The iPhone screen has remained at 3.5 inches since its debut back in 2007. Why hasn’t this increased when competitor screens have continued to grow larger and larger?
Dustin Curtis compares the advantages of his former 3.5 inch iPhone screen compared to the 4.27 inches on his new Samsung Galaxy S II:
Touching the upper right corner of the screen on the Galaxy S II using one hand, with its 4.27-inch screen, while you’re walking down the street looking at Google Maps, is extremely difficult and frustrating. I pulled out my iPhone 4 to do a quick test, and it turns out that when you hold the iPhone in your left hand and articulate your thumb, you can reach almost exactly to the other side of the screen. This means it’s easy to touch any area of the screen while holding the phone in one hand, with your thumb. It is almost impossible to do this on the Galaxy S II.
Any screen larger than 3.5 inches, and you run into the problems of whether your device is a smartphone, or a medium-sized tablet. The Dell Streak is the perfect example of a confused device. This isn’t a problem if you have massive hands, though.