I come to you today with good and bad news. The bad news is that the little phone is dead. Apple is everything but sure turn off iPhone Mini this year, and the smallest Android phone I’ve used all year is Asus Zenfone 9 inch 5.9 inch — slightly larger than the 5.4-inch Mini. But that’s what counts as “small” now.
Here’s the good news. We can finally stop the debate about the right size for the phone because I just answered: 6.1 inches. All subsequent phones will adhere to a completely new standard that I’ve found and come with a 6.1-inch screen. Take the Google Pixel 6A and – you guessed it – a 6.1-inch screen. Next to the 6.4 and 6.7-inch Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, they are very small in size. It fooled me into thinking I was holding a tiny phone when I first took it out of the box, but it’s actually much bigger than the Mini.
If we can’t have really small phones, then we should have more like the Pixel 6A: small enough to fit in your pocket but big enough to be tolerated by a large population of phone lovers. Certain exceptions will be allowed, but with the power given to me by literally anyone: 6.1 inches is the new default. Here’s my reason.
It’s small enough to qualify as a compact phone.
Sony just teased a new “compact” phone it might be the Xperia 5 IV, which will most likely have a 6.1-inch screen like its predecessor. Since most Android phones (especially best-selling budget and mid-range devices) hovers around the 6.5-inch mark today, this is considered compact.
It’s also, objectively, not too small. Here’s something that actually happened: when I unboxed the Google Pixel 6A, I saw leftovers Threshold Slack’s top team review of how cute the phone is. Pixel 6 little baby! They were quick to remind me that 6.1 inches is no small and cute phone territory. When you spend most of your time using a large Android phone, you can lose your understanding of what a small screen is and what is normal.
It’s big enough to be accepted by a public who likes big phones.
The base models of the Samsung Galaxy S22 and iPhone 13 are both 6.1 inches in size. In the US, at least, it’s basically the default flagship phone on Android and iOS — you can go up from there, both in price and screen size, but it all starts at 6.1 inches. See my previous point about normalizing screen sizes through repeated exposures: if most people already see this as the default, then it’s done, I say! There’s no need to push standard screen sizes higher — we’re all comfortable here.
Someone has to put an end to screen size inflation.
Years ago, we all walked around with a tiny 5-inch cell phone in our pocket, and you know what? That’s fine. But then we got greedy for more square inches and more pixels. Here we are. The biggest iPhone is a giant 6.7 inches. What’s next, the 7.6-inch screen? You have to fold it in half even carry it everywhere! Imagine! The madness must stop.
I’m not saying every phone has to be 6.1 inches. People have spoken, and people want Max, Plus, and Ultra. I only
state politely requested that we work out a reasonable middle ground that satisfies both small phone enthusiasts and everyone else before it’s too late. In the meantime, I’ll be right here, crying softly as I insert my SIM card into another phone with a large 6-point-something-inch screen.