tl;dr: I don't want a phone any bigger than the Pixel 4a.
Recently, I stopped using my Nokia 5.3 in favor of a Google Pixel 4a. The Nokia 5.3 was simply too big. I had reservations about getting a phablet, then decided I would give it a shot. I used it exclusively for about 10 months. The size really started to be a problem for me 3 or 4 months in. It was simply too big, and the large size meant it was a burden to carry around.
With bezels shrinking each year, it’s difficult to compare phones by their screen size alone. I’ve been using this surface area calculation to get a better understanding of the actual in-hand size of devices. (Simply multiply the phone’s width by its height, in mm.)
|iPhone 12 Mini||8,448|
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||12,559|
I really loved the iPhone 5 form factor, but I think the industry has moved on and won’t offer anything in that 7,500mm2 size range ever again. 10,000mm2 is a good landing point. I carried around an LG G6 for years, and it was about that size. Larger than the iPhone 5 for sure, but not too unwieldy. But once you go over 10,000mm2 the phone becomes just too big for me.
While I don’t think manufacturers will ever make phones again the size of an iPhone 5 (my favorite phone size), the Pixel 4a is the largest phone that I can see myself owning and enjoying. And because of my handy chart, I know that I want phones around 10,000 mm2 or less in size. So, I know to not lust over the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
It’s been about two months and I am much happier with the Pixel 4a. The size is perfect. It feels better in hand and is much easier to carry around.
I don’t regret buying the Nokia 5.3. It was a decent phone at a great price, and a good example of the benefits of Android One. Nokia is making good strides here for sure. During the 10 months I used it, I learned some valuable things – the size of a phone that’s best for me, and the features I truly need.