lly makes me long for an Android phone small enough to get lost in my pocket

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 3 May 2017

If there’s one thing all prominent Android phones have in common (besides their OS, of course), it’s that they’re big. But lly, a new Kickstarter phone that makes the original ione’s 3.5-inch screen look monstrous, has me re-thinking my unconditional love of the Galaxy S8+.

As Android has evolved to make the most of all those extra pixels, plus-sized phones have actually outsold their smaller counterparts. More more people are using their phones for the work they once turned to tablets for, if you were to chart it, you’d see a pretty close correlation between the rise of phablets the fall of tablets. But along the way we’ve lost something: comfort.

Even for someone with big fingers big pockets, there’s no denying that phones have gotten less comfortable to carry use. ones that were once able to be easily operated with one h now require gestures to shift the screens closer to those with smaller fingers. And that’s why lly is so intriguing.

Small wonder

The most buzzworthy phones at M this year weren’t the G6 or the Moto G5 us. It was a reboot of the Nokia 3310, a 15-year old cybar phone that doesn’t have -Fi, won’t run ay Store apps, can’t take selfies. It won’t even work on most networks. But it has two things going for it: It’s cute cheap.

nokia 3310 Nokia

The small-statured Nokia 3310 was the surprise star of CES.

The Nokia 3310 is mostly targeted at emerging markets, but there’s a place for it among the large-screen crowd, too. At just $50, it’s way cheaper than a smartwatch, with carriers beginning to embrace the concept of one phone number everywhere, owning a second phone isn’t as much of a headache as it once was.

But lly is something a little different. It works just like any other Android smartphone, but smaller. en it (hopefully) ships in August, it will run a miniaturized version of Nougat on its 2.5-inch screen, support 4G networks, fit in the coin pocket of most jeans. It’s meant to be the hset you use “whenever it is unnecessary to take a bulky expensive phone with you,” but what’s most interesting about it is that it could actually be your primary Android phone. And for many of the thouss of people who have already backed it, it very well may be.

ice chopper

As phones continue to creep into the four-figure range, what’s most impressive about lly is its price. At just $109 ( much less if you back its Kickstarter campaign), it shows that small phones could have a place in the Android universe.

jelly roid 2 lly

lly is a throwback to the pre-smartphone days—except it runs Nougat.

Now, I can underst why Samsung wouldn’t want to pour millions into R&D for a phone with limited appeal, but you can’t tell me that a 4.5-inch Galaxy S8 wouldn’t sell. ts of people want big screens, but I’m willing to bet that many are buying them because they have to. A cheaper, smaller version of the S8 or the G6 would appeal to lots of people, it would open up a segment of the market that isn’t all that interested in modern smartphone features to begin with.

And something as low-priced as lly or the Nokia 3310 is perfect as a second phone for family vacations or nights out when you don’t need the distraction of a 6-inch screen in your pocket. It’s also a solid option for fitness buffs who don’t want to tote around a giant phone during a gym session. I’m not saying Samsung is missing the boat by not making a $70 S8 mini, but a Galaxy version of the $399 ione SE could be extremely attractive to buyers who are put off by the size cost of the S8.

Thinking small

en Apple launched the ione SE last year, even Cook was surprised at how high the dem was. It took months to catch up, I have to assume that a large portion of those sales were to switchers who were fed up with the lack of small-screen offerings from Android phone makers.

And lly could fill a similar niche. A 6-inch phone is useful for a lot of things, but there are plenty of people who just want something that fits comfortably inside a shirt pocket or a pair of skinny jeans. That’s the main appeal of the ione SE the reason why lly has picked up 100 backers in the time it took to write this. 

sten, I’m not about to give up my S8+. But it might be spending a lot less time in my pocket once my lly arrives.