Intervention: We Need to Talk About the Phablets

By Chris Mills on at

Look. We knew that at CES this year, we'd be inundated with a metric tonne of giant phone/tablet monstrosities. We were ready. We braced ourselves, stretched our hands out, and I even practiced my best smiling-through-gritted-teeth face. But I can't handle it any more. Manufacturers are out of control, and it's got to stop, before IT'S TOO LATE!

There are rumours floating around of ZTE producing 5.7-inch and even a stupid frigging 6.1-inch phablet. Please god, spare us. Honestly, the world DOES NOT NEED an electronic device (I don't want to use the word phablet again, in case it works on a Tinkerbell principle) the same size as an average dick. (Yeah, you were all thinking it as soon as I said six inches. Tee frickin' hee.)

Okay, so I understand that there are lots of people out there who like phablets. I get it, you like big screens, and there's nothing fundamentally wrong with that. (Apart from the fact that to like a device this big you need to have an inferiority complex bigger than Napoleon's and less self-conciousness than an insurance salesman.) But we need, as a society, to draw a line somewhere. The boundary keeps getting pushed out, and at some point it's going too far. People are now actually talking seriously about using 7" tablets as handsets, and that's just plain wrong.

It's fine if you want to go to the hassle of lugging around a tablet; that's your funeral. Hell, I even do that. The real public annoyance comes when people start yapping away into them like they're phones, or worse, snapping photos with them. You don't look acceptable. You look like a grade-A, foaming-at-the-mouth tit, and it pisses me off.

That said, the whole 'device-that-must-not-be-named' trend wouldn't annoy me that much if it weren't that the move towards bigger and bigger devices is hurting reasonably-sized phones. The inflation of screen sizes is forcing consumers to choose between high-end and decent screen size. It's a vicious circle -- manufacturers push out phones with bigger and bigger screens, people buy them (not because of the big screens, because of the awesome specs or other such features), and manufacturers take this as their cue to build ever-more-massive monstrosities.

Stop it. Please. Think of the children. In twenty year's time, do you really want your poor kids wandering round with all-in-ones glued to their faces, wearing jeans with specially-expanded pockets just to tote their massive phablets around in. That's where we're heading if this stupid fucking trend doesn't stop. It's idiotic, moronic, and may ultimately be the end of the human race.

Here's what I want. Manufacturers, for every ridiculously oversized hand-stretched bitch of a monstrosity you make, produce a smaller version (I mean less than 4.3") with the same specs and features. I have small hands, and I honestly think that I will struggle to ever tote anything bigger than a 4.7" Nexus 4. But I'm worried. All this talk of 5-inch Android superphones genuinely convinces me that the iPhone may end up in a land of no competition again with its 4-inch screen, and that won't be good for anybody. So please, stop screwing around with your 5.7-inch phablet pieces of shit, and come make me some reasonable-sized phones again. It's not too much to ask, is it?

In case you're wondering, the ZTE giant slab of crap 5.7" device will most likely be launched in China this spring, with a 1.2Ghz processor, 720p display, 8MP camera, and a form to sign away your dignity. [Unwired Review]