Sunday, January 22, 2012

My iPhone is dying and I want a decent-size phone, not a Chiclet

    I need a new smart phone.
    Now wanting and needing are two different things. I've wanted a new cell phone for well over a year now. My iPhone 3GS has served me fairly well for the past three years or so, but more than a year ago the screen messed up a bit. I lost about an eighth of an inch on each side. Kind of annoying when the letters get cut out of text, but it's still worked just fine.
    The volume toggle fell off a few months ago. But I've still be able to adjust the volume, so just another hassle to live with.
    But now the "silence" toggle has broken. From time to time, the phone will ring even though in "silent" mode. And it constantly vibrates as if I'm switching it back and forth between silent and regular mode.
    I've been able to silence the ringer manually by going in to setting and cutting the volume down. But this is time consuming and means I don't hear calls if I don't stop to turn the volume back up. Bottom line is if your phone won't go to "silent," you can't go to church, funerals, picture shows, restaurants, or you name it.
    I've even decided what kind of phone I want: THE BIGGEST PHONE MADE! That may be the Galaxy Note, soon to be released for AT&T. It has a paltry 5.3-inch screen; bigger than the iPhone by far, but still way too small.
    Attention Cell Phone Makers! We aren't just using our phones to talk these days. We need to use them to navigate, to surf the web, and to take lots of notes. In other words, we need a really big screen.
    The Galaxy Note has been a big success in Europe, but prior to its release a lot of people were going around complaining that it was "too big," particularly that it was too big to fit in a pocket. What a crock! I can fit my Kindle Fire with its 7-inch screen in most of my pants pockets, so a teeny-tiny Galaxy Note will fit with no problem. I just wish it were bigger.
    When it comes to design, the rule is that "form follows function." What that means is that the form a thing takes should be determined by what its function is. Back when we were all merely talking on our cell phones it made sense to make them as small as possible. No longer. We use our phone for big things and thus need big phones.
    Most readers of this blog will perhaps fondly remember their first cell phone. Remember the large bag phone, the size of a very large lunch box. Remember how easy it was to carry it to a meeting or whatever when you needed to? Some people even had them built into briefcases, Maxwell Smart style. I loved my bag phone; it had great reception and the size simply was not a problem.
    Then came the "brick" phone. It was a huge cell phone that was designed to be more portable than a bag phone. No way was that thing going in a pocket, though. And the signal had a weaker wattage than the bag phone.
    If you were to see someone with a "brick" phone today, they would look goofy. But they didn't look goofy back then. We envied those lucky people.
    So the phone manufacturers need not worry about making their smart phones too big. Build them we enough power and we will come.
    Meanwhile, I'm eagerly awaiting the official U.S. launch of the Galaxy Note. Unless, of course, something larger and better comes along first.


NMissC said...

I for one don't wish to be holding a small dinner plate up to my head while on the phone.

It sounds like what you want is an ipad to use as a telephone. The clearer screen on the iPhone 4 makes a big difference with the size problems you mention. Also, they changed the buttons in a way that makes them much likely to do what yours (and many, many other uses) did.

I'm not positive, but I think what you are describing about the vibrate-while-silencing is what the phone does while you have vibrate on in your settings.

Col. Reb Sez said...


I don'g want a small dinner plate either. I want a BIG dinner plate. The screen resolution on the Galaxy Note is almost as high as the iPhone, 336ppi for the iPhone, 285ppi for the Note. (The iPhone 3GS has 163ppi. Obviously the Note has way more pixels in total since it is so much larger.

As for the vibrating, whenever I switch my phone to silent it gives a quick vibrate. The switch is now broken so that when the switch is set to "silent" it is constantly entering and then exiting silent mode on its own accord. Each time it reenters the silent mode it vibrates. And of course it is now prone to ring when it is supposed to be quiet!

I wouldn't mind using a 7-inch iPad as a phone, but that isn't possible. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 was configured to work as a phone in Europe, but the carriers insisted that feature be disabled for the American market. They want their customers to have to have two accounts, one for the pad, one for the phone, and not be able to combine the two. Viewsonic has a 7-inch pad that can be used as a phone, but it suffers from a weak and slow system.

The 5.3-inch Note really isn't that much bigger than the Galaxy Nexus, and in reality I don't think it looks nearly as big as a plate. A saucer? Maybe.