The iPhone SE may be small, but it marks the end of the little era of Apple’s phone

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Angela Lang / CNET

Four years after the launch of the original, Apple has announced its new iPhone SE in April. I imagine fans of small phones collectively jumped for joy when they heard the news. The iPhone SE, which looks like a iPhone 8 but includes the iPhone 11is powerful A13 chipset, uses a 4.7 inch screen.

Apple claims it is a “small” phone. And that East the smallest (and cheapest) iPhone currently available in the Apple line. It’s also relatively compact compared to current phone standards, especially compared to, say, the popular Samsung Galaxy S20, which has a 6.2 inch screen.

But at 4.7 inches, the iPhone SE 2020 is about 20% larger than the original iPhone SE, which had a 4-inch screen.

If you were expecting something really tiny, the iPhone SE 2020 doesn’t deliver on that front. Apple’s decision not to build a brand new 4-inch phone is revealing. This signals that the company will probably never bring the small iPhone, no matter how much people want it. That is not to say that Apple will not downsize some of its next phones. The iPhone 12 line would have a phone with a 5.4-inch screen, but it’s not a small phone.
Personally, I totally agree. Because we are in 2020 and I want a big phone. And because the big screens simply provide a better, more immersive user experience. For me, “portability” takes a step back from these advantages. Make credit card payments and join Zoom on calls follow a Banana bread recipe on YouTube, I’m spending more time on my phone than ever, for better or worse.

And if I use my phone for hours, I want to enjoy it. Or at the very least, I don’t want to have trouble looking at my screen while doing more unpleasant tasks (like paying a credit card bill, for example). Big phones can do this for me.

But my perception of what’s big and what’s small in terms of phones has changed over the years. I have not always been a big fan of the big screens, nor do I subscribe to the axiom “bigger is better”. In fact, I loved my 4.7-inch iPhone 8, which I’ve been clinging to for years. I loved the ease of use of the handbag and the ease of use with one hand. But when I switched to 5.8 inches iPhone X in 2018, it was almost punishing to go back to something smaller.


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Whenever I use my iPhone 8, I can feel my eyes getting tired when I try to navigate its interface, which now seems disturbingly cumbersome to me. Reading news and watching videos on the iPhone 8 had become an unpleasant experience compared to the iPhone X. Anyway, I think there is an upper limit to the growth of these oversized phones.

Phone manufacturers are offering more and more handsets over the years. They know that screen size is one of the most important things about a phone. But the trend of the jumbo phone really started in 2011 with the first Galaxy Note. Samsung took a bet and launched the 5.3-inch note, which looked huge at the time, or as one analyst put it, as a ” dork flag“The note ushered in the craze for big phones, and that’s one of the reasons Apple finally released my beloved 5.8-inch iPhone X in 2017.

Now the phones are even bigger. Take a look at the 2020 phone season so far: Within the Galaxy S20 family of phones, the S20 Ultra has a massive 6.9 inch screen. Oppo launched its 6.7-inch super premium Find X2 Proand Motorola unveiled the 6.7 inch Edge Plus in April, his first real flagship in years. Also there are percolating rumors that Apple will release an iPhone 12 Pro Max which could also be up to 6.7 inches. Sorry fans of small phones, it is clear that the big trend of the phone is here to stay.

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