The world's most and least compact flagships relative to their screen size

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.

UPDATED: 5/26/2015

Story timeline



1. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 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...

17. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 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

26. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 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

35. james004

Posts: 486; Member since: May 15, 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

37. mr.techdude

Posts: 571; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

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

51. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

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

94. amasog

Posts: 552; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

specs...specs...specs... all that a gullible fandroid wants is..SPECS!! LOL!

53. phljcnth

Posts: 565; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

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

81. Carlosfrancoz

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 10, 2013

LOL so true

42. UglyFrank

Posts: 2200; Member since: Jan 23, 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.

56. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

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

71. MrTzr unregistered

But the S5 uses capacitive buttons so Samsung doesn't ruin screen-space. That's a win for the S5.

90. Rhinoface

Posts: 179; Member since: Dec 05, 2014

Why do you like hardware buttons...?

43. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 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

88. robcar

Posts: 110; Member since: Jan 18, 2011

Samsung have curved corners och backside which look more bezel-less and feels smaller in hand. That's why, it's not even hard to imagine. So it's illegal to not like Sony phones? You are the biggest fanboy then...

95. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013


33. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

34. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

99.99% screen to body ratio.

47. av911 unregistered

Sucks for 1-hand control.

49. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014


66. Humphrey.One

Posts: 33; Member since: Nov 14, 2013

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

75. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

That could be solved the way Sharp solved it. But what about front facing cam, lightsensors.

44. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 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

52. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 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?

79. buccob

Posts: 2981; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I made an excel sheet with the proper calculations to corroborate PA numbers and they get pretty close... The thing is that I also used an additional formula to correct the round corners on certain phones... for example the iPhone tend to have 10mm radius corners... while Sony's have a sharper corner of around 5mm thus making them seem like they have more bezels... The calculations: SCREEN AREA = height * width height = Screen Diagonal * (height of aspect ratio / hypotenuse) width = Screen Diagonal * (width of aspect ratio / hypotenuse) PHONE AREA = phone height * phone width And the preliminary solution is simply = 100 * (SCREEN AREA / PHONE AREA) For my corrected solution I also take into account the corners and subtract the outside of the round radius... So example with numbers: (I will do it in Imperial system for my fellows american in PA which are most people anyway) >iPhone 6 Screen Diag = 4,7" Aspect Ratio = 16:9 -> Hypotenuse=18,3576 Screen Height = 4.1" Screen Width = 2.3" Screen Area = 9.44" Phone Width = 2.64" Phone Height = 5.44" Phone Area = 14.36" Preliminary Screen to Size Ratio = 9.44/14.36 = 0.657 *100 = 65.7% Final ratio with Correction for radius = 66,43%

60. AbhiD

Posts: 885; Member since: Apr 06, 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

2. hmd74

Posts: 546; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

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

65. MobileGuru

Posts: 82; Member since: Jan 18, 2014

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

80. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

It's pure hogwash what the rep said. If other companies don't need that space, then HTC is either A have s**tty engineers or B them needing the Extra space is hogwash or C they have some crap useless circuitry that has no business being there in the first place. I think it's probably all 3 but mostly A and B.

96. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Or D mr Taters is HTC's number 1

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