Small Phones Are Back (But Not Like You Expect)
You know, i’ve been making tech videos for almost a decade and for the vast majority of that time, one of the only things us phone geeks could agree on was that we all missed small phones. Why? For those of us old enough to remember when the name of the game was making phones as pocketable as possible, nostalgia plays a part for sure, then there’s, those whose clothing options make pocketability impossible for today’s shin sized slabs and rounding it out are those trying to Scale back their screen time. I guess the idea is if your phone is smaller, maybe it’ll force you to be more intentional with the time you spend on it. So there are good reasons for the comeback the small smartphone squad constantly calls for. But when i took stock of all the small or smallish devices in my review queue, i became convinced that the small phone, as we know it may be dead and the small phone of the future is already nearly here Music. Now i want to be clear that when i say small phones – i’m not talking about tiny phones and yet there is a difference. Tiny phones are cousins of a category. I like to call save your phones because they exist to save you from your smartphone addiction, often by either curtailing features or omitting them entirely. So you won’t want to use the thing as much what’s. Worse, usually, you’re asked to pay a premium for the privilege.
Small phones are not that, ideally, these do almost everything their larger cousins do just in a smaller footprint for a while from about 2013 to 2018. The gold standard for this approach was sony which would debut, alongside each year’s flagship smartphone, a companion model which packed the same or nearly the same specs into a more pocketable parcel that sony called the compact, while they weren’t always consistent in quality. Ask any android nerd. If they remember, the compact and they’ll probably have some fond memories. I say android nerd, because our friends across the aisle in iphone land they’ve had little phone life a little bit easier in 2016, alongside its high end, iphone 6s apple released the first iphone se, which, in addition to being the most beautiful device, renee ritchie, has ever Committed to film was also something of a dream, come true for those who, even at that point were fed up with the ballooning scale of smartphones apple did what so. Many of us were clamoring for crammed updated internals into an older, smaller chassis and sold it at a competitive price. It would be four years before apple would revisit fun sized phones, but when it returned in 2020, it went all in for tiny ios on a budget. The iphone se got new silicon and an aesthetic upgrade or maybe downgrade to the iphone 8 style in the summer, and the real deal came around in october. This is the iphone 12 mini.
I talked about it on my road trip review to philadelphia. You saw a lot of it on my road trip review to mystic connecticut it’s, my favorite apple smartphone since 2010., like the 12 pro and pro max it resurrects that decade old slab sided design, but, unlike its siblings, it does so in a size that fits not Just my hands, but almost everyone’s as jaclyn from nothing but tech, puts it it’s easily one handable. I can hit all four corners of the display and power button and volume rockers all with one hand i can’t even remember the last time. I could do that on a flagship, and you know it’s not just for those with small hands or small pockets or dudes who are between jobs, so they get to spend a month not doing much. Am i right not that i know anybody like that fact is when i need to use an iphone, i prefer the mini, despite its reduced camera capability and endurance, all because of that hyper convenient size. Now, if you have a critical mind which is useful in these times, you might be asking okay, if small phones are so great, why are all signs once again pointing to their extinction? Mac rumors recently reported that the iphone 12 mini made up just six percent of sales during the launch period, which might explain its subsequent report. That apple has shifted production away from the mini in order to meet demand for the more popular 12 pro.
Meanwhile, the rumors of sony reviving its compact line, continue to remain just rumors and as much as i’m personally attracted to the galaxy s21 favoring, its smaller size versus its ultra alternative it’s, really not a proper small phone, any more than google’s pixel 5 is it’s. Just smaller in a relative sense, i think the answer to that sticky extinction question is that small phones are dying because they’re not a great fit for the modern world and i believe they’ll soon be replaced by a reboot of a smart concept from the old world. First, though, whether you got a galaxy s21 or an iphone mini or something in between you got to protect it from the rigors of any world and today’s sponsor can help you do that. In my line of work, i see a lot of phone cases but here’s the thing in a home like mine, the term 11 foot impact is hardly academic that’s. Why? My sponsor rhino shield built the solid suit it’s made of durable polymer, with a shock absorbing honeycomb structure and at an average of 30 grams. It protects your phone without adding bulk. Most importantly, though, it’s not boring from the abstract to the throwback there’s, a design for everyone, including nasa nerds like me, whose favorite cases come from the cosmos and if none of those or even these looks, is your style. Well, you can build your own design right on rhino shield’s website, including a classy monogram option like this one.
The company surprised me with and for the iphone the mod nx case lets you mix and match back plate designs with frame case accent, rim even swap out. Those button colors rhino shield ships worldwide covers all iphones and most android flagships and backs all its cases with a lifetime. Warranty use code, mr mobile, at the link below for an exclusive discount and thanks to rhino shield for sponsoring this video. So what keeps killing the small phone? Well, i think the core of it is the simple fact that what’s convenient for a pocket and what’s useful for a smartphone are fundamentally opposed concepts. I mean think about it. The phone that disappears into a pocket just physically cannot be big enough to type as comfortably on its screen. Can’T take up temporary duty as a small tablet, like larger phones can its small battery doesn’t last as long and it doesn’t offer enough space for flashy feature. Centerpieces, like periscope zoom cameras, so in an ideal world, what you want is a phone that gives you both plenty of space to spread out on a six and a half inch screen say enough: casing: space for a battery of between three and four thousand milliamp hours And ideally, some capable cameras, all of it crammed into a chassis that fits into a pocket better than anything else out there that’s right. If you ask me, the small phone of the future is mostly here already, and you know it as the foldable, not the galaxy fold type or the coming rollable format.
Both of those are phones that can temporarily turn into tablets, which is a totally different thing. I’M. Talking about the galaxy z, flips and motorola razors of the world, clam shells open they’re, almost indistinguishable from a typical slab but closed. They take up half the space working, their hinges revives memories of the past. They free up space in a pocket or purse, and if you like, they can even discourage you from using your phone as much with that one extra step you have to take before using it each of the three pillars i called out at the top of this Video, this benefits folks value in a small phone note, my careful use of weasel words here, almost nearly mostly the fact is as much as i love my foldables they’re, not quite ready to take up the small phone mantle just yet that’s obvious. If you’ve been watching. My reviews of the four clamshell foldables that have launched thus far none has succeeded in duplicating the full camera capabilities of their slab. Siblings same goes for battery life. Durability. Well, not as large a concern, as once was nevertheless lags behind phones without moving parts there’s. Still the issue of the crease and yes, foldables – are still priced at a premium, but folks fixing those flaws is a matter of when not if, if you don’t believe me just look at how quickly samsung and motorola are iterating, the razer 5g feels almost in another Class compared with the first generation razer that preceded it by just six months and while the z flip 5g of august is more modest with the upgrades, because there wasn’t much wrong with the z flip from february that first z flip contained tons of upgrades and improvements.
As a result of the lessons learned from the first galaxy fold, which at that point was still a newish device better, yet trade ins on the samsung side and aggressive discounts on motorolas mean the prices have already begun to drop below the thousand dollar mark and of The leaks we’re seeing for the next generation durability is rumored to be high on the priority list. So, while clamshell foldables aren’t yet the new small phone, i think within a few years at most, they will be and thanks to the combination of their practical benefits – and you know just plain old fun. I think they stand a good chance of being more successful than any small phone has so far thanks for joining me for this thought experiment. Folks, let me know if you’d like to see more content like this on the channel by sharing the video, if you’re, already subscribed and by subscribing, if you’re, not this video was produced with a combination of review devices loaned from manufacturers and retail units purchased by mr Mobile, no phone manufacturer offered compensation in exchange for this coverage or was given copy approval or an early preview of this video. However, and finally, a shout out to eric wagoner at android central who’s been ringing. This same bell for some time: i’ve linked her similar editorials below until next time, thanks for watching and if you can’t stay home, then stay safe and mask up. While you stay mobile, my friends, Music.
As much as i love my foldables they’re, not chebo. Thank you. Gebo, thank you for the turtle you’re the nope it’s michael that’s that’s, my mom. You think i am okay it’s good to hear your voice too.