Android’s small phone market is dying. Even though it makes me sorry to say it, it is quite doubtful that a flagship Android phone will be released anytime soon. Let’s talk about why.

WHERE DID WE COME FROM? Over the past ten years, smartphones from both the Android and iOS camps have grown dramatically in size. For those seeking larger screens, there used to be dedicated phones. The Samsung Galaxy S6 has a 5.1-inch display, for instance, in 2015. The Galaxy Note 5 has a screen that was 5.7 inches bigger. Samsung also produced a Galaxy S6 with a screen size of 5.5 inches that somewhat bridged the gap. The same year’s iPhone 6s offered a 4.7-inch display on its standard model, but a 5.5-inch display on the iPhone 6s Plus. This was duplicated by Apple.

By the year 2022, this style of organization has largely disappeared. The Galaxy S22 series has replaced the Note series in Samsung’s universe. The smallest Galaxy S22 measures 6.1 inches, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra measures 6.8 inches. In terms of size, the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays are similar.

Why has the size grown so drastically? There are a few significant ones.

The war on bezels, which has increased the amount of screen real estate accessible, is a major contributing factor. Even though a higher screen-to-body ratio allows for larger screens in a smaller compact, phones have continued to grow in size. If we compare the Galaxy S22 Ultra to our prior samples, it is almost 10mm taller and somewhat larger in every single dimension than the Galaxy Note 5.

5G is another important factor in the growth of larger smartphones and, more specifically, in the difficulty of finding smaller ones. A significant deal, US carriers in particular have made the next generation of cellular connectivity an unavoidable necessity. However, 5G gear requires room, particularly for mmWave antennae, which are a standard feature of high-end devices.

Battery life is the last consideration. One of the most important things consumers look for in a smartphone is its endurance, and it’s a known truth that larger smartphones typically have larger batteries, which results in longer battery life. The Pixel 6 Pro is an exception to the trend, but for the most part, a large phone will offer the best battery life.

What it actually comes down to, though, is that the market has spoken.
Simply put, the market is uninterested in little phones. At this point, the great majority of consumers simply desire larger screens.

An expansive display was ranked as the #2 priority for its clients by the corporation earlier this year, according to study conducted by Samsung , an undoubtedly biased source for that information. Similar discoveries were made by A study by LG in 2018. According to Statista found , the single most important consideration for smartphone purchasers in 2019 was battery life, which as we already noted, typically goes hand in hand with a larger screen.

However, surveys might not always provide accurate information. The actual example, Apple’s iPhone Mini series, yields a considerably more conclusive result.

The iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 13 Mini satisfied the exact demand made by aficionados. A smaller iPhone with full specifications and no compromises, a display that was under 6-inches, and a chassis that was considerably more manageable.

It had poor sales.

The iPhone 12 Mini, according to A report in early 2021 , had a sales performance that would probably let Apple down. Evidently, during the first two months following the debut, the phone only accounted for 6% of Apple’s sales. The iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 12 Mini together only account for 3% of Apple’s sales, according to another estimate from the same company just last month .

Although the iPhone Mini series received high marks from many reviewers for its small size and uncompromising specifications, it is eventually evident that consumers are unwilling to purchase these phones. Why? The battery life is terrible, as the reviewers themselves confess, and customers are aware that the trade-off is not worthwhile.

And to be completely honest, if Apple can’t make a smaller phone where battery life isn’t an issue, I doubt it will happen with a small Android phone. Use the Pixel 4 as an illustration. One of the smallest Android phones in recent memory had a 5.5-inch display. To accomplish it, though, a tiny battery was required. As a result, its short battery life rapidly earned it a bad reputation. The Pixel 3 from a year prior wasn’t in a lot better shape either. And that was before most smartphones included radios for 5G, which consume a lot of power.

Eric Migicovsky, the founder of Pebble, gave the tiny Android phones new life this week in an effort to rally support for the rebirth of the form factor. His manifesto essentially requests an Android-powered iPhone 13 Mini. That endeavor has so far generated about 10,000 names. Undoubtedly a heroic attempt, but sadly insufficient to persuade any rational smartphone manufacturer to take a chance when even Apple has failed.

A NEXT STEP THAT IS OBVIOUS IS FOLDABLES But there is an exception to every rule. Foldables.

Foldables can address many of the problems that a conventional tiny phone would have, as our friend Michael Fisher pointed out to point out on Twitter earlier this week. For instance, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is significantly smaller in the pocket than Samsung’s other flagships, but because it still has a sizable screen when opened back up, there is more space for essential parts. With a functional screen on the outside of the foldable, the Motorola Razr more effectively realizes these concepts.

Galaxy Z Flip 3
moto razr 5g first impressions reviews
Motorola Razr line

I’d also contend that this form factor, the Galaxy Z Fold 3, has much more potential. Although the Fold 3 is a hefty phone, I find that its thin outside display is much easier to operate than the one on my Pixel 6 Pro. This has the added bonus of giving me a truly enormous screen whether I want to watch a movie or play a game on Stadia. But Migicovsky’s wishlist is more accurately satisfied by the Oppo Find N. It has the tiniest screen of any current Android flagship, at just 5.49 inches on the outside. The physical factor, however, still has more than enough room for everything it need, including a sizeable battery.

We are not quite there yet, of course. Battery life is still an issue with the Flip form factor. The Fold continues to be very pricey. And before actual broad adoption, both must increase durability.

GET A PIXEL 5, THE LAST GOOD ONE, WHILE YOU CAN. Until then, individuals who desire compact Android phones must make do. Google won’t release one any time soon. Samsung is undoubtedly unwilling to take that risk as well.

The Pixel 5 is the most effective approach to close that gap right now. The 6-inch display on the phone maintains the form factor small while maintaining connection and battery life. In fact, it defies the size restriction and has a very long battery life. Additionally, software support will be available until October 2023. A slightly more expensive but similarly inexpensive option that will last a few more months is the Pixel 5a.

The Pixel 5 is currently no longer available from Google in favor of the Pixel 6 series and the potential of Tensor, but you can still buy the phone rather easily. At the time this article was being published, brand new Pixel 5s for $449 was available for purchase through Amazon-owned Woot at a significant discount from its $699 list price. Renewed Pixel 5s for is sold even less by Amazon itself.

FTC: We employ automatically earning affiliate connections. study conducted by Samsung 0

study conducted by Samsung 1


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