Mid-size phone screens still king, study shows, the phablet 'fad' just 2% of total
0. phoneArena 02 Apr 2013, 02:32 posted on
The mid-size commands a vast majority of devices owned, with the so-called phablets representing only two percent globally. With the influx of 5" and up flagships this year, carrying Full HD displays, that ratio is bound to change, however...
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1. Evil.Bunny (Posts: 41; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)
i wonder how those stats will change if we take the iphone out of the count....
49. JohnnyBravo (Posts: 105; Member since: 02 Dec 2012)
Good observation. Im sure a huge portion of the "mid-size" category can be attributed to the iPhone.
To be honest I thought the perfect size for a screen was 4-4.3" Then I got my galaxy nexus and had some time with the S3 and DNA and now Im thinking its in the 4.6-4.9 range. I really do think the phones have plateau around 5" mark. Anything bigger should be considered a phablet.
2. thethird (Posts: 72; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)
No surprise there. But still loving my Note 2 to the bits. So a matter of choice makes all the difference. :D [+]
36. Bernoulli (Posts: 1443; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)
Yup, in the end is all about consumer choice, something Apple can never give us
3. Xolar (Posts: 57; Member since: 02 Apr 2013)
the good thing about mid-size phones is that you can put it in your pocket easily but the problem is that, mid-size phones have weak processors.
8. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4010; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
So every phone with 3.5-4.9" screens have weak processors? Since when are the Exynos 4412, S4 Pro, and Snapdragon 600 considered weak?
9. Xolar (Posts: 57; Member since: 02 Apr 2013)
give me an example of phones with that processor.
11. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4010; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Samsung Galaxy S3, 4.8" with Exynos 4412.
LG Nexus 4 and Optimus G, 4.7" with quad core S4 Pro.
Sony Xperia SP, 4.6" with dual core S4 Pro.
HTC One, 4.7" with Snapdragon 600.
12. Xolar (Posts: 57; Member since: 02 Apr 2013)
u call that mid-size? i call them big phones
do they fit properly in your pocket?
14. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4010; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Dude, mid sized phones in the test the article was referencing were categorized in the 3.5-4.9" range. By the way, yes, they all do fit in my pockets properly.
18. Leo_MC (Posts: 520; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
Are you a basketball player or a monster?
If not, I doubt that huge phablets fit in your pockets.
I have 6 feet and I didn't feel confortable with HOX so I didn't buy it.
21. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4010; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Neither, and yes they do. Maybe you're just small? Or maybe I wear pants that actually fit correctly. The GS3 (which is larger than the One X) fits very comfortably in my jeans pocket, even when a case is on it; and I can reach all edges of the display in one hand with my thumb.
42. Leo_MC (Posts: 520; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
I already said I have 6 feet (182 cm).
The perfect size of the hand, from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger is 1/10 of body height; I have 2 cm past that and I don't feel confortable using a ping-pong palet like HOX.
If I would carry a backpack, maybe I would take a big palet phone but I'm wearing bespoke wool suits so I won't.
I looked at myself talking on the S3 and it was clear to me: I would never carry a big, ugly, shiny, plastiky, face-covering, useless phablet.
Oh, and when I need a big screen I TAKE OUT MY Ultrabook; no even the Galaxy Note 100 could beat my beautiful 13" FHD screen in magnezium body and full physical keyboard (it's a VAIO)!!!
44. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4010; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
You're over exaggerating the size of the phone the way you're phrasing it. The S3, One X and all alike are NOT phablets. The only devices that can be categorized as phablets are the Note series and devices similar in terms of size.
One X, phone.
Droid DNA/Butterfly, phone.
Anything with a 4-5" screen is a normal sized phone in my book, because at that size the bezels can still be brought down to make the phone a usable size.
Even my friend who is very small (don't know her exact height, most likely below 5 feet) loves her GS3.
50. Leo_MC (Posts: 520; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
If you need to use 2 hands to control a device, it's a phablet; one can't control a larger than 4 - 4.3" (let's say 4.5" maximum) screen so annything larger is a phablet, period.
51. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4010; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
I don't need 2 hands to control a GS3. I can reach all edges of the display in one hand with my thumb.
52. Leo_MC (Posts: 520; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
You must be a giant or you have disproportionate thumbs; you're like a mutant with huge thumbs. That's your special power: reaching the edge of a S3 screen with one hand; you should be on a stage in Vegas :)!
PS: I believe Uma Thurman played a chick with very long thumbs (I remember she used them hitchhike); are you Uma?
53. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2169; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
No need to be an *ss, guy. I have a Note 2. I can reach all edges of that display in one hand with my thumb, too. If you call 6'4" giant, then sure, but I do have big hands. I was a wide receiver in college. Not everyone is the same size as you, so saying one can't control a larger than 4.5" screen with one hand is just idiotic. Do you think basketball players, for instance, whom are much taller than me on average want a dinky 4" phone which they could easily lose in their pockets? C'mon, man. The world wasn't made just for you. Embrace the variety.
55. Leo_MC (Posts: 520; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
The average lenght of a thumb is 7 cm; let's say 8.
The maximum angle it can travel is ~90 degrees; that means an average thumb can cover 32 square cm without moving the entire hand; that's about the equivalent of 3,5" screen (iPhone 4); when one tilts the device, the surface that a thumb can cover gets to 4-4,3 (let's say 4,5" in the best scenario).
Sure there are larger thumbs, but they are the exception, not the rule.
Let's take Note. It's screen surface is 84 square cm that can be covered by a 12 cm thumb; a person with that thumb should have at least 240-260 cm which is pretty big even for a basketball player ;).
Oh, but you can reach the edges of Note with one hand, no problem there; I have to ask: do you have telescopic thumbs or are a mutant too? I asked because It's medicaly imposible to be 6 foot 4 normal person and have 12 cm thumbs; I'll give you my email, please-please-pretty please take a picture of your special thumb.
54. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4010; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Haha, people actually say I have relatively small hands. I think they're average, but some people think otherwise. You're the first to say I have large hands.
I actually went and measured my thumbs just for this, and they're 2.5" long, and if Google is anything to go by that's roughly the average for humans
13. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4010; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
I should also mention the Tegra 3 processor in the HTC One X+ (4.7" display), which performs on par with the Exynos 4412.
17. Xolar (Posts: 57; Member since: 02 Apr 2013)
oh yeah, i haven't notice that, sorry for the trouble.. i wish the are no hard feelings
37. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2169; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
The Tegra 3 performs on par with the Exynos 4412? That's news to me.
43. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4010; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Only the overclocked version in the One X+.
46. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4010; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
That's not in any phones below 4.9" though.
10. Andrewtst (Posts: 315; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
Middle size phones weak?
A lot phone using S 4 Pro, S600, Exynos is screen size less than 5". Those phone spec weak? Probably you need to out your own phone then.
15. Xolar (Posts: 57; Member since: 02 Apr 2013)
so you consider phones that sized 4.7 etc are mid-size.. hmmm.. i can't imagine how big your hands are..
29. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
Its all personal preference, what is a mid size to you might be tiny to someone else or huge to another...I have the s3 and I have no problem fitting in any of my pockets and for the most part I can use it single handedly...for me its not the screen size that matters but the device size, in this "study" the s4 is considered a phablet because of the 5" screen and the s3 is considered mid size because it has a 4.8" screen even though the s4 is actually a smaller device...with bezels becoming smaller we are cramming bigger screens in to smaller sizes so that needs to be taken into consideration and not just the size of the screen.
48. madpiyal (Posts: 108; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)
I am with u. All the phones(android) currently enjoying the flagship status of every manufacturer are huge in size and not convenient in any way for single handed use. I am only 5'8" and it looks odd when i hold a big phone like S3. I would definitely like to have a phone with Galaxy S2's dimension standard with flagship hardware in it.
4. Planterz (Posts: 780; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
4.9" is a "medium" sized phone? A year ago I would have scoffed. 3 years ago I would have said that you're out of you're fraking mind. I'd say anything larger than 4.5" is large, and anything phablet sized is extra large.
The graphs are badly skewed by the fact that the iPhone 3g through 4S are 3.5", and should be considered "small", and are one of the most common phones on the planet. Include 3.5" as "small", and anything above that but smaller than 4.5", and the graphs will look far, far different.
5. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)
For me, no bigger than 5'. It's not about 'pocketability' for my case, i dont wear jeans. But something around the size of Galaxy S3 and Lumia 920 (to be exact, the dimensions of the width of the phone) is close to the limit of single-handed operation for me. So, probably my hand can still handle the S4 and HTC One pretty well since the dimensions are well within the limits, but not a Galaxy Note. I dont like holding my phone with one hand and tapping on the screen with another hand even for simple tasks like typing texts and making calls, which means huge phablets are not for me.
32. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5404; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Hey me too! 5" is already enough for me, like the S4 and the Xperia Z. Oh, don't you think that the Lumia 920 is too bulky? Its like holding a polycarbonate brick.
34. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)
To me Lumia 920 is ok, i like the weight actually. I also have the Galaxy S2 but i didnt like the weight, too light. To me 8.5mm and 10.5 mm is not much difference when it comes to thickness, not to mention Lumia 920's back is curved not flat. If it is flat with squared sides like the iPhone then 10-11mm will feel thick.i can tolerate any thickness under 12mm.
35. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5404; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Yup, me too. My brother was using the S2 too, and it was too light, I didn't like it too. Even though the Lumia 920 is bulky, but I still love the weight! :)
6. pwnarena (Posts: 884; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
considering that the s4 has a 5" display with the body similar in size to its predecessor, i think their basis for determining the percentages is faulty. the xperia zl is also smaller than the s3 and it has a 5" display.
they should use the dimensions of the devices. not the display size.
27. vincelongman (Posts: 1152; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)
The S4 is actually slightly smaller than the S3, look up the dimensions
30. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
Agree with bigger screens in smaller devices than before, I think display size is now the wrong way to determine the size of a phone or at least should not be the only determing factor.
7. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
4.7 is my comfort zone ... maybe because that's what i have tried so far.
22. lallolu (Posts: 231; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)
It is true that when you try a big phone, then you can use something a step bigger. Eg, if you used a 3.7" phone, it will be easy to move on to 4.3" but you cannot expect someone using a 3.2" phone to start using 5.0" phone, thay will complain that it is to big.
16. Leo_MC (Posts: 520; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
4.9 is phablet, 4.7 is also phablet.
Any phone that excedes 125 cm is a phablet.
19. Xolar (Posts: 57; Member since: 02 Apr 2013)
people nowadays are making false comments
it's okay because i know that they don't have a life
20. areeeeez (Posts: 16; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)
Form-factor should not be measured by the screen size IMO, but the width of the phone.
I think most people wll struggle holding the phone with more than 7cm width. Thats why phone still & always popular than phablet.
I found 6 cm width is big enough for my hand to hold
23. Taters (Posts: 2942; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Using screen sizes to determine how large a phone is a pretty poor choice. The Lumia 920 is not only hard to hold, it is hard to pocket and it has a 4.5 inch screen. The GS3 is thin enough and so curvy that it is very easy to handle.
Going by dimensions and volume is the most accurate.
25. Edmund (Posts: 654; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
Oh please! The galaxy s3 looks like a fat korean kid eating an ice cream, while the Lumia 920 looks like a super model walking down the runway.
33. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
His not talking about the look of the phone but how it fits in 1 hand... At least use a proper analogy because if the s3 is a fat kid than the lumia is an even fatter kid
24. Edmund (Posts: 654; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
4" is the perfect size for your pocket. Web browsing will always be difficult on a screen that's smaller than 10".
26. Samsomesh (Posts: 180; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)
That's because big screen phones are expensive... And all are not that rich to buy them..
28. vincelongman (Posts: 1152; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)
Why don't they use the phones actual physical dimensions instead of screen size.
Also in my opinion the scale is wrong even for screen size, small-size should be
38. Aeires (unregistered)
Change the medium size to 3.5" - 4.5" and you'd see a totally different chart. There's a ton of phones that are bigger than 4.5" screens but don't reach the phablet category.
39. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 851; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)
This is stupid. 3.5" - 4.9 covers just about every phone out there. Of course its going to have the biggest share.
Break that down even more to tell more of a story. 3.5" - 4",
40. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2169; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
I was thinking the same. The mid-size category should have been broken down into 3 further categories.
3.5" to under 4"
4" to under 4.5"
4.5 to under 5"
41. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
I think anything 5" and up is a large phone. I have a Droid DNA and it's a relatively svelte phone, but it is no doubt huge, it dwarfs my Droid X considerably you could gut my DNA and fit the whole X in it. The thing about the DNA is how it's shaped to make it easy to use with one hand. Any phone with the dimensions of the DNA should be considered a large phone, beyond that is super sized. Phablets are ridiculous in size and there is no way you can use them comfortably with a single hand. Yea the mid sized category should be broken down a bit further but to be mid sized it will have to remain under 5".
47. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2169; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
I have a Note 2 & I can use it very comfortably in one hand. I'm also 6'4".