Smartphone Screen Size Increments – Is it Time To Stop?


Can I have a powerful smartphone that fits in my hand, please? This is the first thought that comes to my mind when I see all the smartphones that are in the market these days. I have no issues with big phones, mind you. It is not a big deal if people want to use a 6” phablet as the main device for themselves. I am just apprehended that a larger screen is being assumed as a criteria for a better phone.

This is of course, counting Apple out. The company is strictly not following that policy and still has a 4” screen.

However, if you look at the newest flagship phones in the market, all of them have crossed the 5” mark.

Wasn’t that a phablet earlier?

Now, it has become a smartphone and a phablet is hovering around 6” mark which was a tablet before. Soon, we might be calling a 7” screen device a phablet I suppose.

The problem is that if I as a user want a device of perhaps a smaller screen for comfort, I will have to compromise on features as well. I can’t get a device with flagship features on say a 4.5” screen. The best bet for that right now is getting a Nexus 4 (as I have). It is 4.7” and still has almost high-end features. Other than that, most phones have crossed the barrier of 5”.

Mobile screen sizes

For an average user, features like processor are not that important and perhaps these can be overlooked while buying a phone more to comfort. However, features like camera and latest technology (including Android updates) are really important.

Most phones that are not in the “above Rs. 30K range” do not get an update after two iterations of Android. In addition, if you want a great camera, it is imperative that you get a great phone that means getting a huge phone.

Apple has for now not played this game but there are rumors that Apple might launch its new phones with over 4.5” screen and up to 5.5” as well. If that happens, it would officially be the end of all small to medium screen good phones. The best, most people will get is a stripped version (akin to mini) that will reduce less screen size and more performance.

Another issue with this approach of increasing size is that there is an end to it. Companies can’t simply increasing phone sizes forever and will have to stop at some point and actually do proper innovations. As of now, I believe we must be at the threshold of incremental of screen size. There shouldn’t be any increase in size from here on and 5 to 5.5” is the place where most phones will eventually end up at.

What are your views? Am I just a person unable to adapt or are their other people who think a larger screen doesn’t mean a better phone?

  1. Mehul Ved says

    I am stuck with the same issue and held on to upgrading from SGS2 for so long. I finally upgraded to Moto G because it has a reasonable screen size. For me 4.5 has been the limit and I don’t want to go anywhere beyond that. I really hope to see more smartphones in future that offer best possible hardware at realistic screen sizes.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      The issue is that you are a minority. Most of the consumers want larger screens, and hence product manufacturers are catering to them. But I agree with you…there needs to be a phone that has around 4.5-4.7 inch screen and has the best hardware components possible. That would be fantastic!

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