Two years ago, Apple decided: small phones are a thing of the past, and the future is with circular thumb sweeps. So both Apple and Android started to gradually increase the dimensions of their gadgets, more and more with each new version. This didn’t leave much choice for people who preferred using compact phones: continue using your old model or convert.
Android was pretty tyrannical with this design update. The planned obsolescence project has made system updates impossible for old models, effectively making them exposed to various security threats. However, iPhone 5S continues to get OS updates and even received the iOS 9.3 update (even though it lacked certain 6S features). In comparison, Nexus 4, released just two months after 5S, was left behind in October 2015, stuck with Lollipop.
What’s on the market?
Today, every new phone model seems to increase in scale and size, while those requesting updates for their small gadgets continue to be ignored. There were rumors of Galaxy S6 Mini, but those never came true, and HTC One A9 was just as big as competitors’ flagships. This leaves Sony alone with its uncompromising Xperia Z5 Compact, but the faltering U.S presence and a weak advertising campaign don’t really help sales. Meanwhile, Xiaomi considers Mi 4 to be the new compact innovation, but is a 5” phone really compact? As for other Android models, they usually have inferior processors, smaller storage, and outdated cameras, which hardly looks like a bargain.
iPhone SE – a new hope
Now, everyone knew iPhone SE was coming. But what really surprised people is how ‘no compromises’ it turned out to be. With $400 price tag, it is a 4” phone that promises to be better than Galaxy S7. Apple threw in their A9 processor, NFC, Apple Pay, TouchID, 12MP f2.2 rear shooter, and DD4 RAM – along with their outstanding NVMe and PCIe internal memory chips. Also, the screen resolution is 326PPI, so it has the same pixel density as 6S.
This seems to be nothing short of a top-shelf iPhone.
Downsides: 3D Touch is out, 1.2mp FFC and the CAT5 LTE are in. But these changes are small enough to go unnoticed.
It’s obvious that Apple has done its homework and found that there is good money to be made in this particular market niche. And pocket-sized phones can be surprisingly convenient: for example, for cyclists and runners that find it easier to strap gadgets to their arms. Or for women, who may prefer slimmer phones that fit in smaller pockets. Light models are easier to hold, and you don’t have to worry about getting jabbed when sitting down.
Thanks to Apple, it has become clear that powerful doesn’t always mean larger, and here’s hoping that other brands will follow in their footsteps.
Do you support the return of smaller phones? Share your opinion with us in the comments section below! For more on gadgets, be sure to check out our articles about LG X Cam and benefits of smartwatches.