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

Displays

Manufacturers are showing no signs of slowing the trend that is increasing display size, with companies like Huawei now releasing phones that are blowing past the 6-inch mark. Current flagships from LG, Samsung, and HTC are all 5-inches and over. We touched on this a few weeks back. If there is any consolation, we can at least be thankful that companies are finding ways to decrease bezel size, meaning that even though displays are getting bigger, sizes of the phones are not changing too much.

In the end, though, do people actually need that much display? Well, you tell us.

For this poll, select your preferred display size range, then comment below with your perfect size. If you see your size posted already in the comments, vote it up.

What’s the Perfect Smartphone Display Size?

View Results

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  • Todd

    Nobody over 6 feet should not have a phone under 5″

  • Joe

    5.9″ with small bezel would be perfect

  • Alan Paone

    4″ but a 4:3 ratio, obviously.

  • BoFiS

    4.3″ at 720p seems pretty perfect to me…I just wish that was more-commonly offered :-(

  • Knlegend1

    Screen size is overrated. Its the dimensions of the phone. You take a phone like the HTC One (m7) remove some bezel and it can be a 5″ screen phone. So there is no perfect size but the phone itself. I think the Moto X is as good as it gets.

  • Higher_Ground

    I find the question antagonistic. There’s no perfect size. Even two screens with the same size could have different resolutions. I think what’s more important is how things are displayed and rendered. I think of the huge gap in graphical information displayed between a desktop webpage and a mobile webpage. Ideally, I would want as much space as I can get, while maintaining touch sensitivity. There’s no reason for me to not want more room. Once the phone gets too big, you’re a lot closer to knowing where (my) perfect size is. I take it that most people feel this way too, meaning that there is no perfect size, or at least not a perfect one-size-fits-all.

  • Jim Jordan

    The question is what is the right phone size for the hand, which is not the same as screen size. Given that the phone fits in the hand well, the biggest screen fitting in that space is desired. The LG G2 fit perfectly in the hand – it had a 5.2 inch screen, but something bigger could work if the phone was thinner, curved differently, etc.

  • artsr2002

    5″ in a small overall size like my S4. Nice.

  • Chris Hannan

    There is no perfect display size. Not even perfect overall phone size. It’s a combination of those plus the feel. The Moto X is pretty much perfect, but the Nexus 4 with the same size display and the Galaxy Nexus with a slightly smaller one don’t feel as nice as the Moto X.

  • bionicwaffle

    I voted for 4.6-5 because that’s what I think. My current phone, Droid Razr Maxx HD, has a 4.7″ display. The only reason I question my vote is I haven’t used a larger phone for any period of time. Back when I had a Windows Mobile phone with a 4″ screen I thought that was the biggest screen I would want on a phone. When I got my Droid X I thought 4.3 was the perfect size and I would never want anything larger on a phone. Now that I have a 4.7″ screen I would never get a phone with a smaller one. I’m open to larger. I think 5″ would be the sweet spot for me but that’s really only an educated guess. Maybe I’d like a 5.2 or even 5.5″ screen but it seems like somewhere in that 5″ to 6″ range it will be larger than what I feel comfortable with. On the other hand, I thought 4.3″ was perfect so I’m not going to act like I know for sure:) Right now I’d like my next phone to have a 5″ screen. I’m thankful that, among many other things, we have a great choice of screen sizes when it comes to Android phones!

    fwiw, I’m still one of those freaks who thinks on-screen buttons are a dumb idea unless there is no room for them below the screen – which is almost no phone out there. I want to see front facing real-estate used well on a phone. So for example, I could potentially choose a 4.7″ with off screen buttons over a 5″ with on screen buttons. Immersive Mode helps but 80% of the time my phone has dynamic display space wasted with static buttons that would easily fit below the screen (as physical or capacitive). I’d rather have a few extra lines of text on every book page, web page, or anything. When you’re dealing with a small display, every bit is important and should be used wisely. Even the Google Photos app doesn’t support Immerse mode so I can’t see my 16×9 photos at a true full screen which is annoying.

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  • archercc

    Its less about screen size and more about phone size. I want the maximum screen in minimum phone. I like the physical size of my N4, just fit more screen on it.

  • Matthew

    My moto x is still just a little bigger than I would like it to be. I got it to switch from my nexus 4 almost entirely because of the size and because it fits my hands better, but I’d prefer it to be a little bit smaller. I have very small hands.

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  • Renan Rennó

    I would say vetween 4.2 and 4.7

  • Jimstopdog

    Note 3 perfect size.

  • Wall Breaker

    5.2 – 5.5 for me.

  • Wall Breaker

    Overall size of the device is what matters most. Am I the only One Who gets this?

    Also how you hold the device plays a big role in one handed use.

  • Richard Gao

    G2 is literally the perfect size

  • JMonkeYJ

    My current phone is 5.2″ and I don’t dislike it, but I would prefer 4.7-5″ with small bezels. I have no real preference within that range.

  • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

    This is the first poll I’ve skipped voting on in a while. Note2, now Note3 user and I’m starting to feel it’s a bit too large. Waiting to see what the MotoX+1 is like.

  • Ryan

    G2

  • Richard Giordano

    5.0 is the perfect screen size for me (Droid Maxx)

  • Trysta

    Can you please send this poll to all the major Android OEMs and to Google :-(

    Every time I use my Nexus 5 one-handed (often) I think to myself that this phone is huge and only in some twisted universe would it be at the smaller end of the flagship phone spectrum. Clearly based on this poll I’m not the only one who would like to see flagship phone sizes stop at 5-inches. It is not demand but rather the ease of marketing a bigger number that has led to this ballooning of smartphone sizes.

  • joejoe5709

    This question depends greatly upon bezel size.

    My G2 is darn near perfect. Can’t wait to get my hands on a G3. But I feel that the Note 3 is probably too big and the Moto X is probably too small.

  • interstellarmind

    4.7″ has been the perfect size for me (the biggest it can get before I can no longer access every part of the screen – the upper left corner of my N5 is hard to get to). So far, the N4 (with it’s curved sides, I might add) has been the best device I’ve owned.

    In fact, I wish I still had my N4. It was the best looking, handled device I’ve ever owned.

    (My current N5 is the best overall phone I’ve ever owned)

  • Jason Kahn

    Nexus 5 Would be the limit, in terms of overall phone size. If the bezels shrunk and the the screen grew to say 5.1, 5.2 inches I would be fine with that.

  • skinja99

    For me, the S3 was the perfect size phone. If they could keep those nice curves, that would be great.

  • schlanz

    screen size is one thing, device size is another.

    I got to play with the g3 today and can say for a 5.5″ screen is sure as hell doesnt feel like it.

  • mcdonsco

    Well, I can’t choose one apparently. 4.6 is too small and 5.5 is too big…I would vote 5″ on the nose, but that, in this vote suggests I’m cool with 4.6…which i’m not.

    Oh well…my vote is 4.9 – 5.1

  • ki11ak3nn

    I’m sure my post is going to be at the bottom of this and no one is going to read it. Since there’s already 100 posts here……..but I hope people know that even with a big phone you should still be able to use it one handed. It’s all about apps. If you can’t reach the top of the notification bar……get Nova Launcher and use the swipe down gesture to bring down notifications. If it’s too hard to type with one hand…….get SwiftKey and set it to compact mode then choose which side you want the keyboard on, left or right. A lot of things can be fixed. This is Android and we have the power!! Bring on the big screens and big batteries!!!

    • Inquizitor

      To me, those all seem like inelegant hacks to fix problems that shouldn’t exist in the first place. It’s not that I want to be able to access my notifications on a larger display, it’s that I want a display small enough to reach the top of the phone! This is not to say that anyone who prefers what you suggest is *wrong*, just that what they like is most certainly wrong *for me* and I really wish that manufacturers would give us more of a choice. There’s no reason I should have to choose between a high-end phone with a far too much screen and a crappy mid-end phone with an enjoyable screen size. It’s unbelievably frustrating.

      • ki11ak3nn

        I agree with you. I like what HTC and some other manufactures did with releasing essentially the same phone but in different sizes. My only problem is like you said the specs. For a smaller device it’ll have cheaper/outdated specs. Why can’t they do what Sony did and make a “compact” version of their flagship?!?! Same specs, smaller size. It shouldn’t be that much harder. But maybe it is. I don’t know.

        • Inquizitor

          I’d even forgive a lower-resolution screen at a smaller size if they kept the same damn chip, RAM, camera, and a reasonably similar battery, you know?

          • ki11ak3nn

            I do know. I’m just now realizing that the phone companies don’t really care about the consumer. They just want our money.

          • Fooer

            Hint: nobody cares about humans. It’s all about maximizing profits

  • Beh

    12 to 20 inches. With Bluetooth headsets & speaker phone there no need to have a small screen phone instead of simply using your work tablet. One device to rule them all.

    • ki11ak3nn

      But my tablet is only 7 inches. And it’s not a work tablet. And I don’t even use it that much since I’ve gotten my wonderful Chromebook.

  • callumshell1

    I think anyone who says that 4.7″ is perfect has never used the LG G2.

    • Charles Walker

      I went from a Moto X to a G2 and miss the Moto X for it’s far superior UI, speed, and most importantly its form factor. That’s coming from someone with big hands too. The G2 is a tad too large. Wish they’d capped it at 5″ keeping the same form factor.

    • grrgmarz

      Or has small hands.

  • Rodeojones000

    5″ maximum – and I say this as a G2 owner. It’s my only complaint with my phone. When I hold my wife’s Moto X I’m reminded of what perfect phone size feels like.

    (And for the record, I wear size XXL gloves.)

  • Brett Seybert

    I had a Moto X (4.7″) and recently switched to a G2 (5.5″). I really miss the size of the Moto X. It was perfect for me (and I have large hands). Easy one-handed use while still large enough not to make two-handed thumb typing unbearable (like the smaller, 4″ iPhone 5). There are other benefits to the G2 (the resolution and the screen itself blow away the Moto X), and I’m enjoying being able to tinker and flash ROMs again (though admittedly the close-to-AOSP approach from the Moto X cut down on the need to do so) as I’ve found myself unwilling to settle on one setup and device for the duration of a two-year contract.

    But, speaking strictly of screen size, the Moto X nailed it. It’s a shame that it didn’t sell better than it did. I think the early price-to-specs ratio killed it.

  • King of Nynex

    Still rocking my G-Nex and the screen is a little too small for me. On the other hand, I don’t wanna be holding up a tablet to my ear.

  • paul_cus

    4-4.5….team small phone

  • Muji Samovar

    My god, more of this site’s hard-on for smaller screen size…

    At any rate, the poll isn’t especially helpful. The difference between 4.7″ and 4.95″ is obviously pretty meaningful. Why lump both into the same territory, given the competitive landscape and the phones Droid-Life deems “PERFECT!!!11!!” (4.7″) and “OMG, FEELS LIKE A TABLET ON MY HEAD!!1111one” (5.0″).

    If you were genuine in your desire to do a little informal market research, wouldn’t it be more helpful to have cohorts arranged as 4.5″ – 4.7″, 4.8″ – 5.1″, etc.? Take a look at what the devices you praise/criticize are sized, and differentiate. The poll, as constituted, feels pretty disingenuous.

    I, for one, voted 5.1″ to 5.5″, but would consider something even 5.4″ to be absurdly big.

    • A Skylit [S]unjΔy

      No surprise that 4.7 is getting loved here. Droid Life has a hard on for the Moto X.

  • ROR1997

    It’s not as much the screen as it is the phone. If HTC had a 4.7 Inch screen on a phone, the phone would still feel massive and hard to hold because of the bezels and speakers. While the G2 has a 5.2 inch screen and it feels nice in the hand because it’s very minimal.