For a long time thin was in. Every new phone had to be thinner than the one before. I'm not just taking smartphones. The Moto RAZR was named that for a reason. Then came Samsung and the original Galaxy Note and bigger became the new better. iPhone Plus cemented that change.
And sure, those screens are and will be amazing. Bright, beautiful, and perfect — all the things you could want in smartphone screen today.
Unless all that bigness isn't a virtue. Unless you want smaller.
The original iPod gave way to the mini which gave way to the Nano. It got smaller over time, not bigger. Even though the smaller version didn't hold as many songs and didn't have as long a battery life, it became a smash hit. It wasn't the biggest but, for many people, it was the best.
For the last little while, I've been looking for the same thing from a smartphone. A nano, so to speak.
iPhone SE is smaller, and I've talked about my love for it before. But what I wanted to try next was something even simpler. A more elegant phone from a more civilized time, so to speak. Something like my beloved StarTac, which was so small it sometimes got lost in my pockets.
It couldn't be an entirely dumb phone, though. It didn't need to edit 4K video but it did have to offer basic services like WhatsApp. (Yup, I now consider WhatsApp to be a basic service!)
It didn't have to be fast but it did have to last. Maybe, without all that screen space and specs, it could even last for days?
That led me to try out the Posh Mobile Micro X. It's a full smartphone condensed down to the size of an iPod Nano.
I won't bore you with specs. For all intents and geek-purposes, it has none. It runs Kit Kat and will never run anything more. It's not my primary phone and it's not meant to be. It's just what I've been looking for — a small, easy to carry phone, that's always connected but not overly so.
It's got a removable battery, a micro-SD card slot, and — you guessed it! — a headphone jack.
In almost every way, it's the opposite of the new Galaxy S8 and perhaps the next iPhone 8, but that's what I love about it.
Yes, sometimes less really is more. And sometimes smaller really is better.
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I’ve covered the personal technology beat for more than two decades at places like Gartner, Jupiter Research and Altimeter Group. I’ve also had the fun of contributing my $.02 on the topic at Computerworld, Engadget, Macworld, SlashGear and now iMore. Most recently I spent a few years at Apple as Sr. Director of Worldwide Product Marketing. On Twitter I’m an unverified @gartenberg. I still own some Apple stock.