Poll results: How big is big enough (displays)

Poll results: How big is big enough (displays)
Well, that's it, folks -- the poll results are in, and the community has spoken. 

When we set out to gauge how preferences have changed in the past two and a half years, we kind of expected to see a sharp difference. After all, and with the exception of Apple, diagonals measuring between 4.7'' and 5'' have become standard. Whether such a massive change is the result of consumer preferences, or a push from handset manufacturers, remains an exceedingly interesting topic for debate for us, but one best left for another day.

But just how massive of a change are we talking here? Well, two and a half years ago, nearly 35% of voters said they prefer smartphones with screens less than 3.99''. The results today show a telling difference -- a measly 1.19% of us would settle for something as compact. In fact, nearly 75% of the 2011 poll respondents wouldn't even settle for something bigger than 4.3''. In contrast, and even though the poll options are not layered in the same manner, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that the opposite is now true -- at least 83% of you won't pick up anything smaller than that. Also, nearly 18% of us are now officially phablet users. What's more, if we categorize phablets as anything above 5.3'', then that 18% is likely beyond 20%, as at least some of those who chose the 5'' to 5.49'' bracket will get tagged along. 

So what do all these numbers tell us? We'd like to explore that in a follow up to this post, but here are a few pointers. For starters, and even though this is not set in stone, one could say that we do not seem to have bumped into a fundamental physical limit just yet, though you could say we're getting closer. So do we expect, upon another revision of the topic a few years down the road, to get a similar reading? We feel it's quite unlikely, as these bumps, like most anything in life, suffer the fate of diminishing returns. That being said, there's no telling what the tech giants may come up. If anything, foldable displays are a little more than fiction nowadays, and those could certainly introduce yet another, even more massive change.

(June 2011) What is the perfect smartphone display size for you?

Less than 3.5 inches – The smaller, the better. Navigation is easy and the smartphone fits nicely in the smallest of pockets.
Between 3.5 inches and 3.99 inches – Small enough to use with ease, yet big enough to read fine text.
Between 4.0 inches and 4.29 inches – The extra real estate proves useful when viewing photos and videos.
4.3 inches and above – No display is too big for my hands.

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

3.99'' and under
4'' to 4.49''
4.5'' to 4.99''
5'' to 5.49''
5.5'' to 5.99''
6'' and above



1. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

This is how tech giants change our taste and way of thinking.

3. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Its not tech giants, its how these surveys are made. Read my comment #2

6. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

That is exactly what i said; you cant deny the influence of these trends upon the minds of users. Just take a look at Note series as a major example.

14. AppleHateBoy unregistered

Well, once we reach the physical limits of phone design, I would choose 5" to 5.49". As of right now, 4.5" to 4.99" it is. I've used the Note 2. It's awesome. But it's wayy tooo big. 5" 16:9 display with as small bezels as possible is ideal for me.

17. rossumentum

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

it isn't based on their thinking it is based on user preferences... We all want larger screens to they will continue to make them. This guy knows nothing about business thinking we buy things we don't want just because a manufacturer says so. I hope your arn't so dumb or close minded to think this.

2. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

This recent survey seems more credible since its not influenced by words. For e.g. InJune 2011 polls, against 4.3 they say 'No display is too big for my hands'. That statement right there influences poll participants that theirs hands are too big and thereby are less likely to chose them. Also, 4.0-4.29 - statement projects itself as the ideal size. No offence intended but just something to keep in mind when creating a bias-free poll (which is a very difficult task in itself)

4. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Hahaha... As time progresses, these things happens but now I don't think so that people will like more bigger displays and I think it would be limited to 4.5" - 5.99". Sammy created this trend with the Note. 4.7" - 5.2" should be perfectly fine IMO.

5. byazatt

Posts: 316; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

less than 5" is too small for me

7. freebee269

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 10, 2012

That's what she said.

8. Max_Boost

Posts: 101; Member since: Sep 22, 2012


23. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

so she like Nexus 7

9. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

I have no problem with a 4" display and I am willing to go as far up as 4.99 and that's it. My tablet would have to take up the rest, NO in-between

10. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

I'm okay with any display size, as long as performance can keep up with it

11. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

Thats an amazing comparison of data from polls over a long duration. Great job, Phonearena.

21. rossumentum

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

definitely! phone arena needs to do this again in 2 years and show the results of all 3 polls then. I'm guessing the most popular size then will be 5.5" to 5.99"

12. tedkord

Posts: 17454; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

My friend at work just went from the iPhone to the Note 3. His biggest concern was size, but he's really happy with it. He used to say the GS3 was too big. People only think they can't use a bigger screen until they actually use one.

18. rossumentum

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

exactly what I have been telling everyone

13. ianneo

Posts: 42; Member since: Dec 15, 2013

I just bought a Galaxy Mega 6.3 and for me its perfect IMO. Really easy to get used to.

15. loveHEAVYMETAL unregistered

current using a 5.3" device(lenovo s920,bezel quite big haha,still slightly bigger than 5.5" lg g pro...),can easily operates with one hand, every thing below 6" is ok if the bezel is slim enough, 4" is too small(cough... iphone caugh....)

16. Amir1 unregistered


19. rossumentum

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

i believe 5.5" to 6.4" will be the end and final sizes that phones become and are purchased.

20. surethom

Posts: 1729; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

The majority prefer 4.5'' to 4.99'' so why are most companies launching flagship phone in 5.2" or bigger only!!!! a phone with a screen zise over 4.9 is no longer 1 hand friendly & that will never change.

22. rossumentum

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

because it is continuing to increase and change over time. future is 5.5 to 6.4 inch screens. if you can't see that you are just as dumb as people in 2011 that though 3.5 to 4.0 inch screens were the future. Look at the trends of the polls. If you are this bad at looking forward and predicting the future i would hate to see how you have done in the stock market

24. MarkArigayo

Posts: 240; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

For me somewhere between 5.2 and 6.0 inch. The thinner the bezel, the better it would be.

25. adecvat

Posts: 652; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Bored of my 5.5". My next device will be less than 4.5"

26. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Let me remind you that human beings didnt evolve in these two years so that thier fingers are suddenly bigger. Its just pure marketing and brainwashing for people to think anything above 5" is normal and ok to be a smartphone. Unless your hands are big which in most cases arent.

27. kindlefireowner

Posts: 504; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

I still think the Samsung S3 was the perfect size.

28. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

"But just how massive of a change are we talking here? Well, two and a half years ago, nearly 35% of voters said they prefer smartphones with screens less than 3.99''." Nice spin, and 65% preferred something 4" or bigger back then. Its amazing what happens to the market when companies push the boundaries of screen size.

29. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I'm with 4.99/5.0

30. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

6 inch for me. (Vivo Xplay 3s for the win)

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