially expected, but still too big for my hands - even if just that little bit.

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From: JeromE (Jan 26 2012, at 03:49)

Since you were committed to carry two phones, it is not a surprise, if it works, that the large screen one is used (as soon as it does not unfold as a large paper map).

Do I miss something or the cost-benefit analysis is not done right here? By putting out the cost of carrying a large screen device (plus the cost of buying it), then only the benefits show up.

I agree with another commenter that the ratio screen size/device size is definitely an important factor because it optimizes the benefit/cost.

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From: Jeff Dickey (Jan 26 2012, at 08:03)

Piling on from JulesLt (Jan 26 2012, at 00:32):

I can see that happening in the next couple of years. The "just phone" part WILL get tiny, especially as Siri and her granddaughters make voice input the default control interface. (What do you need a "big dumb phone" for? Keypad, and displaying the number you're dialing, and someplace to put your ear and mouth… all of that's gone away or going fast, really, in the Bluetooth/voice-control era).

The phone part is going to get smaller, and cheaper, and commoditized to the point of standardization (think ITU Q.23 for DTMF "Touch-Tone" dialing). I blogged (http://j.mp/xUeASG) a spoof press release for the "iPod Implant" a year and a half ago; that plus an iPad-equivalent and you're done. Maybe not an implant; maybe not a current-vision BT headset; a lapel pin, perhaps?

the "iPad-equivalent" is where the really interesting things are going to be five years from now.

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From: James Young (Jan 28 2012, at 02:10)

I like the bigger screen, it takes some getting used to but not much. well worth utilizing the "pinkie drop"- http://www.welcomebrand.co.uk/thoughts/bigger-isnt-necessarily-a-mistake/

J.

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January 25, 2012
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