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Big Screened Phones Are Getting Smaller

More people want big screens without the bulk

A few days ago a leaked schematic showing the Galaxy S8’s overall dimensions compared to its competitors hit the web which showed just how much screen to body ratio it had. While the Galaxy S8’s overall screen to body ratio is estimated at over 80%, it’s not the first phone to have an big screen stuffed in a small body.

Compared to the iPhone

In fact, we predict that flagship phones from other manufacturers will start to follow the same path that Samsung is taking with the Galaxy S8. Xiaomi’s Mi Mix, as ridiculous as it was from the get go, is the logical conclusion of an arms race that started with Samsung’s Note series of devices. The fact of the matter is, phones with big screens (5.5-inches and up) sell faster and better compared to phones that have smaller displays (sub 5.5-inches).

The innovative, but ultimately doomed Galaxy Note 7

Despite consumers’ hunger for big screens, they don’t like big phones. Big phones, like the LG V20, for example, aren’t the easiest to use one-handed, and anybody with smaller with average hands will struggle with a similarly-sized phablet. To reduce the overall dimensions of big-screened phones, companies like Xiaomi, Samsung, Huawei and LG are turning to ridiculously thin bezels and curved screens to squeeze as much screen as possible into a footprint as big as your typical 5.5-inch device.

LG’s approach yields a big-screened phone that’s not much bigger than their 5.2-inch G5

It’s interesting to see how each manufacturer tries to tackle the big screen, small phone problem. Samsung reckons that the combination of reduced top and bottom bezels as well as curved screens is the way to go, as evidenced by the doomed Galaxy Note 7 and the many, many leaks of the Galaxy S8. For LG, curved screens are a no-no, so they’ve gone with drastically reduced side bezels and an extra-tall display which also yields a funky, 2:1 aspect ratio. Companies like Xiaomi and Huawei aren’t too picky about which approach to take, and use both techniques depending on¬†their requirements.

The future of big-screened phones

While Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is shaping up to be a technical marvel, it’s not going to be the only phone that has a ridiculously large display in a relatively small package. You can expect top contenders like Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, Sony and other companies to release their own big screen, small phone¬†flagships in the near future to compete with the Korean company.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 Blows the iPhone 7 Out of the Water

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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3 Comments

  1. Big screen, small phone? What a ridiculous
    notion!

    Once you get rid of all the bezels – top, sides and bottom, there is nothing more to squeeze in the phone’s real estate, correct? So the ultimate case is no bezels at all but can you still proclaim that it is a small phone with a big screen? What if this a 6.44 inches, no bezels? Will it be considered still small? I really don’t get what you are driving at.

    The goal: oh yes, a perfect bezel-less phone. In this scenario, can you say unwieldy? This will introduce more problems than ever before by way of accidental presses.

    1. Not all that ridiculous actually. The Note 7, for example, has a 5.7-inch display in a body that’s not that much wider than a typical 5.5-inch phone. The S8 will take things farther with a 5.8 display that’s probably not bigger than the Galaxy S7 in terms of overall size.

      The goal of manufacturers now is to squeeze as much screen as they can without making the phone incredibly unwieldy. Everyone can make a ridiculously-sized phablet nowadays, but not everyone can make a phablet that isn’t clunky or difficult to use.

      Hand and screen rejection tech is also catching up to the bezel-less design. It’s just a matter of developing the software and technology.

      1. Actually, the “ridiculousness” of it all lies in the fact the in the only marginal size advantage you get is vis-a-vis the existing phones. You whittle down the bezels at every iteration, that is fine. But once you get to the point of having practically no bezels, you cannot say that you can make it smaller than it actually is, can you? Now, can you see my point?

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