I passed my phone out the window at the Starbucks drive through and the barista chuckled, "Wow, I haven't seen a phone that small in a long time."

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I hear something along those lines a lot when someone encounters my 4" phone. Usually the next question is "Is that the iPhone 5?" with the curious tone of someone looking at a relic of an ancient society. "It's an SE, it's the same generation as the 6s." I feel the need to defend my phone's honor, because its smallness was a design choice.

But even I can't deny that my small-yet-mighty SE is getting long in the tooth. I'm lucky to get through a whole day without a recharge, even on low power mode, and sometimes I encounter an pop-up ad that I can't dismiss because it's literally bigger than my phone screen and the little X icon is floating somewhere underneath the bezel.

I'll be faced with a choice: upgrade to a larger phone, or upgrade to a huge phone

It's not long for this world; one day soon it will tweet its last tweet, ping its last notification, 'gram its last 'gram. When that happens, I'll be faced with a choice: upgrade to a larger phone, or upgrade to a huge phone. What a time to be alive!

While my SE is still ticking along I'll make my plea to Apple, Google, Samsung, God, Alanis Morisette, whoever is listening: please don't take away all of the tiny phones. Here's why I think someone should keep a small phone in their lineup.

A small phone actually fits in your pocket

I carried around a Pixel 3 XL for a couple of months and I can report that it is not at all built to fit in the pocket of a pair of ladies' jeans. I don't carry my phone in my back pocket all of the time, but sometimes you're carrying two beverages, a snack and a laptop into a conference room and there are limited options.

You can wedge the 3 XL into a pocket, kind of, but the SE fits all of the way into a pocket. In fact, I sometimes put the SE into my back pocket and completely forget that it's there. I have repaired the screen on my iPhone SE twice. These statements are totally unrelated.

A small phone can be operated more easily with one hand

With the SE in the palm of my left hand, I can reach my thumb clear to the farthest corner with hardly any effort. This is extremely useful if you are, say, holding a coffee in one hand and checking the bus schedule on your phone with the other. Or, you can check the bus schedule with one hand free to shake skyward, cursing the greater being who made the bus you missed two minutes early and the one after it twenty minutes late.

In all seriousness, this was a crucial part of my decision to buy the SE. My standing-room-only bus commute demands that I hold on to the nearest rail at all times, so if I want to get ahead on work email before I get to the office I need to be able to use my phone one-handed. This is a tricky proposition with a bigger phone.

Minimal distractions

Let's ignore the embarrassing fact that other tech journalists consider my primary phone to be an adorable, minimalist secondary phone for distraction-free podcast listening. Even as a primary phone, I find I have an easier time ignoring the SE when my brain should be doing something more constructive than looking at pictures of other peoples' dogs on Instagram. That big screen on the Pixel XL is a beautiful thing to behold. But if you're trying to spend less of your precious time on this earth staring at screens, a smaller phone is the way to go.

If you're trying to spend less of your precious time on this earth staring at screens, a smaller phone is the way to go

To be sure, notification management and your OS can help you minimize your screen time, and it helps that the SE's generations-old screen technology is less visually appealing. But I think the ease with which the phone can be ignored is somewhat related to its size. Its cries for attention are easier to tune out.

I know we've passed the point of no return on phone size. Apps and interfaces just aren't built for four-inch screens anymore, and there's too much momentum in favor of big phones to go backwards. My SE will soon go the way of the Walkman, Windows '95 and those running shoes with toes (we're done with those right?!). My purse – and my heart – will be just a little bit heavier.