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+ - Why Android smartphones are larger than the iPhone-> 6

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "DisplayBlog details the reasons why Android phones tend to have larger displays than the iPhone:

"When the 960×640 3.5-inch Retina Display was introduced with the iPhone 4, the rest of the smartphone industry had to do something about it. At the time most of the competition was at 800×480 on displays much larger. With the Retina Display Apple shifted the focus of attention on a smartphone display to resolution, specifically to a resolution threshold of about 300 ppi on a smartphone that’s used at a distance of about 12 inches.

Android OEMs and Google responded to the 3.5-inch 960×640 Retina display by improving the pixel format to 1280×720. But because Android renders text and graphics like desktop OSes (e.g. Windows, OS X) increasing resolution above 320 ppi means smaller UI elements. The display had to grow in size to compensate for shrinking UI elements. iOS renders the Retina display not by shrinking UI elements by one fourth but by doubling clarity and sharpness. Unless Google adds an additional “DPI level” beyond XHDPI, Android smartphones that match or beat the iPhone 4/4S in resolution will always be bigger, much bigger.""

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Why Android smartphones are larger than the iPhone

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  • What the linked article fails to mention is that there is really no benefit to resolutions higher than 300 ppi. Unless you hold your phone three inches from your eye, you really can't see the additional pixels or clarity.
    So, what Android manufacturers have actually done is to introduce new phones around that magic 300 ppi number while increasing the screen size in response to customer demands. People like to watch movies, play games, whatever, and wanted larger screens to do that on.
    It would be trivial fo
    • by bonch (38532) *

      I think you missed the point. The screen sizes are larger because Android renders smaller interface elements when ppi is increased. On iOS, elements stay the same physical size.

      • I don't think anyone missed the point at all. The original post attempts to argue the point that Android phones are larger because they had to be in order to compete with apple due to a limitation in the under-lying operation system regarding resolution. I will tell you that this argument is a crock of donkey doo. I own a phone with a 5 inch display. There is a STRONG market demand for larger phones. You can do more on them, and you can do those things more easily. Unlike Apple, Android is not shoving
  • I'm a tech geek, but am getting older. I -like- the larger phones, so this really doesn't bother me at all. In fact, my ideal phone would be a 5" phone (ie, slightly larger than my wife's 4.5" Skyrocket). I've even pondered a world where I carry around a 7" 'phone' (ie, a tablet with all of the phone functions, not just data) ... and I think I'd go for it. Easier on my eyes, easier on my hands.

    PS. Get off my lawn.

  • People like bigger screens. Apple wants high profit margins Android manufacturers prefer higher volume Smaller screens = less cost to manufacture = higher profit margins Bigger screens = selling factor = higher volume The OS is fine. It has scaling.
    • Slashdot failed to insert breaks for my line breaks. Better format:
      People like bigger screens.
      Apple wants high profit margins.
      Android manufacturers prefer higher volume
      Smaller screens = less cost to manufacture = higher profit margins
      Bigger screens = selling factor = higher volume
      The OS is fine and ICS even goes further to address ultra high resolutions and screens that aren't true pixel for pixel.

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