Counterclockwise: phones putting on weight through the years

Phones have been getting heavier. And no, its not because theyve been getting bigger – screen size certainly went up, but thickness went down. The average volume of the 50 most popular phones has been pretty stable since around 2006. If you remember your physics lessons from school, youll know this means that density went up.

We think that the increased use of metal and glass caused this. Both are heavier than the plastic that was used in the early days. Its not just that they are heavier, they need to be thick too.

Counterclockwise: putting on weight and slimming down

Plastic (as the name suggests) bends easily but quickly returns back to its original shape. Metal bends permanently, especially around weak spots where the keys and ports go. So metal needs to be thick to keep it from bending.

Around 2014 and 2015 we had a string of bendgate victims including high-profile phones like the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy S6. The larger the screen, the easier to bend it works like a lever (again with the physics).

And screens have been getting larger. Plus, the recent trend of 18:9 (and wider) makes phones even longer. Were not saying this is the only reason phones are getting heavier, but its a major factor.