Why are we Obsessed with Super Thin Phones?


Huawei recently revealed their super thin Ascend P6, a smartphone that manages to cut itself down to a tiny 6.8mm thickness, and even more recent than that, LG announced the ‘world’s thinnest’ smartphone display that is at a tiny 2.2mm in width.

Whilst it’s understandable that smartphone manufacturers want to beat their competition in any way possible, and this is certainly clear in the screen quality department where manufacturers will fight for the highest PPI, smartphone thickness is starting to become nothing more than a number that manufacturers can flaunt at it’s customers. A thin bezeled display sounds practical, and I’m sure research into super-thin displays could build roads for new uses for the technology, but when it comes down to smartphones, who actually likes thin, fragile handsets?

When I consider buying a new smartphone, the build quality is almost always the first thing I take into mind. If I’m looking at flagship handsets, I already know the inner hardware will be decent enough for any use the mobile operating system has the capability of performing, and although some software features sound quite cool, Android always has enough customization available in the Google Play store for me to tinker with.

What’s left is the physical appearance and feeling of the handset, and for me, nothing can be more important. Why would I want to purchase a handset that doesn’t feel comfortable to use when I hold it every day? Of course having a handset that is too thick is uncomfortable and inconvenient, but do we really need to push to the other end of the scale until we reach the capabilities of having a smartphone the size of a credit card? A decently sized smartphone bezel provides enough grip for us to hold it comfortably, and more of this gives us less of a paranoia about dropping the thing, and will probably help prevent us dropping it in the first place.

On top of this, if a smartphone is so paper thin that we worry about what will happen to it if it hits a concrete floor, we’re only going to stick a thick case on it anyway to ensure protection, and this completely ruins the whole world’s thinnest phone thing.

I remember when manufacturers strived to make mobile phones smaller and smaller, but since the rise in smartphone usage, mobiles have started to grow bigger again, and this is because we constantly want larger displays to view the content we have on it.

Perhaps instead of trying to shrink our smartphone bezels even further, manufacturers should work on providing handsets that have strong, comfortable grips so that we don’t run the risk of dropping and breaking our smartphones. If you walk through a city, you’ll notice that nearly everybody around you has a smartphone, and they are constantly carrying it along with them.

It only makes sense that mobile manufacturers work towards creating a more ergonomic design that firmly fits into your hand at the highest level of comfort instead of working towards developing wafer-thin devices.

Do you prefer a thinner device or would you go for a chunkier handset? I’m curious to see other’s opinions on this topic.