The moment you can't put it in your pocket. So... this IMHO, qualifies as a small tablet. This phone-thing might find a user that is always out and about and doesn't want to carry a fullsize tablet, a phone, and an ereader. It's a great device with an even greater screen, but personally, I'd have very little use for the thing.
Speaking of Samsung, I steered Mom towards a Samsung Stratosphere slider phone. The battery in her Droid 1 was dying, so it was time to upgrade. It's a 4G phone, a slightly larger screen, and a 5-row keyboard. Verizon Wireless will keep you on your unlimited plan when you upgrade to 4G. It's running Gingerbread, but I'm not sure if it'll get ICS. No matter, it'll be a challenge enough to get Mom up to speed on this thing, let alone the big changes ICS would bring. Thankfully, Samsung has stopped their retarded proprietary connector scam. There are 2 ports- a headphone jack and a micro USB port. No need for new car chargers.
Just a note about going to Best Buy for your upgrades- Don't. Unless they have some amazing price break that'll cover the difference, go to a Verizon store. Best Buy will NOT honor your loyalty discount (from $30-$100 depending on your plan, phone, etc). So, the Stratosphere was $149 minus a $50 rebate, minus a $30 loyalty bonus. Net cost, $69. Best Buys Take-It-Or-Leave-It-Price™: $99. Winner- Verizon.
Reconnoitering the worst places in the world for your amusement.
agreed on size. I think 5+ is pushing it, i don't want to hold up a tablet to my ear. I really like anything from 3.7" to 4.3". I actually prefer the 4.0, the HD7s I have right now would've been great at 4.0 instead of 4.3.
My wife's Radar, a 3.7, is also a great size. Wouldn't want to go under that, though.
i haven't owned the iphone, but have had an Android in the house since it started - my daughter has one now. Other than hacking it apart, which your mom and my daughter won't do, how is it so different than the iPhone? both are basically app launching platforms, though Android has gone more aggressively toward integration than Apple has (and rightly so, with all the Google services available).
I wouldn't have any problem owning the latest and greated droid offering, some of them are crazy spec'd out and smooth.
anyway, my wife is another technically challenged one, got her the Radar windows phone, and yeah, she needed a little help for a few days, but she loves it now. plus it's only a 3.7" (yes, Denny) and fits her hand perfectly (rofl).