From 2-inches to 6-inches: A man’s musing about size

By Guest Blogger N.C.E

Size does matter – that’s what people have been saying. And bigger is better, too. But is there a limit to it? Is there no end to our yearning for the larger? I mean, how big should it be to be sufficient for its task?

Before we dwelve further into these mind-boggling questions, may I suggest taking a detour to lighten ourselves first? Let’s ponder over an interesting question posed by a friend some time back: Can you re-arrange these five alphabets – PNEIS, to form the name of an important part of the human body that is most useful when erect?

Well, I think the answer is quite obvious. It’s our SPINE, of course. Those who came up with any different answer ought to get their heads checked.

Now, coming back to the subject on-hand, allow me to make a bit of clarification regarding the title of this post, before people start wandering off with their minds again. I am referring to the now-ubiquitous device called smartphones and our seemingly insatiable thirst for larger display screens on them.

If you’ve seen some advertisements or read some reviews of the current and upcoming flagship products from the leading manufacturers, you probably would have noticed the trend. Almost all flagship phones nowadays have screens larger than 4.5in, except for the iPhone. On top of that, we have the ever popular so-called phablet category of smartphones with screen sizes of 6-inches and above. It is really blurring the line between a smartphone and a tablet.

My personal experience with smartphones has somewhat mimicked the market trend. Beginning with the 2-incher Nokia 6120c, I’ve then moved on to the 5800xm which has a 3.2-inch screen. The subsequent Lumia smartphones that I’ve bought have also followed the same path: from 3.7-inch for the Lumia 710 to a full 6-inch for the Lumia 1320.

Some say that it’s inevitable, we’re doing more stuffs with our smartphones these days, so our need for more screen real estate is a given. But for those of us old enough to remember the days before the smartphone era, when buying the latest Nokia is the rule rather than the exception, miniaturization was actually driving mobile phones in the opposite direction. And the obvious reason for that was portability.

So here’s where the conundrum lies: the balance between usability and portability. It’s like having a cake and eating it, you can’t have both at the same time. Or could we? Thankfully, since the dawn of this technology industry, engineers have always broke barriers, creating wonders that defied imagination. Just when we thought we were hitting a wall, engineers have somehow found a door that led us across to a whole new room.

Now, flexible displays and wearable gadgets are some of the conceptual products with the potential to deliver both enhanced usability and portability. Each of them is vying to become the holy grail of mobile gadgets. Regardless of how our desire for size may be, the future devices are set to rock our worlds again, allowing us to do even more with them, while at the same time, taking up more of our conscious time. Unless we could muster enough strength and courage for that divorce.

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