Posted by Chris Martin 26 January 2015
Race to claim thinnest smartphone is pointless: Let's focus on the important things
We recently reviewed the Kazam Tornado 348 over on PC Advisor. Although it's the thinnest smartphone we've ever reviewed as has claims to being the thinnest in the world, it's made me realise that this never ending battle is completely pointless.
It wasn't so many years ago, or even months, when making a smartphone (or other devices) thinner was quite an achievement - they were quick brick like. It was good to see something become slimmer and therefore lighter too. However, we've gone beyond the point where it actually benefits the end user.
The Tornado 348 is just 5.15 mm - actually 5.3 mm going by our accurate callipers) - either way it's an impressive feat of engineering and there are other phones vying for the top spot including the Oppo R5 and Vivo X5 Max.
A phone thinner than a regular biro might sound impressive, but this is actually detrimental to the device.
With the Tornado 348, the phone looks great with its slender profile. However, holding it in the hand is a strange experience. It's essentially too thin to be ergonomic so I actually found it difficult to hold on to and use comfortably. Since the device is so this, it's extremely light; so much so that you can't feel it in your pocket prompting that horrible panic that it's fallen out when it hasn't.
Egonomics aside, there is another major problem with having a phone this thin: there's no room inside for components. It's impressive that these firms can fit enough inside to make a working product but there's one thing which always has to suffer. That's battery life because inevitably, only a small battery can fit in.
If we have a breakthrough in battery technology then this won't be so much of a problem but it seems that particular advancement which we're all crossing our fingers for is a little way off so it's very much an issue right now.
Un-ergonomic smartphones with poor battery life are no good, unless playing phone top trumps down the pub is more important. So let's stop this race to nowhere and concentrate on what really matters.