• Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Enough is enough: it’s time to bring back the small smartphone

There is a clear trend with mobile phones that they just get bigger and bigger. Here’s my thing: I want a small smartphone.

I recently tweeted about what kind of mobile phone size I’d want:

I figured it would be good to write a little about it, to expand on what I mean and also to cover some of the replies I got.

Mobile phone size

To begin with, I’d like a really small and lightweight mobile phone. I fondly remember my old Nokia 8210 and how small it was. I recently found it, actually, so I can know it wasn’t just a dream but indeed a perfectly sized phone, at that time.

Recently I got an iPod nano and the size, weight and screen are great! And that led me to thinking that it was exactly what I’d want in a mobile phone.

I think the really flat design the nano has, with a weight of only 31 grams, is something worth striving for in most scenarios.

The trend

The trend recently, though, with Android phones, the new iPhone 5 and much more, is bigger screens, thus bigger dimensions. I have to say, they do work hard to keep the weight down, but honestly, they’re still way too big.

I can definitely appreciate a 4-inch or 5-inch phone (with 7 inches you’re really pushing it), but overall, I’d much more prefer a small phone.

And when companies start producing remotes for your smartphones, ie one small device to run your massive smart phone, then things really have gone too far.

Current options

Some of the few options that I got suggested were the HP Veer and the xPeria Mini, but I’d say that, while smaller, they’re still too big for my taste and what I believe we should be able to produce nowadays.

Also, with the Veer and HP dropping WebOS, it was discontinued and not a viable option anymore.

Phone providers, go for it!

I seriously believe there’s a great niche in the market for this, and I’m sure most people would like a very small and lightweight phone. Many would probably also get it in addition to a regular smartphone, and bring the one that’s most suitable for the occasion.

I’d be more than happy to lose a few features, as long as it has a touch screen, decent storage and the basic smartphone features, such as an internet connection, web browser and similar.

I don’t know what the margin would be in producing such a device for manufacturers, but at the same time, I think they could make up for it with bulk sales.

So, please, make it happen!

This article by Robert Nyman originally appeared on Robert Talks and is republished with permission.

  • George G.


    What do you think of Samsung’s Galaxy pocket smartphone? At 95 gms it is light and compact enough to fit into the breast pocket of a man’s shirt. It can be bought outright at present from some retailers for about R900.


  • Robert

    While it’s a step in the right direction, I personally find it too big and too heavy. Nowadays we should be able to produce a phone roughly around the size of an iPod nano.

  • Ian

    I diasgree, I want a full size smart phone, because I do everything but make calls on them, and I had (still have it actually) a HTC Touch Pro, which while great on capability, the screen is so small, it is now an expensive alarm clock, and a I use a smallish (Blackberry format) Samsung feature phone to make / receive calls & SMSs. Much nicer for the latter than any smartphone I have used (all of them). I like the idea of HTC’s smart phone remote as it will give me the best of both worlds.

  • Robert

    That’s just fine. For me, I don’t see one thing excluding the other. I can have a full smart phone in one context, where I’d like the smaller one in others.

  • Hi Robert,

    My feeling would be that phones might migrate to being smaller and more manageable again with the rise of wearable tech like Google Glass. Even the slew of Android watches coming out in the near future means you’ll have to take your phone out of your pocket less and less (that’s especially great for fitness tracking) . Wearable smartphones could be a good bet too, although those are probably a couple of years away still.

  • Robert

    Yes, definitely. I think it’ll be an interesting balance between regular smart phones and something that’s a lot easier to bring. I’m sure wearable smart phones will happen, but I also feel fairly certain most people would want a regular phone, not phone glasses/wristwatch/[insert fun stuff].

  • Agreed. Imagine an iPhone 5, with the previous-generation screen size, and a little shaved off the “forehead” and “chin.” Perfect.

    The iPod Nano outsold the iPhone. The iPad Mini looks to be outselling the iPad. The Air is by far the most popular Macintosh. There’s a market for this.

  • Tan buy a tablet and let normal people have a normal phone

More in Mobile

Tablet sales spike 75% at the end of 2012, more than 52m units sold

Read More »