When you want to buy a phone, the size is an important factor. It should be something you can easily grasp in one hand and even operate basic tasks like taking a call. So naturally, you start comparing sizes. However, if you thought comparing screen sizes was all you needed to do, youíre mistaken.
The screen size isnít always indicative of the full size of the phone. Bezelsóthe four sides of the frame around the screenóare usually not accounted for and can make a big difference in the size of the phone you get, even if the screen size is the same.
For example, take the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the HTC One Mini. All three of them have 4.3-inch screens. But the difference in length?
The HTC One Mini, although the same screen size as the S4 Mini, is 7.5 mm more in overall length. In case you were wondering, the math stands at:
2.5mm = 0.1 inch
The HTC One Miniís length, of course, is bolstered by the front-facing stereo speakers it packs. But if you were to go by the ďMiniĒ aspect of it alone and think thatís the best screen you can get in that size of phone, youíre mistaken. Here are three more phones around the same length but with different screen sizes:
And if you think this phenomenon is symptomatic of smaller screens, youíre mistaken. Take a look at some of last yearís flagship models:
Why overall length matters
With the above chart, itís clear that if you were choosing between the HTC One and the LG G2, youíd get half an inch of extra screen space for an additional millimeter of overall length. Between the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, the latter has smaller bezels and yet makes better use of them by including physical and capacitive buttons on the bottom bezelóthe Z1 Compactís 4.3-inch screen loses further space because of the virtual on-screen buttons.
When youíre buying a phone, you want the largest possible touchscreen in it. So when you think a particular size is right for you, make sure you are looking at overall length and then judging the largest screen you can get in itódonít just go by screen size.