Going down the yellow brick road, yet again

Perhaps I’m a tightarse. Or lazy. Or, perhaps a bit of both. I’m not sure what it is, but I, and I suspect a lot of other people out there, like the idea of a unified mobile device in my pocket. It saves on money, it saves on time managing things and wear on pockets as well. I write this article with the inspiration of sitting on the train in the early morning commute, next to a bloke who balanced his iPod (how last decade!) and his iPhone on one knee whilst simultaneously reading the morning paper on his iPad on the other.

In retiring my venerable Nokia 920, the replacement is another yellow brick, fast bigger though than the 920. The Lumia 1520 is a six inch version of my previous phone, worth a better screen, camera and hardware. The question is whether a six inch screen is too big for normal use?

Certainly, they’re are some devices that are too big for practical use. I think that something the size of an iPad Mini, would certainly be over the top. But these days, plenty of people are going for the giant screened phone. The Samsung Galaxy Note series, for example, is 5.5 inches and is perfectly usable in one hand. Even the Galaxy S5 is only a fraction smaller than the Note 3.

I have to say at the outset that I hate square, blocky phones. They just don’t feel nice, because everything just feels like it’s digging into your palms. Part of the appeal of the 920 and the larger 1520 is the rounded edges, meaning a more natural feel, while also belying the true size of the devices themselves. For instance, the 1520 does not feel at all like a thick phone when you wrap your mitts around it. This is where clever design really makes the user experience that much more pleasant.

But after having a 1520 now for almost three weeks, it feels…natural. The size of the screen has its advantages, in viewing photos, reading websites and watch movies. Yes, it does sometimes take two hands to operate, especially when typing (depends on the size of your hands), but it’s a compromise I’m willing to make to have everything in my hands made bigger.

So now, you ask if I would ever go back to a smaller phone? I wouldn’t want to, but it ultimately depends on the device and its design. I’ll be all over anything that has curved edges to assist in paw comfort with a big screen. It just feels like you’re holding a giant TV up to your face. Except that when you finish watching your movie, you can smash out an email or a blog post without stuffing around with your TV’s crappy onscreen keyboard. On the other hand, if the future is blocky, sharp edged iPhone 4 clones…well, I’ll have to find an alternative.


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