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Wednesday Poll: What’s the Perfect Smartphone Display Size?


Smartphone displays have grown at a ridiculous rate over the last couple of years. It seems like just yesterday that we were making the jump from the 3.7″ original DROID to the hummer-esque 4.3″ DROID X. At the time of the release of the first EVO and the DX, we thought we had reached a limit for super-sized phones. Boy, were we wrong. We’re now swimming in 5.5″ phone-tablet hybrids with 4″ devices coming off as “small.” Companies are even pushing towards 6+-inch phones – an absurd idea. But hey, if people keep buying ’em, why not make ’em?

But for the sake of a good poll, why don’t you tell us what your optimal display size would be?

What's the perfect smartphone display size?

View Results

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  • Oero Manifesto

    Let’s not forget these are suppose to be phones that FIT IN YOUR POCKET. I have a Galaxy Nexus and I really don’t see the point in having a phone bigger than that. Get a table if you need a 5″ or more screen. I’m no iPhone fan but at least they understand basic ergonomic design and that people want something that fits nicely in your hand not HANDS! Even with my GNex one handed navigation is a bit difficult. Also it is impossible to have NO BEZEL on a phone, you can only reduce it.

  • AranelAlasse

    I LOVE the screen size of my new Note 2. Although… I could maybe go even a tad larger. so I voted for 6+.

  • I like a phone that has flat sides like my RAZR Maxx. You can stand it up when reading etc.
    . Those curvy one like the S3 fall over.

  • Its not the length of the sword, its the fury of the battle. At least that what she says…

  • brando56894

    Even though I haven’t had one yet, I’m going to say 5″ which seems to be the general consensus. The 4.65″ screen on my Gnex is nice and my girlfriends’s 4.7″ on her S3 is even better, I was messing around with the Note 2 a few weeks ago and it was nice and the screen was huge but it may be a little too big. So somewhere between 5 and 5.5 would probably be best for me. I have relatively small hands for a guy so top to bottom swipe in portrait on the Gnex is a little difficult for me one handed but I usually use it in landscape anyway.


    I’m ready for something bigger than my Note2.

  • No matter what smartphone you have, do you take it to bed with you? Then get the Smart Phone Sleeper, the only smartphone holder stand made for all beds and all smartphones. http://www.smartphonesleeper.com

  • muzzz


  • VoiceofSky

    4.8-5 is perfect imo.. Android innovates!

  • jaybar

    It’s not just about the screen size, you have to consider the bezel size and other physical attributes in addition to the screen size. For example, look at the Razr M compared to the Droid X for example, both have 4.3″ screens but the Razr M is much more compact due to the minimal bezel and lack of hardware buttons. With that said, I would say a 4.5″ screen with minimal bezel would be ideal.

    • jaybar

      And I should also say that I have a GS3, which I have gotten used to but sometimes I can say that it’s just a little too big for my tastes.

  • If my n7 had telephony powers, it’d be my phone.

  • Dan

    I honestly think the top tier phones like the DNA and S3 are too big which is why i’m a little reluctant to upgrade to one of them even though I really want one of them because of the other specs. I prefer 4.3 or 4.5, because for myself I can reach all of the screen with just one hand instead of having to hold it with my other like I would with big phones. But that’s just my personal preference.

  • Todd Dixon

    Depends on the size of your hands.

  • Anything bigger than the Droid X is not a phone….

  • Dominick_7

    5.5 is fantastic, would love to see how they could do 6.1 or 6.3 in the same form factor as the updates seem to point to.

  • MttFrog13

    I like 4.3″ for most devices, or about 4.6 if the device has on-screen buttons.

  • Greg

    more important than screen size is bezel. Try holding a Razr M and tell me you dont love touching that hard slab

  • Sami Elahmadie

    Really not pleased that the survey software displays in order of greatest votes. It’s easier to see the curve this way. This reminds me of an article I read a while back; I think evidence to support his point is steadily growing.


  • ChristianJohnson

    Basically, a screen size that I can use with one hand, has a great display, and an easily pocketable phone, whatever screen size that may be.

  • Joe

    I would like a poll on what’s the perfect phone dimensions instead.

  • Philip A. Kaiser

    Makes me laugh. I remember moving from the D1 to the DroidX. People actually gave me a hard time about it being “monstrous” in size. I loved it and never looked back. Apparently, I was not alone. Lol

  • Joe

    7 inches. I love VoIP calling on my nexus 7

  • i remember the days of Droid – “These kids today are just spoiled I say with 5″ screens and JB” let them try Droid with Android 2.0…..lol Someone make a commercial please

  • Mchl496

    You only need a good 5″ 😉

  • zach wheeler

    Does anyone agree with this?;
    Consumers all like different screen sizes, but when Samsung and HTC release their top-end phones with big screens, we have no choice but to buy a phone with a big screen if we want a phone with top specs. The companies then look at sales and say “wow, people love a big screen”… when in reality the GS3 or DNA would have sold just as good with a 4.5″ screen and the same specs inside. If you’re on Verizon and want a top-end phone, you have no choice but to buy a GS3, Note II, RAZR MAXX or something huge. Women are a big smartphone market and tend to have smaller hands. Just in the comments below there are several women saying 4.3″ is the max (insert penis joke here) I would bet a 4.5″ top-end phone would sell just as good as a 5” phone with same specs. The battery on the smaller screen would last longer too since that’s the main power drain.

    • I understand this logic, but disagree with what people want. Habits have completely changed. Talking probably accounts for 5-10% of usage, probably less. Also, one hand usage isnt as important. Yes there are times my note ii is too big. But it is perfect for what I do 95% of the time.

  • Wesley Pardue

    I love my GSIII, and the screen is awesome. I’ve adapted to the size from the sub-4″ Droid Incredible, but sometimes it is a little bit too big. I think my sweet spot is somewhere betwee. 4. 5 and 4. 8.

  • Trevor

    I’m really happy with my Nexus at 4.65″. Possibly the Galaxy S3 4.8″ size would be ok with onscreen buttons so the phone could be a little shorter. I just switched back to my GNex from my GS3 and was actually somewhat pleasantly surprised by the seemingly minor decrease in screen size.

  • dylan84

    I’m going with 4.8″

  • EvanTheGamer

    The size of the SGS4!

  • Zach Armstrong

    A 5 inch device with on screen buttons is perfect for me.

  • Jeremy

    Its hilarious how the last time this poll was run that I recall was when the Droid X was dropping and people felt the 4.3″ of that was too big, and now 5″ is the accepted size. Previously I believe it was 4″. Funny how things change so fast in just a few short years.

    • LowRes

      That, or large-phone fans have gravitated toward Android devices and consequently toward Android fansites.

  • vitriolix

    I have a Galaxy Note II now and love it. But objectively it’s too big. My Galaxy Nexus (which is a dev phone now) really feels better in the hand.

  • fallsgable

    It’s NOT size…It’s the THICKNESS, and quality of your Pentile!

  • TynanDeRosa

    To the people voting 6″ how big are your pants? holy crap.

    • Brian Menius

      32/34 Banana Republic slacks and jeans. I have some room to spare. I prefer the way larger devices fit in the back pocket. When I had my Galaxy Nexus, it could turn on its side in my pocket. It was annoying to have to dig into the pocket to grab it.

      My Note 2 is at about the height limit for me- but I imagine we’re looking at screens of nearly 6″ in the Note 2 footprint in the not too distant future, so I think that’s workable for me. I can almost one hand the Note 2 as it is.

    • brando56894

      I’m 5’8 170 Lbs (36-30) and I can fix a nexus 7 in most of my pants pockets 🙂

  • dunoud

    4.65 is my limit.. I have tried the s3 and Note 2, but I always come back to my nexus because of the size/stock

  • paul_cus

    4.3 is the best screen size, imo. I’m still going to get a 5 inch phone this year, so I can get a 1080p display. Seems worth it. Lack of bezel always helps.

  • Tim242

    Why is 4.65″ a choice? There was one phone with that screen size. There are several with 4.7″, yet that size isn’t listed. I get that they are virtually the same. But, it would make more sense to list 4.7″ as a choice

    • Justin Kos

      Galaxy nexus

      • Tim242

        Yes, that was the one phone with that screen size. There is a long list that are 4.7″.

  • SeanBello

    4.65 is the absolute limit for me and my small hands. I can barely reach edge to edge

    • asten77

      that extra 5 hundredths of an inch on a 4.7″ device puts it out of reach, eh?

      • SeanBello

        4.7 wasn’t an option…

    • Anon

      That’s what she said.

  • Not to be pedantic, but screen size is not as important as the size of the actual phone body around it. I’m sure anything up to 5″ would be absolutely fine for 90% of people – IF, there was little to no bezel.

  • kane

    Screen size is the keyword. I don’t want another couple inches the headphone and charging port. Anything bigger 4.5 is crazy. I have a tablet and a phone. I don’t want a crazy hybrid

  • Guest

    More than a Mouthful is a waste!!

  • For me it’s 5,wanted the note 2, but that. .0.5 inch screen did make a big difference how well it fit and felt in my habds

  • I really don’t understand why screen sizes are getting bigger and bigger. I have pretty small hands, and so do a ton of girls I know. It is pretty annoying when my thumb can’t reach every part of the screen. I like to use my phone with just one hand. I think by constantly making screen sizes bigger, phone makers are alienating more and more consumers.

  • kurichan

    Between 4.65-4.8″ (voted 4.8″). the last 3 phones I used– the GS3, OneX and N4, were in that range, and I feel that seems to be my ceiling. Anything higher than that and you’re branching in 2 handed operation.

  • S2556

    I’m not that picky. 0.3 of an inch difference is not a big deal to me. give me an awesome flagship with a display around 4.8 (read 4.65 – 5) and Ill be happy any bigger and I would have to go to a store and test it and any smaller I would be a little hesitant.

  • LowRes

    SGS3 is great and all, but I can’t actually do much on it with one hand – like type a message, or even scroll text or a website: I inadvertently hit random buttons trying to reach across the screen. It’s exceptionally aggravating, but no smaller phones with equivalent hardware are made.

  • Richard Yarrell

    My current 5.5 inch screen is the perfect all purpose device for total enjoyment of everything. Anything less is useless in my book. But who knows when I purchase that 6.3 inch screen come November 2013 i might feel the same way as today.

  • Ellis90009

    I want 7 inches with a super thin bezel and on screen nav bar

  • AxemRed

    The perfect screen size (or rather phone size) for me is one that is as large as possible but still allows me to hold my phone in only one hand and still be able to hit all parts of the screen with my thumb without straining or having to significantly shift the phone in my hand. The GNex is a little too big for my preference because I can’t hit the top left corner while holding it in my right hand without shifting the phone. If I had to guess, I would say that a 4.5″ phone with less bezel than the Gnex would be perfect.

  • Raven

    For me, the width of the phone is more important than the screen size. If they actually make it edge to edge with no physical buttons they can probably cram in something closer to 5″ like maybe a 4.65″, but I will not buy a phone that is too freaking wide. After measuring my phone and looking at some other popular phones, I think my absolute make width is around 2.75″ or 7cm.

    • Fattie McDoogles

      Right, screen size isn’t the issue. It’s the size of the actual device that matters. As long as the size of the phone is small enough then the screen can be as big as space will allow.

    • Jarren

      This x100

  • ddh819

    i abstain, there is no one perfect size for everybody

  • chris125

    How about the biggest size they can get in current sized phones like the s3? Shrink the bezel and get a 5″ or so inch screen in there.

  • I admittedly have small-ish hands so the Gnex at 4.65″ was perfect for one handed operation

  • El Big CHRIS

    GNex size with no bezel. Maybe 5 inches

  • stupidllama

    i think a lot of this depends on the size of the phone, i mean there is a limit to that. but why a 4.65 seems about good, if you take the same form factor, kill a little bezel and get the screen size to 4.8 then im good with 4.8 or even 5. id say 5.5 is the biggest phone size, what that translates to in screen size i don’t know, 5 i guess.

  • spunker88

    There should be a variety of display sizes with decent hardware. I’m sick of smaller devices being sold with outdated hardware. Everyone has their size preference so nobody should have to adapt to larger phones if they don’t want to. Personally I wouldn’t want anything bigger than around 4.3″.

  • Tim242

    My current screen is 5.5″. However, I think 5″ is the perfect size.

    • That’s way too small. 😉 Trolol.

      • Tim242

        Didn’t realize you were a size queen : )

  • Jared Carter

    The biggest issue isnt screen size it’s actual size of device… we’re not just holding the screen, we’re holding the entire phone. If they can keep shrinking the bezel then 5 inches is probably pretty nice. The DNA is just as comfortable/uncomfortable as the GS3. A 0 bezel galaxy nexus frame would be around 5 inches i’d say… possibly more

  • Rich Wentz

    With or without onscreen keys?
    5 inches with, 4.65 without.

  • There needs to be a wide enough cushion between a phone and a tablet. Im afraid if I have a 5 inch screen phone my desire to have a 7 inch tablet will be gone.

    • TheFirstUniverseKing

      What’s wrong with that? You don’t like saving money?

      • I use a cell phone like a cell phone. Its a portable smartphone. Until I can get to a desktop at home or work. On the go i want something to that fits in my pocket and doesnt make it look like im stealing a brick. I dont need screen real estate i need functionality. And I hate how the nexus line in screen size is growing.

        • Fattie McDoogles

          I’m with you. I think that 7in is still enough of a gap from even the Note 2 but I am worried that devices are only going to continue to get bigger.

          • Jon

            I agree. I love the larger size, and even bought my wife a Galaxy note as well, but truth be told, if she could have a device that was 4.5″ or so, she would probably be a lot happier with it.

    • That’s a good thing dude.

    • Jon

      Well I think that’s the point no? I sold my nexus 7, got a Galaxy Note (original), and got an Asus transformer infinity. My bases are covered.

      The screen on the Note is just awesome for gaming, photos, and web browsing. My 10″ is just a bit too big for gaming I find. It’s doable and beautiful, but just a bit too awkward.

    • brando56894

      That’s what I was thinking when I was looking at the Note 2 and especially with Sony’s new rumored 6.6″ phone screen, that’s not that much smaller than a Nexus 7!

  • max 4″ but with the hardware from sgs3 or 4 😉 who need full hd screens and no battery ?

  • sinofueramos

    4″! Love my iPhone 5

    • Tim242

      Haha. You poor thing

    • Four thumbs up on a Droid-Life article? There’s either more Sheeple visiting this site than I thought, or DL readers enjoy some good sarcasm

      • LowRes

        Or some prefer the 4″ size, iPhone aside

    • Hey everybody look, it’s someone from 2009. We’ve moved past 4″ now. Though I suppose the iPhone’s outdated screen matches perfectly with the outdated OS.

      • Justin Kos

        I love android, but technology needs to work for the user…even though that comment is pretty funny

    • Fattie McDoogles

      I wish that phone was shaped better. They should have made it wider too not just taller.

  • brkshr

    5″ with little to no bezel

    • Symbiotx

      I thought the DNA would be too big, but I think it’s perfect. Having so much screen real estate on a phone is awesome, and if it was bigger it would be clumsy and hard to use.

      • Stevedub40

        Totally agree with you. I think the DNA is probably about as big as I would like to go. I’m a pretty tall lanky guy so this fits just right, but this may not be the case for everyone, especially little guys in skinny jeans (I’ll never understand this fad, you guys must really hate your junk to have to cram it together like that). I checked out the Note II and it was a little too big to hold comfortably.

  • Hand size, and body size are huge variables in that poll. My hands are small, and I’m 5’8″. A 5″ device barely fits in my pocket, and anything larger than 4.3″ is a two handed device. Someone who has large hands and is 6’5″ is going to be able to use a 5″ device pretty easily. What I wish is that some manufacturer would stop just making things bigger and bigger and offer a hero device that is for those of us who prefer a smaller phone.

    • If Moto updated the Droid Razr M to flagship specs, there’s your hero device. Actually, it’s already a solid device as is

      • Yeah. I agree. It’s solid and tempting. If they had thrown top of the line specs in, I think you would have something special there. In the meantime, 90% of the small form factor devices are sold as budget devices.

        • Sad but true. in the 4-4.3 inch range the only flagship device that fits the bill is….well….The-Phone-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

          • Tim242

            You mean that iDevice with 1GB of RAM, no NFC, and an oddly sized screen?

          • The very same. With the noise cancelling mic for calls. MIND BLOWN

          • Tim242

            Are you serious? Is that the only phone with noise cancelling? HEARTBROKEN

          • As many times as I’ve seen it, (and indulged in it) biting sarcasm at the expense of Apple never gets old ^^

        • LowRes

          Yeah, I’ve noticed with Android anything that’s not considered to be the “in” thing, namely compact dimensions and slide-out keyboards, are not given any priority and are bottom-shelf quality items.

    • Geo

      It’s getting to the point were to get great specs you have to get an almost 5 inch phone

  • Nick

    Until battery technology gets much better, I can’t see how anything bigger than 4.5″ is ideal? What’s the point of having a huge screen if moderate use drains your battery in less than 8 hrs?

    • That’s a manufacturer choice. The Razr line is average sized and offers exceptional battery life. The Note 2 is enormous and has it as well. I feel like OEM’s can get bigger sized batteries into the exact same form factors if they chose to. My point being that a huge screen doesn’t have to mean terrible battery life

    • bignuts

      I have the note 2 for Verizon and i get anywhere from 16-17hrs off one charge with at least 4-5 hrs maybe more depends on how i use my phone

  • Devon Delcourt

    It really depends on the form factor of the device. I think the form factor of the S3 is about the limit as far as size goes, but if there was a micro-thin bezel, why not make the device all screen?

  • you can’t just leave it to screen size. Form factor of the phone itself is what makes it for me. I have the DNA which has a 5″ screen, but the form factor of the phone itself is what makes it for me.

  • GrayWest

    My 4.65″ Galaxy Nexus makes some edges just slightly out of the reach of my thumb with one handed use. I do think this could be the sweet spot if incorporated with “edge to edge” tech… then I would have less bezel to reach over on all sides.

    • brando56894

      I have relatively small hands and the top to bottom swipe in portrait mode is a little difficult for me one handed. I have a nav button set up to expand the notification window for this reason lol I usually use my phone in landscape mode so I think I would love to have a 5″ screen for that reason.

  • ddevito

    Any screen that doesn’t belong to Apple

  • I think whatever you can operate efficiently with one hand is ideal. My SG3 makes it difficult, 4.8 is just too big. I suppose 4.65 would suffice.

  • Thomas

    I couldn’t imagine going any bigger than my Note 2.

    • I agree. And yet somehow Samsung will convince people to get a 6.3 inch Note 3 (if that is what ends up happening)

  • jzwerlz43

    up until last november i felt that 4.3 inches was perfect for my hands, but when i got my galaxy s3, i realized how dead wrong i was. 4.8 inches is the perfect fit for me

  • Wow, if there was anything Jobs was wrong about, it’s that people don’t want big screens on their phones.

    • LowRes

      Keep in mind the bias on this website

      • Jon

        well to be fair though, Android phones have had way bigger screens for a very long time. And those are the ones that are selling like hot cakes by the millions. For example, compared to the 3.5″ screen, there were millions of 3.7″, 4″, 4.3″, 4.5″ …etc sized Android phones sold.

        So this isn’t a bias thing to an Android fan site, it’s just simple fact.

        • LowRes

          Consequently the phones selling like hot-cakes, the said large phones, are the only phones with high-end specs.

          • 1mans_view

            Not true, hardware on phones such as HTC One S and Moto RAZR M have same CPU as the SG3 and One X. Both are 4.3 inch. There will always be smaller versions available with great hardware.