Did you know that smartphone screens nearly doubled in size since 2007?
It’s not hard to see that Android is the platform that has been driving that growth with larger and larger devices. It was just three years ago, in 2011, when the first phablet launched with a seemingly absurdly large 5.3-inch display. Today, we even have devices with screens of over 6 inches that are considered smartphones! Apple iPhones, in contrast, have kept their original size throughout the years, and while the first iPhone looked ridiculously large, the still-larger 4-inch iPhone 5s, actually looks small now.
Right below is a recorded history of all the tremendous changes that happened to smartphones throughout the years. The data is based on hundreds of smartphones from our own database (we have over 50 smartphones from 2014 alone), so while we cannot include all smartphones in the world, we have a fairly wide coverage.
Have you switched to a larger-screened smartphone in recent years? And what do you think about this trend, is bigger better in this case?
1. darkkjedii (Posts: 10373; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
The iPhone is going to take a shelling in this particular article lol, just watch.
5. brar.arsh (Posts: 132; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)
Then you cannot handle mine..
... Because i have Note 3.. :p JK.. :)
7. networkdood (Posts: 6261; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
5 inch phone is a decent size - I cannot believe I actually survived with the smaller Captivate and DROID RAZR, prior to the Nexus 5.
8. tasior (Posts: 190; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)
I hate this trend. New smartphones are huge, it's impossible to get them out of jeans pocket without standing up, or lying down. Their hardly usable with one hand. And for what? So we can spend more time on facebook, and play more games?
Don't get me wrong, I am pro free choice. The problem is, that people like me recently don't have any. 4.3 is nowadays considered mini. In 2009 I had Nokia N97 mini. It had 3.2 inches, and was perfect. My thumb could easily reach, every corner, and screen was big enough for reading emails and ocasionaly surfing. It fitted my hand and pocket perfectly. As for texting it had qwerty keyboard. While screens kept growing I bought Xperia Mini Pro with 3 inches, and qwerty keyboard. It was a bit small, mainly because of advertisments, that has almost every android app... Last year it was time to choose another model, and I felt, that there are hardly any leftovers, of phones fitting my preferences. I tried to get used to bigger sizes, and I found out, that 3.5 - 3.7 is maximum size, that are still convenient, and 4 is max that is usable for me. I chose Nokia 808 (4'). What am I supposed to do next?!
I may not be particularly heavy user (i found facebook irritating in my phone, when I'm indoors, I prefer using laptop, and I prefer watch world around me rather than the one on screen). Nevertheless I love technology, and usually have quite high demands when it comes to phones.
I stay positive, because what, we have seen in past several years, was a true revolution in phones. As in every revolution, the main idea is supported and developed, and there is little room left for outsiders. Now when the revolution slowly comes to an end, companies will be forced to reach for less mainstream clients (which apparently I am).
13. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1566; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
Unless you are some emo kid with tight ass girl jeans, this should be a non issue. Have you experienced this yourself? I have no issue with my Note II at all. I can see the Galaxy Mega potentially being a problem, but then again that's some tight ass pants you are wearing.
16. buccob (Posts: 1346; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
well... I am not emo and I do not use tight ass girl jeans... but some jeans pocket are tighter than other specially when sitting down...
My phone is thick, but it is small and my next phone will be 4.3" as well..
Z1 Compact.... this will be the new trend...
18. tasior (Posts: 190; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)
I'm neither emo nor kid. The jeans I'm refering to are normal Levi's and I consider them well fit. I don't see the point of starting fashion conversation on phones web site. The thing is, phone is supposed to be easy to use in every situation, and today's flagships are not...
17. jvardon (Posts: 16; Member since: 28 Apr 2012)
The Sharp Aquos Mini SHL24 or the Z1 Compact. They're the only two phones that are compact and powerful. The Xiaomi Mi-2S isn't too far behind either with simiar specs to these two but with an older 1.7 quad core S4 Snapdragon processor.
23. domfonusr (Posts: 322; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)
My problem is similar to yours. I also have a lot of greivances over other elements of the mobile market, and the behaviors of the big corpoartions, as well; however, putting all else aside, the thing about the size of phone screens is a particularly annoying one. I too was used to phones with smaller screens until rather recently. I, too, cope by hoping that some semblance of traditional phone use can be retained, though I am forced to watch as the mainstream goes so far away from my preferences. I also grew to dislike putting phones in my jeans pockets, and the newer devices just kept getting wider and thinner, which caused me to worry that I could break them if I ever put one in my pocket... so I have used belt clip pouches for years. And now, the belt clip pouches to hold these new-fangled devices have only gotten wider and thinner themselves, which just emulates the whole cramming-phone-in-pocket sensation that I was trying to avoid all along.
The problem with the phones people are listing here, like the Sony Xperia Z1 compact, the Moto X, and others, is that they are still sporting 4+ inch screens. There just aren't any options in the space where we really need an option. I don't know any decent Android smartphones with a screen below 4 inches, and the only ones that seem to be in that space, though they might look nice, are cheap as all get out and low-spec'd (think Kyocera Hydro Plus).
24. tasior (Posts: 190; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)
And another thing - those gigantic phones are far too easy to break. I've always needed a phone, that I can drop and not worry about it. When I watch crash tests, where most smartfones don't survive first drop I'm horrified. I don't want a device that is so delicate. With small screens, that wasn't a problem - most devices could survive fall. Now I would have to choose some specially rugged model, that due to its gigantic screen, and thick bezel is inconvenient for everyday use.
25. domfonusr (Posts: 322; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)
I can't tell you how many times I had dropped my Nokia 9300, and it just took it in stride and kept going. It wasn't until I fell directly on top of the thing, as I fell down a stairwell, that I really scraped it up enough to make it a little ugly... but it still worked, even after that, anyway.
I once crunched my HTC Dash, too. I stepped right on top of it, and snapped the charging port connection to the battery. I openned it up, soldered in a new bead, and it worked for another 6 months before its final death by software corruption.
These new phones don't stand a chance. My LG Viper is just a giant piece of glass real estate that I don't dare to carry around with me most of the time.
26. aksa123 (Posts: 172; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)
Hand size matters here. I have a 4.3" phone and it's still difficult for me to write.
Heck, even it's still difficult for me to write on a 7" tablet XD
Just what's wrong with me...
11. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
I liked the trend, but now I wonder how much bigger are the smartphone screen sizes are going to get. I guess I have yet to try a 6" screen, but even if they reduce the bezels a lot, the size of the overall phone will have to start growing with the size of the screen. I can hold my Note 2 just fine (and could probably hold the 5.7" Note 3 fine as well), but I think a tad bit smaller would fit my hands perfectly. Maybe a 5.5" screen device with minimum bezels! Anyway I hope it doesn't get to the point where we carry tablet-sized phones on our heads and stuff.
12. darkkjedii (Posts: 10373; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
My 5.7 inch note 3 is as large as I'll go GM. it's not too comfy in the hand, and I pretty good sized hands. One thing I hate, is having to feel like two hands are needed for safe handling. My iPhone mos def needs a larger screen, but I absolutely love how it feels in the hand, and the safe one handed operation it offers. I held the mega, put it down, and said hell to the no lol.
15. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
haha I didn't have a good impression on the mega either though I have not held it. My Note 2 is already big enough and just like you, I don't desire a handset that requires two hands for safety. I can hold my Note 2 fine, but definitely requires two hands to operate. I don't complain too much about that since I use the s-pen for everything, but I do remember how good it felt to do everything on a phone using one hand. I have a good feeling that Apple is going to try and make their next iPhone as one handed user friendly as possible so I'm looking forward to that.
19. darkkjedii (Posts: 10373; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Dude I swear I think the next iPhone is gonna be tall. Remember how the evo 4G was wide, then the evo 3D was taller and more narrow, but still had the 4.3 inch screen? I think apple will do something like that. Samsung kinda did that with the note 3. I think the note 2 screen is a little wider. If the note 4 is bigger than the 3, I'm good, I carry my phones in a case that goes over my belt, and my notes case is friggin huge man lol. I never take the note to the gym, cuz with wearing a weight belt when I lift, it pinches my left side.
22. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
I remember how I was obsessed with the HTC EVO 3D lol. That would be interesting especially because Apple already did so with the iPhone 5 from the iPhone 4 (keeping the width the same, but more height). I'm excited to see what it will be and I think you're right with the Note too. I'm going to assume that the Note 4 will be bigger than the Note 3 if they're implementing a 5.9"+ screen. I hope they can keep it as compact as possible! Doesn't sound too comfortable having a Note over your belt ha it's nice you can switch between your iPhone and Note.
28. darkkjedii (Posts: 10373; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
EVO 3D was gorgeous. There's gotta be a size cutoff, I hope.
14. domfonusr (Posts: 322; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)
My LG Viper has a 4 inch screen, and for one-handed use that's huge for me. I'm like the dude from the Burger King commercial - small hands. Before I got this LG, my Nokia E62 probably had the biggest screen of any I owned before, at 2.8 inches.
21. domfonusr (Posts: 322; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)
I take that back. My Nokia 9300 had a bigger screen at 3.7 inches, though it was narrow from top to bottom and entirely internal. That phone had an awesome keyboard, too.
20. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3512; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
My 6" 1520 seems normal sized now after using it for a month... I'm gonna need my next Lumias screen to be larger..
but, I don't want the overall size if the device to change much..
27. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 692; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)
I'm trying to get a phone with a larger screen, but budget issues force me to adopt a smaller one
29. aksa123 (Posts: 172; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)
What matters the most is the overall phone dimensions, not just the screen size.
30. networkdood (Posts: 6261; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Easy way to take care of everyone's needs is to create a device with an adjustable display...