What's your preferred phone screen aspect ratio? (poll results)
by Daniel Petrov / Nov 17, 2017, 5:54 AM
If it ain't broken, don't fix it - that seems to be the takeaway from our latest poll on mobile phone screen aspect ratio preferences. In the year when flagship phone displays from most major brands grew taller and narrower, shifting from 16:9 aspect ratios to 18.5:9 (Galaxy S8), 19.5:9 (iPhone X), or straight up 2:1 Univisium standard (LG V30), we wanted to ask you if that's ok with you, and whether you miss the older standard. It turns out that the new format is somewhat forced on users, as more than half of our 2530 respondents prefer the standard 16:9 ratio that is compatible with most everything out there. Sigh.
What's your preferred phone screen aspect ratio?
The new ~18:9 tall and narrow screens
The thing is, the 2:1 ratio or the ones gravitating around it, is shifting downmarket to midrangers, and next year we might see most phones moving to the tall and narrow paradigm. There are downsides and advantages to both formats, but, needless to say, the old one of, say, the iPhone 8, is compatible to every app and video out there, whereas on the iPhone X those have to be rewritten, or clips run in stretched-out and cropped or black-barred modes. Ditto for the difference between the Galaxy S8 and S7, for instance.
The advantage of 2:1 (or 18.5:9, or 19.5:9), is that it allegedly can fit more content on one screen while browsing or reading, but something tells us that once the first manufacturer went tall and narrow, allowing them to boast a 6" display in a heretofore 5.5" body, everyone felt obliged to follow, regardless that the screen area remained largely the same in both formats. Watching YouTube vids, for instance, makes you lose up to 20% of your screen real estate in black bars on the new display format, or stretches it out of proportion, cropping some content in the process.
Furthermore, whether or not there will be more content shown on the display of the tall and narrow phone depends more on the scaling and fonts used, so the iPhone X often doesn't show much more of it compared to, say, the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, even though it uses seemingly smaller fonts, as you can see in out UI comparison above.
Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016
Almost splitting in half.. Huawei did the best move then, by releasing mate 10 in 2 variants :v
posted on Nov 17, 2017, 5:55 AM 1
Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014
And removing headphone jack from one of them because hmm
posted on Nov 17, 2017, 6:11 AM 11
Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017
I loved my Note8's wider cooler screen. you cant know it is better without using it(I said for 16:9 voters)
posted on Nov 17, 2017, 6:44 AM 0
Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014
Maybe not now. Mainstream media is still on traditional formats. I should consider buying a 2:1 screen when it's time.
posted on Nov 17, 2017, 6:55 AM 1
Posts: 403; Member since: Jul 14, 2013
The other two movies out right now that I saw (Thor and Murder on the Orient Express) are both 21:9, and it's only gonna be more common next year, as most movie theatres being built now are in the "wider screen" format also. 16:9 will remain for a while (they made DVDs along side Bluerays, VHS along DVDs, etc.), but the tide has already shifted. A lot of YouTubers are making their content in a 18:9 (or wider) format also. Now that Apple went with a 19.5:9 aspect, prepare for a lot more Youtube videos to start coming in the new formats in the coming months as well. Netflix is talks of shifting as well slowly, so if it's not time to switch phones to 18:9 in 2017, it will be in 2018. Just thought I'd share.
posted on Nov 17, 2017, 9:29 PM 0
Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011
As speak today and now, i prefer 16:9 until all media and movie format getting on board with the new 2:1 then I prefer 2:1.
posted on Nov 17, 2017, 8:23 AM 0
Posts: 387; Member since: Oct 06, 2014
18:9 screen is a good thing and a welcomed improvement for smartphones. It should be the new standard for TVs as well. It's not a good fit however for tablets, PC monitors, laptops, and car nav consoles. Those screens should stay at 16:10.
posted on Nov 17, 2017, 8:32 AM 3
Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 04, 2014
I checked my Huawei Mate 9 in store against a Samsung Note 8 today. The actual lit screen on the note is about a quarter of an inch narrower than mine. The curved edges reduce that still further. It is physically nearly the same length, but the screen is longer than mine. Looking at a Web site felt cramped. Looking at the games I've got on my mate, I cannot see how they would play well on the Note. I cannot see any reason to choose the tall and narrow note (despite wishing for a stylus). My best tablet is even squarer - the Samsung galaxy Tab S3 - and it suits general use far better, and is even good for videos. The Note 4 remains the best designed of the Notes, IMHO. A boot loop left mine unusable - hence the Mate 9.
posted on Nov 17, 2017, 4:00 PM 0
Posts: 50; Member since: Jun 14, 2012
I think 2:1 is the best size, it gives you more vertical viewable area for example on web browsers with all the headers, footers and ads taking up space on the top and bottom. I have 5" vertical space on my phone and with all the bs on some web pages the vertical readable area is only 2.5-3". 19.5:9 on the iphone X is too long and skinny, the image is too small, and it defeats the purpose of a larger screen, width is also important.
posted on Nov 17, 2017, 4:04 PM 1
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