Do you prefer phones with smaller screens?

Apple iPhone XR

As 2018 winds down, I’m reminded that even phones with “small screens” don’t actually have small screens. As fate would have it, I had to switch from the (blue!) iPhone XR I’ve been using and use a Pixel 3. The change is pretty striking, but the one thing that really stuck out to me was the display and just how tiny it felt.

The Pixel 3 as a whole feels sort of like a toy, but I don’t necessarily consider that a negative as some might. However, the more I used the phone the more I realized that I just wasn’t a fan of the display at all. Not the color accuracy or anything like that, which is fine! Sure, there’s some bleeding when you reduce the screen’s brightness and start skimming through dark images, but hey, OLED isn’t perfect.

It’s just how small the display felt, and those bezels.

The Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch screen and that’s not small. At all. However, when you compare it to the 6.1-inch screen on the iPhone XR, especially with the lack of bezels, it certainly feels like it is. Watching a few videos on the Pixel 3 didn’t really wow me at all (even with the dual front-facing speakers, which are admittedly nice), and I eventually avoided doing it altogether. As soon as I switched back to the iPhone XR, though, I immediately fired up the trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters and enjoyed every second.

This isn’t a hit piece on the Pixel 3, because I am actually a fan of the phone itself, aside from the small display. But this is more about having a realization. I never thought I’d be a fan of a phone with a giant screen. I’ve used some in the past that I just wasn’t a fan of. And there was such a long time there (which doesn’t feel all that long ago!) that I thought a 3.7-inch display in a smartphone was about as perfect as one could get.

And now, thanks to smaller bezels, I’ve come to terms with the fact I think around six inches might be the perfect screen size for a smartphone. Maybe top out at 6.5 inches? The iPhone X’s 5.8-inch screen is fine, too, I guess. But that has more to do with the smaller bezels and can still feel small, even with the additional real estate provided by the design.

Where do you stand on the big screen smartphone these days? Do you still prefer your phone to have a smaller display, whether it has big bezels or not? Or are you definitely on the big screen bandwagon these days? Let me know!

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