OnePlus Wants To Give Us Smaller Phones At Last

We are swamped by oversized phones. But if OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has his way, we may finally get a great phone that is not the size of a surfboard for hamsters.

According to PCMag, Lau sees a lot of demand for smaller phones. But the fact is that there are no products to satisfy it. After the death of the iPhone SE, only Sony is producing “compact” phones that are neither that compact nor irresistible, despite being decent machines. And the new Palm is more oversized Apple Watch than phone (and a lousy one at that). There are no great small phones out there.

But Lau wants to deliver this. The only problem, he says, is the battery life: “If we can solve the battery problem, we would definitely make a smaller one [...] the technology of batteries hasn't changed too much over all these years.”

MORE: The Best Small Phones — Top Picks Under 6 Inches

The perfect (small) phone

Perhaps you don’t have go as small and underpowered as the tiny Palm. Maybe you need to a phone the size of an iPhone SE (123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 millimeters) or a bit wider and/or thicker. To make it perfect, it needs to have the following (I’m taking Apple as a reference but you can do the same with Android, of course).

  • Make the screen OLED and flushed to the edges (like in the image above) so you actually end with a display roughly the size of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in a much tinier package.
  • Include a good camera sensor like the one in the iPhone XR
  • Feature a 7-nanometer processor like the new Snapdragon 855 to save on power, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
  • Use materials that are not all glass on the back. Ceramics, leather, even some cool woods. Heck, allow users to personalize the phone just like Motorola used to do with the Moto X.
  • Include a 2,800mAh battery pack or wait until you can get a higher capacity graphene battery that can charge in no time.

That’s it. I would buy that in a nanosecond. It’s time for the pendulum to move back and offer people options.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.