What screen size should you buy?

Screen size

One of the biggest decisions to make when considering a new mobile phone purchase is what screen size should you buy.

Get this wrong and your new 12, 18 or 24 month contract is going to bind you to unhappy experience for many months to come.

In this article we will take a look at;

  • Resolution and pixels per inch
  • Small screen / budget phones
  • Large screen / budget and flagship smartphones
  • Mini screen / compact smartphones
  • Huge screen / phablets

Resolution and pixels per inch

When you read mobile phone descriptions you will often see the terms resolution and pixels per inch (ppi) mentioned but these terms are nothing to be afraid of.

Resolution – This is simply the number of coloured dots that a phone can display across the screen and the number of coloured dots (pixels) running down the screen.

Pixels per inch – This is simply the number of coloured dots that run horizontally and vertically within one inch.

So in brief, the higher the resolution and pixels per inch the clearer the image or web page will be.

Below is an example of resolution and ppi in work. The top image demonstrates the clarity achieved on a Samsung Galaxy S4 (441ppi 1080x1920 resolution) whilst the image at the bottom is from a Nokia 515 (167ppi 240x320 resolution).

Pixels per inch

Small screen / budget phones

This category of phone is suitable to those who are looking for an emergency phone, a phone with limited features compared to smartphones or a simple to use call and text only phone.

The screen will typically be within the 1.5 to 2.5-inch sizing range which is really too small for browsing the internet, although the phone may be capable of doing this.

Nokia 515

If you fit into this bracket then good mobile phone examples available today include the Nokia 515, Samsung E2121B and the Alcatel 20.05

Large screen / budget and flagship smartphones

For most this size of phone offers the best balance of size and experience. A typical user will want to browse the internet in all its glory, play movies, stream TV and show off the superb clarity of pictures taken on the phones camera.

The best news is that there are both budget and high-end models to be found within this bracket and a good size screen is typically between 4.5-5-inches.

Samsung Galaxy S5

The best examples include the budget Nokia Lumia 520, the flagship Samsung Galaxy S5 and Apple iPhone 6 smartphone.

Mini screen / compact smartphones

The mini smartphone is one of the most popular choices for those who want a compact smartphone. You will often find that the latest flagship releases from each brand are swiftly followed by a mini version with a typical screen size of around 3.5-inches.

Things aren’t always equal though. You may find that the mini version has a slightly less powerful camera or a few less cutting edge features. So if you fall into this category be careful to compare the mini with the original device. To do this you can use this comparison tool to place phones and their features side-by-side.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini

Popular examples include the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini, HTC One mini, and the Samsung Galaxy SIII mini.

Huge screen / phablets

If you are looking for an exceptionally rich experience of gaming, the internet and streaming media such as TV shows then the phablet is probably the best sized device for you. A typical screen size would be around 6-inches so this product sits between smartphones and tablet PCs.

iPhone 6 Plus Phone

Good examples of phablet devices include the iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra.

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Written by: Michael Brown

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