Handheld devices are small, but not nearly as small as most wearables. Think: two-way radio.
The balance of priorities are generally pretty common for handhelds:
- Handheld devices usually incorporate a user interface that is big enough to permit data-entry or to display information. Designing that interface is its own challenge… try typing with gloves!
- Handheld electronics can incorporate batteries that are big enough to permit impressive feats, like broadcasting a radio signal to an orbiting satellite.
- They are often used (or left in) environments that would destroy a wearable device. A fireman’s radio, for instance, must be both waterproof and fireproof. Some of the tactical handheld devices are so tough they can be driven over.