How to help convince tech companies to make a smaller smartphone

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On A long time ago, smartphones were small. Like, really small. Previously, such a device had to fit perfectly in the hand, so that you could do everything you need using only your thumb. They ccertainly don’t do them like before.

In 2022, most “smaller” smartphones are still huge, sports screens almost double the size of phones of yesteryear. Even Apple, which possesses produces a “mini” iPhone over the past two years, is supposed to drop the form factor with the iPhone 14 line this fall.

While the world seems switch from smaller smartphones, not everyone wants. Dig into enough tech forums, and you will find users complaining about the lack of small smartphones in the market, especially in the Android world. While many customers clearly love these larger screens, there is definitely a submarket of people who are (or would be) happy to message, watch and play on a phone that fits easily in their hand. One such person is Eric Migicovsky.

Migicovsky is best known for starting Pebblea smartwatch company that at the time boasted the most funded project in Kickstarter history. Pebble was finally sold to Fibit, but Migicovsky try again to make waves, pushing a new chat app called Beeper and do a concert effort to inspire a tech company, any tech company, to bring back the small smartphone.

The Pebble founder launched smallandroidphone.coma website dedicated to rresurrection of the little phone. His reasons for wanting a small phone are probably similar to those of someone else: he prefers it just like that. Migicovsky says he’s never liked the feel of a big phone, and even though it’s big, a compact phone has always been more comfortable to use.

Migicovsky looks for four key things in a small phone: a screen that’s under six inches; a design profile roughly similar in size and quality the iPhone 13; great cameras; and the stock Android operating system (sorry Apple fans). Oddly enough, to get his little phone fix, Migicovsky actually uses an iPhone 13, but he doesn’t like iOS over Android.. He cares so much.

Here is his list of features that this new little phone “must” have:

  • Follow the Mini industrial design as closely as possible
  • Constant-width bezels around the entire screen
  • 5.4-inch 1080p OLED display (60Hz ok)
  • Cameras must be as capable as the Pixel 5 must offer excellent low-light performance
  • Android operating system
  • Snapdragon 8 (or other flagship processor equivalent)
  • 5G global phone
  • Punch-hole front camera
  • 2 rear cameras (standard and wide angle)
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 128/256 GB storage
  • 4 hours of on-screen display (SOT)
  • Unlockable bootloader
  • NFC

There is also a short list of features that would be “nice to have”, but are not strictly necessary, in his opinion:

  • Sturdy enough not to need a case
  • IP68 water resistance
  • Fingerprint sensor on the power button
  • Hardware mute switch
  • Wireless charging
  • eSIM

If you accept most or all of this wish list, consider signing Migicovsky’s petition. He’s looking to “organize” the community of small phone enthusiasts, hoping to amass at least 50,000 signatures to present to tech companies as proof that there is still a market for smartphones of this size. While Mitchell Clark of The Verge is skeptical Migicovsky’s plan is enough to entice a tech company to produce such a small device, it’s a worthy cause. After all, Clark and I signed this petition, so it’s two technologies writers at least who want to see this happen.

As Clark points outthere are many obstacles here. First, the manufacturing crisis we find ourselves in: large companies making established products are struggling to keep up with demand, leaving less room for niche offerings. Second, there is little chance that a huge the company is going see the merit in producing such a device, especially if Apple itself doesn’t seem to have been able to make it work. Third, small phones in 2022 are difficult to balance: today today’s chips are powerful, and 5G connectivity is standard. Both tpipe things put a strain on battery life, and a smaller phone means less room for a battery. the The iPhone 12 mini has even been heavily criticized for its poor battery lifeso any company looking to make a modern smartphone for the scale should include How? ‘Or’ What to handle all those moving parts. (Migicovsky suggests making the phone thicker until the battery is big enough – and during mmost of us don’t need a phone as thin as Apple’s minis, but you probably don’t want to stray too far the other way.)

From Friday morning, Migicovsky’s petition has 20,000 signaturesshowing there is interest in this type of product. He’s got a long way to go before he hits that 50,000 goal, and there’s a lot of questions left to answer, but I’m on board. I wish I could use a small phone that meets today’s standards. If you feel the same, sign this petition and bring us one step closer to a vote of 50,000.

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