Why it no longer makes sense to evaluate the size of a smartphone screen by its diagonal

Let's reflect on this – in my opinion, serious – topic. This question was raised by one of the Reddit users. He said that it makes no sense to compare the sizes of screens by their diagonal, and of course there is some truth in this. In this article, I will try to reveal in detail all the details and explain why in 2020 there is no longer any point in evaluating the sizes of screens by their diagonal.

Why it no longer makes sense to evaluate the size of a smartphone screen by its diagonal

Why it no longer makes sense to evaluate screen size by its diagonal

Let's go back in time and remember what smartphone screens used to be like. And they were the same. Yes Yes exactly! The phone screens had the same aspect ratio of 16: 9. This was standard simply because videos were published and still are published in a similar ratio. Thus, watching videos on the same YouTube is more convenient when the smartphone screen has the same ratio.

In 2016, the LG G6 was released – it was the first phone with a non-standard 18: 9 aspect ratio. After that, all manufacturers began to use such elongated displays. This innovation made it possible to browse sites and social media feeds more conveniently, but along with this, YouTube videos are now cropped at the top when using the zoom gesture.

Sony recently released a smartphone with a 21: 9 aspect ratio, which is ideal for widescreen movies. However, you probably began to notice how recently the diagonal of the displays has seriously increased. For example, the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch display and the Nexus 7 has a 7-inch display, but interestingly, the S20 Ultra's screen is 25% smaller than the Nexus 7's screen. It's all about the ratio.

The Nexus 7 has a 16: 9 display – that is, it is wider, while the S20 Ultra has a 20: 9 ratio. If the device was sold with a standard 16: 9 ratio, the diagonal would be noticeably smaller in this case.

I tried to draw an example to make it clearer for you:

Why it no longer makes sense to evaluate the size of a smartphone screen by its diagonal

Comparison of screens with the same diagonal

With the same diagonal, a 20: 9 screen has a much smaller area compared to a 16: 9 screen. That is why it no longer makes sense to compare smartphones by display diagonal. It is much more efficient to estimate screen size by area.

Why smartphones with long screens?

Long displays make it easy to browse content on the web, and in the future, the 21: 9 ratio is likely not to be the limit. Suffice it to recall the second generation Essential Phone that the creator worked on Android. This device was in development and had an extremely long display, but not so long ago there was information that we will no longer see Essential smartphones. And it's a pity.

Curious to know what you think about this? Have you ever wondered about the question of evaluating the screen size of smartphones? Share your opinion in the comments and do not forget to subscribe to us in Yandex Zen.

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