HTC treads into mini tablet zone with 4.7-inch screen smartphone

How big and powerful can a smartphone get before it can no longer be considered a smartphone? Whereas a decade ago, every cellphone maker was obsessed with shrinking the comm device, the opposite seems to be happening today with smartphones that are bordering into mini tablet territory.

Freshly leaked off the um, presses, is a Windows Phone 7.1 Mango smartphone that goes by the name "Eternity." It's rumored specs include an 8-megapixel rear camera with 720p HD video recording, 1.3-megapixel front-facing cam, 1.5GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 16GB of storage and all your usual goodies like a FM radio (people still want this?), GSM/WCDMA antennas, Wi-Fi, etc.

All of that stuff's good, but the Eternity's crushing feature might be it's King Kong-sized 4.7-inch Super LCD touchscreen with an 800 x 480 resolution. We've played around with 4-inch and even 4.3-inch displays on phones like the Nexus S, HTC EVO 3D and HTC Thunderbolt, but dang it, 4.7-inches of glass might be overkill.

In fact, with a few more inches the Eternity will approach the Dell Streak 5's 5-inch screen group bracket, and we all know how silly holding that device up to your head looks. My point is, like the way netbooks became more powerful and morphed into Ultra Low Voltage notebooks without optical drives, smartphones are transforming into mini tablets, whether we like it or not.

Why carry an iPad around when I can carry a 5-inch smartphone that has a super high resolution screen, powerful processor capable of running advanced 3D games and sharp HD cameras? Typing with thumbs is also much easier (and quicker) to do than with on virtual keyboards. I'm predicting we'll see a shift in the next year or two to these ultra large smartphones. How can you prepare now? Get pants with bigger pockets or invest in a nice waist pouch.

HTC Inside, via Slashgear

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