The Pros and Cons of a Larger iPhone Screen

The next iPhone is rumored to feature a larger screen. In fact, there will apparently be two new iPhones this year, one with a 4.7 inch screen and another with a 5.5 inch screen. These will replace the iPhone 5s becoming Apple’s flagship devices. The iPhone 5, if you didn’t know, has a 4 inch screen. Apple will likely continue to sell the iPhone 5s starting at $99, and the iPhone 5c may become free. Most people are looking forward to a larger screen, and it’s easy to see why. However, there are some drawbacks to a phone with a larger screen, and it’s not just the fact that they’re harder to hold, use, and slide into a pocket. Potential iPhone 6 users should consider both the pros and cons before selecting a new iPhone.

What I have to say for the 4.7 inch iPhone goes double for the 5.5 inch model, both the pros and the cons. Its probably easy to figure out why a larger screen could be a good thing. The extra screen space means users have more area to read, watch movies, and play games. It also means that the on screen keyboard won’t limit users to a few lines of visible text when in landscape orientation. That last part was a huge pain for me today, when I was using my iPhone to take notes during a meeting. That big screen will also increase the size of the keyboard, leaving less room for typos. With games, videos, reading, typing, and more space to read and type at the same time, it’s easy to see why the larger screen is going to be great on the iPhone 6. That doesn’t mean its all good news.

The larger screen will also add some issues that the iPhone hasn’t had before. First, a larger phone is harder to hold and use with one hand. That’s been a key reason for keeping the iPhone at a smaller size for some time now. Even the increase in size from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone 5 was only a half of an inch, and only vertically. The phone could still be used in one hand. Would a 4.7 inch phone still be easy to use with one hand? Maybe if iOS 8 has some changes to the interface, using more gestures for navigation and typing, which is still a very real possibility.

A larger screen will have more pixels, that much is obvious. More pixels could mean streaming videos will use up more data over a cellular network, which can make your bill climb quickly. This woud only be an issue for websites that would send a higher resolution video when it detects a larger screen, which wouldn’t happen every time. However, if app developers use larger graphics for their apps, they will take up more space on your device, and the download will certainly be larger. A larger screen definitely means the phone will use more data, and require more storage space. Hopefully Apple increases the storage space on the next iPhone as well.

There were always reasons for Apple not to use larger screens in their devices, but if those difficulties have been overcome, either through advancements in hardware or software, then even the negative aspects of the iPhone 6 may pale in comparison to the benefits the larger screen could offer. What do you think? Will you be buying the iPhone 6 if it has a larger screen? If so, which size would you want, the more managable 4.7 inch model, or the more utilitarian, yet harder to hold, 5.5 inch model?



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