The Evolution of the Phone… And Its Obesity Crisis

Mobile phones are pretty awesome. They’re even more awesome when you compare, say, the Samsung Galaxy S4 to the Nokia 3410 (separated by just over a decade). The latter allowed you to make calls, possessed a clock and an alarm clock, the widely anticipated Snake II and dedicated call and hang-up buttons (one of the many features allowing it to stand superior over the 3310). The former has a front-facing (2 megapixel) and rear-facing (13 mega-pixel) camera, just shy of 10 gigabytes of user memory (the Nokia, looking at the wiki-page, had the ability to store 10 texts) which doesn’t include any cards you may want to equip it with, and of course full-browsing capabilities and pretty much an entire office in your pocket.


Can we just take a second to appreciate this stark contrast and how far we’ve come?

And you get all these super-flash and super-snazzy features in a phone just 16g heavier than the Nokia. However, the Nokia (although fatter) is more compact in width and length. Of course, as the years passed phones got even smaller as the flip-phone and slide-phone had their turn in vogue (the Samsung D500, released at the end of 2004 I believe, was 93.5×45.7mm in length and width versus the Galaxy S4′s 136.6×69.8mm). This is my issue, phones seem to be growing to tablet status as they become more impressive. Yes, they are much thinner than the oldies, but it seems the ideal of the pocket-sized, convenient telephone is being displaced by the slightly-smaller-than-a-tablet-and-yes-you-can-make-calls dream. I know many won’t have an issue with this, and if you carry a bag with you then the storage of the phone isn’t really inhibited by the size, but for me, the core point of a mobile was a communication tool that could be carried about with ease and without concern. I think if I had one of these very impressive new touch-screens, I wouldn’t be able to calm down, fearing that at any moment I’d damage it.

I am not opposing the movement, because I do fully-appreciate how good these phones are. If I had the money, I’d more-than-likely get one. The direction seems to be one that allows for diversification of the mobile, making it less of a phone and more of a digital Swiss-army knife. This versatility is incredible, and the phone is now far more of an essential than ever before, but if you had asked me 10 years ago, I’d have placed my money on phones becoming miniscule, and not this obesity crisis we’re seeing now (actually, 10 years ago I was just in double-figures age-wise, and so I’d probably just put my pocket money on sweets or Pokemon) . I suppose, even a 5″ inch screen is still pocket-size (????), and therefore it satisfies the ‘mobile’ in mobile phone. So maybe I’m whinging about nothing.

Yeah, I’m probably just jealous… Because I still have a Blackberry that’s not even a touch screen


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