Why are phones so Freaking big?

When the Samsung Note first appeared back in 2011, I thought it was a joke and nobody would want a monster of a phone as it was so big you have to use both hands to use it and looked ridiculous when talking on it. Now in 2015, things have got alot worst, the “average” phone is now over 5 inch and the big phones are in the 6 inch range.  I mean, what the hell?  What do people want big phones?  I know you get alot more screen real estate but it is not the easiest thing to use.  It doesn’t fit well in any pockets and is a beast of a thing to carry around.

So why don’t manufacturers make a smaller phone?  Is it because the consumers think that for the same price it is more value for money as you get more of everything? Or it is easier to fit more “stuff” into a bigger body.  Even, if they do make a smaller phone, say in the 4″ to 4.7″ range, many of these are so low in spec it is really just a piece of rubbish.  I know there are lots of consideration like battery size and life.  This does come into play to ensure a day’s worth of juice is available for use.

What I am looking for is a high end phone but contained in a smaller form factor, maybe around the 4.5″ range as this allows one-handed operation and your thumb can basically reach all parts of the phone.  Sadly, the only firm that makes something remotely close is Sony with the Z3 compact.  The identical twin of the Z3 but smaller at 4.6″ screen.  At some point I was so sure I wanted this phone but after playing with it for some time, I still find it too thick (at 8.6mm).  If only this phone were in the range of 7mm or less, it’s a done deal.  I also dislike the plastic feel of the phone, it does not give it a premium look, if only they adopted the same design as the bigger Z3 with the all metal rim.

My next hope was the Samsung Alpha at 4.7″ and 6.4mm thick but unfortunately this is not available in my region and so far the reviews for it was disappointing.  The only thing I hate about Samsung phone are the capacitive buttons, I mean with the latest Android OS 4.x, there is no real use for buttons really.  If only they get rid of that then it’s a done deal again.

I suppose there is always the trusty Apple iphone 5S at 4″ and high spec, it’s really the phone I need but Hey, why would I want to buy a 1 year old phone….  So rumor has it that Apple may release a new 4″ phone (iphone 6 mini?) and if that is true, the time has come for me to finally switch out of my iphone 4S  (mind you I also own a Nexus 4 which I find still too big).

I’m sure there is a market for high end small phones, just look at laptops, the really expensive fully specs portable computers are the Notebooks or Ultra-books, which is super small, thin and light, why can’t phone go the same way?

So come on phone Manufactures!!  There’s a whole new untapped market for this, so please start considering us users!!!

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Why are phones so Freaking big?

I’m so sorry I cheated on you… Nexus

Yes, I’ve done the deed, I have cheated on my Nexus 4.  My lover is none other than my ex, the iphone.  Why, because I’m fickle and I like to play with new things, in this case, apps.  What I have noticed since using my Nexus or Android device is that most companies would first develop an app on the iphone.  Being the bleeding edge person that I am, I can’t help but try these apps, that way I know if it will be a hit before it becomes mainstream and is why my iphone is still getting constant usage.

I can understand why developers would prefer the iphone as a first choice and here’s my reasoning:

1.  Fragmentation  – IOS 7 installed rate have reached over 80% of all ios devices which supports it, as for Android, it is left  to the handset manufacture to decide, of course unless you have a Nexus device or Google play editions of phones.  For a developer, this may become frustrating as it will involve more than coding to cover all versions of Android and screen resolution.

2. Monetisation – I don’t know why but I much prefer to spend money via the Apple App store than using Google Play store, maybe because it’s habit since I started with itunes to buy music for the past 8 or so years therefore I’m so used to the process.  So as a developer, I will pick the platform which can make me the most money.

3. Security – Many might argue this but my point is that Apple have a tighter control over the App store, so as a consumer, I am more trusting to install an IOS app and knowing it will probably be safe. As a developer, this may have an opposite side since Apple have such a grip on the App store, there is a chance the app will get rejected.

So, my trusty iphone 4S is still getting plenty of love and with great new apps like “Paper” from Facebook, I don’t see it getting retired anytime soon.  If the new iphone 6 that is coming out this year sports a bigger screen, I will seriously consider switchingIMG_20140216_131040 back.

 

I’m so sorry I cheated on you… Nexus

New iphones are here!!

Every year around the September period, there is always some buzz in the air as Apple usually launches a new phone.  This time round they release 2 new phones, Iphone 5C (color) and Iphone 5S (it used to stand for Speed when the first ‘S’ appeared on the 3GS).  Anyhow, what can you expect from these 2 new phones?  Let me break it down in a few words:

Iphone 5C – Same as the iphone 5 (2012) but now comes in colors (5 to be exact), only thing new inside is that it now supports more LTE Bands.

Iphone 5S – Looks exactly the same as the iphone 5 but now with a faster processor (A7), new camera/flash, fingerprint reader, 64-bit processing and another new chip M7.  Oh, it also now comes in Gold (bling bling!!).

Apart from the new phones, the OS also saw a major upgrade to IOS7 which is a complete re-haul of the whole operating system.  I did manage to installed in on my iphone 4S just to see what the fuss is about.  Well, first impression is that it is very different visually.  It feels like a complete do-over, some good some bad.  If you are interested in the details there are many review out there to read about it, I can’t be bothered really.

Anyway, my initial impressions are positive, the new control center and notification is a good welcome, the color scheme, not so much.  Well, I’ve only got it for 2 days so still learning more about it.  Any do check it out here if you own a iphone 4 and above.

ios7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New iphones are here!!

Sony Cybershot QX series

I really enjoy taking photos with my phone since I got the iphone 4.  It has changed the way I see the world really (mainly due to instagram).  But since I switch to my Nexus 4 phone, the main complaint I have is the sub-par photo quality of it’s camera.  To me, the best camera phone is still the iphone and with the new iphone 5S/C coming, I’m getting abit of itchy fingers again.

So here’s where Sony comes in, they have released a new camera product, not a traditional camera but only the lens.  So what you do is attached this Lens to your phone and turns it into a full features stand alone camera!! All the optical zoom and F-stops you ever wanted is now a dream come true on your phone.  I’ve yet to try it out but will definitely consider this toy.  Now problem solved, back to reading food blogs.  Check it out here.

Sony Cybershot QX series

IOS 7: The beta

At WWDC Apple gave a preview of their mobile phone software the IOS.  We are now at version 7 and Apple have decided to completely change the look and feel of the software.  Everything now is more Flat and Clean, gone are the days were drop shadows and 3D icons ruled the internets.  This is getting a lot of mixed feelings as many designers out there are shocked by what Apple have come up with, especially with the icons and color scheme while others don’t mind it so much.

Anyhow, as this is only the Beta version, many things might and probably will change when the final release comes out late Sept/Oct to coincide with the launch of their next iphone.  If you are an iphone owner and is jealous of all those new wonderful Android features, you will certainly enjoy the face lift on IOS 7.  Feature wise, not so much, still the same of IOS we are so used to.  There is the new control centre where you can pull up a fixed set of apps/tools for quick actions and some enhancement to the photo/camera app.  That is really all I could see that is new, any way take a look at the promo video from Apple, it’s magical as always.

 

IOS 7: The beta

Xiaomi: Mi 2S

A Little know company called Xiaomi has been making a big splash in the mobile phone market. This relatively new company which only started back in 2011 has been producing top spec Android handsets in China. Their secret sauce is that they haven been selling their handsets at cost price with no markups!  Impossible! they claim they making their profits off selling accessories for their handsets!

This basically means you can purchase a highly spec phone for cheap, for example, their latest release is the Mi 2S which comes in either 16GB or 32 GB internal storage, it runs on a quad core snap dragon 600 at 1.7GHz (which is what the HTC one and the new Samsung S4 are using). 4.3 inch screen size at 1280 x 720 (342 ppi compared with iphone 5 at 326 ppi), 2MB front facing camera and 8MB (16 GB version) or 13MB (32GB version) back camera.  Battery is a tat weak at 2000 mAh and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly bean, another downer is no LTE support (understood for China as they have not launch their 4G networks).  Some of the other features are wifi display (output to TV with wifi support), F2.2 aperture lens, HDR camera with 1080p recording at 30 fps.

Currently these phones are only available in China but they are hoping to expand into Taiwan and Hong Kong to tapped into more westernized countries.  The handsets looks similar to an iphone4 but they do have their own twist on the design.  I mean for the price of $1999 yuen (approx USD$324) you are getting a top of the range handset with everything on it (except LTE of course).  Browsing through their website, they do sell a lot of accessories ranging from wallets to shirts to RC cars to colored batteries.  I can understand how they have build a marketing world around the handset and it seems that this model is working.  They have claimed to have sold over 7 million phones in 2012 without any formal marketing or promotions!!

I might pickup the Mi 2S when they launch in Hong Kong just to see what the fuzz is all about, and if this kind of thing interest you please check out their website here.  Go browse through their accessories section, you will be pleasantly surprised what is on offer, oh don’t forget to use google translate on the site unless of course you are well versed in Mandarin.

Xiaomi: Mi 2S