I've been looking for a good display for the handheld device that I'm building and I've liked the various HD44780-based displays that I've tried. (like for example this one: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9054) However they don't fit the needs of my device because:
1: They are too thick. All the HD44780 LCDs I've seen are atleast 10mm thick. I need something that is 6mm or thinner.
2: Too wide. The display cannot be larger than 45x45mm while still being able to display around 32 characters. (number of rows doesn't matter)
3: They all need calibration with a trimpot to adjust the backlight strength. This isn't a showstopper for me but it would be nice if I could buy pre-calibrated displays.
Is there a reason as to why all HD44780 LCDs are so thick compared to graphical LCDs?
Are there any alternatives that would fit my needs? (I just need to display up to 32 characters sent from an Arduino)
Do I need to worry about the reliability of the LCDs? I tried using a cheap Nokia-LCD from Sparkfun, https://www.sparkfun.com/products/569, and it would fit my needs but I get the feeling that the LCDs are of low quality and would start dying after a while in the hands of the customers, and then there is the whole mess of different controllers. Also I'm worried about messing up the SMD soldering since I'm new to electronics and never manufactured devices before.