The 5-inch smartphone: is this the end of the screen size race?

Give people a phone with a 3.5-inch display in 2007 and you’d hear oohs and aahs about how big that display is. From then on, every year it’s the same story over and over again…
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152 Comments

73. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

The iPhone outside of US and compared to US is so much weaker. Of course, it still sells outside of the US, but it's just not the first thing on people mind. iPhone is only favored mainly in the US.

117. Mobilephile

Posts: 164; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

the iphone 4 and 5 have become very weak in sales in China, the biggest mobile world market.

81. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Your right there Remixfa,stats wise android has something like 69% of the market share outside the US,Ios only around 20%. Personnally I see the gs3 alone outselling the Iphone 5 at least 3:1,when counting in other android handsets into the equation then there isn't even a need to count continue the analysis anymore as the winners are quite evident

83. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I dont even think its 20. Last I remember it was like at 17% or so and dropping with android's rise in china and india. What was it.. only a measly 5% of 2012 smartphone sales in china were iphones? It was a pretty seriously low number. It was competing for 2nd place with WP7.

87. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

You're right, China is supposed to have a huge iPhone market share iPhones. Chinese people are crazy about the iPhones, that's the only thing they're asking for when they come to the States. Apple is an American brand, it gives them that sense of superiority. I still couldn't believe that Android market share is so much higher than iPhones there.

92. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And so are Samsung and Android in general, at a significantly faster rate in android's case. Thats the market growth you're seeing in Apples growth, but year after year, Android and Samsung grow more than Apple. Apple hada huge head start in the smartphone wars, and it took Android less than 4 years to pass them and more than double their market share. Shortly after that, Samsung became the number one smartphone vendor worldwide and in Apples stronghold, the US. If not for these facts, the iphone 5 would likely still have the same 3.5 inch screen. Much of what you see from Apple today asfar as change is reaction to Android dominance. The change will continue add they try to ward it off.

133. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

I always see something good about apple as nothing more than sarcasms.

12. jove39

Posts: 2137; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

About Writer of article - Apple fanboy jealous of big screen Android phones.

32. ray77

Posts: 126; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

an ur right

46. Victor.H

Posts: 1026; Member since: May 27, 2011

Nailed it.

93. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You get a +1 for that.

134. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

so just ditch apple, go for the better. why settle for less?

13. marchels14 unregistered

I agree 5 inches is the limit and 1080p should be also, smartphone companies should start thinking about better build quality,viewing angles,brightness indoor and outdoor and making all phones water and dust resistant.

15. marchels14 unregistered

That phone in the article picture looks stupid and ridiculous.

17. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

This article is already rendered moot by the slew of phones coming out in 2013 that push the 5inch barrier and beyond. The new S4 is supposed to be 5 inches, the Note 3 will be close to 6 inches. HTC, LG, and nearly everyone else is throwing into the 5.5+ category this year. The only change I see coming is a decrease in the use of the term "phablet" as there is no longer a real border between superphone and phablet. As bezels decrease, the size of the screen will increase along with it. Phablets were once considered at 5 inches and above. Now either every superphone coming out is a phablet, or none of them are. Maybe instead of phablet, we will start calling every phone under 4.3 inches a "mini phone" to better show the difference in the market. As far as screen size, I'm holding my 4.7 inch Nexus4 (which is quickly becoming "average screen size") and seeing about another half inch of bezel that could be turned into screen without increasing the size of the phone.. so yea, as long as borders continue to shrink I can continue to go up in screen size to 5 inches and beyond... and they will continue to shrink, that you can count on. 1080p is completely useless on a phone.. its a buzzword to get peeps excited, and nothing more. BTW, am I the only one that noticed that in the pixel comparison between the phones' text displays that the iphone was much smaller than the rest. That skews results. tisk tisk.

20. rickywinataa

Posts: 262; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

i think note 3 will be either 5.7 to 6 inches in size with 1080P screen. 1080P is still useful for phones IMO, i still can see pixel in high density screen like iPhone though i need to really focus to see it, 1080P just makes pixel truly impossible to be seen with naked eyes

22. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

its already impossible to discern with naked eyes. Your eyes cant separate pixels after like 320ppi or whatever the magic number is.. Thats 720p on a 4.7 inch+ screen. I have to hold my nose to my nexus to even pretend I can see a pixel. Its a buzzword and nothing more to get people excited.. a placebo effect. Its just like how they constantly ramp up clock speeds even though the newer chip sets are way more powerful than the previous generations and more than we will use in the next few years. Its all a placebo effect and part of advertising to get people to think product X is faster than product Y.

53. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Its depends on a persons eyes,I can definitely say i can see that the dna's text above is much sharper. I can personnaly see the gnote 2 pixels being less sharp than the gnote 1 due to ppi,that saying visually my eyes are very sharp for pixels onscreens and tvs,as for audio however im probably as far from an audiophile as someone could be,it all sounds the same lol!

55. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

sure, anyone can see the text when its blown up 500%. However when going between a 320ppi screen to a 400ppi screen and looking at it from 1 ft away in real life (regular viewing distance), you will see no difference at all. The Note1's screen wasnt exactly high pixel density.

72. mrochester unregistered

Sadly, manufacturers like to take advantage of the gullible and easily duped people who think that bigger numbers = better. It's a trend that we saw in the PC market and is a trend we now see in the smartphone market.

141. rickywinataa

Posts: 262; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

well maybe they just want to make people can't see pixel no matter how hard they try

142. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

One day we will be there. I'm not against furthering the tech... hell, I'm always for improvements. However there just isnt a "need" for it on a mobile display tech at this moment. It takes a lot of extra horsepower from the chip, which results in faster battery drain, to power a super high resolution screen... and for what actual benefit? Lower frame rates in games (eventually as they get more detailed)? The display is all about what your eyes percieve. If the eyes cant tell the difference anymore, then its just a waste of money. Concentrate on better contrast, color, and sun visibility instead. The only thing I could think of that could really use the higher resolution mega high PPI display would be those augmented reality glasses like Google Goggles and Virtual Reality head sets like Occulous Rift where the screen is literally millimeters from your eye.

99. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Its dependent on viewing distance. If you hold the phone a for and a half from your face, you can't see pixels even at 720p. I have 20/18 vision, and I can't see pixels on the SGS3 at average viewing distance. Your average 1080p 55' TV has only like 50ppi or thereabouts, but if you're sitting 8 feet from it, its plenty. No one used their smartphone an inch or two from their faces. 1080p isa gimmick.

106. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

correct. The only real use I could see for such high PPI is things like Google Goggles where the screen is literally on your eye. Then mega high 400+PPI would actually have a real benefit. Speaking of which.. where's my Google Goggles.. I was hoping they would be out by now!! lol.

23. TBomb

Posts: 1131; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

well put

33. jove39

Posts: 2137; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Yes...iPhone text size seems zoomed out!!!

21. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

I did fancy switching to a phablet one day, but fullHD 5" is the perfect combination of one-handed usage and very large screen, need not to go ~6" me thinks.

34. Tones

Posts: 77; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

I agree. Think 5" is just small enough to use as an everyday phone, and big enough to use for your everyday surfing / social networking / media / gaming. I wouldnt like to get anything bigger than 5", and i certainly wouldnt go back to anything under 4.5"

25. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

even holding a 5 inch phone to attend a call i will look like an idiot

26. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

are you sure its the phone making you look like an idiot? :)

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