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New iPhone SE (apple.com)
1539 points by CoachRufus87 45 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 1459 comments



I was itching for this announcement, not because I want to buy an iPhone, but because this will finally mean other manufacturers will start to make compact phones.

It drives me up the wall that I simply cannot find a reasonably competent phone (i.e. mid/upper range from the past 4 years) which is not absolutely fucking huge. It's insane that the "phablet" standard from ~5 years ago is now not even the new standard, but the only standard.


> It's insane that the "phablet" standard from ~5 years ago is now not even the new standard, but the only standard.

Utterly insane.

I replaced my SE with a Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact yesterday. It has a 5" screen and decent specs (2018 flagship). About as small as you can get a mobile nowadays, sadly.

And wow how I've missed Android, the UX is soooo much better in most aspects. I can't believe I was stuck with iOS (as an experiment) for almost 1.5 years. Reason being that I hadn't been able to find anything below 5" in the Android world.


> And wow how I've missed Android, the UX is soooo much better in most aspects.

iOS has its problems, but every time I have to handle somebody's Android (i.e. to help them do something faster than telling them), I want to give it back as quickly as possible.


I feel the same way when someone hands me an iPhone. In 2020, the operating systems are equally capable and refined, it's just a question of what you're used to. If you had a great Android phone for a few months, you'd probably be just as comfortable with it as you are an iPhone.

When someone asks me what phone to buy, my answer is always "what phone do you have now?" because frankly, there is no reason to switch from one to the other. It's just a waste of time and energy to go through that.


Setting aside the question of whether the OSes are equally capable and refined, the simple fact of the matter is that most android hardware (both by unique SKUs and by total deployed devices) is hot garbage. I have to remember to slow way down and wait for the UI elements to react to my input whenever I handle anybody's android phone.


I just recently stopped using my XZ2 Compact for an iPhone 8 because the Androids software is really crappy and messed up. Thats a 2017 Apple flagship compared to a compact 2018 android flagship and the apple device feels infinitely faster.

I don't remember the details of it, but android uses more ram for applications, because of the dalvik VM. The iPhones also have way more cache on dye in the A CPUs. And apple completely decimates the competition in browser benchmarks.

I had a z3 compact before and was happily using it for 4 years before that(when I bought it was already old). Someone patched the system so that the camera apps still work on an unlocked device and I used a custom ROM which was working well.

Here's the thing about android devices. When you can keep them up to date with custom roms you gain things like fine grained privacy settings and faster lean custom ROMS.

But ... Sony is notoriously bad at that. Not only did their software quality degrade. They added more DRM and security features to make sure your Camera and other DRM functionality will not work on your custom ROM.

Compare that to Xiaomis Poco spinoff where they recently send all the XDA custom rom developers a free device to get the community involved.

I like Sonys devices but the software is utter crap. They completely botched the Android 10 update for most of their devices. It took them 2 months to release a version that wouldn't randomly fail and even then gesture navigation is not working in the older flagships. With Sony devices you can estimate only getting 2 major update the second one likely being buggy. Compare that to the iPhone update strategy which is a million times better.

To some extent the Android 10 disaster is to be blamed on Google since apparently the fingerprint problems existed in almost every vendors Android 10 release. I guess that when google moved their pixel 4 to no fingerprint/only faceID(or google face unlock) they just didn't care enough about other Android OEMs.


> I don't remember the details of it, but android uses more ram for applications, because of the dalvik VM

Not sharing an opinion on anything written, however Dalvik was replaced with ART all the way back in Android 5.


> To some extent the Android 10 disaster is to be blamed on Google since apparently the fingerprint problems existed in almost every vendors Android 10 release. I guess that when google moved their pixel 4 to no fingerprint/only faceID(or google face unlock) they just didn't care enough about other Android OEMs.

I feel that it is sad that Google phones mostly follow iPhone trends. It's as if the Google phone team are iPhone fans. Heck, I saw an Android team video and most of the people in the background were using iPhones.

I think customers would be better serve if each company play to their strengths, not on carbon copying each other.


Depends how old the phone is and how limited the h/w is though - Android is designed to work in some ridiculously under powered devices.

I highly doubt a top of the line phone like the Galaxy or the Pixel would have issues with input lag.

If anything, I get annoyed by how long animations on iOS take compared to Android. Everything feels like it's running in slow motion.


Apple software is pretty nice with their user experience. But I feel like 90% of this complaint stems from people comparing a $200 Android phone with $1000 iPhone.

Happens in laptops too. Its just silly. Go in the same price range and then make a judgement.


I have the exact opposite opinion. Don’t take my word for it, grab any Apple phone made in 2017 (worth about 99 bucka today) vs any entry to low mid ($100-400ish) android and the iphone will kick ass in most regards.

I long for the freedom of android and use iPhones reluctantly only because i really think they are a good value at almost any price point.


A three year old android flagship will also kick ass compared to a new low end android.


Can confirm. I did this, swapping my old SE for a Moto G7. After a few months, I still miss the iPhone. First, the convenience and care that shows in tiny aspects of the UI design. Second, Siri is usable while OK Google is not - it just fails too often to be worth even trying. I miss being able to use voice control.


Worse even, you can't pick up a Samsung flagship for trial in the store without the interface stuttering like crazy - at least if you're used to iOS.

Same with LG, Sony and others. The only smooth Android I have ever tried was Huawei's and I am reluctant to buy Chinese telco hardware.


> Go in the same price range and then make a judgement.

You can compare iphone and android performance benchmarks here [0] and here [1].

Apple devices still come out ahead of top of the range models from other manufacturers.

Yes I know benchmarks can be gamed and don't mean everything, but there is still a performance difference between top of the line Android models today, vs not only top of the line iPhones, but also iPhones from a couple of years back.

0: https://browser.geekbench.com/ios-benchmarks 1: https://browser.geekbench.com/android-benchmarks


This is a funny comment given the post is a out the cheap SE, starting at $500.


I have a reasonably top-speced phone - A K20 Pro, with a Snapdragon 855 - and it stutters. It stutters more than the last iPhone I used, a 2016 SE, and I used it until early 2018. The only top of the line phone I found that was responsive and fun to use was OnePlus, and they seem to have made speed and responsiveness their company motto. It's a shame they dropped the headphone jack, because that was my deciding factor for picking the K20, which I find painful to use at times.


My Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 120hz display with 240hz input sample rate. It is stunningly gorgeous, and there's simply no input lag.


Technically, most Windows desktop hardware is hot garbage. That's what happens when you have a system that can run on pretty much anything. And yet, Windows is the system of choice for large enterprises that have to get work done. Just because a system can run on lots of different systems doesn't make it inferior. If you were to use an equally priced Android device, like the Galaxy S20 Ultra, you would see the same smooth and fast performance you get on an iPhone. And that Galaxy S20 Ultra is still going to fast in 3 or 4 years. I'm running an Android flagship from 2017 and it's as smooth and fast as it was the day I bought it.


Also, typing on the iPhone is a pain because of the horrible auto corrector. Remember all the jokes from people on iPhones cursing on each other because of it? I guess Apple is miles away from Google when it comes to AI for these kind of stuff. Android's keyboard is so good because of it that I often write words pressing all the wrong keys and it somehow figures out correctly what I want to say.


I’ve had to turn off the iOS auto correct because it became so poor. It’s literally easier to type them out and correct the many mistakes than fight the auto correct.


is this something you noticed in the past couple of years? i dont remember autocrrect feeling so terrible...its like im being trolled every time i use it now. it suggests the completely wrong words and the wrong tense until i type out more than half the word.


Yes, it's got noticeably worse. It used to be pretty good.


“Ducking”


I just add all the variations of curse words to my dictionary which tends to take care of that issue.

I favor the gesture input, and it's surprising how many words have similar swype patterns for the keys.


Even when I turn autocorrect off, it replaces double word combos unpredictably, especially in Spanish. The biggest problem with iPhone in general is that it’s hard to tune for your needs, because Apple decided that one way is The Way.


I'm using android... sorry if that wasn't clear.


> In 2020, the operating systems are equally capable and refined, it's just a question of what you're used to.

I don’t think that’s true if you work with sensitive data or are just generally privacy conscious. iOS is then recommended over the OS from the advertising company (eg by tptacek and other experts here, if I’m not mistaken).


And I don't think it's true if you want a system that integrates Google Assistant and the G-Cam software. Being privacy-conscious is not universal, it's an individual priority. For you, get an iPhone. My statement was, weighing advantages and disadvantages against one another, the math comes out pretty close.

On a Pixel, I can use Google Assistant like a secretary. It screens the calls, forces the caller to answer questions, then relays the answers to me to see if I want to talk to them. That's pretty damn awesome. But again, it's not everyone's priority.


I used to think this, however now I think for a lot of users iPhone is easier. Fwiw I use android..


I used to think this as an Android user, however then I spent 1.5 years on iOS and now being back on Android feels like bliss.

Apple has the security advantage though if you disregard the information apps leak but then again on both OS's you can use Pi-Hole, or better yet NextDNS, to shut up some of the chatter.


Until you leave your house and use your mobile phone as a mobile phone, and then all access is granted to the data-sucking fiends.

And I say this as someone who runs Pi-Hole. But I feel like it is a battle I am using.


That's why I said "or better yet NextDNS", which is not tied to your home.


Apologies! I missed that! I'll look that up since it would server me well, thanks!


My mom (~75) got an S8+ last year. She had some prior smartphone experience with an old iPhone 4S but not as her primary phone.

First day she got the S8 I set it up for her and showed her how to make calls and send text messages. Next day I got an MMS with a picture from the garden, she'd figured that out on her own.

Mainly I think things are just different, some things are easier on Android, some on iOS and vice versa.


Unless you care about privacy, in which case the answer seems to be iPhone. I haven’t found a good Android experience that doesn’t involve funneling everything to Google.


You can atleast remove the googleware to a great degree, you can't do the same for iPhones easily.

Huge difference. You have fdroid, apk slicer and alternative stores without google gate-keeping. You can reflash your phone with ungoogled android or open source alternative gapps package. Use microG to sandbox google stuff.

There are ton of ways to contain googleware.


Which of those do you think are accessible to the average user?


All of them if someone else does the initial set up, from first hand experience.


What about updates or when something goes wrong?


Does google provide you support when something otherwise go wrong? No. Unless of course it's a pixel.

And I have a custom rom which gets update every month. Ungoogled. :)


The comparison you should be making isn't with Google, but Apple.

My experience with custom ROMs was unfortunately a lot worse than yours. I had the original Galaxy Note, and picking a custom ROM for that was a "Updated, has features, doesn't kill your battery - pick 2" kind of deal.


Not too different from MS not being first line support for your Thinkpad, but offering more for surface laptops.

I'm still under update coverage for my Pixel 2XL, haven't felt compelled to upgrade at all. i do wish more handsets supported using Lineage or another open variant/option for after coverage expires at least.


For updates, you hit the update button. When something goes wrong, same as others.


You can still use the google play store and switch email, maps, and browser and give almost no data to google and anyone can install apps in google play.


I use LineageOS without the google play (/media) services, which is the first huge step, then I also use as much from F-Droid as possible.

Google is very strong in the data heavy areas. GMail, Calendar and especially GBoard and are extremely hard to replace, as are YouTube and Translate.


Your privacy has much more to do with the apps you use than the phone itself. Apple doesn't collect user data like Google, but the difference between them is 1 company.

If you have an iPhone and you use Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Microsoft Office, Google Photos/Docs, Spotify, the Dominos Pizza app, etc etc there are half a dozen companies holding your private information either way. If you want to go total lockdown, get an iPhone with a VPN and never use any social media or cloud apps, but don't pretend like having an iPhone alone is some huge change to your privacy problems.


You can have access to the google play store and browse with firefox, use fastmail for email, use maps.me for maps, and text messaging + a million and one different messaging apps.

Then google knows what? That you installed fastmail, firefox, and maps.me?


If you have Google Play Services embedded into your system and you use Google Play: Yes. You have a good chance of avoiding that by downloading through Aurora, though.


I must say I never understood why Apple is supposed to be any guarantee of privacy?

If you are technically minded, you can easily flash LineageOS + microg on your phone a use a virtually surveillance-free phone (as far as you can, ignoring stuff like cell tower tracking and opaque baseband, etc).


To be fair, most skinned Android variants are really horrible. My whole immediate family uses Android phones, but half the time I just don't know how to quickly tell them where an option is because I've used CyanogenMod/LineageOS on all my phones, and they're using Samsung's take on Android, which is shockingly different. Worse yet, they often are on much older Android versions than me which results in even more differences. Settings categories having different names is the biggest problem. At least on some newer Android versions there's a search in the settings so you don't have to guess where stuff is as much.


Yeah it's mostly Samsung but also Oppo and Huawei, that basically just seem to do a half-baked copy of Apple with their own peculiar weirdness thrown in to make it worse.


As a counterpoint, I think OnePlus's "Oxygen" shell is often quicker and better than the already spectacular default Android experience.


OnePlus’s customizations tend to be much lighter and more thoughtful.


That's the primary reason that I use Pixel devices. I want the stock Android experience and updates to the OS. I don't get those with other phones.


I think one of the main problems with Android is how _varied_ different versions are. When I pick up anyone's iPhone I find it equally easy to do everything. Even when I had an Android, picking up anyone else's phone and trying to change settings (you know, being the only computer person around, I had to help people fix problems) was an enormous difficulty. Just because I had figured out my phone well didn't mean I could even find the same setting on someone else's phone. It's been a few yeas - it may be more standard by now.


I hope you're not equating Samsung with Android. I find most (if not all) skinned Androids horrible as well. Spent some time with mine removing preinstalled bloatware using adb and then a bit more finding various settings restoring default Android behaviour on the Sony, even though it's relatively vanilla.


How could you not though? Skinned Android is how most experience android.


Yeah, which in mind tarnishes the reputation of Android. Well on the other hand most regular people don't even don't know what Android is, they only talk about "Samsung" phones, which is somewhat correct.


Learning new things is always hard, and some flavors of Android (eg; Samsung) are pretty atrocious. What problems did you face?

I have both an iPhone (work) and an Android (Nexus 2, personal) and use both daily.

I find (stock) Android to be a much more usable and capable operating system. Which is a shame because the iPhones really are better hardware, especially the smaller ones.


Part of that is of course what you're used to, but a lot of Android phone makers put their UI and crapware over Android. I don't know why they put extra effort into making their phones worse. I tend to look for the purest Android I can find.


> I don't know why they put extra effort into making their phones worse.

How else will you distinguish between them?


Hardware?


Yeah, unfortunately their hardware is getting increasingly identical. Same sizes, same shapes, same screens, same everything. In the early days of Android smartphones, we had phones with physical keyboards, phones made out of steel instead of glass, and tons of other physical differences. These days they all look the same and they try to make up for it by messing up Android in different ways.


There's still a few outliers, I'm dailying a. BlackBerry Key2 and have a backup UniHertz Titan on the shelf (which has a passport style 1:1 screen).

Love having a physical keyboard, and will gladly give up some screen size for a much comfier typing experience. That and the BlackBerry Hub is amazing and actually makes managing all my communication in a day much more effective. (Global shortcuts, gestured text navigation, a control key, etc):

At least Hub can be installed on other Android devices, for me a unified inbox is a killer feature.


> Yeah, unfortunately their hardware is getting increasingly identical.

Not to mention that you basically need to look at the latest iPhone to know what maybe 70% of Android hardware is going to look like for the next year or so (notch, cameras, software features like Animoji, even the absence of things like the headphone jack).


It's like everybody is supposed to have the same taste in hardware and features.

Both the state of smartphones and the state of laptops and OSs really make me want to get into that industry and make some better alternatives.


I have same experience with ios


Right? Simple things like selecting/copying text can be so annoying and unintuitive to the point where I wasn't feeling comfortable even after 1.5 years, and I'm somewhat of a power user in that I like to figure out the most effective ways of doing things. With iOS I've failed on so many different occasions and having to succumb to what I'd consider workarounds.

Another glaringly obvious thing with Android that frustrated me to no end with iOS: Why the fuck do you need to swipe twice to remove a notification. So many swipes wasted that I could've used for Tinder instead.

I have a boatload of stuff that annoys me about iOS, to the point where at one point thought about opening a Twitter account to send a daily tweet about something that sucks on iOS.

Emojis look good though.


Just to pile a couple more on, why is the only way to get to the bluetooth device list by going through settings?! Long-pressing/right-clicking on the bluetooth tray icon does that in every other OS I've used, phone or desktop.

And for the love of god why does your spellcheck keep trying to replace the word "talk" with "ya'll?" I've had to manually set text replacement for way too many word pairs like that, and if you do typo the word you're going for in a way that's not in the text replacement, it defaults to the weird choice anyway.


> Just to pile a couple more on, why is the only way to get to the bluetooth device list by going through settings?! Long-pressing/right-clicking on the bluetooth tray icon does that in every other OS I've used, phone or desktop.

This is something Android messed up since Android 9 (IIRC). You used to have a small arrow below the Wifi and Bluetooth (and whatnot) icons where you could select what to connect to. Removing those since 9 was partially what drove me to angrily expore iOS.

Can't say about the spellcheck because I used Swiftkey on iOS but the Android version is miles ahead of it. In hindsight I should've probably just reverted to the iOS built-in one.


Gboard for iOS was a bit worse than the Android version the last time I used it (years ago), but it was usable.


That might be, and might've been better than the native keyboard, but SwiftKey on Android is still on a level of witchcraft that I've yet to seen anywhere elsewhere.


Long pressing on the Bluetooth icon in iOS 13 gives you a device list now, if you wanted to know.


Well, that's a life-changer. Though it's annoying that it only seems to work after a second long-press to go from the condensed version of that little window to the bigger one.

My ideal is that I can flip up and change the source in the time it takes for a song to change, which I used to be able to do seamlessly in Android. Though according to the sibling comment, Android got worse for that use since I switched too.


Ok I kind of feel like an idiot now, I just checked and apparently on Android 10 you can long-press as well to get a menu of available devices/networks. I'm not sure whether this was already there in Android 9 or whether they introduced it later but I'm quite sure that I read the release announcements (and reviews/articles[0]) at the time and turned up empty-handed.

Just wish both had some kind of UI indicator that there's a long-press action available... it's not like people are reading mobile phone manuals nowadays, even if they existed.

[0] For example no mention here https://www.xda-developers.com/everything-new-android-p-deve...


A lot of this works on the basis of intuition and I think that's pretty okay for shortcuts. It becomes more problematic when it's an essential path, but then again right-click-abilityis also undiscoverable.


It's a totally intuitive thing, but after a few years of using something you stop trying to intuit as much and are just doing the things you know work.


True.


It works on my Android 8 device.


Are you saying you don't have a down arrow below the icon? I might be wrong as I said initially, I thought they removed the dropdown in 9 but might've been 8?


I do have a down arrow, which takes me to a sub-panel listing the devices, but also I can long press on the icon to go to the full list.

Personally I think the down arrow is way too small for me to press so I always just long press the icon anyway.


Ok then my memory was correct about the versions at least. Long-press or not, the arrow is still a great indication that there's an action besides a single click - wish everyone implemented something of the like.


Well this is an awesome thing to learn today!


As an iPhone/iPad user, yes, selecting text is absolutely jackiechan.jpg befuddling on iOS. To the point that you wonder if anybody at Apple actually uses it.

They've actually made it worse in a way by removing the magnifying glass, but at least the new copy/paste/cut swipe gestures are handy, if a little odd on smaller screens.


I agree that removing the magnifying glass was a terrible idea, but what's befuddling about selecting text?

The biggest loss for me on newer devices is 3D touch, since that's the best way to select text quickly and easily.


Try getting the cursor after tapping the Safari address bar with a long URL.

On many websites it will zoom around unpredictably.

Very awkward to select specific text in Notes etc. sometimes, especially around links and other clickable items.


> Try getting the cursor after tapping the Safari address bar with a long URL.

I’ve found that if you try to move the cursor with the keyboard it’ll show up.


I think that's less to do with realistic differences than it is familiarity... I've used google experience for the most part, and even then using someone's Samsung devices is different enough to be annoying.

For the most part, I adapt along the way... I've felt similar with iOS, but refuse to buy from Apple.


Refusing to feed anything more to Google whenever I have the choice, is the reason I will probably always avoid Android.


Familiarity may be one factor you never use one device long enough to get familiar with it.

It may also because idiots keep "innovating" with the home screen experience but for most androids the home screen is just another app you can replace with one not made by incompetents.

Nova is nice for example.


As a 95th-percentile-sized human, the large phones have been quite appreciated, there is quite a lot of frustration when everything in the world is the wrong size, whatever your size. Now if we could do something about airline seats, sedans, and home furniture.


Agree kind of, although airline seats, sedans and furniture haven't been trending towards one end of the spectrum over a number of years. And I think it sounds like a reasonable idea to offer cars with swappable (or well-adjustable) seats. Airlines already offer seats with extra legroom, as well as business class depending on your needs.

The first touch devices might've been around 3.5-4" (just guessing here) but they've since then been constantly growing to where 6" is nowadays considered normal. How far can you going up in size? It's definitely not comparable to finding the size of a seat, as a phone's "right size" depends on how you intend to use it. There are hundreds of phone models on the market but they all seem to revolve around price points (and hence features/specs). Why not expand the range size-wise as well while at it?

I have fairly large hands and I don't mind manhandling a 6" "phone" but I simply do not want to carry one in my pocket. I can't imagine I'm alone on this. Largest phone I've ever had was 5.5" and that one constantly fell out of my shorts pocket when sitting down and now with the 4" iPhone SE I've grown rather accustomed to the form factor and am willing to trade off usability (more difficult, precise typing required) for it.

And then you have people with small hands.

Edit: Easy one-handed usage is also important to me.


> airline seats, sedans and furniture haven't been trending towards one end of the spectrum over a number of years.

I beg to differ! Airlines have slowly crammed in more and more seats for years.

"Less legroom is now the industry norm. In the early-2000s, rows in economy used to be 34 inches (86 centimeters) to 35 inches apart; now 30 to 31 inches is typical, though 28 inches can be found on short flights, according to Washington D.C.-based advocacy group Flyers Rights. Seats have narrowed, too, from about 18.5 inches to 17 inches on average."

https://time.com/5636154/airplane-legroom-shrinking-asia/


I stand corrected! I still believe I'm correct on cars and furniture though. :)


Car size have steadily increased up to the early 2010s [1] and I haven't noticed a stop to this trend, especially when including the market movements towards car-like small SUVs.

Availability of smaller cars keeps going down (Honda Fit dropped in Canada, Toyota Prius C gone, etc.)

[1]: https://www.teoalida.com/cardatabase/images/Car-Classes.png


That's probably true but I thought we were talking about car seats. Car size doesn't really matter much within this topic, whereas I can imagine standard size car seats being quite uncomfortable if you're way smaller or larger compared to the average human being.


Its not just seats. Pushing the seat lower doesn't put the pedals any lower or change the distance between the steering column and the top of the windshield.

Every ergonomic setting on my car is at the extreme and it's still not right. I need the ceiling to be taller and the windshield to be taller and the steering column to be further from the floor.

The best car I ever drove was the silly VW New Beetle


Sorry but (after spending some time in this thread) I fail to see the point of bringing up extremes... I'm merely arguing for a couple of smaller smartphones on the market. Not because I have small hands, just because I don't really care for a huge screen. With the wide variety of mobile phones (in all sizes between 5-6") on the market they could squeeze in a sub-5 incher somewhere. Especially since just a couple of years ago this was considered huge. Hand size hasn't changed over the years.

It would definitely not make any sense to create a car with a seat where most people wouldn't reach the pedals or be able to look out the window. What you're looking for is customization. And yes, I think that car manufacturers should offer custom versions of their models tailored to people smaller or larger than average, I think that would be cool.


Agreed I'm slightly off-topic. I was more thinking of the general thread of some things getting bigger and not always an improvement (for various reasons).


Yeah although if we were to continue on the off-topic then I'd argue that I'm similarly baffled by cars growing in size, whereas you'd think that the increased urbanization would drive people to use smaller vehicles. Oh well, I guess there might be some logic behind it but I fail to see what.


The physical footprint, weight, etc have gone up but ergonomically they're made for the same size person. I can either sit on the floor or push my head into the ceiling and it's hard to find anything where my eyes aren't level with the top of the windshield. Sitting normally in my car with the seat all the way down I can barely see above the horizon.


The thing that annoys me no end when I talk about the size of airline seats is that the usual remark is: “but they offer extra legroom!” Yes, generally that’s true but being 6’10 (2.08m) tall I am forced to spend more money just to fit in the seat. Especially now that emergency exit row seats are also sold as extra legroom seats.

Airlines I've flown with Over the last few years haven’t been very accommodating...


Somewhat off-topic but yeah, I can understand your frustration... And it would naturally be great if airlines would be able to accommodate for people not fitting into average parameters. But it's also a tricky proposition, as you surely understand. Should obese people get huge, two person sized seats? Should people with stiff joints automatically get extra legroom? Should people with a cold have no passengers in a 2 meter radius around them? How do the airlines check/verify these things (yes, height is obv easy)?

Besides, even having the option to pay for extra legroom is what I'm missing altogether from the mobile phone market. Do you see my point? At least you have the option when it comes to legroom. I don't have any sub 5" options when it comes to Android phones, even though I would be prepared to pay extra for it.


There's a law requiring FAA to regulate seats. I have a petition to support it. Wouldn't it be nice to fly in comfort again? :) http://chng.it/HLxMmhnF


Ok, but then look at airline prices. Prices have dropped fairly consistently over the last 30 years. Even though you have to pay more, you are still paying less than people over the years. Seems fair to me.


Manufacturers have been trying to increase the size of phone as much as they can get away with. Larger size usually means larger battery & life (even after accounting for the larger screen) and more people doing more things on the phone (viewing more videos, longer reading etc). All are good for the mobile manufacturers. The size of the pocket is an unfortunate restriction in their ever expanding world. They are hoping and likely winning the bet that pants will start having larger pockets.


I wonder if this is a bit like bodybuilders and fake tan. Nobody, least of all bodybuilders, thinks bodybuilders should be the colour of French polished walnut (the ones with naturally white skin, that is!). But if being a fraction of a shade darker than your competitor gives you an edge in showing off, that's where you end up.


Rubbish, they have been doing it for one reason only. They can charge more. They get more profits for bigger phones.


It's obviously a profit motive. They can charge more and have to spend less on R&D since they don't have to try to squeeze all the hardware into a small form factor. Not to mention there is no competition that could eat into their marketshare since nobody is making small phones.


I also think it's responsible for the unisex fannypack comeback success.


I have no problem using my 6 inch phone generally, but I can't use it one handedly (especially over head), which is insanely annoying.


Agreed. I recently bought a Nokia 3310, just to hold my two extra SIMs (because I move around) and I was enamored by the T9 keyboard and remembered typing SMS's while driving without looking, back in the good old days 20 years ago. You can't do that shit anymore. Slightly off-topic but felt I should share..


There is a clothing manufacturer called Kuhl that makes pant and shorts [other stuff too] and all their pants have a cell phone pocket on the right leg. The quality is very high but they are kind of expensive. My 6" iPhone fits perfectly. I don't think anything larger would though.


I have a Kuhl zip-up fleece hoodie - a large phone fits in every pocket. There are zippers on the pockets to keep the phone from falling out. It's by far the most comfortable hoodie I own, even though it isn't very attractive.


Haha are you seriously suggesting that I should change my wardrobe instead of my mobile phone?


From what I've read, when Sony came out with the first portable transistor radio, they outfitted their salesmen with shirts that had oversized pockets to fit the radio. Just an amusing bit of history.


Clothes are definitely cheaper to change, more disposable, and in fact changed much more often than mobile phones. Are you seriously suggesting that one should change their phone to acommodate their clothes?


Having vendor lock-in on my pants is a step too far.

And the cheapest pair of pants there is $75, Which is more than I pay for simple clothes like plain pants, and by the time you're getting a whole wardrobe, you're at least halfway to that phone. More if you value diversity in pant-styles.


This is starting to feel like trolling... Yes, I am seriously suggesting that. To continue on the trolling, I suggest that everyone now using 6" phones immediately upgrade to 7-8" and upgrade their wardrobe to clown clothing. Then they can have that huge screen estate to watch their videos on and pockets that match their devices.


Fun fact: pockets are generally made of thin internal fabric and making them bigger does not require making the clothing baggy.


The depends on the size of your wardrobe and which phone you have.


>Airlines already offer seats with extra legroom, as well as business class depending on your needs.

I don't like having to pay more money because I was born a different size. Not to mention you are usually paying more than other customers for the added responsibility of accepting to help in case of an emergency.


If you happen to be male (and I'd wager 95% of people who are tall enough to complain about airline seats are), then you have a distinct and inherent advantage when it comes to sexual attraction.

This applies whether you're homosexual, heterosexual, or both.

Oh, and statistically you make more money as well. But you're less comfortable on airplanes, and Asian minibuses, so it's impossible to know if it's a net benefit or not...


>Oh, and statistically you make more money as well. But you're less comfortable on airplanes, and Asian minibuses, so it's impossible to know if it's a net benefit or not...

Don't forget shorter lifespans, back issues, discomfort in most vehicles, difficulty finding clothes furniture and bedding (unless you're well off) and instant contempt from any male shorter than 5'9".


And washing the dishes is also uncomfortable and always get wet unless you squat all the time. :)


I'm above the 95th percentile in male height, and have never experienced contempt from short men. Must be friendly.

I'm also below the 99th percentile, which is where most of what you describe starts to kick in.

Lucky me, I guess. I do have to put up with my knees pressing into the back of airplane seats...


I'm 99th percentile, 6'6". If I had to pick a height it would be 6'4".

There are certainly benefits, but most people ignore the drawbacks when discussing height. I like to put it in perspective for shorter men who feel unlucky as well.

The argument about attraction makes no sense to me either. People reporting they like tall people also care about other traits. If you find a partner who fetishises you just for your height you really haven't gained anything, it's still just as hard to find actual love.

Let's not even get into the advanced math required to find positions that work with an average sized partner.


> If you find a partner who fetishises you just for your height you really haven't gained anything, it's still just as hard to find actual love.

Truly... it's similar to how a dashingly handsome hollywood heartthrob has no real advantages over somebody who looks like Quasimodo with smallpox.

The former has to wonder if their beautiful successful wife decided to have the family he always wanted with him because she loves them or if they only did it because he's a sexual object.

Whereas the latter may face personal and professional consequences for making the exact same advances the former would be rewarded for and thus is prone to self-isolation for fear of societal reprimand. He gets to live in a wonderful world of woke cynicism.


Yeah, 6'4" is probably the sweet spot. I'm a bit short of glory there, but I'm not complaining.

Fetishizing height might be more of an issue at your lofty stature, along with the thin air and whatnot. It's not what I'm talking about. Height is like facial symmetry, there aren't any downsides (talking about 90-98% here) and it just means more occasions when your crush crushes back. At the margins, this is a plus.

Everyone makes up for their deficits by playing to their strengths. It's important to acknowledge which is which.

Worth noting that sexual attraction isn't the only place this comes up, there's robust evidence that everyone, male, female, and otherwise, considers taller men to be more trustworthy(!), better leaders, and the list goes on. It's deeply unfair of course, but it is what it is.


There are all things out of our control. I can't control other people's attraction. I can't control someone hiring me or paying me more because I'm tall, hell you can't really even measure that on an individual level. These are basically genie rules, right? No love/attraction.

Want to know what is in our control? not charging extra money in order for someone to not hurt themselves on an airplane because they fall outside the bounds of average.


The problem is that everyone wants that extra leg room, not just the exceptionally tall.

Reserving the good seats for the height-advantaged is discrimination against short people, who are already discriminated against for personal characteristics beyond their control.

Suck it up and pay extra.


This is a disingenuous take. There's a big difference between a shorter person wanting extra leg room because it's nice to have, and someone being in actual physical pain because they couldn't afford / weren't quick enough to get one of the few seats they can actually fit in.


It's not.

There's no such thing as fair allocation of a scarce resource. Offering it at a surcharge is, in my not-disingenuous opinion, the least unfair option for this particular one.

Outright reserving it for tall people is discrimination against the short. There are other reasons someone might want the emergency row which are just as legitimate, knee surgery leaps to mind. Should we make a comprehensive list? How do we determine if someone is just lying to get the premium leg room?

I'm open to the argument that the federal government should mandate a larger minimum seat distance. But then, I'm not poor.

As I said, there's no fair way to allocate a scare resource, only degrees of unfairness.


A surcharge would be appropriate if it was proportional to the space used.

But you're completely wrong on the "discrimination against the short" front. Imagine if everyone that can easily walk demanded a wheelchair and cried discrimination if they didn't get one.


This actually happens. Ask your flight attendant friends about “miracle cures” walking off their flights after using wheelchairs to board.


They don't openly admit to not needing one at all, while still demanding one, do they? And if they did, they'd be obviously wrong to cry discrimination, right?


>the least unfair option for this particular one.

Nah dude, the least unfair option is to make sure everyone isn't in pain. After that, charge money, do whatever...but your option to literally hurt people for the way they were born sucks and breeds contempt.


> I don't like having to pay more money because I was born a different size.

If you eat more than the average person do you also expect grocery stores to give you extra food at no extra cost?


In an ideal world, no one would have to take on extra responsibilities for being born outside the average. I'm 6'5". I eat more than someone who's 6'0". It sucks that I'm taxed because of the way I was born.


If you take up more space, you cost more. And even with an extra leg room cost, prices for flights are cheaper than ever.


> I don't like having to pay more money because I was born a different size.

But you're fine with paying extra for more screen estate on your phone?

I'd gladly pay less - or more (I don't care either way, I just want the option!) - for a smaller footprint phone.


Personally I'd be fine with it if it was comparable. By that I mean 10% more leg room equates to a ~10% increase in airline ticket price. But currently business class tickets are significantly more expensive - sometimes 200%+


If I had a disability that required a larger screen, I wouldn't want to pay extra for it...if that's what you're getting at.


It's really not. I would simply like the option of having smaller size mobile phones available on the market. I don't really give a shit if they are differently priced. If they only existed that would be a huge improvement from the current situation.


For me phone size is not about human size. I'm tall person and my finger are quite long. It's about one-hand use. I was able to use iPhone 4S with one hand and it was convenient, not some kind of stretch. It's just not possible with iPhone 8. I'd pay good price for 3.5" iPhone 4S with modern internals.

That said, this boat has been sailed. Modern apps won't work on tiny screens because their developers optimize for large screens, so it's a pointless desire.


Agree! And have definitely noticed this both on websites and apps, that sometimes for example it's impossible to highlight a field that's buried behind the keyboard.

One would think that you'd test the whole iPhone range when developing, since it's actually doable (compared to the Android landscape with infinite resolutions) but no.

I'm not blaming Apple for that though.


I don’t understand why people don’t see this!

It wouldn’t be so bad if the phone had a window manager and you could keep everything you wanted in a corner (although the iPhone 7 digitizer feels less accurate than the SE was so maybe that wouldn’t work so well.)


I’m in the same boat as you. I waited until iPhone 6 to buy my first iPhone precisely because the previous ones were too small for my usage. But, I full get the appeal for a smaller phone. I don’t expect Apple would revert back to the SE size though. They’re clearly optimising their manufacturing process to “eat leftovers” and reuse pipelines


Buy a seat in a cabin nearer the front. Buy a larger car.

These options are available, there’s nothing for people who want to have a hand sized phone.


I'm in your boat here. I have pretty large hands, and I've always regretted not getting the XL size of my Pixel 2.


Kitchen counters, too.


Nice choice on the XZ2. Like you I picked up a phone from the Xperia line. It's an older model than yours, namely the Z1 Compact, which I chose after filtering for form factor, LineageOS support, and price. I wrote about it here: https://hallau.world/post/the-perfect-android-phone/


That's a great little table you've built there, highly useful for finding new phones with LineageOS in mind, bookmarked! I wish I would've found it a week ago...

It seems that for support is not fully there yet for the XZ2 Compact, camera is still a work-in-progress, unfortunately: https://forum.xda-developers.com/xperia-xz2/development/rom-...

But once that's sorted out I might be tempted to switch, or at the latest when I run out of official Sony updates.


My previous phone, a Sony Z5 Compact, was sadly one of the worse phone experiences I ever had, software wise. I used it for 4 years and in the end it was sooo slow that was unbearable (maybe the internal storage degraded?). Battery life was great thou, 2 whole days when I bought it and in the end it was about 30 hours but after 4 years it was better then newer, just unpacked phones.


Wow, the Z1C is pretty old. Do you have any trouble with battery life?

I used to run a Z3C, but after some of the seals got loose I upgraded to an XZ1C. It's near perfect for me, and I don't know where I'm going to go next for a compact phone.


> Wow, the Z1C is pretty old. Do you have any trouble with battery life?

z1c battery is cheap and not too hard to replace. all you need is a hair drier, credit card and adhesive to stick the back cover again.

i’ve replaced mine in like 10 minutes after watching instruction on yt


I also had a Z3C and upgraded to an XZ1C. I liked the Z3C's rounded rectangle design as the XZ1C can be uncomfortable to hold in certain configurations. And I liked the color tones for the Z3C more. Other than that I'm very happy with the XZ1C. I hope they put out another phone with the shape of the Z3C and the specs of current flagships.

I did have the same issue on the z3c with the seals coming loose. Eventually the glass panels got loose too.


Wow, nice article! Bookmarked.


It's funny that 5" smartphone is branded as "compact" :D


It is compact compared to the competition!


Dell Mini 5, 2010, oh how people laughed at my clown phone, now it's 'pocket size'!


I'm hoping this recent announcement will highlight the gap left in the market for 4-inch phones.


a couple months ago i got a Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact to replace my Z5 Compact (4.6") - they are hard to find new!

i'm waiting eagerly for the camera focus bug to be fixed in oemv6 firmware to flash TWRP & Lineage and try it as a daily driver:

https://forum.xda-developers.com/xperia-xz2/development/rom-...

for now, my Z5 Compact is still going strong but has known noise cancellation mic issues (hardware) that cause echo on the other end of some calls.


> they are hard to find new!

I know! I found a single online store in my country selling them. There were lots of listings but in all stores except one they were sold out.

I was just looking at that XDA thread today and yeah, once the camera issues are fixed I'll probably be looking at flashing Lineage. At the latest once the official Sony updates stop coming in. Or if the next one brings back the bloatware I've removed..


I know a few people that still have the SE, and for all of them it was mainly about the size. That and a belief that they didn't want to be glued to their phone all the time. So the benefit was a combination of the smaller size being more ergonomic, plus the fact that less content fit on the screen was actually a pro for them because the extra friction encourages wasting less time on it.

It does seem weird that instead of continuing to serve this market, Apple assumes everyone wants their same large form factor and it's only a matter of price.

On the other hand, maybe we're just in a bubble. Trying to avoid consumer tech even though you could easily afford it is a rather niche, privileged view of a subset of people that work in tech. Maybe outside this bubble there's a much larger group of people who do want the big, more up to date designs and price is the only consideration.


> It does seem weird that instead of continuing to serve this market, Apple assumes everyone wants their same large form factor and it's only a matter of price.

The problem there is that they can't get the smaller form factor, +nice specs, at that low price but at a higher price it would probably not sell as good because the SE line always had that air of "more affordable iPhone" to it.

That why this new SE is exactly iPhone 8 dimensions, to a point where Apple even confirmed that iPhone 8 cases will be compatible with the new SE.

So it stands to reason that they retooled a lot of their 4.7-inch production to make this "SE" as affordable as it is.

Trying to put all of that into a 4-inch screen form factor like the original SE, would require sourcing completely different parts, require much more retooling of already existing manufacturing processes, for many parts, there'd be zero overlaps with their other products.

So while people like me prioritize the 4-inch screen smaller form-factor, Apple chose to embrace the SE as a "budget iPhone" brand that makes all the other "budget" competition look like really outdated and lame ducks.

Which is most certainly a bigger market than people prioritizing size of the device over anything else.


> So while people like me prioritize the 4-inch screen smaller form-factor, Apple chose to embrace the SE as a "budget iPhone" brand that makes all the other "budget" competition look like really outdated and lame ducks.

In fairness, 4.7 inches is now a very small phone. So small in fact that you have basically no options that small in the Android line, and no recent iPhones that small either, if I'm not mistaken.

As a lifelong Android user, I'm very grateful that this exists. I detest just about everything about the Apple ecosystem and dislike the design of most of their products I've tried, but I will be getting an SE next time I have to get a new phone unless Android has responded, simply because that's the only way to get a quality phone that small. Even if it means giving up Firefox, for example.


> As a lifelong Android user, I'm very grateful that this exists. I detest just about everything about the Apple ecosystem and dislike the design of most of their products I've tried, but I will be getting an SE next time I have to get a new phone unless Android has responded, simply because that's the only way to get a quality phone that small. Even if it means giving up Firefox, for example.

You don't have to "give up" Firefox, per se. I use Firefox and "Firefox Focus" every day from my iPhone X. Sure, Firefox doesn't use Gecko on Mobile, but a ton of core Firefox features work great: Sync, Send Tab to Device, AirDrop, etc.


No addons though, I assume. That's whole point of Firefox on a phone for me. WebKit / Blink based browsers have much better performance. (I don't use any of the features you mentioned, though of course that's just specific to me. Maybe other people would find Firefox on an iPhone useful.)


> In fairness, 4.7 inches is now a very small phone. So small in fact that you have basically no options that small in the Android line, and no recent iPhones that small either, if I'm not mistaken.

You have to look at the physical dimensions though. A 4.7 display edge-to-edge would be truly compact, but this one has a huge bezel so it's closer in size to the flagships and not really compact.


Yeah, I didn't realize quite how big it is. Strange ... why not just make the screen bigger instead of releasing a new phone with a bezel that large? Is it really that much cheaper to do?


IMO they just want to reuse iPhone 8 factories like they reused iPhone 5S factories releasing SE 1.


You want your manufacturers to reuse infrastructure they've already built. Ultimately, you are the one paying for any new infrastructure, not them.

It's called an investment because they make more money on something than they put into it. That money is coming from you.


pretty sure the user you're replying to was merely explaining that Apple made the SE larger due to manufacturing convenience, rather than any ideas about optimal size.


Well, it's an economic use of their existing assets and resources, considering what else is currently happening, on a global basis, that's a really smart choice.

COVID-19 means that in the coming year a lot of people will have a lot less money to spend, not exactly the best time to cater to the luxury $1000+ phone sector branding yourself with exclusivity.


The 5S and the SE for me was mainly about being minimalist.

Size was a big part of it, but it was also that the SE was a really good design that should last for years. Up until this announcement, I was going to have the battery replaced on the SE. The bigger issue is if Apple will continue to support the 1st gen SE with iOS.

My wife prefer the bigger phones. She has aphantasia. I don't, and often hold visualizations of things I can't see.

It eventually dawned on me that people buy those things to attach to the back of their phone because you _couldn't_ safely hold and operate the bigger phone with a single hand without that attachment.


I believe it has been announced that iOS 14 will support the same phones as iOS 13, has it not?


Well, iOS 14 will only be formally announced by Apple in WWDC, which is in June. Apple hasn’t mentioned that release name anywhere yet. So any announcements you may have seen on device support would be speculations or rumors.


The existence of iOS 14 hasn’t been announced let alone device support.


Has not been announced. But the 6S/SE are the oldest devices supported by iOS 13, so I won't be surprised if they're dropped.


Keep in mind that the old SE was still being sold by Apple until just a year and a half ago (discontinued in Sep 2018). Generally, their devices can be expected to be supported for several years after they were newly purchased. I would be quite surprised if iOS 14 drops it, and have some hope for the release after that even.


Meh, I have aphantasia and an SE...


Well, good for you? I don't know why my wife prefers the bigger screen, but I came to accept that she experiences the world differently than I do, and prefers the bigger screen.


Anecdote fight!


> That and a belief that they didn't want to be glued to their phone all the time.

This made me think of another reason they are cutting smaller form factor phones, maybe not valid.

It could be that manufacturers of mobile phones are optimizing for engagement (see: apple switching revenue to services), and the engagement metrics on smaller form factor phones are lower, so they want people using less of them. They only want you to be able to buy a larger phone, because they want you to engage with your phone more.


The bigger the phone, the larger the surface area for the battery that they can put on it. I suspect that's the primary engineering concern driving it, and it just so happens that customers either like, or haven't balked, at large screens.


Wouldn't a smaller screen with a thicker phone last longer? Less screen area to light up.

I'm curious what the tradeoff is on increased energy consumption is with the larger screen / larger battery / thin phone setup.


Yep. A screen's power consumption grows with the surface area of the screen (w * h) whereas a battery's capacity grows with the volume of the battery (w * h * d).

I think the dominant market pressures so far has been practical concerns like phone thickness and battery life so manufacturers - who are all also competing with their past products - are forced to sacrifice screen size options to compete. Now screen size is becoming unwieldy and screens/batteries have steadily improved so we might swing back the other way.


You could double up on gains on a smaller phone by reducing the screen resolution, which reduces the power demand on the chip managing the display, and so on. Back when I had the Nexus 4, at 720p, I never felt it was pixelated or annoying. Then again, I don't watch movies on my phone either.


On the other hand, given an OLED screen, where energy cost only grows proportionally to the number of pixels receiving power, you could slap a big screen on the phone "for watching movies" but have the phone display a smaller screen centered on it (with black bars around) most of the time. I have a feeling this is the direction the industry would go, if battery life truly became a concern.


I would be happy if they added 1mm thickness to my SE and left the rest. That would allow for quite a bit more battery.


The impractical aspect to that idea is that it would mean creating a new accessories variant. Keeping the same physical dimensions as a previous phone means compatible cases are already available from hundreds of accessory makers.


They absolutely do, services are a larger and larger part of Apple's income.

I believe that's a reason why Screen Time is so bad - it's not a feature, it's just marketing's objection killer.


Why would any phone manufacturer beside Apple care about engagement? No other (non Chinese) OEM makes money from services after the phone is sold.


Do the bundled bloatware deals depend on engagement?


Yeah, that's fair.


I still have my SE, for very good reasons:

1. HEADPHONE JACK. Selling music- and media-centric devices without headphone jacks is stupid and offensive.

2. Ergonomics: FLAT SIDES. You can grip the old SE. Rounded edges are stupid, because the phone wants to flip sideways out of your grip.

And the new SE still uses the Lightning port, which is technically incompetent in addition to being proprietary.


You're getting downvoted (I guess because of the all caps and self proclaimed very good reasons?) but you are absolutely correct. Headphone jack + ergonomics + modern processor + price were the key selling points for me on the previous iteration.


I'm thinking to buy SE 1 while I can, even though I own 8. If I would break my 8, I'll either return to SE 1 or change to Android. I don't like new iPhones at all. I don't even like iPhone 8, I just bought it for its internals and I thought that I'll get used to big screen. Turns out, I did not.

The only good thing about 8 is that it's kind of water-resistant, so I can read books in my bath.


Damn. I just said upthread that I (an Android user who has never owned an iPhone) would make it my next phone because of the form factor, but you're absolutely right about this. I had forgotten. I certainly won't ever be buying a phone without a traditional headphone jack.


Hate to say it, but you should probably be eying your next phone based on what is on the market now - new models with headphone jacks are increasingly unlikely.


Then I won't be getting a new phone. I'm quite serious.

That said, the situation doesn't seem to be as dire as that. Last I checked there seem to be plenty of inexpensive phones that "still" have headphone jacks. It's ironically the top end of the market where people buy phones for signalling that you can't get them.


I’m still on my 6s+ for the headphone jack. And I really see no reason to upgrade, anyway.

But I would pay good money for a new iPhone with a headphone jack, if anyone at Apple is listening. Make it the pro super-duper model, with a $200 premium: I’m in.

But alas, I’m stuck on 6s+ for what seems like a foreseeable future.


Main thing for me is size in the hand and squared off sides. I find anything with rounded edges I can't hold on to and just hits the floor constantly... little better with a case, but that makes the phones just that much bigger and less comfortable. I can't bring myself to let go of the old SE's.... of which I keep two around just in case.


I found the iPhone 5 the slipperiest phone I’ve ever held. The texture seems designed to minimise friction between the phone and your hand, and the square edges make sure as little as possible of the back is in contact with it too!


Hm, at 4.7" this might be a bit bigger than the original SE (4.0" I think?), but I think it's still among the smallest phone on the market, no? Are there even any smaller?


It's apparently the format of the 6~8 (which incidentally is likely why the 8/8+ was discontinued at the same time).

So it's quite a bit bigger than the original SE, though the biggest issue I had with the design (on a 6S anyway) was that the metal back and rounded edge made it much slippier than the old 4/5/SE design, much harder to hold securely.

Anyway the SE/2016 was 123.8mm x 58.6mm x 7.6mm and 114g with a 4" display, the 8 was 138.4mm x 67.3mm x 7.3mm and 148g with a 4.7" display.

Significantly heavier (+30%), noticeably wider (+12%) and taller (+15%) and about the same depth (-4%).


Thanks for the numbers. That is bigger.

Are there any Android phones for sale that are smaller than 138.4mm x 67.3mm though? (That are 'standard' phones, not gimmicky super small ones like the unihertz).

Some of the Android phones that seem to be known for being 'compact' are the Samsung Galaxy S10e (142.2 x 69.9). Google Pixel 4 (147.1 x 68.8) (slightly smaller Google Pixel 3, 145.6 x 68.2).

I'm having trouble googling to figure out the smallest 'reasonable' android phone available, I'm not super familiar with the market.

Aha! Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is only 135mm x 65mm. Found one! Few mm smaller.

But I think the new SE may still be one of the smallest phones out there, even if it's bigger than the old SE. The market seems to have moved... larger.

There are certainly people (including me) who would prefer it be the old SE size... but it's not like there's really anywhere else for us to go. Except experimenting with the specialized 'oddballs' like unihertz.

With the new SE, Apple has still put out one of the smallest phones on the market, so is still serving the smaller end of the market. Which, yeah, that is weird.


I had a work issued 6s and kept it in my left front pocket.

When I would get into the car, it would eject out of my pocket, as I closed the door.

So, it can definitely handle being smashed in a car door, but it did bend it, and it still worked.

Still have and use an SE w 128MB size for personal use.


> 128MB

Surely you mean 128 GB? ;)


Oops. Yes.


Can’t remember the last time I’ve seen any iPhone in the wild without some kind of armor.


Anecdotal; I never see anyone with a phone case these days, aside from my partner who has a screen protector + thick case because she is very clumsy.


I hate screen cases. But I bought one for iPhone 8 because this thing is not made to be used without case. I dropped it first day, it's just not convenient to hold. I had 4S for 6 years before and never dropped it.

iPhones went downwards as Jobs died.


FWIW I firmly believe that the protruding camera array is a confirmation that they intend for phones to be in cases. There's no way it lies flush on a desk without a case.

It feels like really poor design unless that was the express intent.


The design is fine, if ugly on a phone, but it’s utterly bonkers on an iPad, which you put down on a table to write on and doesn’t even see that much camera usage…


Had the same experience with a 6S, coming from a 4s.

Don’t know if it’s the phone or me but the 11 is fine so far.

I think it’s a mix of the 6-8 design being too thin for rounded borders and the metal back being super slippery compared to glass.


The 6/6s/7 had an aluminum back, but the 8 and now the new SE have a glass back, presumably to support wireless charging.


Just to add a different perspective: I never used a case for any of my iPhones or iPads. I refuse to hide that mostly beautiful body in a cheap, or even high quality, permanent case.

And yet I have still sold all of those dozen devices in flawless, virtually pristine condition when it became time to upgrade. I think the secret is to use a lightweight, thin textile sleeve [1] during transport, in your pocket or bag. Plus, it also serves as a soft bedding when your device is resting on a table or other hard surfaces. It also has a microfiber inner lining, which combined with the snug fit keeps the display clean.

Sorry for sounding so ecstatic about a sleeve, but I always wondered why temporary sleeve usage wasn’t more popular compared to those dreadful permanent cases.

[1] https://shop.fitbag.de/jive-grau-handytasche-nach-mass.html

edit: I thought I was replying to the grand parent. Well, it’s not a different perspective then.


...as someone who absolutely loves big phones - I am on the other side of this argument.

I read and watch shows on my phone constantly, and screen size is a major factor for me. I specifically buy clothes with larger pockets to accommodate.

I agree that choice would be better - but I imagine that economies of scale sometimes means having only one size for everyone if you want to keep them cheaper than the competition.


Here's the rub; I'm glad you have your fill of phones to choose from. But consider that I (and many others) have nothing.

If the situation was reversed I would not argue against larger phones, in fact, I was part of that generation when the iPhone 4, 4s, 5 et al. were being released and over in Android Land the OnePlus One was coming out (legitimately called a Phablet)- I welcomed the choice. It wasn't for me of course but more variety is great.

Unfortunately choice has been removed and I regret celebrating the new form factor thoroughly.

What I'm trying to convey is that: I'm glad you have choice, please give me back mine. And I would graciously ask that if you're ever in a conversation about large phones vs small phones you don't take the stance of arguing against the existence of smaller phones simply because you have a preference for the current standard of sizing.


It's amazing how personal conversations about consumer tech can get. Your comment struck me as being a tad too emotional for what is, ultimately, a relatively mundane aspect of life.

But maybe I'm wrong, and you have your reasons.

I guess part of it is our impotence in the face of a multibillion-dollar ecosystem of mass-produced products, and the realization that we're (apparently) irrelevant (I share your distaste for large phones).

Anyway, I too hope smaller phones become commonplace again.


Consider that for many of us, our phones are now quite literally painful to use one-handed, and we have no alternatives - for devices that most of us use for at least an hour or two a day and is often our primary tech device when not actually at a desk.

My Pixel 3 at the time I bought it was one of the smallest decent quality phones that wasn't iOS, and even after a year and a half I still notice how much my hand has to contort for basic usage.


It's a computing device I use for at least a couple hours every day, and which I never leave the house without. Once my current phone breaks I'd just like to buy a new one I can keep in my pants pocket :)


It's a bit personal but it highlights the trend of going in only one direction without regard to a big subset of users. But in the end it's just mundane as you said it, we could probably just do without


Did I really just read this?

You're upset that someone likes big phones because there are so many big phones?

This is really one of the most bizarre comments I've seen on this website.

We're not talking about rationing our food resources during a great depression where someone chimed in with "but I like excess rations!" while you get none. Nobody here has the power to change the size of manufactured phones with their two cent internet comments. What's the emotional bargaining for?

I really hope we can find a way to move beyond our hysterical fixation on gadgets and their grapple over our happiness. It's just a phone. It's just a laptop. It's just a smart toaster.


> Did I really just read this?

Yes, You really did just read this. But I think you took the wrong message away.

The parent "Would argue against" small phones, because they prefer larger phones.

I am asking him in the most sincere way I know to not argue against smaller phones because their preferences are currently well served. However mine haven't been nearly met in years.

I find the rest of your comment very bad faith, this is a first world problem _of course_ but this is a topic about a new phone and I haven't been able to buy a new phone in 4 years at this point. At some point the EOL will strike my phone and I'll be essentially forced (by application support, website performance, lack of browser updates whatever) to carry something that feels more like a mini ipad or tablet than a "phone".

Look, Phones are a central point of our lives today; I do my banking on it, I pay my bills on it, I order food with it. I literally pay for everything with it. It's not unreasonable that there is at least a modicum of variety that _isn't_ camera based.


I don't understand the bargaining. Was that HNer the CEO of Samsung? What's the point of all this beyond catharsis?


Ok, I'll explain it then.

Person A is enjoying the status quo.

Person B is having a hard time with the status quo.

Person B complains, asking to be included.

Person A complains, "I don't have a problem"

Producer (C) sees the bickering as a muddled frenzy, unable to understand if there is a need or people are being fussy.

--

If you are in a position to discuss phone sizes and someone floats the notion of a smaller phone. And you would "actively" argue against that- Then I would like you to not do that. Not because you're the CEO of samsung, but because someone who could convey critical information to the CEO of samsung might be swayed into inaction (because inaction is easier after all) by those comments.


Iphone SE user here. Big screens is why I have an iPad in the house. Small form factor is why I have an iPhone SE in the pocket. My iPad gets _much_ more use than my iPhone. I'm not out and about much, even before the virus. I see phones sticking out of people's pockets and it makes no sense to me.


My perfect Apple ecosystem would be a standalone watch that makes phone calls, initiate text messages, and can pair to my car via CarPlay. Basically do all the things that my phone does right now w/o needing the iPhone.

My phone is simply the conduit that everything flows through - I have everything routed to Mac, iPad, etc. My phone is just on a table next to my keys so I don't forget to pick it up on the way out the door.


Which of the things you listed are missing from the current Apple watch?


The Apple Watch has to have an iPhone paired to support calls which means you need to own and activate an iPhone with a carrier.

I tried to get this setup with a cellular Apple Watch and a cellular iPad but it ultimately meant I didn't have a cellular phone number that could enable the Watch to take calls.


I use both android and apple. Recently got a ipod touch to replace my iphone. I don't understand the need for huge phones. We've got a bunch of ipad pro 12.9" for general tablet tasks.

Now I common carry an android and ipod touch tethered. Best of both worlds. The samsung is small too.


I never understood watching stuff on a phone given tablets, laptops, PCs, smartTVs and even VR headsets. But then again, I take my laptop everywhere and use it for everything when there's a choice between the two.


Not everyone has the necessity or ability to carry around a laptop with them everywhere. The convenience of a 6.5"+ screen is great if you are away from a laptop.


True, but for watching video? Is the need that common away from home/office/workspace? I get YT videos, which often don't need as big a screen, but movies and tv shows on a phone?


Have you actually compared the view of a phone that is inches away from you face to a Tv that is a few yards away from you?

Besides that, have you thought that everyone’s lifestyle may not be just like yours?


I don't watch tv a few yards away, but point taken people have different lifestyles and needs. I should have rephrased the context to be my surprise that the big phones came to totally dominate the market, when it makes them harder to handle and more cumbersome to keep on your person. I didn't think consuming content would completely trump that, not with the simultaneous rise of tablets. Choice is good.


Go to any public transport commuter city and the buses and trains are rammed with people watching tv in their phones


Your TV isn’t at least 9 feet away from you?


Only if I'm at someone else's place. I watch on a monitor two feet away.


You do realize how atypical that is, don’t you?


What? Watching things on your computer is atypical? These days, I'd argue owning a TV is atypical.


96% of households in the US own a TV

https://www.adweek.com/tv-video/nielsen-estimates-that-119-9...

Are we really going to do the whole Slashdot meme “Do people still watch TV? I haven’t owned a TV in 10 years”.


I often end up watching TV on a phone when I'm on a bus/train. Though I'm not too bothered about the size.


Before quarantine many people watched videos only during commute as they were too busy working at work and housekeeping at home.


Movies, no. Casual TV shows, yes.


When I'm in a plane, in coach, watching on my phone is way more comfortable than pulling out my 15 inch MBP.


Put your phone in a transparent sandwich bag, and tape the bag to the top of the sear in front


Back when I was going minimalist and traveling more, I learned to watch my shows on the phone. I would lay on the couch or in bed and watch it with headphones. I ditched my desktop. For me, it was about having a few, high quality tech than a profusion of tech. If a device can serve multiple purposes, even better.

Now I am more settled and have a family, I watch things on my phone a lot less.


I understand, but wouldn't a tablet have worked better for that, in addition to reading and browsing? It's not a like a tablet takes up that much room or weight.


Being minimalist is about what works specifically for that person. What seems to work for you doesn't mean it works for me. I have spent effort at intentionally designing my life and environment. Not having a tablet at that time was an intentional decision on my part.

Rather than using a tablet, I was using a Kindle Paperwhite so that I can take my library with me. I don't use it to browse the web.

I have quite a bit I use my SE, including Evernotes, my meditation timer, my Go client, etc. I don't actually need a tablet.

I have a tablet now. More because my wife and the T-mobile guy convinced me that I can use it as a backup 2FA device with Krypton. There are some use-cases that I am looking to incorporate things with... but again, I don't actually need it. I probably won't take it with me when I travel.


Public Transit, being in a place that doesn't have places to put things down on.


I guess, but seems weird to me to watch video on public transport instead of listening to music or a podcast, or reading something (which I do use my phone for). Then again, I don't have good public transport where I live, so I don't spend time on it to know.

But it's more about do enough people want to watch video in public or on the go such that large phones became the dominating choice?


And the same question, why does it seem “weird” that other people have different preferences than you?


Fair enough, but I edited my comment to add that it surprises me that this preference became the popular one. The reason being that in a public place, people can often see what you're watching and there are potentially a lot of distractions, plus on transport the ride might won't always be smooth.


> people can often see what you're watching

Given your handle I can understand your concern...


Yeah it doesn't really mean that ...


> I guess, but seems weird to me to watch video on public transport instead of listening to music or a podcast, or reading something

... Why?


Watching TV is, for some people, a Very Important Activity

I don't get it myself, but for whatever reason a lot of people do enjoy this. I'm guessing as a coping mechanism. Probably in the same vein as reading books/news, or playing video games etc.

I have an old friend who every night picks out some criterion collection DVD to watch, and posts about it on social media before/during/after.

That said, I have a tablet I use for long-form reading/youtube (90%+ reading) during train/ferry rides > 10 min, but obviously haven't had to use it much recently. Mostly reading.


I like to watch lots of videos and television sometimes but not all the time. Ive lately transitioned to watching YouTube / Netflix . Also, when I want to learn something I try to look for Youtube videos that are relevant.


Can I carry around a tablet, laptop, desktop, smart TV around in my pocket?


Do you need to? I'll modify my biased opinion and ask, does everyone need to such that phablets became the industry norm?


But your needs/desires are well catered to by the many many large phones. My needs/desires are completely ignored in the marketplace (maybe too few people agree with me). I tried larger phones. For a year or so I had a iPhone XS, but I absolutely hated it. So a month ago I upgraded it to a used SE, which I love.


I think as people age and seeing things clearly requires you hold them at arm's length, smaller screens will lose their appeal.

But young people, especially teenagers, wow they can still focus at the ends of their noses.


for me, devices of different sizes do different things; I carry a lot of specialized devices, from a small laptop to a giant e reader to a regular sized ereader to a cellphone to a watch, and for me? the thing that is currently missing is a thing I can input text on with one hand (while doing something with the other hand) the SE original filled that gap; the iphone 7 is slightly too large to comfortably input text with using one hand, it's a little cramped to input text with two, at least for my hands.)

I should try one of those pop-out deals and see if it makes using the iphone 7 with one hand practical.


I spent 20-odd years enjoying how how mobile phones went from being huge 2-3 pound 'bricks' all the way down to the Nokia 100 gram 'chocolate bars' of the mid-2000s that fitted beautifully in my shirt pocket.

Then I watched in disbelief as phones began getting more and more swollen every year and got too large to hold comfortably in one hand. (or fit in your top pocket)

Time and again the phone-shop salesmen would look sideways at me when I said I didn't want the latest and greatest offering, but one of the older and smaller phones. My current phone is an iPhone 5S that I have kept for several years.


Can recommend the older iPhone SE. Same size and shape, upgraded specs, latest OS.


Agreed. In terms of form the iPhone 5 was best. The last iphone that could be used one-handed.


If they'd have minimal bezels, for comfort, in an iPhone 5 body we'd have about ~5.2" available for the screen. Unfortunately keeping the bezels for the fingerprint reader, earpiece, and front camera (~60% screen to body ratio) means that while it would fit better in small hands, the small screen may not give a great experience with today's content (sites, apps), or our eyes.

My old iPod Touch 5th gen. was quite a shocker for everyone who nostalgically reminisced about the good old times of small screens. I guess it depends what one expects from the phone.


To me this is the opposite of what I want in a small phone. It is less the physical size, rather that since 99.9% of all my usage is one handed, I need my thumb to be able to reach anywhere on the screen. With the ability to have minimal bezels, my preference would be to shrink the phone to meet the screen, not to enlarge the screen.


Why not put the fingerprint reader at the side or at the back? That would help a lot


I never understood why Apple kept putting it on the front. It's so much better on the back like it is on most Android phones. You can unlock the phone without having to adjust your grip on it, which is great.

This home button/fingerprint reader combo is taking up so much precious real estate on what is a small device, and I just don't get it. It seems like bad design to me.


> on the back like it is on most Android phones

The jury is solidly still out on the "better" part. There's no consensus between customers on this topic. Manufacturers who placed the fingerprint sensor (and power button, earlier) on the back, or even the side despite the clear disadvantage of having a tiny sensor, did so to make the bottom bezel slightly smaller, not because of proven better ergonomics. And given the opportunity they switched back to the front, under the screen. Most also chase thinness at the price of smaller batteries which says nothing about the soundness of the decision.

> This home button/fingerprint reader combo is taking up so much precious real estate

The button is there because the design comes from a time when the screens were small so on-screen buttons were a waste, and the body needed to be large enough to accommodate everything else. This phone is an iPhone 8 with a better SoC. It's not a new design or even a redesign.

The design isn't bad, it's old. And it's old so it can be cheap. They achieved a worthwhile result a pricepoint where at the very least it provides exceptional software support and a current generation SoC. There are few phones that serve that segment (OP5 was pretty much the last one in the price range - good SoC, OKish support, regular old bezels). You can freely sacrifice this for better screen to body ratio phones if that quality is more appealing.


You make it sound like the iphone 8 came out ages ago. It was two and a half years ago. We were long past the point of on-screen buttons being a waste, or the body needing to be larger. In phone-land this isn't an old design, it's a retro design. It doesn't save money to do it this way.


> You make it sound like the iphone 8 came out ages ago.

The design features relevant for this discussion (bezels, physical button) didn't come out with the iPhone 8. I'm counting the age of the design since it was first introduced, not since last use. It is an old, successful design which leads to a cheaper phone.

> It doesn't save money to do it this way.

Of course it does. Any new design and part made for this phone implies extra expenses - new tooling, assembly lines, supply chains, etc. This drives up the cost and price of the phone. And you can't save money by sharing/reusing too much of what you have in place for your flagship line because for every $400 phone you make you took capacity away from a $1000 phone. So old stuff gets reused. You get a much cheaper phone by slightly upgrading the $300 iPhone 8 than the $800 iPhone 11. Works like this in every industry.


I have used android phones with a backside fingerprint scanner and it worked really well. Apple can be incredibly stubborn some time and hold onto something for way too long. It was the same with the one button mouse.


Probably to allow unlocking without lifting it off the surface it's on.


The main button was on the front, so they integrated the fingerprint reader into it. Moving the main button to the side or back might have worked but would have been non-intuitive for many users (e.g. my mom just realized her iPhone 11 that she got launch day has a mute switch, and that she has had it engaged for weeks). A back fingerprint sensor would also require some gestures to change, such as swipe to unlock - attempting a complex motion while also attempting to reposition your grip to hit a sensor on the back is going to increase drop rate.

They got rid of the button and the fingerprint sensor in one go, so there was never an opportunity to have just a fingerprint sensor on the back.


It's frankly one of the reasons I got rid of my iPhone 6S shortly after buying it, for another Android phone. A lot of Apple's ergonomic choices just seemed bizarre to me compared to most Android devices. I'm sure they've gotten better since, but things like the fingerprint reader on the front were in my opinion bizarre and made me have to completely hold the phone different just for my fingerprint, where on most Android phones my finger is already right there in its normal usage position in my hand.


Which is why Apple created Face ID to solve this problem.


that's something many people would've hoped. but Apple product cycle is re-cycle. so the R&D of this SE allows going to target price while keeping their expected revenue.

Sadly as I'm not getting any younger my SE 4" becomes harder on my eyes and my decision of having 16GB at the time got it to be filled. though it's really the best phone and most reliable phone I had. (that's btw a pro for using the iPhone 6s -> 8 design including fixes for bendgate/audio ic/etc at least I hope so)


The screen on the old iphone SE (i.e. the iphone 5 body) still seems fine to me when using it with today's content. About a year ago I upgraded from one to an iphone XR but on the occasions I use the smaller phone it still seems fine.


a 5.4" iPhone has been consistently rumored for this fall, would have an "6/7/8 Plus" screen in your 5-series form factor.


I am operating my iPhone 7 one-handed as we speak


Not ergonomically if you have an average hand size.


I have above-average hands and I do operate iPhone 7 one-handed. But reaching top left corner with my thumb is a bit of finger gymnastics.


If you double tap the fingerprint sensor it will slide the screen down so you can reach the top without stretching.


This action is fairly annoying to have to do constantly.


It's called "IPhone SE" but does that mean it's the same height and width as the previous SE??

That's the key thing about the SE and before it the 5S-- something that can be operated with one hand and that can fit in a pocket.

It's clear from the photo that it doesn't have a camera optic that's flush with the back, nor does it have that cool pseudo 1960's Philips-like metal case with flat beveled sides.


Unfortunately it's the same size as the 8 https://www.apple.com/iphone-se/why-upgrade/

My love of SE comes from its small the size... So i'm disappointed.


It looks like this is on the same chassis as the iphone 8 (5.45" in the longest dimension) whereas the old iphone SE was on the same chassis as the 5 and 5S (4.87" in the longest dimension).


I guess Apple disagrees with you definition of the SE :(


I'm with you on the size, which is why I still have the SE myself.

It also bugs me that no one is showing a comparison of the new SE to the old SE, so here is an old article I found, 2nd photo is the 7 (5.5 in), 6 (4.7 in == new SE), and old SE (4 in).

https://www.imore.com/iphone-6s-vs-iphone-se-whats-different...

So the new SE is bigger, but still acceptably small for most people. It seems like Apple couldn't bring themselves to make it any smaller. And at this price with these features, it will be my next upgrade (in 2-3 years), and I predict it will sell like hot-cakes.


Apple shows the comparison on their site: https://www.apple.com/iphone-se/why-upgrade/


> So the new SE is bigger

You can fit a bigger screen into the same space with the bezels removed. There is no compelling reason to have a 4.7" screen when a 5.something" can fit in the same form factor.


I did think it was odd to have such a large, ugly bezel on a contemporary phone, especially one from Apple.

I absolutely want a smaller device, and the trend towards phablets becoming the new "normal" really annoys me. But why does this have to be so damn ugly?!


Except this doesn't seem to be the same form factor, not even close.


The Palm Phone[1] looks pretty cool and certainly ticks the compact box. It's almost enough to make me consider Android but I'll probably just keep using old SE until it dies.

1: https://palm.com/products/palm-unlocked


It would probably be my ideal phone if the battery life was not reportedly atrocious.


can confirm from first-hand experience. It lasts about four hours on a charge with minimal usage.


oo this is fantastic. Def gonna keep it in mind when I'm ready to change phones.


no nfc, no qi wireless or I would have purchased it already


Mind boggling to me that 4.7" is compact? I miss smaller phones, for sure.


Compared to Android, where it's hard to get anything below 6.2" it's very compact.


The forces that made the "phablet" standard are the same thing that makes software today so terrible -- "Let's support our biggest and most profitable use case and screw everyone else!"

This is not what tech is supposed to be about. There's supposed to be options, so all types of users can feel comfortable and at-home. Instead we force all users into a couple of comically-bad stereotypes based on market research pulled out of bullshit sales figures and a focus group's collective asses


Luckily, there is the Android ecosystem, so you get choice and don't need to get a massive phone.


Android is 1. something completely different and 2. not great when it comes to small phones, either.


Yes, but the original post talks about the `"phablet" standard `, in such a way as if there is no alternative. Apple doesn't make a tonne of concurrent iPhone designs like other manufacturers. One reason to choose Apple is to not have to choose the model, just get the latest (or in my case the oldest model that doesn't fall into a pile of shit running iOS). I've had areally nice small android phone, most of them sucked though, it will depend on the mfr and luck. I prefer apple overall because I'd trade choice for the 'just works'. I've never had a situation where I cannot dial on an iPhone, but in other-mfr land it seems quite common.


except that 4.7" is not exactly compact


The main reason I haven't dumped my XZ2 Compact for a Palm Palm is my paranoia around owning a Chinese designed device.

Largely the same story for those waves of Android Lollipop "smart watches".

I'm very unhappy with the market for mobiles, it seems manufacturers have no balls, and are clueless about what I want / sensitive to what carriers are willing to sell en masse.

In a phrase, the stupid shitty financing options carriers provide seem to define the market for devices (supply, credit, marketing), not what actually makes a good device.

Shame all around.


A lot of decent smaller phones are available in the developing world. The silliness is the market segmentation with frequency band restrictions that could all be handled in firmware.


I wish it meant that, but i'm not sure. When the first SE was still in production, other manufacturers had already mostly stopped having anything small in their lines, no?


Right but this isn't that. This is the new iPhone 6/7/8 upgrade in the same chassis (more or less).

This is not a new compact iPhone like the 4/4s/5/5S.


As someone who has an iPhone 6 I see little reason to upgrade. FaceID might have changed things, but is there any reason to upgrade my phone besides a slightly faster CPU?


Probably a better camera, new battery, significantly better performance from the chip.

If you’re happy enough with your phone as is then you’re good for now.

I suspect you’re exactly the target audience for this phone though (happy enough to trade cutting edge specs you don’t need for better value - I’m the same).

In any case it’s probably good to know there’s a very familiar drop-in replacement for your existing phone when it gets unusable that isn’t going to break the bank though, right?


I have the same sentiment. I held tight onto my Xperia X Compact until the battery gave way. Looked around and found literally no replacement for it, out of all manufacturers on the planet. In the end decided to go for XZ2 Compact which was already outdated at the purchase date.

I haven't seen any new phone in that class since mid-2018.


I suspect the trend is to do with the fact that the majority of the population use their phones as cameras now. A larger screen means larger photos and videos. As long as people are using their phones to browse Instagram, I don't see manufacturers going back to smaller form factors.


This has me furious, i've used the other iPhone SE before and the size is perfect.


How is this phone compact with 50% body-to-screen ratio. There are already compact phones like samsung's s10e which is a modern phone. Honestly this looks like an april fools joke.


I switched this year to the Samsung Note 10, because it was SMALLER than the previous budget "lite" phone I got as a short term replacement for my broken down Z3 compact.


> It's insane that the "phablet" standard from ~5 years ago is now not even the new standard, but the only standard.

Is it? The market shifts to where the money is.

There apparently isn't enough money to make it worth the OEMs' time. If there were, they'd capitalize on it.

While I abhor huge phones, I see more Plus model iPhones than I do the "smaller" models, in the wild.


> There apparently isn't enough money to make it worth the OEMs' time

It seems to be working from Apple though


Sony has been the only company doing them, but the Z3 Compact was the last great one. I have an X Compact now and it's not as good. I've never had a big phone. One of the main reasons for getting a smartphone for me was the favourable size (easier to fit in pocket). The huge ones have no advantage. I use my PC for a big screen.


>but because this will finally mean other manufacturers will start to make compact phones.

Why does it mean that? They could have been building compact phones already and they weren't. Not sure why they're going to start now when Apple is clearly signalling to the industry that people don't want to buy small smartphones.


What other manufacturers released a smaller phone when Apple released the original SE?


I read somewhere (can't find the source now) that the reason for this was that the Apple processor gave them an advantage in being able to have that small a form factor and still have good (actually great) battery life. Without the energy efficient processor, a larger battery was required which led to larger phones.


You would think that at least one of the countless Android phone makers would try to produce a premium device in the sub-5-inch segment, but no. Not a single attempt. It must be impossible.


The Galaxy S10e is a really nice compact android phone just a smidge larger than this SE. Its great.


Have you tried the Google Pixel 3a?


I replaced a Pixel XL with a later generation Pixel that was almost exactly the same size.


That's why I'm still eyeing Galaxy S10e


I have one, it's nice, wish it didn't have a bixby key though. It could be a bit smaller for my taste.


Now if I could just get one without a Camera...


Try the pixel 3a


I have a Pixel 3A and it's huuuuuuuuuuge. I hate it.


kjnk,


> but because this will finally mean other manufacturers will start to make compact phones

This.


> I was itching for this announcement, not because I want to buy an iPhone, but because this will finally mean other manufacturers will start to make compact phones.

There are plenty of compact and competent phones. A Samsung A40 for example is barely larger than this new iPhone SE, but has a 5.9 inch display. A friend wanted a smallish smartphone and she's quiet happy with the form factor.


> has a 5.9 inch display

That is not a compact phone.

I know I'm in the minority here, but the iPhone4, in my view, was the ideal form factor (3.5", I think). At least half of the time I glance at my phone, the informational payload is not even a full sentence and requires no interaction. Otherwise, I check mail and sometimes use maps. More or less, my phone occupies the niche that I'm supposed to want a digital watch for, but don't.

If I need more screen, there are a plethora of options. I really don't want a tablet in my pocket. And I don't keep it with me like anywhere nearly like I used to - it has turned in to more of a 'desk phone' that I check when I think about it.


I compromised comfort and upgraded to SE after 4’s usability was consumed by unoptimized software updates.

4\S was perfection as far as ergonomics go. Timeless design. The natural 2:1 ratio was ruined in 5 by stretching in the vertical dimension. What they should have done was to expand the screen and have it eat the top bezel. They stopped pushing. Supersizing was the easy road.


> The natural 2:1 ratio

3:2 ratio?


> A Samsung A40 for example is barely larger than this new iPhone SE, but has a 5.9 inch display

A major pro of having a smaller phone is being able to reach anywhere on the _screen_ with just a thumb. While A40 and SE may have the same physical form factor, the former does not achieve this.


Yup. This is the central point that big phone people don't understand about small phone people. It isn't phone width. It's screen size.

Usually when using a phone one handed I'm not even touching the other side.


Most Android distributions (including Samsung's) have a one-handed mode that enables a gesture to shrink the screen into one of the bottom corners.


That is an ugly hack. We can do much more.


What your thumb can and cannot do is down to the human-computer interface. Shift the active area within thumb reach. Innovate.


There's no way the iPhone SE or the Samsung A40 can be considered compact. They're still huge.


I'm still using a A3 2016 with android 8 (4.7" amoled, good battery, audio jack and wow, a type-C USB connector), I would smply like the same one with a refreshed CPU/RAM/eMMC.


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