Why are Phones so Big?


Above is a picture of my phone. Now you might be thinking “Look at those cracks, this guy is clumsy!”, but it’s not my fault, my phone is constantly falling out of my pocket. And that’s not the fault of my pocket size, either, it’s the fault of my phone’s size.

Modern phones are huge. The original iPhone, when it was released in 2007, was 115 millimeters (about 4 and a half inches). That was big in 2007, but the iPhone 11, expected to release on the 20th, will be 144 millimeters (about 6 inches). Maybe it’s just the fact that the brand of phone I have, Samsung, is notorious for its long phone size. The original Samsung Galaxy Note was 147 millimeters (about 6 inches) when it was released in 2011, slightly longer than the iPhone 11, but the newest Galaxy model, the Galaxy Note 10+, is 162 millimeters (about 6 and a half inches) long.

Why? Why are these phones so huge? Technology has come a long way since the first iPhone in 2007, you’d think some of the biggest tech companies in the world like Apple and Samsung would manage to make their phones more compact. Yet these are just getting longer and longer (more so in Apple’s case) as time goes on.

I thought there might be a correlation with price, seeing as iPhones are getting longer by the day and have notoriously high prices, however, the math just doesn’t line up. There’s a difference of 29 millimeters (about one inch) between the iPhone and iPhone 11 in height and a difference of $200 for the same phones, while there’s a difference of 15 millimeters (about half an inch) between the Samsung Galaxy Note and Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ and a difference of $430 between them. That’s $230 more for 14 millimeters (about half an inch) less.

All of this makes absolutely no sense. I’ll look more into it in the future, but it looks like the trail is running cold, at least for now.