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Wasteful or efficient? Check out our ranking of the world's most and least compact flagships relative to their screen size

Wasteful or efficient? Check out our ranking of the world's most and least compact flagships relative to their screen size
It feels like it was just yesterday that the press and the entire industry was in a row with manufacturers over what an acceptable smartphone screen size actually is. Do you remember phones like the 4.7-inch HTC Titan, or the slightly smaller, 4.65-inch Samsung Galaxy Nexus? Many were outraged! You can barely reach the status bar when holding the phone with one hand, they said. Back then, those were the very biggest smartphones on the market.

Fast-forward to today, and it's like a different world altogether. A 4.7-incher is honestly very close to being tagged 'compact', and we have smartphones that really smashed our yesteryear-ly ideas of what is actually acceptable. But we're reaching a physical limit, make no mistake about that. After all, your fingers can only stretch so far. And yet, thanks to further and further improvements in design and overall efficiency, smartphone screens are continuing to grow, irrespective of our own physical limitations. We're now no longer simply looking for a big-screened device, but also one that makes a darn good use of... well, space. Yeah, that coveted edge-less, or bezel-less if you will, design is what we're talking about.

So how are companies doing? Well, for starters, we're still pretty far from having absolutely bezel-free devices, and we're not even sure that's such a practical idea. Anyway, and regardless of the previous, manufacturers are getting closer. For this pick, we set out to measure the screen-to-body ratio of pretty much every flagship we could think of, from mainstream brands, down to ones that are still fighting for recognition on the world stage. What's more, we ranked them by just how much 'bang for your inch'  you get. A totally new category, we know. So, without any further ado, let us show you the world's most compact flagships relative to their screen size!

Check our other rankings for:

Note: Results are approximations, given how an advertised 5-inch screen can sometimes actually measure in at 4.95 or 5.04 inches, for example.

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posted on 28 Mar 2014, 07:45 10

1. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1205; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


@66.71% screen to body ratio for HTC One M8. I am happy with that. Bc even with thick bezel on top and bottom, those BoomSound Speakers are just pure awesome :D I would like a Z2 as well... but who knows when it's even coming out.... or will it even be on AT&T at all...

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:10 4

17. Arte-8800 (limited) (Posts: 4039; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


that sharp phone looks really sexy like sonyz but sony has more bezels

resembles like l925 k800 opp7 zte they have sharp smooth edges

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:17

26. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1205; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


Now I want the Sharp Acquos Xx 302Sh. That phone is really nice in terms of spec and look combine :P I'm just disappointed that it only has 2,600mAh. But it might have really good battery management system build in

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 09:15 3

35. james004 (Posts: 471; Member since: 15 May 2013)


didnt this article just proof that sony doesnt have not as much bezel compared to other phones?
its right behind s5! no one ever said s5 has bezels?
trolls! you arent even doing your job correctly anymore. find better reasons to dismiss sony

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 09:46 9

37. mr.techdude (Posts: 541; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Nobody even talked about the s5 cause no one cares about it, maybe that's why.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 14:02 1

51. Arte-8800 (limited) (Posts: 4039; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


i only care cause samsung makes great spec phones, but cheap plastic totally ruins the phone

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 17:09 2

53. phljcnth (Posts: 258; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


You just did bro. You care, maybe that's why.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 10:39 1

42. UglyFrank (Posts: 364; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


They are talking about the massive bezels above and below the screen on the Xperia, the S5 has hardware buttons so the ratio isn't as bad.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 21:26

56. fireblade (Posts: 650; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


OMG, S5 has bezel as much as Z2. Samsung = fail.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 10:42

43. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1205; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


Sony's phones seem to have more bezel bc they are skinny. So length of bezel is longer. However, phone like S5 is wider, so bezel length is shorter. I have no problem with bezel on Sony's phone. Give my thumb some room to hold the phone firmly and still have that 3,200 mAh battery in Z2 :P

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 09:05 4

33. akki20892 (Posts: 3296; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Mother of no bezel phone. That's my nexus

http://androidspin.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/nexus_x_concept_by_thetechnotoast-d6ymg1x.jpg

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 09:15 4

34. akki20892 (Posts: 3296; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


99.99% screen to body ratio.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 11:56 5

47. av911 (Posts: 129; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Sucks for 1-hand control.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 12:46 1

49. Arte-8800 (limited) (Posts: 4039; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


WAY TO GOOD TO BE TRUE, THIS PHONE IS PURE CONCEPT

LOVE THOSE SHARP EDGES, JUST LIKE SONY Z DESIGN

posted on 30 Mar 2014, 06:20 1

66. Humphrey.One (Posts: 20; Member since: 14 Nov 2013)


I think it'd use some speaker, you know phones make calls.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 10:44 1

44. Ashoaib (Posts: 1268; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Pentach vega iron is a very manly phone, why its not available internationally? Sharp aquos is also very elegant...
iphone is at the last? OMG..... iphone is behind everyone in most features except few tricks in the sleeves, still apple is making huge money with least specs thanks to ifo0ls... nokia n sony are as I was expecting... chinese are doing good job from couple of years

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 14:43

52. downphoenix (Posts: 2285; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


I dont understand how they come up with the numbers honestly. Because the actual surface of the device that is screen vs not screen is higher than what these percentages indicate. Anyone know how they come up with these figures?

posted on 29 Mar 2014, 00:10

60. AbhiD (Posts: 64; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)


And for god's sake just look at Size of ONE! It's as big as Z2 and even much more thicker with weaker internals than Z2! Z2 got bigger screen, inbuilt noise cancellation, bigger battery, more ram, much bigger camera, waterproof/dustproof certification, glass on both sides and still measures same and thinner than Htc ONE!

For me ONE is an absolute failure on design side!

And for those who say one has front speakers- z2 has as powerful front facing speakers as Htc one

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 07:46 2

2. hmd74 (Posts: 275; Member since: 31 Jan 2013)


m8 > m7 ???
maybe yes but because of the on screen buttons and that logo it's not useful :/

posted on 29 Mar 2014, 11:17

65. MobileGuru (Posts: 78; Member since: 18 Jan 2014)


HTC rep commented that there's a lot of circuitry going underneath the HTC bezel so there's that..

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 07:51 4

3. superkuiken (Posts: 42; Member since: 24 Mar 2013)


What was the Sony Xperia ZL again? Just for comparing. And the IPhone 5(s)?

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 07:52

4. Chris.P (Posts: 257; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


ZL sits at 74.99%. You can check the 5s' score at the end of the slideshow.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:01 1

7. tech2 (Posts: 1846; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


Is no. 11 meant to be Z2 ?

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:15

22. tech2 (Posts: 1846; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


no.12*

as both 12 and 17 are Z1.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:02 2

9. Duketytz (Posts: 377; Member since: 28 Nov 2013)


Actually I think it might be 75.84%
http://www.xperiablog.net/2013/02/14/xperia-zl-has-highest-screen-size-to-phone-size-ratio-ever/

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:04

11. pwnarena (Posts: 831; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


why argue over those at the 75% level when there's one that has 80%+ and it's even water-resistant.

sharp aquos 320sh

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:14 1

20. buccob (Posts: 1335; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


What about the Z1 Compact... it is as much flagship as a the Z1

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:20 1

29. Chris.P (Posts: 257; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


After the phablet-centric chart next week, we might do a 'compact', or 'mini' if you will, section the week after that.

The differences in the exact % are, as noted, caused by the fact that we use the advertised screen sizes. However, for example, the Nexus 5 isn't exactly 5'', it's 4.96'' or so. Works the other way around, too.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:31

31. tech2 (Posts: 1846; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


Hey Chris,

Do you subtract the curved corners into the equation i.e. If GS5 is more rounded on the edges and Z2 (if they both had the same size) isn't would that affect the ratio ?

Or you just apply this formula:
(Length+breath)/Display size ?

posted on 29 Mar 2014, 04:42

61. hmmm... (Posts: 51; Member since: 05 Jun 2013)


Acquos? Is that an unreleased phone?
Aquos is the phone produced by Sharp AFAIK.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 07:55

5. farhad_per (banned) (Posts: 128; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)


Where is htc,,?

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:02 1

8. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1205; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


Toward the end. M8: 66.71% M7: 64.86%

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 10:55

45. Ashoaib (Posts: 1268; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


towards the end but that end supplement boom sound speakers which I think are great... if huge bezels are due to speakers then I will say it worths...

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 17:12

54. vincelongman (Posts: 1015; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


It's not due to the speakers
If you see a teardown the speakers quite small
Its because the HTC/their display maker were unable to design a better screen connector
That is why there large bezel above the bottom speaker (with their logo), to fit the poorly designed display connector

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:00

6. pwnarena (Posts: 831; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


why do sites keep ignoring the sharp aquos sh320? it stands at around 80% screen to body size ratio.

http:/ /www.youtube. com/watch?v=2pdupsHHgNY

http://www. eprice.com .tw/mobile/talk/103/4893444/1/

you're not saying that it has to be popular or internationally available.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:04 3

12. Chris.P (Posts: 257; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


"For this pick, we set out to measure the screen-to-body ratio of pretty much every flagship we could think of"

"we could think of"

Regardless, I'm adding the Sharp now, so that it can claim the #1 spot just as it deserves!

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:17

25. pwnarena (Posts: 831; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


oh sorry. sharp's really not that popular although i've seen it making rounds in a number of sites.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 11:04

46. DillWeed (Posts: 49; Member since: 14 Mar 2014)


note 3 isn't noteworthy?

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:09

16. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1205; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


I don't think you can get that phone anywhere outside of Japan, can you? I would like to see it in person @.@

Pretty nice spec but for phone that thick, I was hoping to see at least 3,200mAh of battery instead of 2,600mAh

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:18

27. pwnarena (Posts: 831; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


looks thick because it's short but it's not significantl thicker than the 9+ mm htc one.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:26

30. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1205; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


Ahh that would make sense :P illusion haha

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:04 1

10. Jason2k13 (Posts: 633; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


mistake in the picture, no. 11 is supposed to be Z2 not Z1.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:09

15. cmatej000 (Posts: 13; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


im also wondering what is the difference between 11 and 16??

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:13

18. cmatej000 (Posts: 13; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


lol theyve updated the post and now all the numbers are different. Im just talking about sony

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:05

13. loveHEAVYMETAL (unregistered)


no pantech vega iron? its has highest screen to body ratio,the side bezel only 2.2mm(no inner black bezel)
also g pro 2 which has 77% screen to body ratio not in the chart?

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:09 1

14. Chris.P (Posts: 257; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


A separate, phablet-centric chart like this coming up next week. :)

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:14 3

21. Arte-8800 (limited) (Posts: 4039; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


well atleast Chris P relies back to posts, unlike Ray S MAXWELL R
ALANF and the rest dont never reply nor make any posts or what there views are, its good to join in conversataion

Michael H replies back to whenever you ask him anything

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:15 1

23. Chris.P (Posts: 257; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


Vega Iron added

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:19

28. loveHEAVYMETAL (unregistered)


ok,and thanks for your reply :D

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:13 2

19. Taters (Posts: 2648; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Lol this is why HTC and Nokia suck ass. They sacrifice size like its a non factor. It is called a MOBILE phone.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:16 2

24. Arte-8800 (limited) (Posts: 4039; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


but you hate and dislike htc so much know than you did befor, bad experience?

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 08:48

32. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2415; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Great screen-to-body ratios. This article is one stop to see almost all flagship in this. :)

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 09:31

36. antonioli (Posts: 170; Member since: 08 Sep 2013)


Look at this bezels of Sharp. I liked it, but I prefer rounded corners.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 09:52

38. marbovo (Posts: 621; Member since: 16 May 2013)


There should be any way to separate phones with on and off screen buttons, because on screen buttons make a big part of the screen "useless" on the other way, if you get the S5, the bottom bezel is just for the buttons, which make it very "compact"

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 10:18 1

40. chocowii (Posts: 327; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Have you heard of immersive mode on Android? These are flagships btw, they probably have theirs.
Bezels exists so that users have a place to hold on the screen. Like in gaming, the big bezels on the top and bottom when put on landscape mode it'll have a place to rest your hands with. In reading too, side bezels eliminate accidental touch on the edges, thus no accidental scrolling especially reading ebooks. Eliminating bezels may leave users unexpected touches on the edge of the screen. Bezels are not bad.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 12:30 1

48. marbovo (Posts: 621; Member since: 16 May 2013)


Imersive mode? yes, and you use it how often? like 5% of the time? because the remaining 95% you use to play games, surf the web, and when you are on every single app that doesnt belong to google doesnt have this feature

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 22:45

59. preetmalhotra (Posts: 77; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


Xposed Modules let you use Immersive mode everywhere!!!
Google It!

posted on 30 Mar 2014, 12:42

68. marbovo (Posts: 621; Member since: 16 May 2013)


It's not just about availability of immersive mode, we use system buttons a lot and if every time you want to press back button or change apps you have to get in or out of the immersive mode before do that it will be a pain in the ass

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 10:12

39. chocowii (Posts: 327; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Cant wait for the tablets round. And oh, smartwatches too! Nice article PA!

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 10:22

41. isprobi (Posts: 193; Member since: 30 May 2011)


When you start to go over 5 inches for me I like to use a phone in landscape mode pretty often. If there is no bezel how do you hold it? So my current Sony Xperia Z Ultra has large top and bottom/left and right bezels but they are needed. How about a real life use test?

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