We generally tend to divide smartphones into three different categories when we speak. There is a budget category, which is generally below Rs 10,000, there is a flagship category where the phones are in the regions of about Rs 34,000 and above and then there is a mid-range category which is somewhere in between. You would perhaps ask, if I strictly had to talk about the mid-range category smartphones, the price bracket in the post title would be wrong. Just like real life, the title takes into consideration ‘price drops’. A phone launched at anything below Rs 15,000 generally falls down to the sub Rs 10,000 category and a Rs 34,000 priced device will come soon tumbling below the Rs 30,000 mark. So, therefore, the former would automatically be considered a budget phone, while the latter would be a mid-ranger anyway. This leaves the Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 strictly being labeled as the mid-range and an odd category.
The saying on the social media platforms goes a bit like, people are getting dumber while the phones are getting smarter. What that statement doesnt add is the fact that these smart phones seem to be getting larger as the days go by. Remember the days when a Desire HD and later on a Note I was considered to be a huge device. Anything above 4.3 inches was remarked to be a really big smartphone, and likes of Dell Streak were ridiculed at their launch.
Today we have devices such as Samsung Mega series or even the likes of Xperia Z Ultra which are absolutely ginormous devices. We will reserve the debate on usefulness of such device for another day, but one thing is for sure, that there is a market for such devices and people are willing to spend money on them. But one of the biggest challenges associated with any device which is about 5 inches or more is the issue of unlocking them.
Initially this maybe sound like a small issue but it really is not. I realised it the hard way when i recently was using an Xperia Ultra and while carrying plenty of groceries in one hand had to check a notification on my device. After repeated failures, i had to put the stuff down and then unlock the device with the other hand. So, the issue of unlocking a device with one hand is actually real. Even using my personal HTC One, I find it scary when i unlock the device with the button placed on top that the device will slip out. And I have very decent sized hands. So what is the solution?
One solution is to have buttons on the side and not type, a bit like what Nokia, Samsung or even Sony are doing, but what if the device has decent length across? You may find clasping device tough. This is where I feel what LG have done with LG G2 may well be beginning of something amazing. We all know, knock on is not something LG came up with, Nokia had done double tap to unlock long ago on their S40 powered devices and more recently Asha 501.
But if more devices took cues from what LG has done, it would be a huge improvement on the issue some of us have unlocking big devices. You can double tap on any part of the screen and you are good to go. And since LG have implemented it on an IPS display after Nokia did something very similar on AMOLED displays, you have to wonder, why other mobile manufacturers are not embracing this. We only hope this feature becomes more prominent and it at least will bring us one step closer to accepting these so called phablets in our world of ‘normal’ smartphone usage.