Samsung’s Galaxy Note devices have always been unapologetically big. It’s OK if you don’t like big phones, because there are plenty of people out there who do and will gladly spend $800 or more on a flagship 5.7 inch smartphone. But what if the Note 3 is going to be your first “phablet”, how are you going to cope? The guys at Android Central have discovered that Samsung’s latest behemoth comes with a neat software trick that shrinks the Note 3’s screen.
When you enable a buried option in the one-hand operating menu, you can enable a “tiny screen” mode with a simple swipe gesture. Like Alice in Wonderland, what you see on your Note 3’s display suddenly becomes smaller and you’re effectively using Android as if it were a windowed application on your desktop computer.
Will a ton of people use this mode? I’d like to think that no, if you buy a Note 3 then you’re only going to use it with two hands. Yes, there are many things you can do with one hand, but it’s a phone that begs to be held in one palm while your free fingers poke and prod the display.
What really needs to happen here is that Google and/or Samsung need to redesign Android in such a way that size doesn’t become an issue and you can use a phone with a 5.7 display just as easy as you can a phone with a 4.5 inch display. Pulling down that notification is the first thing that needs to be addressed, and we’ve already seen LG tackle that issue by introducing an on-screen key next to the regular Android buttons that when pressed pulls the shade down.
Here’s hoping Samsung is listening.