Five-Inch Display, De Facto Standard for High-End Devices

Mobile phones have turned out to be big-screened data devices that happen to receive phone calls and consume data. Today users want to access their social life from mobile devices; they, however, leave the “how” to the creativity of the mobile device manufacturers.

So far device manufactures have been put to the task of innovating on the mobile phone display architectures and creating room to finance more glass in their budgets, swelling appetite for a great mobile experience.

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According to Jon Fingers post on Engadget, It used to be that any Smartphone screen beyond three inches was considered big — and it was, for an audience still weaning itself off of flip phones and PDAs. Fast-forward several years, however, and we’re to the point where many won’t even consider less than a 4-inch screen, and the once-unfathomable 5-inch display is quickly becoming the de facto standard for high-end models.

Bigger displays were more costly to produce in 2007/2009 than they are now; they also needed much power that mobile manufacturers couldn’t provide them. Compared to the time when most people were learning how to read emails on mobile devices, nowadays, huge displays allow for multi-tasking in split screens and replacing hardware buttons of most Smartphones. In 2007, Samsung sold 10 million 4-inch smart phones; recently the company launched a mega device in the Kenyan market. The 5.8-inch device combines the portability of a smartphone with the multitasking capabilities and extensive viewing experience of a tablet. Running on the Android operating system which supports both finger touch and multiple resolutions effectively opened the floodgates for companies wanting to one-up each other with bigger screens across more of their lineups.

“The quality and quantity of multi-media that can be accessed online has drastically improved over time and has contributed to the growing demand for Smartphones which provide a good viewing experience, yet are still small enough to allow the consumer to use with one hand and fit it into a pocket.” Says Robert Ngeru, Chief Operating Officer, Samsung Electronics East Africa. The demand for much power for Smartphone batteries has not hindered the rush of large screened devices, not even their LTE capabilities that drained batteries. Device manufacturers have so far improved battery sizes and made huge phones the new norm among the users.

The mobile device market hasn’t reached the peak where manufacturers take a break from the huge screens, we have seen various entries in this market, even bigger ones like Huawei’s 6.1 inch Ascend Mate. Device manufacturers should not only use the screen display percentage claimed on a device front face as a selling point but also make the phone work well.

Peter Nalika

Peter generates technical content for CIO East Africa and the International Data Group News Service, he also contributes to PC World and Computer World. Peter is classically trained in computing and information management, and he is currently pursing an MBA program in Management Information Systems at the University of Nairobi,