Poll results: What is the perfect smartphone display size for you? See how preferences changed in the past 4 years

Poll results: What is the perfect smartphone display size for you? See how preferences changed in the past 4 years
What's the perfect display size for you? That's one of the inevitable questions all of us ask ourselves when contemplating a new device. And that makes sense – after all, it'll be you lugging around a heavy 6-incher if you decide that you want a media hub on the go.

But dial a few years back, and a 6-inch smartphone would have sounded absolutely outrageous! Indeed, back in 2011, when we asked you to vote for what you considered an ideal screen size, the majority (40.54%) of you picked the 4" to 4.29" bracket, with only a quarter of the remainder picking the over 4.3" one – the phablet lovers of the time. Two and a half years later, in 2014, we decided it was time we checked again with you in order to see just how much preferences had changed. Unsurprisingly, we noted a massive shift in the sizes people favored – the majority (37.55%) now liked the 4.5" to 4.99" bracket best, and quite a few people were hooked on devices larger than that.

Last Monday, a little over a year after the last survey of this kind, we thought we'd take our readership's pulse on this once again. As you can see for yourself, preferences have once again shifted, with the biggest group of people (42.73%) now belonging to the 5" to 5.49" category. Next up, with 32.3%, is the 4.5" to 4.99" bracket, followed by the 5.5" to 5.99" one (14.93%).

(March 2015) What is the perfect smartphone display size for you?

3.99'' and under
0.46%
4'' to 4.49''
5.73%
4.5'' to 4.99''
32.3%
5'' to 5.49''
42.73%
5.5'' to 5.99''
14.93%
6'' and above
3.85%

(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%

(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.
3.09%
Between 3.5 inches and 3.99 inches – Small enough to use with ease, yet big enough to read fine text.
31.51%
Between 4.0 inches and 4.29 inches – The extra real estate proves useful when viewing photos and videos.
40.54%
4.3 inches and above – No display is too big for my hands.
24.85%

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45 Comments

1. hellbread

Posts: 309; Member since: Nov 21, 2014

Well, our hands got bigger :-)

32. Cicero

Posts: 1129; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

No! We are getting older and so our eyes. That's we need bigger screen acording to our max length of hands. Stretch your hand but you will see.

40. My1cent

Posts: 370; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

More votes from Iphone users. (:

2. frankg

Posts: 173; Member since: May 14, 2014

Evolution of the mind. Everytime we think it enough we crave bigger. However with the current phones, like the Note 4, Nexus 6 and iPhone 6 plus, I think we have reached a limit. Unfortunately evolution of our hands has not kept up...

3. AME85

Posts: 42; Member since: Dec 16, 2014

Screen are getting bigger, bezels smaller ! larger screen with the same or slightly larger physical dimensions so why not !!!

25. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Tell Apple that. They've yet to hear of your bezel shrinking strategy.

38. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

It will be introduced as the next big thing on the iphone 8 lol

4. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

It's all about bezel. Now I am using SGS5 and screen size is almost perfect for me(a little too big), but I would buy 5.5-6 inch screen smartphone with same dimensions as my S5(height). Today all manufacturers are going backward. Only LG and Sharp are going in the right direction. People don't want bezel. They want screen.

7. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

the s6 edge doesn't have side bezels and its almost iphone6 short. sounds like you should think about getting one since you dislike bezels so much

11. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

I would consider it, but I don't like glass back. Also I like profiled backs. Phone feel much better in the hand. Maybe next generation won't have glass back and will be profiled from back too. In my opionion it would feel and look great. Also I think that QHD is useless, but unfortunately this is the future. We can blame consumers that love numbers.

15. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

glass back and front don't matter much to me cause i'll put a case on it anyway. and qhd is better than fhd at least to those who can tell a difference between the 2 like me. but its defiantly more noticeable in larger devices like tablets and laptops than in phones under 6.5in. if having fhd in the s6 could get it more than 30 min of extra battery life then id say they should have gone with fhd over qhd but this is sammy so they have to have the latest and greatest right.

18. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

I am not using covers for phones :-) I and most people can't tell difference. Can you see difference from normal viewing distance or from very close to screen? FullHD would give more than 30 min and performance would be much better.

23. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

I use a spigen case ultra hybrid for my one m8 its clear and it looks good. I can tell the difference from a normal distance. I have a good eye for seeing details on a screen. I have a habit of analyzing every little detail when i look at any display and because of that seeing the difference between one resolution and another has become second nature to me. but your most likely right about the battery life and performance.

26. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Even only hd is good for me on ~5' (I gave my S3 to father). I don't have bad vision, but I just don't "search" for pixels. Sometimes more doesn't mean better. I will be always against too much pixels. If m9 renders would be true I would buy m9. Now I will wait for G4, Z4 and 6S.

27. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

g4 and z4 will probably have qhd but the iphone will defiantly stick to its unusual resolution like always. and i don't search for pixels i search for detail in photos or videos that i watch. qhd is not necessary and im all for fhd my m8"s 1080p screen looks gorgeous. i hate the iphone resolution cause i cant help but notice the lack of detail when compared to other phones but i will say it has great color accuracy.

29. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

In basic mode Note 4 and S6 got more accurate colors than iP 6 :-) Still in my S5 I am using adaptive colors. In my opinion 1080p should be used from 5' to 6'. Later QHD is not that bad.

30. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

i haven't seen the display of the note 4 so i wouldn't know. as long as the pixel density is above 400 im good.

43. Fellwalker

Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

I've been borrowing a note 4 for a bit over a week now. Very crisp display. I'm surprised how it means I use my tablet less. My normal phone is a nexus 5, and I don't notice any improvement in the screen definition. I couldn't identify pixels on that either, but it did look sharper than my nexus 4 (with which is previously been happy). For me, the battery is only just adequate. Twice I've been told to recharge very early in the evening as it got down to 17%. And that is without using it as my satnav, which eats battery.

44. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Of course you wouldn't notice a difference the pixel density of the note 4 and nexus 5 aren't that different you'd have to be super picky about details like me to notice the difference. It's best to choose phones that have the same or almost the same screen size when comparing displays. Compare the note 4 and iPhone 6 plus if you get the chance I'm sure you'll notice the difference then.

5. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

back in 2010 i had an 4.3 droidx 2011 i had an htc inspire 4g so i was apart of that 4.3 lol then i got a 5.3 note in 2012 but I have stuck with 5.0 since then 5.0/5.2 is the best sizes for a phone for sure.

6. Biernot unregistered

4,8 - 5,2" is ok for me

8. ordevski

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 12, 2015

Also the number of votes have gone up, especially from last year! PA is getting more readers :-)

9. mixedfish

Posts: 1555; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

The poll doesn't reflect that it actually follows where the flagships are, not which screen size people prefer.

10. BobLawblaw unregistered

I hear all the women like things above 6 inch..

13. rockers123

Posts: 137; Member since: Sep 08, 2013

Ha ha I gotcha...

16. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

lol nice one

17. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

You'll be surprised to find that 1-2" are also right from time to time. Just measure your tongue if you don't believe me.

12. gueAHOK

Posts: 156; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

In the passt, iUser bring the statistic down. Only when iphone reach 4.7" & 5.5" these user think they ready for big screen. This is also the reason that 5.5"-6" VERY popular in asia because iphone lineup was considered UN-attractive (small screen). And USA (and this pool) will think that 5-5.5" is great size in 2 years.

14. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

The one corollary that's missing is the internal hardware and screen tech. In the days of single cores and 512mb RAM you wouldn't want to try pushing an HD screen even if the tech was available, nor would you want a 5" phone screen with 162ppi. It'd run like crap and look like crap. With today's tech, a smartphone is less of a "phone" and more of a pocket computer and entertainment center. If all a smartphone could do was make calls, take some pics, check my email, and do a quick web search, then I wouldn't care if the screen was small. But with what they're capable of now, I want a bigass screen. Ordered a OnePlus One yesterday!

19. Marathrone

Posts: 14; Member since: Jan 20, 2015

Obviously it has to do with the screen size of the actual iphones in the past and in the present. In 2011 "no one needed a screen bigger than 4.3" (75%). It was the time I bought the Note 1. In the actual poll, after the launch of iphone 6/6+, the same part is only something above 6%. Call it the Apple brainwash.

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