When Samsung introduced their Galaxy Note in 2011 a lot of people raised their eyebrows. Who needs a 5.3 inch device that is too big to be a phone and too small to be a tablet? But instead of Apple this time it was Samsung who created a new market: phablets.
Many people, including myself, were pretty sure this would be a short and unsuccessful experiment but Samsung proved us all wrong. The first version was a big success and Samsung sold more than 10 million Notes. So it was no surprise Samsung released the Note II earlier this year which featured a slightly bigger 5.55 inch screen.
If the rumors are true the next version of the Galaxy Note will grow even further and its users can enjoy Android on a 6.3 inch screen. And Samsung isn’t the only one breaking the 6 inch barrier. The Chinese company Huawei will unveil their 6.1 ” phablet at the CES in January.
This leads to the question: how big can a phone (or phablet for that matter) get before people start feeling too embarrassed to pick up their phone in public? Were will manufacturers (or consumers) draw the line?
I own a 7″ Android tablet and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The tablet is really useful for watching movies and checking my favorite websites when traveling while the Galaxy Nexus is great for every day stuff like reading and writing emails and checking my RSS feeds. Both serve a specific need and trying to combine the two into one device doesn’t make any sense to me.
Even Samsung seemed skeptic at first. Their 7 inch Galaxy Tab could be used as a phone but only by connecting a headset to the device. Now their next phablet will probably be roughly the same size but can be used as a regular smartphone. Is it just a matter of time before we get used to smartphones measuring 6 inches and beyond or have Samsung and Huawei pushed their luck too far this time? Would you mind being spotted making a phone call with a 6.3 inch phablet?