We’ve seen a healthy number of useful charts recently comparing phones against each other to see which has the advantage. Whether it’s how much internal storage is actually usable on your device when it ships, or how good the battery is, they’re all useful in choosing what phone to go for based on your values.
In most comparisons, the iPhone comes out top. But in this latest one by @somospostpc, it doesn’t fare so well. Apple is well renowned for being a company that makes phones (and other devices) as thin and small as humanly possible. Whether that’s the Mac Mini, MacBook Air, iPad Air or iPod shuffle, that is true. In fact, going back to the original Macintosh, Steve Jobs focus on making it as small as it could possibly be without rendering it useless was a key part of its development.
So, when creating a smartphone, you’d assume the same focus would apply with the display. During iPad launch events, executives on stage talk about how the display just gets out of the way, and you’re immersed in the content. So it may come as a surprise that Apple’s use of the smartphones front space isn’t nearly as efficient as other companies.
The chart above shows how much of the phone’s front is taken up by actual display. And – as you can see – all of the iPhones are in the bottom 10, out of 28. It’s probably no surprise to see large-screened phones near the top. Both popular phablets (LG G2 and Note 3) are 1st and 2nd. But it’s the iPhone 5s’ direct competitors, the Galaxy S4, Moto X and Nexus 5 that impress with 72% of the front being screen. Compare that to the iPhone 5s’ 60.6%, and you start to see why they’re so impressive.
Of course, there’s the basic logical math here. If the screen is larger, it stands to reason that it’ll take up more of the front face than a smaller display would. After all, the frame doesn’t necessarily have to get that much bigger just because the screen is. But, there’s something very impressive about the efficient use of space with the likes of the Galaxy S4 and Nexus 5. The bezels are almost non-existent, and the phone size isn’t anywhere near as big as it could be, considering the vast size of the display.
Will this change with the next iPhone? I’d say almost certainly, yes. Looking at the iPhones in the chart, the percentage has gone up with every generation, so it’s only natural that the trend will continue. A big screen is great in a phone, but when it’s almost frameless, it’s that much more immersive and attractive. Perhaps something for Cupertino’s designers to work on for the next device.