May 01, 2016

I can see myself getting an Iphone SE. I handled one for the first time yesterday. It feels a little cute and quaint, being so small and in a shell I recognize as an old phone. Peeking at IOS through such a small window makes everything seem a bit cramped, squished. I can not imagine myself using such a small screen much without yearning for more space.

And perhaps that is all good.

I was tempted when the plus size Iphone first came out, tempted by exploring the possibilites of an even larger Iphone and exploring what it might have to offer. It felt, and still feels, like the plus offered the most distinctly new experience of the Iphone line.

But perhaps the time for more new in the phone is past for now.


I have lived with smartphones for quite a while now, almost eight years if I am not mistaken, and I think my usage has settled in a pattern. Going from the Iphone 4S to the 6 was a huge leap technically, but it neither changed the types of things I do with my phone, nor did the larger screens seem to open up major new usages for anyone else. People make apps which work on all modern IOS devices. It is not all that common for developers to even make extra use of the significant differences of the Ipad compared to the phones, and even less so with the plus sized phone. Just the same as how few applications for computers do radical new and amazing things when ran on a 4K display connected to a computer with the right processor or graphics cards. The incentives are simply not there. (Reasons for the lacking incentives and whether or not it is a naturally bad thing is a whole different story.)

This leaves my phone choice to the much more concrete question of how and for what I actually use my phone.

What I use my phone for

Dominating my usage time-wise is listening to things, mainly podcasts, an activity for which screen size could not be less of a concern. Next up, and dominating my screen time with the phone, is content consumption. Twitter, RSS, random surfing, Instapaper, things like that. All these benefit from a larger and better screen. However, two facts completely sink this as a motivation for a large phone:

The third main area I use my phone for is creation of quick content. Taking notes, replying to an email, leaving social comments and taking photos. All the written things are and have always been very brief. I have the amazing Editorial installed, but Drafts is the way I get things into files and whenever it comes to editing or fleshing out a note into something longer I will be on the Ipad or a computer in any case. For photos, I want to snap them quickly and move on. I was almost happy when I broke the button on my point and shoot camera so it could not go into photo display mode, since it ensured I would not stand around reviewing images instead of being present in the moment. Sure, a big display is nice as a view finder, but portability and ease of handling beats a large view finder every time.

(Games and video watching? I have always prefered to consume them on larger screens, and immersive things deserve to be consumed on a screen larger than pocket size.)

All down to size

The SE is a lot more portable than any size of the 6, it is almost silly how much safer it feels to hold, and my thumb can suddenly reach everything with ease once again.

In summary, I am tempted to try a smaller phone. I think it would make me use the phone less.

That in itself is part of the appeal.