When screens are considered, two factors are taken into account when it comes to measurements: 1) the size, and 2) the resolution. The size is generally measured diagonally in inches, and the resolution is on the number of pixels displayed on the screen.
Screen resolution is frequently referred to as a modification of the classic VGA resolution, which is 640×480 pixels. Years before, the size of mobile screens used to be 128 x 128. Today, the biggest screen size for mobile phones is 800 x 480 (WVGA). The smaller screens have a portrait orientation, while the large screens have landscape orientation. Today, a lot of mobile phones can change orientation. Most of these mobile phones have a dominant overall screen size of 240 x 320 or QVGA.
Today, however, a lot of companies are beginning to refer to resolution as a fraction of 1920×1080 pixels, or full high definition.
Here’s an example of how companies today refer to resolution, from an article in cnet.com.au:
- QVGA: quarter VGA (240×320 pixels)
- HVGA: half VGA (320×480 pixels)
- WVGA: wide VGA (480×800 pixels)
- FWVGA: full wide VGA (480×854 pixels)
- nHD: one-ninth high definition (360×640 pixels)
- qHD: one-quarter high definition (540×960 pixels)
The most popular mobile screen dimensions
This shows the the most significant screen sizes, from the smallest to the largest. Over the years the relative screen size difference has increased. The difference between the smallest (128 x 128) and the largest (800 x 480) is now a factor of 23. That means the largest screen is 23 times bigger than the smallest one.
You can see that the smaller screens have a portrait orientation and the large screens have a landscape orientation. Between them are the phones that can change orientation, they can work in both landscape and portrait. 240 x 320 is the dominant screen size overall.
Pixel dimensions, aspect ratios and physical screen sizes
Most of the devices uses 3–3.5 inch screens, something that does not leave much space for a keyboard. The phones are either clamshell or pure touch. They are also fairly similar in physical size.
Phone screen sizes has had a tendency to come in pairs. Each manufacturer had their own variation on large-screen high-end models and small-screen low-end” models.
|Manufacturer||small screen||big screen|
|Sony Ericsson||128 x 160||176 x 220|
|Nokia||128 x 128||176 x 208|
|Samsung||128 x 160||176 x 220|
|Siemens||130 x 130||132 x 176|