- a side topic from How will you get Jolla Sailfish onto the Fairphone 2?:
- the discussion from Closed Poll: What is your preferred screen size?
- and this discussion too Fairphone in your pocket? (Is FP2 too big)
More recent topics asking for smaller Fairphones:
- Alternatives to FP3? (Why I won't buy a FP3 and am hoping for a smaller FP4)
- FP3s --- smaller version coming?
Now we can re-open the discussion, as we are numerous having the FP2 since enough time to collect meaningful feedback on this point.
2 days ago, I was walking of the street, with big bags of vegetables and an appointment not to miss. I put all the bags in my left hand and took the FP2 in the right one. I was unable to securely grip the phone, and pilote OSMand~ at the same time. My fingers are to short to fix the phone in a position allowing for the thumb to do something on the other side of the screen. So the phone was, from time to time, in an unstable equilibrium and an involuntary bump would have precipitate it on the floor, which is such : bad feeling speaking about a half a thousand euros device. And my hands stopped growing since a little while now. So yes, my point of view is the same as @Ikraav, the FP2 is uncomfortably too big.
Another reason is that the battery can’t last more than 2 days, even with no WiFi, even in 2G-only, and polling the data only once every 1h (BatteryFu from F-Droid), even with brightness at 33%… With a smaller screen, we would be able to actually use the phone, and get more autonomy.
It would definitely help making it cheaper. Cheaper to buy, cheaper to replace screen-module. Currently, most of the people I proudly show the blue-tinted goats of the beast look at it like if I was doing well, but off the reality with a so expensive device. Lets meet your market. Currently only company owners are buying it (for whom I convinced to).
Then, if you are to make a compressed model, lets get it non-symetrical, adding striations on one half of the back cover, in order to know in which position you hold the phone right out of your pocket. (I still can’t predict from what side I’m holding the brick…)
Screens are not all getting bigger… Samsung made a Galaxy S4 mini for instance (4.3", thin borders). A great product (running CyanogenMod ;-)).
[Edit on 2016-03-24 to consolidate info here]
Some more statistics mainly from GSMArena.com…
Fairphone made an excellent FP1 / FP1U with a 4.3" screen size. [edit 2019-03-23 finally got my hands on one and it feels great to use]
Nokia, at its best, offered an N97, and 6 months after an N97 mini.
N97 screen size : 3.2" (2009)
N900 screen size : 3,5" (2009)
N9 screen size : 3,9" (2011) no physical keyboard
Samsung Galaxy S phones all come with a mini version:
S3 mini screen size : 4"
S4 mini screen size : 4.3"
S5 mini screen size : 4,5" (2014)
S6 mini screen size : ??"
S7 mini screen size : 4.6" (rumors)
Sony Compact series:
Z1 compact : 4.3"
Z3 compact : 4.6"
Z4 compact : 4.7"
Z5 compact : 4.6" (2015-10)
Interesting to see that the screen size did reduce between the Z4 and the Z5. Less is better here.
iPhone mainstream series:
4 : 3.5" (2010 ; Steve Jobs died in 2011-10)
5 : 4" (2012-09)
6 : 4.7" (2015-09)
SE : 4" (2016-03)
Still smaller than FP2.
Newer is smaller again.
Apple on Steve Jobs era conducted experimental researches concluding than the 3.5" will always be the size to be.
Gizmodo (2011) : This Is Why the iPhone’s Screen Will Always Be 3.5 Inches This Is Why the iPhone's Screen Will Always Be 3.5 Inches
Touching the upper right corner of the screen on the Galaxy S II using one hand, with its 4.27-inch screen, while you’re walking down the street looking at Google Maps, is extremely difficult and frustrating. I pulled out my iPhone 4 to do a quick test, and it turns out that when you hold the iPhone in your left hand and articulate your thumb, you can reach almost exactly to the other side of the screen.
Palm Computing : it’s also interesting to get the point of view of another person whom spent a lot of time seeking the perfect size for a small computer to carry in pockets. It was Jeff Hawkins, the founder of Palm Computing. He said in an interview that he spent a year with different objects in his pockets to seek the best size. It’s interesting to see that Palms were, during 18 years with 3,7 to 3,9" screens. Looks like a reasonable choice, isn’t it ?
Other mini series:
- Motorola DROID mini : 4.2" (2013)
- HTC One mini 2 : 4.5" (2014-05)
- OnePlus Mini : 4.6" (rumors)
Regarding screen size : the phone thickness can, more or less, be converted in accessible screen area, as a thin phone allows a grip in a position where the thumb is dominating a bit more the screen.
And, as a matter of completeness, the edge width (around the screen) is also an optimizable variable, but no edge means muscles of the thumb are touching the sensitive part of the screen… which must result in erratic movements.
Phone makers are merely all offering “hand-sized” phones, in addition to bigger and bigger screens presented as mainstream…
They might be making bigger screens just because they miss another improvement to announce. Still, my hands are not growing anymore, and I don’t want to watch videos on my cellphone.
My opinion on this matter is that a good market positionning for an FP2 mini would be 3.5" screen size to establish a clear difference (and lets consider 4" max if it’s technically way too difficult to achieve 3.5").
This would address a clear other segment of the market. And a 4" FP3 would be a one-size-fits-all product…