Poll: How big is big enough?

Poll: How big is big enough?
Back in the summer of 2011, we ran a poll that sought to gauge our reader's attitudes towards display sizes, as it's perhaps the most essential criterion by which we all shop for devices. Back then, the majority (40.54%) preferred a screen between 4'' and 4.29'', while 31.51% were most comfortable with 3.5'' to 3.99''. Only 3.09% of respondent felt that a screen under 3.5'' is ideal. And the remaining 24.85%? They were the phablet lovers of 2011, with insatiable hunger for more and more screen real estate. To them, 4.3'' was the bare minimum.

How do these numbers sound in today's context, however? A quick glance at just today's news feed would have horrified nearly 75% of our readers in 2011. 5'' flagships are now standard, far beyond the wildest dreams of even the 'phablet' appreciators of old, and an actual 2014 phablet is mostly expected to be at least 5.3''. They don't even make devices under 4'' anymore, at least for the most part. Our needs and perceptions, then, must have necessarily changed, too, right? But by how much? Let's find out by voting below.

Note: For the purpose of this poll, please consider phablets a smartphone, too.

(January 2014) What is the perfect smartphone display size for you?

3.99'' and under
1.19%
4'' to 4.49''
15.53%
4.5'' to 4.99''
37.55%
5'' to 5.49''
27.77%
5.5'' to 5.99''
12.4%
6'' and above
5.56%

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104 Comments

102. iBananaScoop

Posts: 13; Member since: May 28, 2012

This was a tough one... Mine is 5.2" but I voted for the "4.5-4'99" option ... I love my G2 but I've held both the S4 and HTC One, size-wise they seem just right. But even then, with the G2 it doesn't even feel like it's above 5" anyway.

97. vivzek

Posts: 38; Member since: Jul 03, 2012

4.5'' to 4.99'' is the most comfortable size as the poll resilts also reflect.

101. rossumentum

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

again 2 years from now that poll will be 5.3 inches as preferred... it is continuing to increase. I hope you don't think 4.5 to 4.9 will stay or you are just as bad as the people who said 4" is preferred back in 2011. Gotta think to the future.

96. faha1

Posts: 56; Member since: Apr 08, 2013

45.5'' to 4.99'' is enough & can be managed in hand & pocket but above this no way than Tab is a best option if some one want more big screen coz a phone must remain a phone.

93. snowgator

Posts: 3630; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

So far, the only thing keeping from the L1520 is that re-donk-U-lous 6" screen. I love everything else about it. But 6"? Geez.... The 5.0" of the wife's Note 1 is comfy, but I am 5'6", and it is a two handed operation for my short, skinny self. I am fine with slightly bigger as I like the real estate, and voted 5.0-5.5. But 6"??? Really??

92. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

For me it's less about screen size and more about the device size itself. The s4 has a 5" and I consider that the perfect size for me but not because it has a 5" screen but because the device itself didn't get that big where as the z1 which to has a 5" screen would personally be a tad too large for me because of the size of its bezel which makes it bigger than the s4. Same goes with other devices like the moto X which has a 4.7" screen but is much smaller than the 4.7" htc one and is closer to the size of the iPhone. So one can say they like a 5" screen but some 5" would be too big for them.

90. GeekMovement unregistered

Having a Note 2 with 5.5" screen, it feels great in my hands. I could go for something a tad bit smaller though, so I select 5 - 5.5".

86. Naytess

Posts: 24; Member since: Jun 08, 2010

I remember when the very first iphone was released...my 2 biggest complaints were: 1) There wasn't a physical keyboard (I couldn't accept the idea of an all touchscreen phone). 2) The screen was too big. So, I stuck with my Helio Ocean & Ocean II. Fast forward - my last 2 phones were the HTC EVO 4G LTE (4.7"), and the Note II (5.5"). Now I have the HTC One Max (5.9") and I love it! Last year I thought the Note II was the coolest phone and HUGE! Not anymore. My One Max dwarfs my old Note II, just like my Note II dwarfed my EVO 4G LTE. Funny how (some of) our tastes and needs change over time. 5.5" - 5.99" is perfect for me. I don't think I could comfortably go for a phone > 6". But, if history is to repeat itself...there's a good chance I will. :^{D>

80. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

If it sells they'll keep making it bigger.

77. zuliner

Posts: 13; Member since: Nov 08, 2013

3" x 5", use not with one hand is not a problem...

76. ffaarrooqq

Posts: 65; Member since: May 26, 2011

I would prefer 5"- 5.49" if they minimize Bezel size to zero and product size. Otherwise 5.2" is Best

72. Caukerzee

Posts: 36; Member since: Jul 02, 2013

6.0. Only if other was 7.0 sef.

65. infinitemethod

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

I is mad no 6" Note 3. Fail.

64. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

My G2 is 5.2 and it's not really a big phone.

58. newbey123

Posts: 707; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

At this point, 5'-5.2' is perfect for me.

56. gamblor77

Posts: 118; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

I really feel 5-5.49" with super high resolution and thin to no bezel would be amazing. I have the Note 3 and for myself personally I love the speed and everything about it except it's slightly too big in form factor. I find it getting in the way sometimes and jamming me in the ribs while putting my shoes on(if it's in my jacket), or sitting on it because it takes up nearly my whole back pocket and doesn't slide to the side like my GS3 did. If the S5 is 5.25" as rumoured I will be upgrading to that. For devices to be upwards of 6" they may need re-think the ergonomics or UX to enable pie controls over the entire OS, or some gestures that enable you to get to the pull down menu or other menu items without needing a second hand. If they did that I would probably overlook the minor form factor inconvenience in exchange for the smoother experience.

55. Einstein333

Posts: 146; Member since: May 22, 2012

It depends a lot on the brand! If you have a sony bezel around the screen, 4 inches are enough! For Samsung or LG 5 inches are top!

47. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Anything that can't be used comfortably while holding a coffee, bag etc in the other hand is too big. I don't want to stop everything just so I can send a quick text. 4.3 is the spot.

50. rossumentum

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

unfortunately you are in the minority now and phone manufacturers will not longer tailor to your wishes of such a small screen. good luck to you in the future.

66. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I know...unfortunately even if I were to jump over to android there isn't a top end phone that is 4.7 or under anymore. I'm praying the iPhone stays under 4.5

67. rossumentum

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

apple would be dumb to keep it under 4.5" and appeal to only 16% of people as evidenced by this poll. Lets hope they don't continue to be that dumb or their stock is going to $250.

43. brenneralmeida

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 14, 2014

At moment I have a Note 2 - 5,5", but is too much for me, I wanna buy a Xperia Z1C or a Iphone 5S. Greatly reduced in size, but definitely 4 to 4.49 " is better for me.

42. papss unregistered

The best overall would be slightly over 5" but my l1520 has me lusting over its size so for me its 6.

39. lonestrider

Posts: 88; Member since: Mar 31, 2012

I would like to choose somewhere between 4.3" - 5". Galaxy Nexus is my first big device and it's 4.65". The size is perfect for almost anything. Now I'm using Nexus 5. It's almost 5". I thought it'll be very big. but the slimmer bezel makes Nexus 5 just a little bit bigger than Galaxy Nexus. So I'll say again it's perfect. I also have an iPhone 5s. At 4", it's too small to typing comfortably. So I'll assume 4.3" is the smallest-but-comfortable size to use.

38. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

As Galaxy Note 3 owner i still think a 5" - 5.2" phone like LG G2 was perfect, because 5.7" is not for everyone and i can't deny the zero bezel of the G2 was absolutely gorgeous. More importantly it has same dimension with the S4 which is easier to fit into any pocket. I pick the Note 3 simply because it's offering larger storage, more ram, and more features.

35. rossumentum

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

this poll is exactly why apple is in trouble... 82% of people currently say 4.5 inches or larger is their preference. Apple currently has no phone that size so they are effectively selling to 18% of the remaining people. This is why the stock goes from $700 a share to $390.

83. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

Apple is selling to that many people because android is 80% of the market, and that is because of the cost. A huge chunk of that 80% are mid range devices with screens of 4" or smaller. Not to mention the concentration of Android users on this website is pretty high, run the same poll on a website with a more divided viewer base and the results will be quite different.

30. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Dear Chris P, I hate to burst your bubble but, Phablets are Smartphones too. Or, would you be content having us all go back to MiNi 3½" Phones aka iPhones?? Even though my ideal size was not given as an option I reluctantly voted for 6 inches.

26. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

My Nexus 5 is about as big as I need or want.

25. rossumentum

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

This is a great article... probably your best phone arena... let's see another one in 3 more years!

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