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6 years later, the iPhone X still does one thing better than the iPhone 14 Pro

I’ve been an iPhone user since the very beginning, starting with the original iPhone. You know, the one with the 3.5-inch display that was perfect at the time, making it super easy to use a phone with one hand? As the years go by, the iPhone — and every other smartphone out there — just get bigger and bigger. We now have phones that with almost 7-inch displays, and honestly, I don’t understand how anyone can comfortably use these giant phones — especially if you have smaller hands!

With the iPhone, we’ve gone from 3.5-inch to 4-inches, then 4.7-inches to 5.8-inches, and now the standard 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch of the iPhone 14/iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Plus/iPhone 14 Pro Max, respectively. I personally use an iPhone 14 Pro as my primary device, and while I have gotten used to the 6.1-inch size over the past few years, I still think it’s too big. In fact, the last perfect size iPhone was the iPhone XS with the 5.8-inch display … and I really wish Apple would bring it back.

5.8 inches was a perfect middle ground

iPhone XS review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

In 2017, to commemorate 10 years of the iPhone, Apple released the iPhone X alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone 8 devices would be the last iPhones with Touch ID, and the iPhone X set the precedent moving forward with no Home button — instead going with Face ID for biometrics. While the iPhone 8 had a 4.7-inch display and the Plus version had a 5.5-inch display, the iPhone X went with 5.8 inches, and since it no longer had a Home button, that meant a more screen estate.

I’m one of those people who upgrades their phone every year, but in 2017, I had gone with the iPhone 8 because I didn’t like large phones, and I didn’t want to not have Touch ID. So I surprisingly did not get the iPhone X that year, but I did get the iPhone XS the following year — mostly because, well, I couldn’t get an iPhone with Touch ID anymore. But I learned to fall in love with the size of the iPhone XS.

I’ve said it a few times already, but I have very petite hands. Whenever I compare my hands to someone else’s, it’s always pretty shocking just how much smaller mine are compared to others. This means I can barely use most phones today one-handed. (It’s pretty much impossible for me to reach the top corners of the screen comfortably, and even with phone accessories like a PopSocket, I can barely manage to do so without some amazing finger gymnastics.)

iPhone XS review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

It also doesn’t help that Apple makes the iPhone 14 Pro heavy with the materials used, namely the stainless steel frame. So even though the Samsung Galaxy S23 also has a 6.1-inch display, I actually prefer it over my iPhone 14 Pro because of the lightweight aluminum frame, which makes it slightly more comfortable for me to use single-handedly.

Still, I can’t help but reminisce about the 5.8-inch size of my iPhone XS back in the day. For me, it was a perfect size for a modern phone, providing plenty of screen space while also being comfortable to hold and even use one-handed. I don’t remember struggling to reach the upper corners of the display with my iPhone XS, but ever since the iPhone 11 Pro and later, it just became easier to use my device with both hands. Of course, that’s not a huge problem, but when you are trying to juggle holding multiple things or a toddler in your arms, one-handed use is a lost convenience and, in a way, a luxury.

I really just want a mini Pro iPhone, Apple

iPhone 12 models
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

You may be wondering — why didn’t I just get the mini iPhones when they were available. As much as I loved the idea of a super small and compact iPhone, the problem was the lack of Pro features. I always spring for the Pro models because I want the triple-lens camera system, more storage space, and — in the case of the iPhone 14 Pro lineup — the faster A16 Bionic chip.

I personally wish Apple would make a smaller Pro model iPhone. It’s literally my dream phone to have the iPhone mini size of 5.4 inches but also a powerful triple lens camera system. I know that battery life would take a hit, but I dream of having the powerful capabilities that the iPhone Pro can do, but in a smaller, compact body.

But Apple stopped producing the iPhone mini, likely because the market for it was not high enough (though I don’t think the iPhone 14 Plus is doing much better). Sure, I get it — most people don’t want a tiny phone these days, right? It just seems like it’s a very vocal minority. And maybe that’s because 5.4 inches was just too small. But what about 5.8 inches? On paper, the difference between 5.8 inches and 6.1 inches is very negligible, but in actual use, one is much more comfortable to use than the other.

Apple already has multiple size options with four different models right now. Just bring back the 5.8-inch offering — it was perfect! Will that actually happen for the iPhone 15? All signs point to “no,” but that won’t stop me from hoping and dreaming.

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Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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