Can a small iPhone be cool again?

It was 2013 when Apple last introduced a small iPhone, the 5s. It had a 4" display and was the last high-end smartphone that could comfortably be used with a single thumb, without requiring an awkward stretch. The last one worth remembering, that is.

Today, Apple is expected to return to its roots with a new compact device, the long-rumored and weirdly named iPhone SE. Speculation about the new product is polarized: some say the iPhone SE is going to resemble the iPhone 6s, while others claim it's going to retain the blockier design of the iPhone 5s. Whatever the case, rumors tend to be pretty consistent about the SE getting iPhone 6s-grade internals, including the A9 chip, 12 MP camera and Touch ID fingerprint sensor, but no 3D Touch pressure-sensitive display. All this would make the iPhone SE a generously high-end smartphone perfectly capable of keeping pace with our heightened, 2016 standards.

But the difficult question is this: now that the standard-edition iPhone is a 4.7" device, in line with consumer demand for bigger screens, can the brave little iPhone SE make small phones cool again? Are there enough premium customers willing to stick with the extra-compact, 4" form-factor? Apple has already made iPhone products that have proved to be not sufficiently successful (cough, iPhone 5c, cough), so doing another one probably shouldn't be out of the question.

What do you think? Would you even consider a phone with a 4" display in this day and age?

Related phones

iPhone SE
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9 APL0898, Dual-core, 1840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1624 mAh(14h 3G talk time)



1. kirholstov

Posts: 146; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Disappointed MS Lumia 925 fan here. I'm looking forward to switch to a nexus device or a reasonably priced iPhone. Apple events are always exciting for all gadgets lovers anyway.

2. djkhalid

Posts: 156; Member since: Jul 01, 2013

nexus 6p u wont regret it

13. sgodsell

Posts: 7354; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

What kills me is there is so many smartphones on the market that have a large screen, but in a small form factor. The competition has a number of devices like this for years. Devices from Motorola, LG, Samsung, and many others. A tiny phone is still for some users, but since I am 6'5", only larger phones are for me.

6. gtrc11

Posts: 32; Member since: Feb 05, 2015

the Apple events are amazing, i don't like apple products but it's events are fun.

3. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

"It had a 4" display and was the last high-end smartphone which could easily be used with a single thumb" - Ray.S WRONG! LG G2 had a mode called Mini View, which you shrink the display downwards to 3.7" Why give credits to Apple where they do not deserve it or when other OEMs deserve those same credits even better? SMH

4. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

Even Phablets of since 2014 had similar display-shrinking mode!

7. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

Not only that, but that statement was also subjective. I can use my G2 with one thumb too, maybe I have large hands but I can use my G2 with one thumb with ease eventhough it's awkward sometimes. Also, the G2 doesn't have mini view. I can confirm that. The G Pro 2 does, so does the note 3.

12. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

If it's awkward, than it's not easy. To be able to easily use a 5" screen device one needs to have the thumbs of a 250 cm person, which I believe it's not the case for either one of us.

14. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

Well I'm just saying... Awkward is not the antonym of easy so they can go together. I don't think you need to be 8' or whatever but I can do calls, check emails, messages, etc. On my G2 with my thumb. I know I won't browse the Web, but I don't think it's easy either to browse on an iPhone 5/5s with one hand either.

5. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

Sure it can, just wait and see ;)

8. sobit81

Posts: 39; Member since: Apr 18, 2015


9. aasifmaqsood

Posts: 29; Member since: Sep 30, 2015

yes.. and everyone will come up with flagships of smaller displays now..

10. Emersonwaldo

Posts: 10; Member since: Feb 10, 2016

Of course it can be really cool, not everybody likes carrying a box in the name of a phone. I use a 5''er though.

11. Lycan155

Posts: 254; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Yes some of my friends are still holding on their 4 inch iphone 5s so i believe there's a market for it

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