Some thoughts on phablets after spending some time with one...

I have come to the realization that these are still fairly small screens we're dealing with here. I know that is going to sound crazy to you, but just hear me out.

I have spent a fair amount of time now with the Note 3 (testing it out on my company line, perks of the job), and I have noticed a few things about this form factor. I won't go into specific details about the phone itself, these are just my thoughts on using a phablet in day to day life.

1. I do not notice a difference having this thing in my pocket. This will probably be a bigger deal for people who where lots of jeans or ladies in the audience (unless you carry a purse), but with wearing everything from board shorts to dress slacks, this phone is thin enough that it fits in my pocket just fine. I'll admit, I am a big guy (6'4" ~240lbs), but I have had others put this in their pockets and apart from some jeans, they all fit fine.

2. I don't feel weird at all talking on one. This one surprised me. I anticipated feeling very silly holding up a billboard to my face to talk, but it is somehow perfectly comfortable for me. The only difference I can really notice is that my fingers are spread further apart than they would be with a smaller phone, otherwise it feels no different when holding up to my face. Now it may look funny, sure, but it's not uncomfortable to hold like I thought it would be.

3. That big beautiful screen isn't really all that big. When I picked this thing up, I expected it to replace my N7 outright. I mean, what's another inch or so in screen size? Well somehow, that inch makes a big difference (yes, yes, I know what she said), because it still feels very lacking in comparison. I think that the 7" form factor hits a sweet spot for tablets where you can still view a full webpage in portrait and not have to worry about zooming in so much, but a device approaching 6" seems to be just under that perfect range.

So this is my dilemma. I still feel the need to keep my N7 around, but if that's the case, what's the use of such a huge phone? They are close enough in size to make me feel silly carrying them both around, but they are far enough away in size that their use case doesn't quite overlap like I thought it would. I quite like this phone's size for everyday use, even though many tasks are out of the question for one handed use, but it's still too small to be a good tablet. It's not solving the problem it's supposed to.

Maybe the answer will be to bump up to a ~10" tablet size and continue with the large phone, but until then the 1020 is still my go to personal phone. A 4.5" display just seems to make sense for a phone. I can easily use it with one hand but still have a decent amount of screen real estate to work with.

That 1520 looks pretty tempting though...