Tag Archive for 'usability'

The Smartphone Form Factor: Bigger is not Better.

A long time ago, I had a mobile phone, a candybar type. It was 105x45x12 and had a 2inches screen with a resolution of 240×320. That was a *simple* mobile phone with a photo camera, weighted less than 100gr. Oh Yes and before that I also had mobile phones without camera, and a black&white screen with a battery covering nearly a week of usage 🙂

At some point I decided to move to the smartphone world, not at the very beginning though. Any way, that smartphone was a revolution (nope it wasn’t a fruity one) for me as I entered to the mobile internet usage world. But this also meaned having to deal with a bigger mobile phone form factor: 110x55x15mm with a large screen of 3.2 inches with a 320×480 résolution. That smartphone was heavier, 135g but, hey, it was a smartphone, so I guess the extra weight was acceptable.
Now I have an bigger smartphone, 124x63x11mm with a 4 inches screen, 480×800 résolution for 129g. Where is this going to end up? There is on the market plenty of smartphones that come with insanely big screen. The form factor is becoming so big that it will end up not fitting in one hand only or at all fitting in your pocket.

4.2″, 4.3″, 4.5, 4.7″ 5.3″ !

The screen size is one thing but the size of the device is more important (although very linked to the screen size). The Width is the most important as you need to hold the device in your hand.

I personally find that wide smartphone lack of usability: your thumb cannot cover the hole width of the screen. Given the size of my hand, 60mm is probably the widest phone I can handle.

What is yours and why ?