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With the UWP platform, consistency between devices is important. As several other bug reports show, the current arrangement doesn't work that well.
I've implemented a simple custom renderer for MasterDetailPage which handles SizeChanged for the Control.
Control.ShouldShowSplitMode = e.NewSize.Width >= 720; //size guideline provided by Windows UWP documentation.
Control.IsPaneOpen = Control.ShouldShowSplitMode;
Control.ContentTogglePaneButtonVisibility = Control.ShouldShowSplitMode ? Visibility.Collapsed : Visibility.Visible;
I'm sure there are some refinements to this behavior, but this generally provides what I think most developers would desire: A window that dynamically collapses and shows the Master pane in response to size changes, including handling rotating to landscape on a larger-screen phone, all automatically.
Suggestions like these might be best off in the XF Evolution forum (https://forums.xamarin.com/categories/xamarin-forms-evolution), but generally speaking I think we'd like to avoid forcing sudden design changes like this on users due to their previous expectations, or rather leave such behavior up to platform specific functionality or third party libraries. That said, if you have any specific APIs that would enable optional functionality, you're welcome to contribute your thoughts through that channel (as it will quite honestly garner more attention than it would sitting in Bugzilla).
While I have no concrete details at the moment, we are also dropping 8.1 support in the near future and will be able to focus more efforts directly on UWP, so please know that this is not an ignored issue and improvements will hopefully be coming in the future.