Why Are There No Good Non-Giant Smartphones?

Why Are There No Good Non-Giant Smartphones?

Today, Sony passed on an opportunity to bring its 4.6-inch Sony Z3 compact to the United States, at least for the foreseeable future. With it went any hope of finding a quality smartphone here that doesn’t feel like stuffing a butter dish in your pocket, outside of the iPhone 6.

AU Editor’s Note: in the US, they don’t get the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact that we’re lucky enough to get here. Still, high-end Android phones that don’t have massive screens still aren’t that common. Discuss why you think that might be.

I’m not going to belabor this point; phones have been getting bigger for years, with no signs of abating. And by now you’ve already left a comment about how I must have small hands. But people. People. We need to acknowledge that despite getting significantly bigger overnight, the iPhone 6 is still somehow the only flagship you can buy with a reasonable, responsible 4.7 inch display.

Last year’s Moto X was nearly perfect at that same size; now it’s a 5.2-inch Clydesdale. The Nexus 5, also a year old, has similar dimensions to the iPhone 6, but its successor looks like it will be a 5.9-inch behemoth. The Galaxy S5 nudges up against it at 5.1 inches. Last spring’s HTC One M8 trims down to 5 inches — and squeezes it into relatively trim body — but is already starting to feel a little musty. And let’s not even get started on the Galaxy Note and iPhone 6 Plus Goliaths that have bulged out our jeans and cluttered up purses.

The Xperia Z3 Compact and its nice little — “little” — 4.6-inch display was our last chance at a non-roidal Android alternative. You can buy in Europe but not here, at least for now and probably not ever, because we live in a world where “compact” means “the right size for most humans” and some market research firm somewhere is telling manufacturers that Americans crave smartphones that look like in-dash displays.

You have more glossy, high-powered, beautifully designed smartphones to choose from than ever, sure. But you also, in the year of our lord two thousand and fourteen, are somehow left with only one choice that matters: Do you want a hulk-phone, or do you want an iPhone? As much as I enjoyed my run with Android, I’ll take the iPhone every time.

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