What is your ideal smartphone size? [July 2013 Edition]

by XB on 18th July 2013

in News

Xperia SizeThe move to ever bigger smartphones continue apace, something that we discussed recently. So even though HTC announced its One mini smartphone earlier today, the handset is anything but mini at 4.3-inches. The ‘mini’ moniker sounds even more ridiculous when you consider the 3-inch Xperia mini from 2011. How times change.

Manufacturers say that the drive to larger displays is driven by you, the consumer. Apparently, you guys do not want small handsets anymore and therefore all that the manufacturers are doing is fulfilling a demand. We wanted to ask our readers whether this really was the case, so we’ve created a poll below for you to pick which is your ideal smartphone size.

The last time we conducted this poll, back in March 2012, the display size options went from 3.3-inches to “4.2-inches and above”. Obviously given how much the market has changed since then we’ve introduced more options for the higher-sized displays. This becomes even more pertinent if you look at the ten new Xperia models announced in 2013 (not including the dual-SIM variants). Eight of these ten handsets would have fallen into that “4.2-inches and above” category.

Even at that time, the writing was on the wall for very small display handsets with just 4% of the 2,200 voters wanting a handset with 3.3-inches. The majority of the votes (47%) went to those wanting a device with a display above 4.2-inches. Second place went to 4.0-inches with 32% of the vote, whilst 3.5 to 3.7-inches got 17% of the vote.

So what is your sweet spot in terms of smartphone display? Do you prefer a larger display for the browsing and media experience? Would you like to go for a smaller handset, but no manufacturer is catering for you right now without severely sacrificing performance? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.

What is your ideal phone display size? [July 2013 Edition]

  • 4.0 to 4.3-inches (29%, 1,213 Votes)
  • 5.0-inches (28%, 1,191 Votes)
  • 4.6-inches (28%, 1,179 Votes)
  • 5.2 to 6.0-inches (6%, 239 Votes)
  • 3.5 to 3.7-inches (5%, 228 Votes)
  • Above 6.0-inches (2%, 91 Votes)
  • 3.3-inches and below (1%, 58 Votes)

Total Voters: 4,199

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  • shaz

    I would say a 5 inch is perfect, at least for an Asian with a small hand. I remembered holding the xperia Z for the first time, it fitted right in my hand. I guess the things Sony can do now is increase the performance. :)

  • (C):stem

    4.0″-4.3″ is perfect. However, I could live with a 4.6″ one, no more. Xperia SP is just great, my next smartphone. A dual yet powerful core and a great battery, SONY didn’t sacrify performance on this one. Indeed, Xperia M and L are also great and small.

  • Zona

    4.3 inch is the best

  • bobeobi gzigzigzeo


  • SonyFan

    I love the 5″ size on my Z <3
    i think this is perfect between 4,7-5,2"

  • afzal

    I do hope for xperia ray successor … Small and compact design with high spec and around 4inch display. Even iam using xpz now but still in love with xperia ray cutting design n compact form factor.

  • cachanilla86

    The Z’s are perfect. (Z and ZL). I have the SP but the Z isn’t that big, plus it’s lighter! My next phone will be the T-Mobile Z. It can be unlocked!

  • JohansonM18


  • MrWest

    Wow didn’t know that many people liked 5.0 inches.

  • m

    It’s the Z effect. ;)

  • adeceku

    I think that 4.3 is the top any other size bigger than 4.3 is a tablet.

  • Kim

    Above 5 inches = stupidest joke
    5 inch = too big
    4.6 inch = perfectionist
    4.3 inch = the best
    3.5 inch = good for Mid-range

  • Geoff

    5″ is perfect but I worry about Sony trying to remain thin like it is some sort of measure that I care about – I almost wish my experia Z was twice as thick with metal frame and twice as heavy – it would still fit in my pocket and I’d probably gain a much more robust device that I can still carry in my pocket
    there is too much focus on the thickness of devices on the market – who really cares if it’s 7mm or 10mm – I don’t as it will still fill my pocket the same way, a 10mm experia Z could have a bigger battery and lots of other nice things
    what these companies need to do is figure out what is an acceptable thickness for a phone of 5″ and pile all the tech they can get in there
    I’d rather my Experia Z was a little more chunky – as it is – it feels fragile – too thin

  • Jeager Pilot

    5 inch with thin bezels is the greatest choice.

  • blitz_arc

    err, why the heck 5inch is the most ideal?? my xperia Z is too big, seriously.

  • qwer


    only 3 votes to above 6 inches (Z Ultra size)

    total votes 245

    going above 6 was not good for Sony’s first phablet

  • kim

    smaller than 3.5 inch = go to hell bitch!

  • Guest

    Are you sure you’re hands are small, the Z was too big for me! SP is maximum size i’ll go too.

  • hash

    sp is perfect .. Z’s are bigger… I also happen to have sp.. I could have gone for Z but sp is just perfect…

  • Prateek Bhanushali

    Actually 5″ inches are perfect for Smartphones. One can best use of Entertainment on 5″. Yes it is useless in lower resolutions because large screen is for Viewing experience and if One is happy to sacrifice the quality, he can go for lower screens according to his budget for normal usage…. For Video and Gaming content, a 5″ with atleast 300ppi is a must(useless otherwise)… Still the phone is pocketable. I luv My Z’s 5″ definately !!!

  • Prateek Bhanushali

    Yess go to hell and eat your FRUIT :P

  • MattO

    this. the xperia ZL has the perfect form factor.

  • TheBigYY

    4 .0/.3 is definitely big enough for a phone i would go 4.6 but with no bezel if you need a bigger screen then that get a mini tablet! i think phablets are moronic and a wast, but that just my 2cents (or is that saying going to change to 5cents cause I’m Canadian and we got no pennies)

  • AA

    Xperia S is perfect in size so I voted for 4.3 inches.

  • Synonymous

    4.3 inch is perfect without the on-screen buttons. If only Sony can hide/unhide the on screen button then no problem. I’ve compared the display 4.3″ of Sony to 4″ of Sammy and the difference is almost negligible coz of onscreen buttons.

    But a compact 4.6″ will be the best, IMO.

  • Max

    5″ with bezels like ZL.

  • Aznev

    I had an Xperia X10 Mini with a 2.5″ screen and I was happy with it. Now, I have an Xperia V with 4.3″. I think 4.5 inches would be perfect now. This size is my limit to handle it with one hand.

  • Abdullah Robben

    5 inch is very good if the phone is compact “just like ZL”

  • Jadwigo

    Well, I’d love to have a 4.3″ xperia ZR, but I had to settle for the slightly bigger one

  • moolash

    People: IDEAL was the question. Not what is trending now. You cannot hold a 5″ display in your hand. I have a 4.3″ Xperia S – I almost regret buying bigger than 4″. (however I am crazy about an Xperia ZR that is 4.5″)

  • Carlos Aurelio Velasquez

    5″ and Compact, i think is the best combination

  • Mohammad Amin.h

    I Think 4.0/4.6 inch is very nice for an Smartphone and everybodies haven’t any problem by this but above 4.6 is too big for somebodies and isn’t a phone I think That’s a phablet

  • mat jeng jeng

    Agree with u man. Xperia ray design was exclusive.

  • faysal

    well i have always had 4.3 inch phone started with hd2 and xperia s… i want a change maybe z ultra or honami…

  • Cihan Cakmak

    4.5 with small bezel would be best

  • I voted 4.6 after seeing an SP in person and noting its overall size matches my S.

  • sfordesign

    big screen is great if the whole phone doesn’t seem to be too big. this vote is pointless.. like if you can choose two phones, one has 5 inches screen and the other has 4 inches screen , but both phones have the same physical dimensions. which one will you choose?

  • sfordesign

    and by the time sony released a 6 inches phone, many people will go ahead and like that, too

  • Kazuo Sat?

    4.5 – 5 inches for me
    I think Sony got it right releasing a 5 inch 1080p flagship (Z) and then releasing a 4.6 phone (ZR) with the same specs(especially battery, very important) and a smaller 4.6 inch screen 720p.
    I hope they continue this trend, I think this will be the norm as Samsung and HTC have also released ‘mini’ versions, they skimped out on the specs though.
    I think a Sony should release 2 variants of its flagships that are almost identical from now on except for screen size, A nice 4.6 inch 720p screen makes one handed use easier and isn’t such a drain on battery life.

  • Kiwison

    I think it depends on the size of the hands and fingers. For me 5 inches is the best. I used Xperia Arc and now I think it was too small. Xperia Z is the best!

  • maco mori

    5″ is perfect with ZL bezels and ZU thinness

  • JEp ?

    Hope for Xperia pro successor.

    4.2 inch with at least dual core processor and 2 GB RAM.
    Love if I can have it.

  • Herman

    Above 5″ is for people who want a tablet experience on their phones.
    It’s not ridiculous, it’s for different people. Don’t think no one should like it because you don’t. I can see advantages in all screen sizes.

    For example, on one hand I wish Sony made a new, modern specced Xperia Mini Pro. Same size, better performance and newer Android experience.
    On the other hand I might trade my Nexus 7 and Xperia S for a phone in between.

  • Jhonbert Magana

    4.6 with thin bezels is the best choice for me! x)

  • Jhonbert Magana

    Yes, 4.6″ with thin bezels is the perfect size! at least for me.

  • Jhonbert Magana

    Yep, now I miss my xray.

  • Cristi13

    Sonyyy where is the updateeee for…..just kidding :P Anyway back to the article, I would like 5 inches as long as the bezels are small, like in the zl or s4. Anything bigger would be too much for me (*insert that’s what she said joke here*), but I think I would get used to something like, let’s say the note 2.

  • Mac

    4.6″ with bezels like ZL!

  • Mac


  • Mac

    4.6 with thin bezels period!

  • (C):stem

    The Xperia ZL is an error. What was the point of releasing a non waterproof version of the Xperia Z?

  • Izamanaick

    5″ even though I can’t even use the Xperia Z with one hand, bigger is better in my opinion. Mostly due to the fact that I watch a lot of movies, videos and play a lot of games. But for one handed use, probably 4″-4.3″ as my ideal screen size. 4.6″ would be a great compromise.

  • Izamanaick

    Releasing a phone with good ergonomics, a small (relative to the Z) form factor and a significantly different design. All without compromising on the specifications of the phone and delivering a flagship experience.

  • Rizky Maulana

    4.3 with thin bezel is the best of the best for me ! XD

  • sacrow

    For whats matter most is the phone size (display+bezel) so I can’t decide which size for display

  • Ben

    The thing is, Android does not favors small screen, and is wasteful of screen estate resources.

  • ravi

    Xperia sp with thin bezel is perfect for me .

  • Miranda

    Definitely 6″++
    I’ve tried smaller sizes but nothing comes close to the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction I get from a bigger one.

  • NO.


  • interesting

    If around 4.3-4.6″ was last year’s ideal and 5″ this year’s that means 6″ phones will be considered ideal in a couple years from now….

  • So many potential dirty jokes with this article.

  • XperiaFan

    You have to add another option calle ZL :)

  • H. Daniel Cruz

    I agree with @729d04d9bc441b17834c53dff29b767e:disqus , I prefer the form factor of the Xperia ZL with its thin bezel even if its not waterproof like the Xperia Z, the IRB and the bigger battery are also a plus. I’m really happy with my XZL. :)

  • H. Daniel Cruz

    I think the Xperia ZL is really good in size of the screen (big) and size of the phone (not so big), for me it’s ideal for multimedia. ;)

  • jOBS

    Cool smartphones do not depend on display sizes.

  • Mr. Know It All

    Sony please do like this:
    5″ for phablets
    4.3″ for premium phones (the best size)
    3.5″ for entry level phones

  • phillip

    I like to find out how realy big the z ultra is , so it is quite hard to say now, but I do sometimes thik that z `s screen is still not big enough for internet. I guess, once you got that bh52 bluetooth set, having a big phone is not a problem.

  • Sony4Life

    Look like you guys dont even love big bezels now… i think that Sony have a good solution yeah Sony will make and launch a smartphone with camera sensors behind the display, with this fuckin cool patent


  • daFUQ

    4.6 with bezel-less plz!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • plekenut

    Well, I want 4.6 inch without on-screen buttons, with thin bezels and XZ ultra’s screen but 720p and camera as goos as Lumia 1020 and walkman features.

  • shnam

    5,5 with bezel-less plz!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tech Gospel

    An upgraded Xperia ray, a metal Xperia U, or a smaller Xperia P… all with the same CPU/GPU/RAM as the flagship phablets

  • bnmalmo

    I have the Xperia Z – but I think it’s too big…
    The Arc was excellent – 4,3 – and slim.
    My daughter loves here old Active – which 3,2″ or something – things my Z is extremely clumsy. – Problem she would like a new phone in the 3,5″ range – not more – but you don’t have many options…! :-S :-(
    I think Sony (and others) focus far too much on big size – and should make more 3,5″ phone as entry level and for kids / young people – who don’t want to carry around these bulky 5+” phones..!

  • Rizky Maulana

    yeah u’r rock, i walk with u :v

  • eisuke

    Bigger the better but the ideal size for me is defined by the size of my pocket on my trousers. lol
    I’m not a fan of carrying a bag around everywhere so 5in perhaps? My wife has the Z and it still fits. As a T user I don’t think 4.6 is big at all anymore.
    I really like the concept of the SBH52 Smart Bluetooth Handset. A phone/music player you simply wear (clip on) but fully integrated onto your phablet just small enough to fit into my pocket. Separating the phone from the screen means some people that constantly carries a tablet around would no longer need another screened phone so I wouln’d even mind a 12in phone tbh lol.
    One thing I don’t like about android is that I can’t quickly change the media volume to headset only and I think this device would also help resolve this in some ways. I can’t wait to get one!

  • Andre Candido

    My Xperia Z is a perfect size for me screen and body!

  • Ehh

    Arc was 4.2″ not 4.3″.

  • T-ara

    I have an Xperia T (4.6″) and it looks pretty small to me. I’d say 5″-5.5″ is ideal.

  • cleverthansony

    4.6-5 inch. but not smaller than 137 mm when it will be 5 inch.

  • lol

    You like huge bezels?

  • Jaywalker

    4.3 I believe is enough for a smartphone. Want big screens, buy a tablet. I’m in the subway or in a public place or crowded I don’t want to see everybody my screen. Where do you put a bigger phone? You need a handbag or something. So I guess a phone should be one-handed fit to be practical. I’m not a monkey with big hands you know. But hey, it’s just me :D

  • Carl-Johan Nilsson

    People adapt to the screens they use pretty fast.
    I will be getting the Z Ultra. I will keep my current phone as I’ve always done.
    If say, I go out clubbing, I’ll just slip my sim into my Xperia P and my P into my pocket. Maybe I’ll grab my X10 mini or W880 when I go hiking in the mountains.
    But for the most part I’ll be happy with using that large screen.

  • Harut Hajin

    I started from Xperia X8 > X10 > ion > Z and now want bigger for me 5″ like old 4″ ::: 6.44 BETTER

  • Harut Hajin

    HAH NOW 5 ” looks smaller for me , I WANT ABOVE 5

  • angell

    Ray size, sp power …

  • angell

    3-4 inch mini, 4-5 phone, 5-7 phablet, 7- 12 tablet ..

  • Frode P. Bergsager

    If Ray had more RAM and more internal memory I would still be using it, but as it filled up it started lagging all the time. I purchased a used Xperia P some months ago as it was the smallest Xperia I could find with nearly decent hardware and features.

  • F2G

    Why SP power when you can do better?

  • ????? ????

    4″ – 4.3″ no more, otherwise uncomfortable

  • Netto Dashius Hexareus

    I know this sounds stupid but I prefer 5″ and above. 5.5″ is a sweet spot for me.. just my 2 cents.. ;D

  • sammyl

    4.3″ with 1280×720 resolution

  • Tech Gospel

    Sizewise, I agree. But specs other than the screen should be identical. CPU /GPU, RAM, battery capacity.

  • Khalid

    Though I voted for 5.0 up to 6.0 inches, I think 5.0 up to 5.5 inches will be enough and more than perfect becuase if Sony increase them more than that, their flagships will change to taplet or a phaplet which is too big for just a phone on your hand.

  • ZalmoxiS

    I agree but a bit different
    13″ for tablet, 6″ for phablet, 4.6″ for flagship smartphone, 4″ for mid-range and 3.5″ for entry

  • zizie

    Yes..tht was XPERIA ZL

  • CN

    4.0 to 4.3-inches is perfect!

  • o.

    Still on Xperia Ray, fingers (hopelessly?) crossed for a successor.

    I think people were too afraid of the small size for the Ray to be a big hit. Typing is much easier than I anticipated, even with one thumb, and I just love the form factor. Fits in any pocket. Camera is way more than adequate and its battery life kicks ass.

    I’m also guessing a big portion of Ray (ex-)users would be loyal customers if a proper successor appeared. I know I would for sure(as long as rooting is still possible). Probably it would also gain new fans, since I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks 6.3″ is more a joke than a phone..

    Other small options either are not small at all or have totally crap hardware specs. Totally unfilled niche.

    C’mon, Sony, go for it! We’re ready to buy! ;)

  • JP

    I voted for 4.6″ for the ZR. I think size preference depends also on the available phones now. 4.3 to 4.7 also preferred.

  • Korraym Sorour


  • Ethan McLads

    prefer 5″ well fit for my hands and pockets.

  • Carlos Aurelio Velasquez

    Yeah i know, that’s y im saying

  • Alex Xander

    5.3 like note 1 is great…play games, tv programs or navi net is great and BIG :)

  • anojudl

    droid mini is nice

  • Tseng Alvin

    Xperia ZL is the best choice

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