Users want larger smartphone displays, says obvious analyst

March 14, 2012
15

Android users tend to like big, big displays on their phones. A previous study found that the median size for an Android handset was between 4.0 and 4.3 inches diagonally, and of course more and more devices are coming out with 5-inch and larger screens, a figure that was downright laughable just a few years ago. It looks like Android manufacturers ain't just whistlin' Dixie. According to a report from Strategy Analytics, 9 out of 10 people gravitate towards a phone with a bigger screen than their current one when buying a new model.

The responders didn't discriminate between platforms. Though the poll size wasn't given, presumably it's a relatively even sample of US and UK smartphone owners - Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, etc. No matter which manufacturer their current phone came from, they wanted a screen that's larger than the one they've got. This seems like a fairly obvious trend from an Android point of view (my personal phones from the last few years have had 2.8, 3.2, 3.7, 4.3 and 4.65-inch screens) and flies in the face of a certain Cupertino giant, which swears up and down that a 3.5-inch, 4:3 screen is perfect for everyone.

Of course, it can be overdone. Even we've got to admit that phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note and LG Optimus Vu aren't for everyone, and tend to be pointed dispraportially towards guys with huge hands. The current crop of megaphones is is pushing dangerously close to tablet territory. It's a good thing that pretty much every manufacturer seems to have at least one entry at both 3.2 and 3.7-inch levels, though finding a sub-4-inch phone with high-end specs is nearly impossible these days. Sorry, niche buyers - there's always the iPhone.

[via AndroidGuys]


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  • Jon Garrett

    I totally agree with this article. I went from the 3.5″ iPhone 4 to the 4.3″ Galaxy S II and now I have the 5.23″ Galaxy Note.

    Everyday I use the note, the 5.23″ screen doesn’t seem all that large. 

    • NoteMaster

      Dude it’s a 5,29″ screen to be exact so Sammy is just rounding it off to the nearest 10th. If I misunderstood the exact terminology forgive my ignorance in advance!

  • Matt107

    I find this disappointing, I think that the 3.5″-4.0″ is the perfect size range and that the average screen size should stay around their. I feel that if this trend continues then phones will be the size of iPads by the time I am 40. I would also like to point out that the iPhone’s aspect ratio is not 4:3, the iPad is though. The iPhone’s aspect ratio is 3:2, which I actually prefer since its the same as the human eye’s aspect ratio. And also being a photographer it is also great since most photo’s taken with a good camera are also this ratio and it makes it perfect for looking at photos (It is also very close to the aspect ratio of 16:10 which most android tablets use). I am not sure of the author has ever actually looked at an iPhone since it clearly does not have a 4:3 screen. Shouldn’t a reporter check their facts before they publish an article? This is just sloppy writing.

    • NoteMaster

      Go back to your wimpy iShit dungeon you troll! This is an ANDROID COMMUNITY BLOG where did you see or read that this was an iShit blog of any kind? You want that go to the Slashgear site and stay the fuck out of our space!

      Fricking tosser who in the hell do you think you are.

      I’ve got the Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000 not that sorry excuse of of the Note by AT&T. I went to check them out strictly for comparison reasons and it’s such a waste of a smartphone since they had to make for the U.S. market. Not only would I never go back to anything less than my International Galaxy Note I’d never buy a smartphone locked down by any carrier just to have them fill it up with their shitty bloatware!

      Oh by the way troll, your assertions are as comical as your attempt to display your “knowledge”. Be gone dipshit! Besides you know what they say about a man with big hands…BIG Richard. But wait until you 40 moron. Sheesh.

      • marine6680

        Wow… hostile much?

        I agree on screen size… 3.7 to 4.3 inch screens are where I want them. 4 inches is ideal, 4.3 is hitting the upper limit, 3.7 is the lower side of useful.

        I have a Rezound… 4.3 inch screen and it is getting too big… I want a phone… not a small tablet.

        Not everyone has a desk job, or can hang their phone off their belt. Larger phones are more cumbersome to use and put in a pocket… they get in the way, and I am constantly worried I may damage the phone.

        I work in aviation. I am constantly getting into awkward positions when at work.

        I want a high end phone, I like to root and tinker… I want it at a reasonable size.

        The recent increase in screen size is a byproduct of consumers chasing “bigger better” and manufacturers trying to outdo each other on specs. Similar to the megapixel chase people do when buying cameras. Megapixels are not the most important spec… they aren’t even the second.

        Sure big screens are good for media consumption… but my phone is a phone first… that means it needs to be portable enough to not be cumbersome or in the way. If I have to take my phone out of my pocket for any other reason but to use it (E.I. to get it out of my way or to make it easier to get to because its too big to get out of my pocket when sitting) then that is a failure.

        Any time you take your phone out of your pocket and set it down, is a chance to forget it when you stand up to leave.

        The rules of ergonomics and usability are pretty cut and dry… and no amount of “big screens are so awesome” can change that. A phone should be out of the way enough that you never have to think about it until you need to use it.

        Sure if you are the type that wants a tablet, but can not afford to buy a second device, or the hassle of carrying a second device is too high, then yes, a larger sized screen phone might be the way to go.

      • NoteMaster

        I think you and a TON of other misinformed people are making a blind judgement based on the misinformation you hear from others who also have misinformation. Then all of you again continue harvesting you misguided and misinformed…minutia and keep trying to cover every argument about those of us who just happen to LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE, HOME OF THE BRAVE.

        See we’re entitled to opine on matters that mean something to us just as you are – but the difference is actually so simple it’s complicated. The OEM manufacturers perform Research & Development and the data they are finding is claimed to be most Android User’s prefer to have the luxury of having a larger screen. Matter of fact an outside company has polled users with the same question and they to found the same results – people want larger screens. Period.

        So since most of the world is a free market OEM manufacturer’s of course want to Capitalize with the results of their own R&D but also Capitalize on these independent R&D Polls suggesting their is DEMAND for SmartPhones with larger screens.

        You wouldn’t want stop any company from making money now would you? I didn’t think so since you bust your ass so we can have these very freedoms which most people take for granted in their daily lives. I noticed you included in part of the your name, Marine. And if you were/are in fact a Marne then I trust you chose to do so to serve your country and to protect our way of life. I PERSONALLY THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY, IT’S HERO’S LIKE YOU THAT GIVE UP OF THEMSELVES & SACRIFICE MORE THAN WE’LL EVER KNOW. To me, you guys (women included) are the bad-asses of the world, 1st to fight, last to leave. Semper Fi.

        Anyway, why do some people insist on forcing their beliefs on others? Has any Note Owner accosted you in public and forced you into buying a larger phone than you prefer or harassed in any way to make you feel you need to come onto an Android Community Blog to stress your ideals & views, or has any Android Fan gone onto an iShit site of any kind and belittled crApple merchandise?

        Lastly, I own an international Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000, an Asus Transformer w/Keyboard Dock, and an Asus W90Vp-X2 18.4″ Notebook upgraded to the hilt – from a QX9300 2.53GHz Quad-Core, 12 GB RAM, 2TB HDD’s, with an AMD CrossFire 4870 X2, & a Blu-Ray Burner.

        They are the biggest and the baddest of every market they represent and I use them ALL everyday. My point is of course that some people prefer cutting edge technology because it’s THEIR CHOICE. Unless any critic has actually physically tried & tested ANY product they should keep their opinions to themselves because they don’t possess the hands on experience or knowledge to even begin to criticize them! And yes, a Samsung Galaxy Note does definitely in a front pocket of regular fitting pants. NOT SKIN TIGHT PANTS or SHORTS, regular clothing only!

      • Aleks

        What on EARTH are you talking about? LOL I think you need a Valium.

      • NoteMaster

        No I already took 2 plus I took 2 Norco’s – couldn’t sleep and found myself wasting time readung these posts. But thank you anyway!

      • marine6680

        You blast me for an opinion yet trumpet your own… Its only differing opinions that you have issue with.

        Seeing as you own one of these devices, your mind set can be tainted with bias… we tend to hold our own choices in higher regard than another’s differing one. We also tend to get offended when others criticize our choices as well. It comes from Choice Supportive Bias, and the Endowment Effect. Pretty much the root cause of all fanboy arguments no matter the topic… cars, computers… phones.

        (disclaimer… I like android, I hate iOS/iTunes/Apple’s walled garden trap and arrogance… but I do think Apple has excellent design and great consideration to ergonomics and usability in the design, more so than any other OEM, there is a reason the iPhone is the size it is… though HTC’s new lineup is getting up there with them in quality and design still too big IMO)

        That being said… here is my logic to this.

        The large screen devices have their place… I have messed around with the Note… It seems handy if it is something you could use. Thing is… the average consumer is not so smart… or misinformed/ignorant of the facts. Sure most people want a bigger screen… just like most people want higher megapixels in their cameras.

        As I said, megapixels are not as important as average consumers think. Ask any professional photographer, and they will tell you the same thing. They would rather have a 5MP quality DSLR than even the highest cost high end 20MP point and shoot camera any day. Ask the average consumer and they will want the opposite. I.E. They would pick the 20MP point and shoot over the 5MP DSLR.

        The large screen devices are fine… but they are not good for the average walking around person… People are clumsy, forgetful, distracted… Those big screen phones are more burden in most circumstances than not. You yourself mentioned that special consideration is needed to carry the thing around, and there in lies the problem.

        I want my phone to be useful, but something I don’t have to think about unless I need to use it.

        I shouldn’t have to think about which pants I need to wear just to carry my phone around… shouldn’t need to worry about the phone’s large size being a liability for damaging it from the odd bump while it is in my pocket.

        Like I said, the large screen devices have their place, and I am not saying we should do away with them… If you need the extra size, because you use the phone like a tablet more often than not, like media consumption, and you can not afford a second device in the form of a full size tablet or can not deal with the burden of a second device… Then the larger phone like the Note is a good compromise. It is a mini tablet with phone functionality. You deal with the inconvenience of the more difficult transport, for the added benefit the larger screen has for your use scenarios…

        But for most people, they are not the right choice… they may choose it anyway, because they get caught up in the hype of it, but that does not make it a good choice. The Sunk Cost Fallacy takes hold after a purchase, and even if you made a poor choice, you defend it, and deal with it.

        Most people do not need a mini tablet… they need a phone, and would also like it to be able to surf the internet and play the odd game. That is what smart phones are for… A small and easy to carry device that keeps you connected through talk, text and web.

        The main problem I have, is that OEMs are focusing on making bigger and bigger screens and they are not making the more generally useful (as a phone) 3.7-4.3 inch size devices. (I still think 4 inches is the ideal)

        Well sure, you can get a 3.7 inch screen on a new phone… if you are willing to use last years outdated tech.

        But I want a 4 inch screen phone with the same top of the line internal specs as an other flagship device… Is that too much to ask?

      • Matt107

        Wait you can’t wear shorts with a Note? I think this shows that though it may be a perfect screen size for you (in wherever you live, possibly Alaska). But if I couldn’t fit my phone in my shorts in the hot and humid summer weather of Boston I would certainly return it for something smaller. And no I am not misinformed (unless you lied about the whole shorts thing) but I have used larger screens before and they just were too big for my taste. Like marine6680 said I prefer to have a second tablet than one device that tries to be everything. You are most certainly entitled to your opinion, but why the f*** are you bashing mine?

      • Matt107

        No idea why my comment was removed, but yours should be. I was not trolling, all I said was I prefer phone screens to be around 3.5 to 4 inches (depending on the aspect ratio). You however are using uunacceptable language. And did you just dis using knowledge in the comments sections? That sounds like a great idea. And by the way I use a motorolla droid 3 since the screen size is perfect in my opinion. I have also used iPhones before so I know what the aspect ratio is, and wanted to correct it was not a 4:3 screen, but a 3:2 screen (it is very similar to the 16:10 ratio which many tablets like the galaxy tab 10.1 and though I don’t own one I know what the ratio is. And sure I said I prefer the 3:2 ratio, but that is more for my interests in photography. If an android phone came out with a 4 inch 3:2 screen then it would be my next phone. And you really need to do something to relax, may I suggest a vacation or maybe a psychiatrist if the vacation doesn’t work.

      • Jon Garrett

        Then your next phone should be the LG Optimus LTE

      • Matt107

        Huh? That phone does not fit any of the criteria I stated I would like in a phone. The screen is 4.5 inches, I would prefer around just 4 inches. And I want something with a 3:2 aspect ratio. Maybe 16:10 but I would prefer 3:2. As I stated in an earlier comment 3:2 is perfect for photographers.

  • syntaxxerror

    I want a job as an analyst.

  • http://winarticles.net/top-smartphone-apps/ Win Articles

    Oh.. I definitely agree with that.
    Of course, with a larger display the smartphone will weight more.
    I personally prefer that type of smartphone (with larger display) because I like to watch movies on my phone when I travel.