Discover more from Legendary Scoop
It's Saturday, and I'm over having a big phone
I'm ditching the iPhone 14 Pro Max for the regular 15 Pro, and I'm thrilled about it.
Every year, I upgrade my iPhone to whatever the newest model is. No, it's not the wisest way to spend my money, but T-Mobile has a great program that lets me upgrade every year as long as I trade in my current phone. Plus, I like having access to whatever new stuff Apple puts in its phones (read: I'm still not on Apple's PR list for review units). For the past year, I've been using the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and I've decided that this year, I'll be going with the smaller iPhone 15 Pro, because I am done having a huge phone.
It's a debate for the ages: are big phones overrated or simply better than their smaller counterparts? Many people prefer the extra screen real estate that's afforded by a physically larger smartphone, which is great when you're on the go and want to enjoy some gaming or YouTube streaming. It's also nice when you're multitasking and don't want to squint to see important information. The public's admiration of big phones led to the creation of the iPhone 14 Plus, which killed the iPhone mini series. And regardless of how well the iPhone Plus is selling, it's clear that Apple saw enough demand from the market to develop it.
I've never been a fan of big phones. They've always felt unnatural to use and a pain to lug around. Most of them are heavy, too wide to type on with one hand, and far too tall to reach anything that floats to the top of the screen. I rarely watch videos on my phone when I'm on the go (I have an iPad for a reason), and after a while, my hand gets tired from using them.
But after advocating for smaller phones for years, in classic hypocritical fashion, I upgraded my iPhone 13 Pro to the 14 Pro Max last year. I wanted to see if I was truly missing out on anything by not having a big phone. I was also a little worried about battery life; rumors suggested the 14 Pro would be worse than the 13 Pro, so I wanted to make sure I'd still get all-day battery life from my phone.
I was okay with the increase in size for a while. It was a good change of pace after using smaller phones for a couple of years, but that quickly faded. After the first month, I was beginning to realize that I picked the wrong phone. After month four, that was even clearer. After month six, all I wanted to do was make enough payments to “upgrade” to a standard 14 Pro.
I obviously didn’t and decided to stick with the 14 Pro Max, but I’ve resented it. The 6.7-inch screen is a much more drastic change than I was anticipating since I couldn’t do common things like send texts with one hand or reach the top corner as easily to pull down Control Center. Use it long enough and your thumb starts to hurt from all the reaching around you have to do. Plus, it’s heavy: at 240 grams, it’s one of the heaviest phones I’ve used every day in a long time.
But here’s the real kicker: the battery life wasn’t even that great. Compared to my 13 Pro, I was getting roughly the same endurance, if not slightly worse. There have been days when I drain the battery to 20 percent with four hours of screen-on time. That never happened with my 13 Pro, which would regularly have 50 percent in the tank after four hours of screen time. I wasn’t alone in battery life disappointment, either; many 14 Pro and Pro Max users complained about the endurance of their phones once they entered the real world.
Rumor has it the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max will both offer longer battery life and lighter designs. That’s thanks to two important elements: the 3-nanometer A17 Bionic processor and a new titanium frame. I’m glad to see these improvements coming to the 15 Pro Max, but I’m even more excited that they’re also making their way to the regular 15 Pro. It gives me all the more reason to choose the smaller model over its larger sibling.
I’m also adopting a new feeling toward larger phones, mostly thanks to how the industry has shifted over the past 12 months: they should fold. If I want a big phone, I want it to fold in half. I don’t care if it folds vertically or horizontally—if I’ll be carrying around a large smartphone all day, I don’t want it to feel like I have an iPad in my pocket.
The Pixel Fold is mostly responsible for this new-found appreciation of flexible phones. I got my review unit not too long ago, and from the second I started using it, I was convinced that this is the form factor every large smartphone should follow. It’s big when I want it to be (7.6 inches to be exact), and it’s small and compact when I’m on the go (thanks to the 5.8-inch cover screen). It’s literally the best of both worlds.
Apple will probably never ship a foldable iPhone, at least not for a long while. So until they do, I’ll be sticking with phones I can actually hold in one hand.
It’s safe to say the 14 Pro Max left a bad taste in my mouth, so at the very least, I’ll be leaving the big phone world for a while. It’s not really Apple’s fault I feel this way. On the contrary, I’m just tired of huge phones. We have better ways to implement huge screens on our mobile devices—using OLED screens and hinges. Obviously, you may prefer a traditional slab smartphone with a big screen, and I can understand why. But if I want a big screen to carry around in the future, I’ll be buying one that folds in half.
And it’ll have to have an Apple logo on it—I’m just too deep into iMessage to escape. I’ll be going even deeper into the walled garden on my comfortable, normal-sized iPhone 15 Pro in a couple of weeks.
So long, massive smartphones. I won’t miss you at all.
In non-Apple news…
Yeah, Google just leaked its own phones again: Google announced an event last week scheduled for October 4th where the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will be unveiled. And to spoil any sort of surprises leading up to it—and to combat the usual all-too-revealing leaks—Google went and published images and videos of both phones, as well as a look at the Pixel Watch 2. We don’t learn anything we didn’t already know; they’ll come with tweaked designs with rounder corners, new colors (including pink on the Pixel 8), and have updated specs like a Tensor G3 processor. If you want to see them in all their glory, check out the official Google Store landing page.
Never mind, BMW will give you heated seats for free: It was never a thing in the United States, but in other markets like the UK and Germany (among others), BMW was charging people ~$18 per month for heated seats and steering wheels in their cars. It’s an odd business model for a feature that, typically, is either bundled with the car you buy or available as an add-on at point of purchase. Luckily, BMW is getting rid of it, as discovered through an interview between Autocar and BMW’s board member for sales and marketing, Pieter Nota. From Nota: “We thought that we would provide an extra service to the customer by offering the chance to activate that later, but the user acceptance isn’t that high. People feel that they paid double – which was actually not true, but perception is reality, I always say. So that was the reason we stopped that.”
Android gets a new logo: Well, not entirely new. Google has announced a tweaked version of the Android wordmark that capitalizes the “A” in “Android” and looks a bit more modern. It’s also redesigned the “bugdroid,” everyone’s favorite green robot, with a new 3D look. Google said they’re going to start integrating the refreshed branding into the Android operating system this year. I’d bet they’ll debut on the Pixel 8, but what do I know?
Now, if you’ll excuse me… it’s time to get ready for September 12th.