Will display aspect ratio affect your buying decisions in 2018?


2017 brought us some pretty amazing phones and an entirely new form-factor and aspect ratio. Since manufacturers wanted to reduce all bezels ā€” sides, top, and bottom ā€” they introduced this new, elongated ratio (ranging from 18:9 to 19.5:9), making phone displays taller and more immersive. But then again, 16:9 is still pretty much the standard when it comes to online media, so it's a bit awkward when watching letterboxed YouTube clips on your extra-wide phone screen.

So, some people like the new step, while others insist that 16:9 is good enough and there's no need to go in the ultra-wide territory. Also, the latter group of people happens to enjoy a phone that has a chin and maybe even a home button / fingerprint scanner. While most phone manufacturers are embracing the new standard and making not only flagships, but also mid-range phones with elongated displays, we can definitely see how some might decide to stay back in 16:9 territory to fill that niche and please traditionalists (*ahem* Sony?).

But does it really matter? Is the screen aspect ratio something that you would put as a primary concern when making a new phone buying decision? Or are you ready to overlook the display's proportions for the right phone?

Will screen aspect ratios affect your buying decisions in 2018?

Yep! Wide-screen (18:9 or more) only from now on!
38.37%
Yes! 16:9 for me!
19.96%
I'm willing to make a compromise for the right phone
24.58%
I absolutely don't care about aspect ratio
17.09%

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45 Comments

1. libra89

Posts: 2281; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I don't really care about display ratios. I care more about if my phone has a flat screen over a curved screen.

5. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

Exactly. +1 I will say, I enjoy my Mate 10's 16:9 aspect ratio (and flat screen).

25. eelpout

Posts: 34; Member since: Oct 13, 2016

I'm hoping that Sony goes this route too for their new Xperia's this year.

31. Stormrider

Posts: 67; Member since: Aug 30, 2016

Sony opted out of QHD for similar reasons, so they probably won't follow the herd this time either.

34. TheOracle1

Posts: 2263; Member since: May 04, 2015

Sony have great phones, great hardware and nice software but their design philosophy is dated. It's clear to me that they've ignored or become arrogant/complacent with their designs. If Sony produced a Mi Mix/S8 type phone they would sell just because they're Sony so you know it going to be damn good and very reliable. They're stupid.

27. chenski

Posts: 768; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Me too, love it

13. TMHKR

Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

This! I like my screens flat, without rounded corners.

15. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

You need to realize not all smartphone is a samsung, there is also an iphone too!

43. cocoy

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

Exactly, this is the reason why I chose the Galaxy Tab S3 over the note and S8+ because of that useless curve screen. I live without the good camera and video stabilizer because I am not a photographer nor a selfie lover. It's bulky but I have another Android phone and an iPhone so not that much of an issue.

44. Mr.Pussy

Posts: 348; Member since: Feb 16, 2017

Samsung should do the Flat edition.

2. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

If all brands use only 18:9, I will keep my phone more 3 years. Then I get a dumbphone. Nothing is made 2:1.

4. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

So you are basically saying, you don't want display innovation to progress? You ever thought that because phones have 6" displays, that the 16:9 aspect ratio doesn't properly fit? It doesn't fit properly because the display is so wide in landscape. If you could take a 6" display and change the aspect ratio to 16:9, you would have black bars on both sides because the screen is wider. And if you stretch it to fit, you would get the same effect you get now. Part if the display area of of th3 video or photo would be cut off at th2 top and bottom, and when it's wide, the media will look stretched. Once the rest of the industry catches up and release media at the new aspect ratio of 18:9, then it will look exactly like it's suppose too. No one cried when we advanced from 4:3 to 16:9. I don't see 2hat the issue Is now.

6. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2361; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Yes, but you are also only seeing one issue and one solution: media consumption. What about viewing text or emails or web pages or applications on your phone? An 18:9 6 inch display phone has less screen real estate than a 16:9 6 inch display phone. So in order to achieve the same screen real estate they have to increase the screen size which makes the phone longer and therefore harder to reach stuff when you're using your thumb.

18. cmdacos

Posts: 4203; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

And less scrolling required with a 2:1 ratio so you need your thumb less. All good for me. 18:9 content looks great.

35. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Huh? I compared the Note 8 to the Note 5 showing text and the Note 8 does show a bit more info vs the Note 5. Maybe because some website haven't fixed co tent to fit peobablg4you might see such. But that hasn't been my experience. Are you sure you have your Galaxy set to the guest resolution and not the FHD+ resolution?

9. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Innovation? Tell me why TVs and Computers are not going through this " innovation". Everything we watch is made for TV. Nothing can be made 2:1. My point of view.. Example Smartphone A 2017 : 5.5" , 16:9 , each top/bottom bezel with 1,2cm. Smartphone A 2018: 5.7" 16:9, bezels 0.9cm each. Difference between 5.5 and 5.7 is tiny. Add 0.2 to screen, then trim bezels a bit. Imagine S8 as a Note 7 but 4 or 5 mm shorter. Would be that unconfortable? S8 is 1mm shorter than S7 Edge, but S7e does not have screen buttons to take up part of the space. S7e also has 600 mAh more. Was it worth?

12. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

On my Amazon Prime Video almost every movie and basically every new series is 2.35:1 now on my ultrawide screen. The taller screen is unfortunately also becoming a useful requirement on simple things like mobile web browsing. More and more sites are filling an increasingly larger area on the top and bottom with persistent ads.

36. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

For one, most tvs are using standard injury resolutions. Most the are either 1920x1080 (FHD), 1440x2160 (QHD) and 2160x3840 (UHD). Those are all 16:9 aspect ratio There are actually 720p+ and qhd+ the where 16:9 content does not fit. Look it up. I think it's best to stick with industry standards. However I know an OEM who NEVER used industry standard resolutions and used software tricks to make the content fit. Yet no one ever complained about it. In fact, only has used one industrybstabdard resolution when they brought the to iPhone 6.

11. TMHKR

Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

Lol, "display innovation"

24. eelpout

Posts: 34; Member since: Oct 13, 2016

right? I guess that by logic we should go to 3:2 for phones. Seems to work well for some laptops. 2:1 just isn't comfortable for some people with smaller hands.

28. chenski

Posts: 768; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

I would hardly call 18:9 innovation, its really just a matter of taste

37. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

When you improve a product, no matter how small the improvement is, it is an innovation. I am not saying 18:9.5 I'd a good or bad idea. It is an improvement. Once movies are recorded this way, then and only then will you see it's benefit, just like 16:9. When I take photos or videos and compare them which ones I down at 1440, I see the photo and video gets more into the shot. The media is slightly sharper due to more pixels. Text is sharper as well.

3. applesnapple93

Posts: 304; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

It didn't until I temporarily had to switch from a Pixel 2 XL to a Pixel 2 for a week. would prefer a 16:9 bezelless though.

7. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Well, The LG G6 was a love on first sight so... The thing is; there will always be people who'd disapprove innovation just for the sake of looking cool, hip and retro. Like those Blackberry Boys who think that BBM is STILL quite the thing and just can't stop praising The KEYone! I used to be that person but not anymore! I've abandoned many things. My beloved SLR Camera, my collection of fountain pens, a few mechanical wrist watches, a typewriter, Blackberry with its physical keyboard... Things which I held dear once but I refuse to go back to them now. Now, I carry my S6 for a camera, use OneNote app for taking notes, wear a digital wrist watch everywhere, use my MS Office Suite to write and print documents and use my S6's virtual keyboard for those quick IM Texts! I STILL ride my 2-Stroke air-cooled Yamaha though! But that's because a new motorcycle with a radiator, EFI, Traction Control, ABS, ride-by-wire, engine maps, dual disk brakes, dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder and a steel trellis frame (I'm looking at you, Ducati Monster!) isn't financially feasible for me! Okay, that's a tad too much, innit? G'Day!

38. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

I think the issue for most is, if an innovation doesn't bring a sizable change or proves to bring an extra benefit, they don't see it as innovative. To each his own! Samsu g didn't have to give the S8 18:9. O think they only did it, so it matches it 6" plus sibling. And the Note 8 is even larger. Take a phone with a 16:9 aspect ratio and take a screen shot, and then take Photoshop and change the aspect ratio to 18:9 and match the S8+ and Note 8 and see what happens. The realization of how good something is, is how much support it gains. Netflix, Amazon and others are all supporting it. It's not something we have to have, it was done so that content would fit the display reasonably better. The optimum resolution for 16:9 on a small display would need to not exceed 5.8". Who h questions why Apple didn't stick with a 16:9 res for the X.

8. surethom

Posts: 1691; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

As long as the width on the mobile is equal to or less than 71mm thats all that counts.

10. TheOracle1

Posts: 2263; Member since: May 04, 2015

Before I got the Mi Mix 2 I would have voted for 16:9 but the Mix is fine. However when I pick up an S8+ or Note 8 they feel awkward and too long and narrow. Yes, like a remote control.

39. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

No tbey do not. You are just usonv it to attack something you don't like. There is nothing wrong with the S8+ or Note 8.

14. jove39

Posts: 2146; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Iā€™d prefer 2:1 on regular iPhone with home button on the back.

16. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

No. Significant hardware & software upgrades are what affect my buying decisions. If the Note 8 software was in the Note 5 body, I would've bought the phone.

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