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How Big Will Phone Screens Get?

by Sean P. Aune | June 12, 2010June 12, 2010 8:28 am PDT

The trend lately seems to be not only who can come out with the most powerful phone, but also who can come out with the biggest screen.  It’s nice having a large screen, especially with on-screen keyboards, but at what point does it stop being a phone and become some other type of device that also happens to function as a phone?

htc evoIn Jon Rettinger’s face-off between the Sprint EVO and Droid Incredible, he makes mention that the 4.3-inch screen of the EVO makes typing and other activities nicer, but he also points out you’re going to need a lot of pocket space to carry a phone with this large of a screen.  And he’s right, when is the desire to have a larger screen so other activities are more enjoyable going to trounce the comfort factor of the handset being used for its primary purpose of being a phone?

Think about this for a minute. While you’re enjoying that big 4.3-inch screen, you are only .9-inches away from holding a Dell Streak to your face.  Yes, push it just a little further and you are holding an Android-powered tablet computer to your face.  True, it’s a small tablet, but a tablet none the less.

Somehow I have a gut feeling that in the not too distant future we’re going to hear someone boasting of a 5-inch capacitive multi-touch display, and it’s going to be labeled as a “phone”, and I think I’m just going to have to laugh at that point.  Is it going to fit in your pocket?  Not really.  Will it fit in a purse?  Maybe, but not with much room left for anything else.  And if you wear your phone on a belt clip like I do, forget it.

Hopefully we have seen phones getting as large as they’re going to get, but I’m just not convinced of that at this point.  Someone, somewhere will always be sure that people want a bigger screen, and they’ll try it, but I can’t wait to see them attempt to use it.

What say you?  Should phone screens continue to grow, or are we at the maximum of where they should get?

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...