What is the ideal Screen Size?

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.

Bob Freking occasionally contributes articles to the website. He is a UST Graduate of Commerce & Business Administration, Major in Marketing Management, and a full-time Sith Lord with three dragons.

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40 Responses

  1. Sanctuarian06 says:

    4″ is enough.

  2. chaboink says:

    dell streak 5 owner here, it was way ahead of it’s time when they launch this device. Nobody appreciated the 1st 5 inch screen phablet

  3. thecorrescode says:

    Agree. But not the elongated 4″ of iPhone. Tipong mala Xperia Play na 4″.

  4. chaboink says:

    dell streak 5 owner here, it was way ahead of it’s time when they launched this device. Nobody appreciated the 1st 5 inch screen phablet

  5. Ramon says:

    I agree with chaboink, phablets with around 5″ screens are ideal for me, but 5.5″ is probably the limit :p

    I wasn’t familiar with dell streak at the time, I was using an xpeira active back then… it had a 3.5″ screen so I was reluctant of the 5″ giant phones lol the s-pen was the one that really got my attention XD

    And the note’s size already fits well with my pockets, and no… their not ridiculously-big-pockets :p if you can fit your hand in your pockets, then it’s the note can fit right in ;)
    I’m not sure if anything bigger than 5.5″ would be acceptable :p

  6. chinitoguy says:

    4.3 to 4.5 inches is I think the ideal size. I own a Samsung Galaxy SIII and I find my phone’s screen size a little big but acceptable. I can’t imagine owning a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or any phone with a 5 inch screen. Its just too big to carry and what’s the point of owning it if I already own a 7 inch tablet.

  7. tarush says:

    3.5″ for smartphones and 8″ for the tablet-perfect pair…

  8. Jcnjcjcnjc says:

    Dell streak was indeed ahead of its time, 5″ needs power which until now the technology just catch with screen size. For phone, less than 5″, phablet less than 6″, reader tablet less than 8″. For large one, 10-12″.
    Another important thing is the resolution, next generation phone ad tablet should at least have 350 ppi. Droid DNA now have more than 400ppi.

  9. Von says:

    4″ or at least phones with around 60mm width if the phone’s back side is sharp and “box type” like xperia P.. but up to 64mm width if it’s back is curved like lenovo p700i and galaxy S advance

  10. Paopao says:

    I have a titan and yeah, i must say that it’s quite big. but i too must say that a 4inch screen is a bit small. 4.3 or 4.7 could be the way to go.

  11. benchmark says:

    hmmm for me I think between 4 and 5 inches for a phone…bigger than that, parang mahirap na hawakan sa isang normal size na kamay…

    For me, phone should be comfortable to hold and use, plus clear at madaling mabasa.

  12. GeN_GiM says:

    Maybe 5″ is the max for a true smart”phone”.
    I got an S3 instead of the Note 2 simply because I like going out and want all my things in my slim-fit jeans.

    But anyway, it doesn’t really matter how large the screen will be in the future; manufacturers should find the right timing.

    Dell streak released a big-screen phone in the time when people are not ready for such product. Timing is the key.

  13. jason says:

    I thought 4″ was the greatest until I got a hold of a 4.3″ phone.

    Now I have a 4.65″ phone and I want to go back to 4.3″ or get around with a 4.5″ phone.

  14. John says:

    4.3-5.5 inches for phones !

  15. LEAN says:

    3-5″ – phone
    5.1-6.9″ – phablet
    7″-11.6″ – tablet

  16. Matt says:

    3.5 – 4? for smartphones

  17. reader says:

    4.8″ for phone (GS3)
    7″ for tablet (playbook) perfect for games, email and little app.

    just make it thin please…..

  18. Bryan says:

    Still boils down to the user. by average users, probably 3.5″. I own a 5.5″ and it’s not bad but that’s probably because I don’t commute. Commuters might find it hard to carry 5″ in their pockets.

    For tablets, haven’t own a 7 incher. But really, 7.9″ is pure BS. It’s Tim’s way of eluding what he announced back when he said Apple won’t be making 7 inch tablet. We all know the main target of the mini is the 7″ market and Tim realizes (too late though) the potential of this market too.

  19. dvancleef says:

    3.5-4″ for phones (Apple got it right the first time, Galaxy S2 at 4.3″ is already too big for me to operate one-handed comfortably)
    7″ for an email/game/facebook/twitter device
    10″ for something that will replace a notebook on short trips

  20. Wreek888 says:

    5.5 for smartphone and 7.9 for tablet.

  21. Marcelino says:

    – 4 to 5 inches for smartphones.

    Anything more than 5 inches is already considered a ‘phablet’.

    – More than 5 inches to 6 inches for phablets.

    Anything more than that is already a tablet.

  22. wis says:

    the casing dimension on note 2 is the limit…but they could fit a bigger screen on that by making it edge to edge , narrowing the bezel(razr)and removing physical buttons (nexus 4)……think edge to edge and multiple screen is the future….

  23. aedis says:

    Basta kasya sa at afford ng bulsa, size won’t matter. :)

  24. ChrisP says:

    I own an xperia mini, when I tried Galaxy s3/note it was like whoa! Ang laki at ang linaw.
    I love ultra-portable gadgets kaya:
    Ok na ko sa 3″-3.5″ smartphone.
    Sa tablet 7″ sapat na.

  25. Shim Santiago 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.

  26. Jun says:

    5″ for the phone, 14″ pc tablet.

  27. Drey says:

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

  28. 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.

  29. daniel says:

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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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…

  33. phil says:

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

  34. iGET says:

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

  35. 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

  36. Kaloy says:

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

  37. 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.

  38. PJ 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.


  39. 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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