“The HD2 is a magnificent monster. It is a hulking, intimidating, massive slab of a gadget. Yes, the HD2 is large — some might say too large — almost less a phone and more a tablet.” — Joshua Toposky, in his HTC HD2 review back in November 2009
That was the then editor-in-chief of popular gadget blog Engadget, describing HTC’s Windows Mobile smartphone. FYI, that phone had a screen size of 4.3 inches. Some tech blogs called it “giant”, others called it “huge”, but fast forward by three years and today I’m sure nobody will refer to a 4.3-inch screened phone by any of those adjectives. But obviously what comparison did they have back in 2009? The iPhone 3GS’ screen measured at 3.5 inches, while the Android-toting HTC Hero had a 3.2-inch one. Furthermore, touchscreen phones before 2009 usually came in sizes under 3.2 inches.
These past few years we have seen a massive growth in smartphones (sales-wise and literally too). Android manufacturers began riding on the Indian adage, “Bada Hain to Behtar hain” (If it is bigger, it’s better), pushing the size of your beloved smartphone to new heights. Even Apple succumbed to the pressure, pushing the 3.5-inch display size, that they kept the same for almost half a decade, to 4-inches with the iPhone 5.
Samsung may have been successful with their ‘Phablet’ — the Note series, but it looks like they’re in no mood to stop. Recently, they launched the Samsung Mega series that broke the 5-inch barrier, with a phone screen size that is 6.3-inches big! Also, let us not forget their Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note tablets, which despite 7 and 8 inch displays still have an earpiece. The following is an not uncommon view these days:
Image courtesy: Androidpit.com
So, where does it stop? Android manufacturers have been quoted saying that people want big screen phones, that’s why they’re making them, and that’s why they’re selling so well. It has become such a rat-race that its almost impossible to find a top-end, flagship Android phone that isn’t ‘huge’. I personally may have been infatuated by the real estate on my 4.7-inch Galaxy Nexus in the beginning, but now I find myself yearning for something smaller, something not as wide. What’s your take?
Results: So a different set of results came across than what we were anticipating. First, only a single person (2%) wanted a phone with a screen above 5.5 inches, so almost no takers here for the Samsung Mega series. Also not many fancied for 3.0-inch to 3.5-inch screened phones — now that we’re used to seeing big-screened handsets everywhere, phones like these are not preferred by our audience. Next, about two people (5%) thought between 5 to 5.5 inches was their preference — again, Samsung’s Note series of phablets fall in this range. In general, it seemed voters don’t fancy screens bigger than 5-inches overall.
The next two results are a tie — between 3.5 to 4 inches, and 4.5 to 5 inches got almost same number of votes. The former range has phones such as the iPhone 4 or 4S, Nokia Lumia 620, and mostly old-ish Android handsets (looks like Android phone makers don’t care about this size range anymore). The latter range has many premium range handsets like the Galaxy SIII or S4, XPERIA Z, HTC One etc.
And finally, the winning screen size range for our voters was between 4 and 4.5 inches. Handsets like the HTC First (even the rumoured smaller cousin to the One), BlackBerry Z10 or the Lumia 920 fall in this category. So, there you have it — between 4 to 4.5 inches is the sweet spot for the PriceBaba audience.