When I analyzed the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and it did not seem so big, I knew that I had to find an explanation for this feeling. Many of the mobiles already exceed 16 centimeters in height and weigh 200 grams. It is curious, as my colleague Javier Lacort indicated in defense of small mobiles, as the beginnings of telephony were marked by huge telephones, then the focus came on making them smaller and smaller, to end in 2020 and 2021 in which mobiles are practically what we understood as tablets until not long ago.
Beyond the debate of whether we personally prefer a large or small mobile, I will try to give the point of view of someone who preferred a small mobile but has ended up conquered by the big ones, since growing in size comes from the hand of quite sweet benefits.
A few years ago we talked about ‘phablets’ and now we use seven-inch mobiles
I still remember with nostalgia the first times we heard the term ‘phablet’, used for screens larger than 5.5 inches. In fairness, those 5.5 inches in the classic 16: 9 format of a few years ago is not the 5.5 in ultra wide formats. For example, a Xiaomi Mi A1, with a 5.5-inch panel, had a height of 15.5 centimeters, close to 16 of the current standard. This screen diagonal is similar to the iPhone 12 mini (5.4 inches), one of the smallest phones on the market, which barely exceeds 13 centimeters.
Currently we have increased these sizes somewhat from 15 centimeters to 16, but we touch seven inches. One of the main reasons for this growth is how easy it is to introduce more components if we have more space. The number of cameras is increasing, the batteries are increasing, we want bigger screens … The more surface we have, the more technology fits. What have we gained along the way?
What you earn with a large mobile
First of all, the battery. Mobile phones have grown, but thanks to this it is also normal to see 5,000mAh batteries or even more. This does not mean that mobiles last longer (Before there was less battery but less hardware wasting energy, but they can do more things with the same expense.
If today a mobile with a 2K and 120Hz screen reaches the end of the day, it is, among other reasons, because there is a generous battery that allows it (and there must be space to fit it)
An S21 Ultra can have a 2K panel that refreshes at 120Hz and lasts the whole day, an iPhone 12 Pro Max can record content in Dolby Vision HDR without being drained. We can do more, have more and better hardware and get to the end of the day, thanks to these types of sizes.
Secondly, Sound, one of the great forgotten. The body of a terminal is its main resonance box. If the speaker equipment is good and well calibrated, a much larger phone will sound noticeably better. A good example is, again, the iPhone, with a sound even low in the case of the 12 mini and superlative in the Max model.
Sound and heat dissipation are two of the big overlooks in big phones. Increasing the size of a terminal has quite interesting side effects
Heat dissipation is another of the forgotten. Again, there is no correlation between a large mobile being less hot than a small one, but it is much easier to redirect the heat from the processor and make the cooling system more efficient.
Finally, the most obvious reason, is multimedia playback Y gaming. Yes, until a few years ago we even watched movies on mobile phones or iPods of just three inches, but enjoy a movie in bed, with a nearly seven-inch 2K panel (added to the comments of the speakers), it is a joy. The latter reaches such a point that, personally, sometimes I prefer to watch movies in bed with any large mobile phone than to watch them on my 4K television. I am alone here?
The same thing happens with games. We are in a golden age of mobile video games, with games like PUBG Mobile with high-end Ultra HD textures and proposals like Genshin Impact, which are literally a port of a PC game to a mobile. Playing on a small screen is uncomfortable and can make you lose more than one game.
I know that mobile phones have become uncomfortable, that it is almost impossible to keep them in your pocket, that exceeding 200 grams of weight does not please anyone and that we keep wondering when will they stop growing, since we are touching certain limits. Despite this, large mobiles have brought us very positive points at the hardware level.
What team are you on?