When tablets and phones collide: What’s the “right” size?

Lindsay McComb / Posted 11.20.2012

Is a phablet right for you?


Tablets are shrinking and smart phones are growing. Enter the phablet. It doesn't roll off the tongue so much as jettison from your lips and teeth. A portmanteau of phone and tablet, these devices are a tight fit for a pocket (5-7 inches), but a great mix for people who want the power of a tablet and the ability to occasionally make a phone call.

The question is, do I want to be that kind of person?

I currently have a 3" LG Optimus, a sleek Korean model that allows me to easily make phone calls and read everything from emails, tweets and the news. When I first got it, it felt massive compared to iPhones. Now I feel inferior to everyone with Samsung Galaxies.

Especially because I don't have a stylus.

Size does matter, but not in the way you might think.

While I admit that I do not want to make phone calls on an iPad and hate having to hold one up for Facetime or Skype, there are some definite advantages to a larger screen.

I won't be young forever. My already crappy eyes will probably get worse. Why not give my eyes a break and read things at a slightly more decent (and back-lit) size? I love reading on my Kindle Touch. It's just the right size for all my eBook needs.

Three inches is also a tricky size for typing. I hate typing on my phone. While I'm so thankful for the advent of smartphones with QWERTY keyboards, typing onscreen can be a real pain in the ass. I have fairly small, slender fingers and cannot for the life of me ever seem to hit the "T" key when I actually want to. If not for autocorrect and a brilliant suggested words list and sheer perseverance, much of my digital communiqué would look something like this:

"Whars up.jus hoping on the rtain."

Admittedly, I'm fairly anal about correct spelling and punctuation; I'm an editor. And a decent-sized keyboard might help keep me from losing my mind trying to respond to a text message.

Cutting down on the number of gadgets.

At first I really enjoyed having a cadre of gadgets, each for a different task: iPod, phone, tablet. For music, communication, and reading, respectively. Now I'm starting to feel like maybe I'd like it all in one place. It'd certainly make my bag a lot lighter.

I'm not totally sold on the phablet yet. I think part of it is that I'm somewhat disenchanted with Android's OS. I'm becoming very partial to Macs. So when the iPhone gets a bit bigger (it's already so close at four inches!) or the iPad gets just a bit smaller, I'll likely be buying an iPhablet.

What do you think? Do you want a phablet that does it all? Or would you rather keep certain parts of your life seperate?

Lindsay McComb

Writer and Content Specialist

Lindsay is Q Digital Studio’s writer and content specialist. She develops heady technical jargon into clear, coherent (and optimized) content. She has a knack for finding just the right words - but only after she’s had a nice cup of coffee (or two). She happily dives into the depths of the Internet on a daily basis. Lindsay has worked as a writer and editor the world over.