Before the world of smartphones exploded, there was a race in the ‘dumbphones’ to be smaller, and slimmer. Some so slim you could snap it in half.
Expectations changed as people started accepting that for more features, the phone would have to be a little bit thicker. But with each successive generation, slimming down is expected.
Unless components shrunk small enough, compromises would have to be made to fit everything again into a smaller shell.
- Smaller batteries,
- smaller speakers,
- sealed batteries,
- disappearance of camera covers
- Xenon flash
- QWERTY keyboard
Fortunately, whilst thick is unacceptable, wide somehow is. Screens are getting bigger. from 1″ to 2.2″ to 2.4″ to 2.8″ to 3.2″ then for a while around 3.5″ now on a sweet spot of about 4″ (maybe 4.3″). With bezels kept to a minimum the overall size increase is not that much.
The significance of the bigger screen that although slimmer, you could fit more components, just spread out. But there will still be a case that if they can make it thinner, they would.
Right now the slim smartphones are sub 10mm, some 8.5mm at thinnest (with sneaky camera bumps). The N9 is 7.6mm at its thinnest (though that’s at the tapered edges, no? The middle curved screen part is 12.1mm). That’s still remarkably slim. Imagine what type of beast of a phone we could have if we didn’t have an obsession with slim? Imagine if 18mm was acceptable?
- Are you after slimmer phones despite some compromises?
- What trade-offs would you make?
- Is there a point where a phone would just be too slim?
- At what point do we stop expecting slimmer smartphones?