Video: The Galaxy Note 3 comes with a “tiny screen” mode that enables one hand usage

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 2 Oct 2013

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.