@sil you made the claim that there aren’t any phones that are small, not just flagship phones. I came here to tell you that you’re wrong, but it seems as though things have moved on since I bought my reasonably sized and ok (only ok, nothing more ) spec’d second gen Moto E, itself 6mm longer than an iPhone 5 and 8mm wider. Everything I can be bothered to find (aka what is in the carphonewarehouse website) apart from the thirty quid phones (which we can reasonably discount from the argument) are at 5" or above now.
My explanation for the increase in size would be that it is aspirational. I’d love a flagship phone, but can’t justify it (nor do I want the large size actually). Back in the day, only expensive flagship phones were big, cheaper phones weren’t. By making cheaper phones bigger you get some of that appearance of being a flagship. Then it becomes the norm and people accept it even if it’s annoying.
The normalisation argument applies to battery life as well. Charging every night is just part of life, I don’t think it would make a huge improvement to my quality of living if I could go more than a day without charging. I put the phone right by the charger anyway. Having said that, I’m a relatively light user so only normally need to charge at night. But compare that to pre smart phone days when you’d go a week or so without charging. For me that was occasionally more annoying because I’d forget to do it and get caught out.
At what point is battery life enough? One day? Two days? A week? I do think the answer in most cases is one day, as long as that actually means one day with a reasonable amount of battery intensive use. That’s what I’d be designing for if I was making phones.