Slim phone look good, head turning good. Chinese manufacturers are putting in their best effort to shave off those extra millimeters or tenth of mm to win the slimmest crown, and that has resulted in a wave of ultra slim devices like Gionee Elife S5.5, Gionee Elife S5.1, OPPO R5 and Vivo X5 max, in decreasing order of waist size. Before Gionee tries to woo us with another contender at MWC, here are some potential reasons for why you wouldn’t want to buy a slim phone.
Super Amoled Displays
Super AMOLED displays aren’t bad, but they are just not for everyone. They are characterized by marvelous blacks, great contrast but poor whites. This means you will observe a blue tint when viewing a white background or reading text, which can be annoying. AMOLED technology has been improved over the years and high end AMOLED displays like in Samsung Galaxy Note 4, have good whites too, but still not IPS LCD good.
Since Super AMOLED displays don’t require a back light, they are slimmer and consume less power as compared to IPS LCD panels. Because of these two factors, Amoled displays have a seat reserved in all slim phones and thus, make sure it is in line with your taste before you proceed.
Running for the slimmest title belt doesn’t allow manufacturer to add snuggly back curves or an ergonomic design to their smartphones. Ultra slim phones can feel annoyingly weird in hands, especially while typing in portrait mode. Over longer period of usage, they also begin to uncomfortably poke your hands.
Heating isn’t a necessary evil, but yes we have seen slim phones like Elife S5.5 heat to undesirable proportion even with day to day usage. Besides, it can be irritating to pick them up from flat surfaces.
Trying extra hard to shave those millimeters results in one compromise or the other. Gionee Elife S5.1 doesn’t offer MicroSD card slot. Oppo R5 eliminates 3.5 mm audio jack too. While Vivo X5Max seems to have both these factors covered, a mere 2000 mAh battery sounds unacceptable for a 30K+ device.
Even with Oppo’s admirable VOOC rapid charging, we would appreciate a bigger battery – as big as possible, without making it unusually heavy – even if that means a couple of extra millimeters.
Large senor size is perhaps the most important parameter for great quality images, and thus with Slim phones we often see a camera bump, or reduced sensor size, both of which look and feel weird.
Even iPhone 6 was widely criticized for rear camera bump, which also prevents it from comfortably resting on its back. This also increases the probability of scratches on the rear camera lens, which can in turn deteriorate picture quality. However, this won’t matter much when you put on a case.
To achieve that slim form factor, manufacturers are more tempted to fuse front panel and display assembly, use a lot more glue inside instead of screws and solder battery and other component on motherboard. All of this adds up to expensive repair, especially at a local repair store near your home
In spite of all these points, we do agree that slim phones have a certain panache attached to them and people love them. We do marvel at the engineering prowess, but is slimmer than 5 mm too slim? Would you be willing to pay extra for compromised specifications/ hardware just because they are housed in an ultra slim casing? The answer to that will be subjective to your individual needs.