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Smartphone buyers prefer an ever-larger screen - 4.5" takes over 4.3" as the sweet spot

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Smartphone buyers prefer an ever-larger screen - 4.5" takes over 4.3" as the sweet spot

Research firm Strategy Analytics (SA) came out with its latest "Smartphone Size Preference" report, examining trends that appeared in the second half of last year. It turns out that, while 4.2"-4.7" devices were the norm then, the users placed their preferences at 4.5" on average.

That is a departure from the 4.3" average in the 2011 report, and seems to have always been on the rise, ever since Apple introduced the first iPhone back in 2007. Well, even Apple departed from its 3.5-inchers last year, and is rumored to consider going even bigger in 2014.

Given the trends this year (cough, Galaxy Mega line, cough), and the onlsaught of 5" flagships, SA might be updating their preferrable screen size survey to 4.7" in the next report. We doubt that the trend will continue much further, though, unless Samsung finally stops dragging its feet with the foldable and rollable YOUM display phones.

source: SA via IntoMobile

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52 Comments
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posted on 13 May 2013, 06:06 21

1. cezarepc (Posts: 508; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


5"-5.5" is enough for me. But of course, depends on the bezel too.

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:37 6

12. vincelongman (Posts: 947; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Personally my sweet spot is about the size of S4 and One, because its large, but I can still can use it comfortable with one hand.
But I still think companies should still make high end smaller phone for people who prefer those. They should make flagships in different sizes but same specs, for example a 4" and a 4.7-5".

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:52 2

15. rallyguy (Posts: 518; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


Good point. But the people I know who have smaller phones keep them for many years and don't upgrade. They use their phone for texting and calls mainly and aren't interested in spending money on a different phone when the one they have works fine.
In the end, companies will make it if they can make money. Carriers don't spend money promoting low end phones either.
I think right now each company is innovating to new places with phones. When the smartphone basically reaches it's full potential, companies will then turn to fill in the gaps.

posted on 13 May 2013, 14:15 2

43. jcarrigan (unregistered)


6' inches is the biggest ill go for a screen and 4.7' is the smallest screen ill take.

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:11 20

2. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1107; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


Apple did not get the memo; again.

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:14 10

3. SonyFindOneDroidple (Posts: 441; Member since: 11 May 2013)


+1 Lol

posted on 14 May 2013, 13:04

52. Manevolence (Posts: 6; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


If Apple would just create a 4.5 inch iPhone I would buy it :/

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:16 4

4. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1301; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


i just want to know who these "smartphone buyers" are

posted on 13 May 2013, 07:07 9

19. chistoefurpuffer (Posts: 139; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


Once you use a bigger smartphone, you'll never want to use anything smaller again.

posted on 13 May 2013, 07:11 6

21. Leo_MC (Posts: 476; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


Yes, untill I got a ultrabook and realize a big smartphone is a dumb ideea because it does everything wrong.

posted on 13 May 2013, 21:16 1

47. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 501; Member since: 20 May 2012)


Two different products for two different markets. Try again troll

posted on 14 May 2013, 01:51

50. Leo_MC (Posts: 476; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


A tablet does everything a big smartphone does but better; a ultrabook does everything a tablet does but better.
If you're in the market of "doing stuff", an ultrabook is the way to go; if you like spending money for useless devices, go get the new Note.
An iPhone sized phone does everything a tiny tablet like S4 does but still fits in the pocket.

posted on 13 May 2013, 16:13 2

46. itreday (Posts: 68; Member since: 24 May 2012)


Lie, I had a Samsung infuse which was a 4.6 and hated the screen because I always made typing errors. I went back to iPhone because it has the perfect width to the point where I rarely make any errors in typing.

posted on 13 May 2013, 22:09 1

49. dwillopp (Posts: 18; Member since: 08 Jul 2010)


Po little hands lol

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:16 5

5. SonyFindOneDroidple (Posts: 441; Member since: 11 May 2013)


The foldable thing from the CES samsung's future tech teaser video is really cool, hope they're getting it right and ready

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:47 4

13. cezarepc (Posts: 508; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


yep pretty cool stuff. I personally like the one that looks like a pen.

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:16 5

6. FlushGordon (unregistered)


"A 3.5 inch screen is the perfect size for a smartphone"

--- Steve Jobs

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:17 15

7. twens (Posts: 518; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


Galaxy note 2. The perfect phone.lol

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:25 4

8. darkskoliro (Posts: 935; Member since: 07 May 2012)


5" is my sweet spot, but cases ruin the aesthetics :(
But I do live dangerously, from time to time >;)

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:26 9

9. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5047; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


5" is already enough for me! 6" can't even fit into my pocket!

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:57 4

17. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)


Tell that to the 8 inch galaxy tablet

posted on 13 May 2013, 07:04 3

18. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5047; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Tell that to the 7 inch ASUS Fonepad.
http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Asus-Fonepad_id7751/fullspecs

posted on 13 May 2013, 14:17

44. jcarrigan (unregistered)


get pants with bigger pockets. i can fit a 6inch device in my dress pants and be fine. dont wear skinny jeans

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:34 5

10. princedeking (Posts: 9; Member since: 07 May 2013)


waitin for 6.3

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:36 5

11. DANTExphone888 (Posts: 91; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


5" is my sweet spot, wait in for future flagships.

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:52 5

14. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 779; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)


5inch is definetly the sweet spot for me :) can't stand the tiny 4.0inch on the iPhone5, its small and narrow, annoying to watch vids on and web browse.

posted on 13 May 2013, 06:55 4

16. roldefol (Posts: 2858; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Despite the bigger-is-better attitude among Sammy fanatics here, there is an upper limit on what's comfortable to hold, carry and thumb. I agree with that 4.5" number: up to 5" for large hands, 4" for petites.

posted on 13 May 2013, 07:11 3

20. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 762; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


Im a small person, but owning the Note2 made 5.5' a norm for me :)

posted on 13 May 2013, 07:15 1

22. Leo_MC (Posts: 476; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


I saw a little man wearing clown shoes; he was very comfortable, no doubt, but funny as hell to whatch.
Then I saw an average Joe holding a huge device - a Note or S3 - on his ear and talking; he was equally funny.

posted on 13 May 2013, 07:39 7

25. tedkord (Posts: 4275; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Not as funny as the folks I saw using the 10" iPad as a camera.

posted on 13 May 2013, 10:03 1

34. Leo_MC (Posts: 476; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


Yes, watching someone taking pictures with iPad/Nexus 10/Note 10 is like looking at a little man with clown shoes or like looking at one holding the huge Note to one's ear or using both hands for simple tasks like writing messages.

posted on 13 May 2013, 07:27 7

23. medicci37 (Posts: 593; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


I would say 4.7 to 5 inches... Certainly not 3.5 to 4 inches :-)

posted on 13 May 2013, 07:35 3

24. surethom (Posts: 227; Member since: 04 Mar 2009)


4.3" to 4.5" is the idea screen size it is also ideal for one handed use. 5" is just Too large for one handed use.

posted on 13 May 2013, 07:40 2

26. tedkord (Posts: 4275; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


There is no rule that states you have to use only one hand with smartphones.

posted on 13 May 2013, 07:41

27. gd761 (Posts: 97; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)


As for the Issue of LARGER SCREENS, I also would like to have a LARGER SCREEN on My Cellphone.
What's Important to Me in Choosing a New Cellphone are a Few things that Most or Some of the things that are Important to Me Might Also be Agreed Upon by the People that Are Reading this as well as Others that will not ever read this article.
The things that Are Important to Me Are;
1. Screen Size.
2. The Aspect Ratio of the Screen for Watching Videos.
3. A Thin Bezel.
4. Strong Glass for the Screen that can Withstand Scratches and also Possibly Survive being Dropped.
5. A Solid Quality Built Phone that Don't Feel like it's a Cheap Phone while you Hold it in your Hands.
6. LOUD & Clear Speakers for Watching Videos, Streaming Videos either that are Online or Stored On the Cellphone or for Using the Speaker Phone in a Loud Environment.
7. Lots of Storage On the Phone that Will Still Not Limit you even if you do Not Install a Micro SD Card, Because We All Know that the OS is Always Taking Away from the Listed Amount of Storage.
8. A Physical QWERTY Keyboard. For Some People Like Me, We Need to Have the Physical QWERTY Keyboard because We do a LOT of Typing from our Cellphones. And with the Amount of How Much and How Fast that We Type, We Need to Feel the Physical Keys to be able to tell When We are Typing on the Correct Key or if We are Hitting One or More Keys at the Same time. You can't feel that on a Smooth Surface at all.
9. The Last and in My Opinion the Most Important. The OS. For Me. My Opinion is that the Phone Must Have Windows Phone OS. I'm Not saying that either Android or iOS can Not be on Cellphones at all. I'm Just saying that on the Cellphone that I WANT, Must have it.
This Is My Opinion. But Feel Free to Comment on My Post Here if You Agree with Any Part or Everything. Also, if you both Agree with Some of this and Disagree with the rest.
Have A Nice Day.

posted on 13 May 2013, 09:40

33. roldefol (Posts: 2858; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


I just want one that's available in electric blue.

And runs MS-DOS 4.0.

On 3.5" floppies. DOUBLE SIDED.

posted on 13 May 2013, 07:45 2

28. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6135; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


5"-5.2" is perfect with me don't need a tablet in my pocket

posted on 13 May 2013, 08:28 2

29. thunderising (Posts: 225; Member since: 25 Nov 2011)


4.7"

But a 5 incher like Xperia ZL works too!

posted on 13 May 2013, 08:51

30. SonyFindOneDroidple (Posts: 441; Member since: 11 May 2013)


And what specfc 4.7" phone?

posted on 13 May 2013, 09:17

31. wrorak (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)


@gd761 s**t dude !!

posted on 13 May 2013, 11:33

39. gd761 (Posts: 97; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)


Thanks for that!

posted on 13 May 2013, 09:25 3

32. jcpwn2004 (Posts: 314; Member since: 18 Jan 2012)


gs4/one are the perfect size IMO. Iphone looks like a kids toy next to them, especially the 4/4s.

posted on 13 May 2013, 10:39

35. madpiyal (Posts: 108; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)


I still think the 4.3" form factor of the original galaxy s 2 is the best. It suits to everyone throughout the world. Going beyond 4.5" was a bad decision, all it does is gives u bigger picture nothing else. But takes away comfort zone, global appetite, style and common sense

posted on 13 May 2013, 11:05

37. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)


You do know that most men in the US are 6"?
And not to mention 6 foot is considered small in Sports, NFL, NBA, NHL......
Even our past 4 Presidents are over 6"1'

posted on 13 May 2013, 11:12

38. roldefol (Posts: 2858; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


That's just it though. "In the US...." The rest of the world isn't nearly as tall (except maybe northern Europe and Africa). Samsung, Sony, LG and HTC have the whole world in mind.

posted on 13 May 2013, 12:23 1

41. madpiyal (Posts: 108; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)


Well half of the world's populationp is women. And i suppose u know their average height is not 6". And if being taller u think a 3.5" is forcing u then 5" flagship is also forcing most of the population of the world. And u Americans are rude when all u think is about urselves.

posted on 13 May 2013, 13:51

42. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)


I'm just saying one size does not fit all, there is no best form factor.
Going beyond 4.5in was not a bad idea.
I think the Samsung galaxy S4 is the perfect size for me but if the HTC ONE Had a 5in screen, Best Phone ever!
I don't want to be rude but how tall are you?

posted on 13 May 2013, 10:57 1

36. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)


I am 6", 200+lbs, size12 shoes, please tell me that a 4" iPhone is the perfect size phone for me LOL
Does the size of a person make a difference in what screen size would be perfect for them?
I believe am average here in the US, what about other places?

posted on 14 May 2013, 08:48

51. johnriii (Posts: 221; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


not sure what shoe size and height has to do with phone size. maybe I'm missing something here.

posted on 13 May 2013, 11:56

40. johnriii (Posts: 221; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


4.7 is about perfect. one handed use can be done by MOST people, while it's plenty large enough to enjoy videos. if it's too thick, however, that would be a problem. the razr maxx HD is about as thick as I would like a 4.7 in or larger screen to be.

posted on 13 May 2013, 15:51

45. buccob (Posts: 1307; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


I had the 4.7 S3 for a while and I was ok with it... but after getting rob and going back to a 4.3" screen on my Xperia Acro S, I would say that 4.5 it is the sweet spot... At least considering the dimensions of the phone itself...

Maybe the Xperia ZL can be confortable but I have yet to hold one on my hands...

posted on 13 May 2013, 21:25

48. joey18 (Posts: 500; Member since: 20 Jul 2010)


the screen 4.5 i dont know if the iphone will come bigger screen but my hope the new iphone will come with bigger screen and no bazel same size of iphone 5

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