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A report published by Digitimes says shipments of smartphones with displays 5-inches and larger are expected to grow 136% this year as compared to 2012. In other words, a total of 60.4 million units are expected to ship worldwide with a screen size of 5-inches and higher in 2013. Four years from now that number will climb to 146 million units. It's going to be a great year for Corning employees.

I appreciate choices but I'm still not convinced display size is the best way to market a handset. It's not a true feature in the way that advanced camera optics or expandable storage adds true functionality to smartphones and tablets.

The display of your smartphone might be the most important part of your device to you. It's important to me, too. What it comes down to is how you use your gadgets. What do you use it for? Manufacturers have thoroughly spoiled consumers with varying degrees of displays sizes and resolutions as of late. But does it really matter if the only true difference is an extra row of icons?

When it comes to display size and resolution, I have a few preferences. I hate pixels so they must be hidden. Any display that offers a pixel density of 300 and higher is fine with me. In terms of color saturation, the more realistic and warm, the better, even though that generally means AMOLED displays and their cooler operating temperature (along with better battery life) are ruled out. I prefer the SLCD2 and IPS-LCD displays gracing most HTC handsets, the iPhone 5, and the Nexus 4 and LG Optimus G. But as proven by Apple's 51% market share in the U.S., not everyone thinks bigger is better.

I prefer a larger display when I'm not on the move. Any minute I have time to surf the Interwaves or watch anything on YouTube, I want a bigger display. But these are the only times when I could justify a screen 5-inches or larger. Having said this, there is no doubt in my mind that Samsung's Galaxy Note II is as awesome as you have voted in the People's Choice Rankings, but there's no denying that Samsung's TouchWiz is part of the reason. I agree with Aaron Baker when he says mobile operating systems might be limiting handset functionality.

I'm afraid screens are getting bigger for the same reason Apple hasn't updated iOS. (Hint: there's no reason.) I truly believe the abnormal 1136x640 resolution of the iPhone 5 was more of a pitch from Apple to their developers to increase their vested interest in Apple's ecosystem, than a feature to consumers. Contrary to popular belief, I find it hard to believe Apple would "go with the flow" and do what every other display manufacturer did and increase the screen resolution proportionally. But I accept it. It was a business decision. That's just how Apple rolls. 

Whatever operating system you prefer, each flavor offers similar functionality across the board. Where iOS devices maintain the same familiar grid across all iDevices, Android once morphed depending on screen density (DPI). That being said, Windows devices have completely different appearances between smartphone and tablet-form and I believe this is a smart move. 

Windows RT has been licensed like no other these first few months of 2013; I doubt this has gone unnoticed to competitors. There's even talk of an iPad Pro to directly compete with Microsoft's Surface Pro, yet the Surface Pro isn't even out yet. If there's any way to judge Microsoft's success with their recent OS-revamp to accommodate multiple screen sizes, look no further than the 2013 influx of tablets running Windows RT which adds functionality to that screen real estate.

Android has recently decided to mimic Jelly Bean across varying screen sizes. They're copying what Apple pioneered with the iPhone and iPad and I think it's a mistake. I love the Nexus 7 but it is way more fun to navigate in Honeycomb-style tablet form. That's why I kept my Asus Transformer longer than my Nexus 7. 

Just a few days ago, Evan Selleck asked if iOS gives credence to the 7.9 and 9.7-inch screens gracing Apple's iPads. Nowhere in the tablet ecosystem does additional screen real estate seem more superfluous than on an iPad. 

We don't use tablets the same way we use smartphones, so why do they function the same? Where are those additional toggles, productivity features, and tablet-optimized apps?

I've learned to appreciate TouchWiz in both smartphone and tablet-form because of the features and optimizations Samsung adds to their devices. These are features because they enhance the user experience. Each operating system should behave differently at different sizes. For the same reason you probably wouldn't buy a minivan if you're single, Apple, BlackBerry, and Google should add features at different resolutions.

No matter the screen size, the phone app, messaging app, and standard alarm and calculator apps remain largely the same across all handsets. But why? It would make sense to update Jelly Bean, iOS, or Windows Phone to add features that manufacturers like Samsung has done with their Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II.

I'm interested to hear how you feel about screen sizes, reader. Do you find value in extra real estate even if it only means an additional row of icons? Why do you want larger displays? Personally, I'm very close to sealing the deal on a Galaxy Note II because I have to know what all the fuss is about! Plus, those specs seem future proof! Let me know how you feel about screen sizes and why you approve, or disapprove of bigger displays below. Cheers, 2013!

 


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74 Reactions to this post

"What's your preferred screen size?"


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Rob Melone
Rob Melone Between 4.5 and 5 inches works for me...
Arvind Katiyar
Arvind Katiyar Any size will do as long as I can make a call send receive messages
Herbert Salamánca Ramos
Herbert Salamánca Ramos 4.5" is just right (Lumia 920) :)
Lawrence Lepes
Lawrence Lepes For a smartphone, the bigger the better!
Justin Lindland
Justin Lindland I like 4.3
Muhammad Sumair Saqib
Muhammad Sumair Saqib 4.3+
Wayne Anthony Johns
Wayne Anthony Johns 4-4.7-8
Bilal Abdullah
Bilal Abdullah 5.5
Jamie Crane
Jamie Crane Have a sensation xe perfect size
Gian Carlo Mirasol
Gian Carlo Mirasol 3.5 - 4.5
Guillermo De León
Guillermo De León 4"
Oliver Dela Cruz
Oliver Dela Cruz 5.55
Murtaza Rzv
Murtaza Rzv Starts from 4.5 to 6
Shahid Hussain
Shahid Hussain 4.3 - 5.0
Anas Ghouri
Anas Ghouri 9.99
Sawera Akram
Sawera Akram Want to find online singles in your area right now? Want to chat with them? If yes, then check this hot website now. I found mine a few mins ago. It is amazing...82 https://www.facebook.com/pages/qpaiizrx/165443563603134?sk=app_208195102528120
Ole Rubio
Ole Rubio 4.3 to 5.0(small bezel)
Marwan Ahmed
Marwan Ahmed 4.5
Adam Carter
Adam Carter 4.5-5" depending on design
Kenneth Li
Kenneth Li We talking about win8 pro, right? The only phone that able to replace your desktop is phone running on win8 pro! I need my JAVA APPLET so I can stream realtime stocks quote and level ii. Also you never get bullshit on win8 pro like "this website is not comptitable with your mobile device".
Brandon Holley
Brandon Holley 4.3 to 5 depending on the size of the bezel used on the phone.
Paulo De Freitas
Paulo De Freitas 4.0 to 4.5 (depending on size of bezel)
Faheem Taj
Faheem Taj 4.3 or 4.7
Paul Keefe
Paul Keefe 5 or 5.2
Faustine Enitsuaf
Faustine Enitsuaf 5.3 SG Note(2) - 6.1 Huawei ascend Mate
Shoaib Zaheer
Shoaib Zaheer tablet 7-9" and phone maximum 4". phone should be pocketable.
Marc Martin
Marc Martin 4-4.8
Jeremy Carter
Jeremy Carter 4.7-5.5
Zaka Ur Rehman
Zaka Ur Rehman Galaxy S3, 4.8" Best Screen Size
Sam Rick
Sam Rick 4.5"
Skylor Mitchell
Skylor Mitchell I'm happy with what I currently have, 4.52 on my Epic Touch. Also really like the display, though it could have a higher resolution, but cannot really tell the pixels.
Kizito Nestor
Kizito Nestor 4.7
Kim E. Salinas
Kim E. Salinas playing games and for AutoCad.
Tom Nguyen
Tom Nguyen 4-4.5, the new BlackBerry Z10 is 4.2 inches which I find to be a very nice size.
Virg Prekazis
Virg Prekazis Tablet: 7-9 Phone: 4.3-4.5
Andy Chu
Andy Chu 5.5"
Danny Chavez
Danny Chavez 5.5
Amlan Baidya
Amlan Baidya 10
Tyler Saddington
Tyler Saddington 4.8
Mario Torres
Mario Torres 4.3-4.7 is better!
Athier Mohammed
Athier Mohammed 3.5-4.8
Mustansar Sonny Chaudhry
Mustansar Sonny Chaudhry 4.7
Kevin Joel
Kevin Joel SIX " 6"
Brandon Scoggins
Brandon Scoggins 5 inches
Brandon Holley
Brandon Holley Screen Size doesn't matter at all to me, honestly the dimensions of the thing are all that matter. Honestly give me something with the dimensions of the Droid DNA. Now before you jump off the deep end and say "oh brandon you idiot that phone has a 5" screen." Yes you may be correct but don't forget those same dimensions also fit the likes of the original droid X. A 4.3" display at the time. So should screen size be the overall factor or should screen size plus a manageable sized phone be the issue here?
Nadeem Ansari
Nadeem Ansari I love big screens but makes it difficult to use one handedly so sticking to my 2 year old galaxy s2 :-P
Benzchino Reyes
Benzchino Reyes 6" would be best for me
Cal-Gene Johnson
Cal-Gene Johnson The iPad 4th Gen screen is amazing! I also love my Ps Vita's 5 inch display :)
Paul Martin
Paul Martin 5.5 inches is too big! Said no chick ever...
Nick Petrizzio
Nick Petrizzio tablet: 7" phone: 4.8"
Mauka Side
Mauka Side 5 inches is tops. It starts looking ridiculous after that.
David Slawter
David Slawter 4.3–4.5 inches.
Emmanuel Kenway
Emmanuel Kenway I like the galaxy note's 3.5 inch screen like the iPhone 5
Christopher Williams
Christopher Williams If my iPad had phone functionality, it would be perfect!
Josh Billingsley
Josh Billingsley Note 2 is 5.5 and is perfect
Nick Catelli
Nick Catelli Currently using a 4S and I love the 3.5 but I liked the 4.3 better on my X. Something around 4.0 or 4.3 is great for me.
Tyler Tresenrider
Tyler Tresenrider The note 2 is a tablet not a phone. 5 inch is the furthest I'd go
Bobby Grissom
Bobby Grissom 7
Michael Myers
Michael Myers
Louis Agresti
Louis Agresti 5 inch Max the DNA is perfect
Jeff Cross
Jeff Cross 4.7 is the note 2 size love it longtime
David DiPilla
David DiPilla 5 inches
Dalton Davis
Dalton Davis Something bigger than 3.5 inches.
Emmanuel Kenway
Emmanuel Kenway 2.1
Lanh Nguyen
Lanh Nguyen used to think 4.3 was perfect. But 4.7,4.8 is the spot for me.
Ruben Andy Colon
Ruben Andy Colon It depends, some 5 inch phones are great, others are not, for me, a 5 inch or greater is ok, depends on the bezel around the screen....
Kyle Krause
Kyle Krause Note 2 just got ride of my iphone 5 for it, the note 2 is the best phone I ever had
Nelson Pagan
Nelson Pagan Note 2 the best phone so Im gonna say 5.5 but I think a 5 inch would be the best
Brian Dominguez
Brian Dominguez 4 inches
Joe Francesco Kassira
Joe Francesco Kassira 4.8
Anthony Evans Jr
Anthony Evans Jr matters to me when I am wanting to watch videos for sure. But using as a phone or just texting.. not really.. this is hy I wnat hybrid phones. A phone that connects to larger device that I can do the fun stuff on and remove it when I want to use it as a phone like the asus phone tablet dock
Michael Myers
Michael Myers 5 inches. Nothing over 5.5 and nothing under 4.7.
Tim Jarred Witherspoon
Tim Jarred Witherspoon 4.3-4.7 inches is that great sweet spot for everyone.
Justin Azzarito
Justin Azzarito 5inches on the Droid DNA is perfect.




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