iPhones are getting too fat

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
iPhones are getting too fat
Back in 2015, we had a poll which asked participants to choose between a very thin phone with okay battery life, or a thicker phone with bigger battery, and thus – longer battery life. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the thicker phone with bigger battery. However, I'm starting to believe that the late Steve Jobs was quite right to be obsessed with computer thinness.

Back when Apple's iPhones were following the iPhone 6 design, they were considerably thinner than they are today. I remember when the immensely hyped iPhone X came out, with its brand new super-luxurious design and everything, the first thought that crossed my mind was: "Wow, that thing is beautiful!" And then that thought was quickly followed by another: "It's also so... thick?!" because I was comparing it to the iPhone 7.

One year later, Apple kept the same exact design with the iPhone XS and XS Max, but also released the mainstream XR, which was even bulkier! The iPhone XR is my daily driver, and if I could change anything in it, making it thinner and lighter would have easily been in the top three. I think iPhones (and phones in general) have slowly gotten a bit too fat and heavy!

I came to this realization after playing around with the OnePlus 5T for a few days. Compared to the XR, the OnePlus 5T is about as wide, and even taller, but it's so much thinner and lighter. This made it feel surprisingly good while holding and using it. It also gets thinner towards the edges, which I think is also a good design choice, both from ergonomic and aesthetic point of view. It's similar to what Apple's doing with the iMac, but the iPhone does not have such a curve – it remains "full fat" all the way to the edges. Maybe part of the reason is that iPhones have glass backs now, to facilitate wireless charging, but this also seems to be contributing to the increased thickness and weight.

The iPhone XR is also very heavy. I wouldn't call it excessive, but it is very substantial. Some people appreciate their phones having some heft, but there's a line that shouldn't be crossed, because then the user starts to subconsciously avoid reaching for the phone.

This brings us back to the beginning and the question of having a thin and light phone versus a thick and heavy phone with better battery life. The iPhone XR does have superb battery life, to the point that I pay almost no attention to my battery levels – I just put it on the charger whenever I remember to do so.

But you know what: I'd love to trade some of that battery for reduced thickness and weight. There's just something effortless in handling a phone like the OnePlus 5T; it makes you want to put your hands on it more often, even if you don't have a specific reason to do so. Now, I can't switch to OnePlus, because of my broader needs and principles, which are best answered by the Apple ecosystem (plus newer OnePlus phones are also thicker), but I think it'd be great if the next iPhone design cuts out some of the fat for that desirable elegance that was typical of previous generations. Maybe then consumers will start lusting after each new iPhone like they used to.

What do you think? Is it time we put our phones on a low-fat diet?

Are phones getting too big, fat and heavy?


Apple iPhone XR

Apple iPhone XR


5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches

150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm


6.84 oz (194 g)

OnePlus 5T

OnePlus 5T


6.15 x 2.95 x 0.29 inches

156.1 x 75 x 7.3 mm


5.71 oz (162 g)

Apple iPhone XR

Apple iPhone XR


5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches

150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm


6.84 oz (194 g)

OnePlus 5T

OnePlus 5T


6.15 x 2.95 x 0.29 inches

156.1 x 75 x 7.3 mm


5.71 oz (162 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



1. NateAdam8

Posts: 439; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

No, Even if it makes them fatter and heavier they need biigger batterys and all other useful crap that people demand in a phone.

12. LFCRodrigues

Posts: 64; Member since: May 09, 2014

The S10+ has bigger battery and is way lighter and easier to carry around

2. Plutonium239

Posts: 1244; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

You can't be serious with this article. Wow... No, phones aren't getting too fat, they were getting too thin and harder to hold onto.

4. raky_b

Posts: 420; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Heavy it is, for it's size that is....but XR is not too thick. So,I agree with you, phones are getting too thin. And with too weak batteries...just look One+7. I would say that they are getting too big to, but that is just me...and sales shows that there aren't that many folk, whose are willing to buy smaller devices. And I would always take bigger battery than 1mm thiner device

16. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1177; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Glad I am not the only one that feels this way. Like he literally thinks going thinner with okay battery is good.

3. darkkjedii

Posts: 31598; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Nope. I have man hands, no issue with the Max’s size.

5. scramasax

Posts: 45; Member since: Mar 07, 2015

Phone are not getting too fat but people definitely are....

19. Ray.S

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 19, 2011


6. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1346; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Guess you want your credit card to be jealous of your phone. Give me a 5000mAh battery.

7. middlehead

Posts: 467; Member since: May 12, 2014

Some may be getting too tall and wide, but none of them are too thick. Over-focus on thinness was the worst thing to happen to phones.

8. chris2k5

Posts: 291; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

Seems like PhoneArena writers are running out of ideas of what to write...

9. kplayon

Posts: 63; Member since: Mar 02, 2018

I agree. I want them thinner and lighte like the s10 series.

20. Ray.S

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

Yeah, the S10 series stroke a good balance!

10. kplayon

Posts: 63; Member since: Mar 02, 2018

The one plus 7pro is also too heavy and big which is the reason I'm passing it.

11. LFCRodrigues

Posts: 64; Member since: May 09, 2014

Get off my mind! I was traveling the other day and I was using My S10 and my boyfriend was using his iPhone XR. For videos we were using the iPhone XR and everytime I was filming I felt like it was TOO HAVY, TOO Fat and hard to carry. Specially if you have a case on It. I often prefer what the iPhone's camera was giving but my S10 felt damn way better to hold and waaay more beautiful (no doubt about that)

13. LFCRodrigues

Posts: 64; Member since: May 09, 2014

But let me tell ya, people Will only notice if they actually have one. People here are talking but they dont even have one. I can talk about the XR and everyone who actually have one is complaning about the size and specially the thickness of it (because everyone I know is using a case on It, so It gets even worse)

21. Ray.S

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

Oh yeah, put a case on the XR and things get ugly!

14. User123456789

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Article is too late ... Iphone 8+ was the heaviest flagship of 2017 with more than 200g. Of course no tech site cared to point same way it was done to other devices. Funniest part is the battery that was not even 2800mAh.

17. JCASS889

Posts: 608; Member since: May 18, 2018

Are people really complaining about a couple hundred grams? Go to the gym for once.

18. jefff

Posts: 30; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

Legit laughed out loud at this "article," and NOT just because it's written like a bored, pointless teenager's diary entry, but also because when switching from an iPhone 7 to an iPhone X he noticed, "...It's also so... thick?!" That 0.6mm increase really took things too far? Or you just needed to write something this week?

22. jjface

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 07, 2017

I agree! Tried an XR and it really does feel a bit bloated. It is not that it is bad by itself but compared to most competitors iphones like the XR feel overweight and fat. Iphones used to be quite svelte like the 6,7 and 8 lines.And when you add a screen protector and case to the xr well it is a chubby little thing that needs to go to fat camp. Not a deal breaker but it is noticeable.

23. wickedwilly

Posts: 743; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

There are limits to how thick and heavy a phone should be to be comfortable in everyday use. It is all about getting the optimal size/weight combination while still fitting in a large, efficient battery and as many features as is possible. Apple has been poor at this for years. Take the "max" range. They are far from not the slimmest, are larger and weigh right at the heaviest end compared with their peers, yet that have much smaller batteries and far less or smaller capacity features. Quite simply poor design in comparison.

24. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1584; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

I prefer a thin phone, less noticeable in my pocket.

25. gdawilson

Posts: 299; Member since: Jul 21, 2014

I love how the article title is 'iPhones are getting a bit too fat' and then the survey is: 'are PHONES (not iPhones)...". PhoneArena doesn't want people bashing Apple products

26. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1277; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Phones need to become much more fat upto say 10mm, especially due to inclusion of bigger batteries...

27. riteshrkm

Posts: 164; Member since: Apr 15, 2015

I love my Note 9. It has a Pen, 4000Mah battery , 3.5 mm jack,dual camera how well they have packed everything without compromising.

28. pimpin83z

Posts: 595; Member since: Feb 08, 2019

Voted no & I'm not an iPhone user. The 4-5s felt like kiddy phones. Glad the newer models have some heft in them.

29. KingSam

Posts: 1505; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

My LG v35 is light, thin and a perfect 6" 18:9. What I hate is the brainless reviewers associating premium with weight.

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