Size is an increasingly large pain-point when buying a new smartphone

When it comes to getting a new phone these days, there are a bunch of hurdles to negate. The biggest of which, is literally, the size of devices. My significant other is due an upgrade, a simple task you’d imagine, especially when considering she only has two pre-requisites. Firstly, it mustn’t be an iPhone, and secondly, it shouldn’t be a whale of a handset. So off we marched on a Sunday morning, little did we know what an absolute nightmare it would be.

If you have small hands and are looking for a smartphone that you can use with just one of them at a time, you are very strapped for options. Sure there are the smaller iPhones, the mini devices, but besides for the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, I don’t know of any other OEMs that are leaving flagship internals in their more pocket-friendly devices.

There are a number of smaller devices available, but how do you take the plunge to a new, bigger handset if you’re not really ready to? My advice would be this, go and hold one of these gargantuan devices in store, because some of them are way more ergonomic than you might think.

The Note 5 for example is a whopping 176mm high and about 76mm across, but feels much smaller in your hand. Same with the new Moto X Pure Edition I just got, it’s a big phone that feels significantly smaller than its actual footprint would lead you to believe.

It’s all about the finish of these big devices and the manufacturers that pay attention to materials and fit-in-hand will come out on top. Take Huawei for example, a year ago most enthusiasts would have turned their noses up at a Huawei device, but since proving their mettle with not only the software experience, but also the hardware that houses it.

The best advice I can possibly give to anyone upgrading a new device, is that nothing will give you a better idea whether a new device is too big than actually holding one. Software has become such a level playing field that it’s almost a non-decisive factor. Other smaller devices that are worth checking out include the Motorola Moto G 3rd Generation, but only if you can spring for the one with 2GB of RAM, 1GB of RAM just isn’t enough for an Android device anymore.

If your mobile operator doesn’t have any devices that you want, maybe it’s worth buying a device up front from a reputable online device shop. It’s a bigger chunk of change to part with, but this way you can get exactly what you want, and your monthly contract should be cheaper as you’re not subsidising a phone as well.

Do the math though, divide the price of a new phone up by 24/18 (depending on how long you want to use the phone for) and you will get the equivalent of what you’d be paying monthly for your device for the duration of your contract. Add that to the contract price and you’ll have your monthly repayments, fit that into your budget and off you go.

This is slightly more of a risk than just getting a device via contract, but get some insurance and you’re golden. That said, you probably need insurance on your device whether you bought it yourself or got it through your operator.

The bottom line is that sometimes you have to be brave and try new things, but because you’re probably going to use your phone for at least a year or two, making sure you are making the right decision before you sign the dotted line is vital. Even though it might be annoying, if you’re due an upgrade, get out there, hold some devices, and use some online resources to compare sizes and dimensions. Happy hunting!

Image: Jon Fingas via Flickr.



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