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November 15, 2012

What is the ideal Screen Size?

If you would look at the trends on mobile technology, you’d observe massive changes in screen size. Back in 2007, 3.5 inches was already enough; it was big. The likes of the HTC HD2 was even considered to be very exotic and enormous at 4.3 inches.

Then, Android came along with Windows Mobile, and sooner, Windows Phone. The Nexus one brought a 3.7” AMOLED display into the table, and what came next was a series of screen upgrades. The first Samsung Galaxy S had a 4 inch display, which was a key selling point against the iPhone 4. Again, Google indirectly made that a standard through the Nexus S.

Little more time passed, the next wave of phones came – the Samsung Galaxy S II, the HTC Sensation and the others. Bigger and clearer displays seemed to appeal to the consumer, so maybe the companies thought: Let’s make our products bigger!

Here they went again. The Galaxy Nexus sets a 4.65 inch screen size standard and from that, the likes of the Optimus 4X HD, the One X and the S III emerged. Admit it or not, the iPhone was pressured to change its screen size because of the competition.

On the other side of the coin, everyone seemed to like the 9.7 inch iPad. In fact, the majority would pick an iPad over an Android tablet. Google aimed quite lower with the 7 inch Nexus 7 and it was a success. Because of Google’s control on the 7 inch tablet market, Apple came out with its own representative, the iPad Mini.

It’s also true that some people would still stick to their large tablets, which is probably why Google launched a Nexus 10, but the average consumer would definitely pick something lighter and cheaper without much compromise.

Just recently, 5 inch phones are popping out in every corner (that may be a hint of what to expect next year).  Let’s also not forget the highly successful Galaxy Note 2 with the gargantuan 5.5 inch display. Suddenly, the idea of 13 inch tablets evaporated and the thought of having a ‘phablet’ seems less weird now.

The idea leaves us wondering, would we see the day where screen sizes will stop changing? And at what display size? Maybe next year, we’ll see an iPad Nano to compete with the ‘phablets’; who knows? Tablets are getting smaller and phones are getting bigger. If they do meet half way, there is a possibility that ‘phablets’ are the future.

When is a smartphone too big?

40 Responses to “What is the ideal Screen Size?”

  1. Shim Santiago
    Twitter: AIREVOLT
    says:

    i have 4 phones in my bag right now an xperia ray, bb9360, 4s and recently a 5 in cm titan and would you believe the titan is my constant multimedia companion, I need not bring my aurora tablet and ipad 3as I can browse the web very easily with it also very intuitive in messaging and call features may be a 5 inch phablet is the real ideal size if you want to have just one device.

  2. Jun says:

    5″ for the phone, 14″ pc tablet.

  3. Drey says:

    4.3-4.6″ for those who prefer single hand use, 5″-6″ for those who use both hands Smartphone-wise.

  4. Enrique Gonzalez says:

    Round 4.7″ for a phone (Nexus 4). For tabs, I’d go for a 4:3 aspect ratio, 8″ since I use it for reading books and magazines.

  5. daniel says:

    greater than or equal to 4.3 is ideal. 5.5 is ok because it is galaxy note lol

  6. Kyle says:

    I either like it seriously large or seriously small. The 3.0″ Xperia Mini ST15i remains to be my favorite phone because it was petite, ergonomically designed and was relatively powerful. Xperia Ray comes close since it’s 3.3″, super thin and had the same specs. After that, it’s only 5.0″ to 5.5″ for me. Everything in-between feels like a compromise.

  7. edisson says:

    5 inch phones are emerging because of Samsung’s Note. I want a phone whose only 4″ to 4.8″. If I buy 5″ phones, I’d rather keep it at home as a mini tablet.

  8. iGET says:

    Im enjoying my note 2′s real estate… :) i downloaded movies and the experience was phenomenal… haha

    its not at all awkward when you get the hang of it… s3 seems so small for me now and here i thought it was humongous before the note 2 arrived…

  9. phil says:

    Answer: 4 inches.. anything bigger than that is just a complete waste of screen – Apple

  10. iGET says:

    apple doesn’t speak on my or anyone’s behalf … :) who gave them the right anyway… lol

  11. jips says:

    if you have used a 5″+ phone for a day you will never ever go back to using phones with smaller screens.. obviously most of the phablet haters never had the amazing experience of owning big screen phones so they wont know why screen size really matters for us phablet users

  12. Kaloy
    Twitter: KrianOrbito
    says:

    for smartphone, i’d go between 3.5″-4.3″ while a tablet should be between 7″-10″

  13. RJ de Leon says:

    I prefer pocketable phones — one that (1) won’t project a large & unsightly rectangular bulge in my pocket, (2) won’t require me to bring a man-bag for safekeeping, (3) can still be held & used comfortably with one hand. So for me, anything bigger than 3.5″ would force my to bring a man-bag… In which case, I might as well just bring along a 7″ tablet for a fuller Internet/multimedia/gaming experience on-the-go.

  14. PJ
    Twitter: peejayreyes
    says:

    use the phone as a phone. if you want to read, get an ipad or a tablet with a fairly large screen. reading from a 3″ -5″ can be strenuous to the eyes. even eye doctors don’t approve of reading from any computer screen for long periods of time.

    imho.

  15. iGET says:

    Who’s to say what is what and which is which really? it’s a matter of preference… :D screen below 5″ is too small for me… :D

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Bob Freking writes, edits, & renders for YugaTech. You can contact, follow or tweet him at @bobfreking. For all his social media links, you can go to https://tinyurl.com/bobfreking

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