Apple’s 4-Inch iPhone 5 vs. Android 4-Inch Plus Devices

by Ben Bajarin   |   September 24th, 2012

Since June I have been using the Galaxy Nexus 4.65 inch screen smart phone. Upon switching to that device from the iPhone 4S, I was instantly taken by the screen size. It was clear that gaining just over an inch or so in display size yielded a compelling experience. In fact, the screen size was one of the primary reasons I was able to withstand not going back to the iPhone 4S despite the things that frustrated me about Android.

Bigger screen size is one of the features we hear constantly touted by Android handset makers as a core feature. By reading many of the comments from the Android enthusiast community it is clear that larger screens are something they clearly value. It is also clear that Android OEMs believe that having bigger screens is a clear differentiator over the iPhone. Coming off my experience with the larger screen size Galaxy Nexus I can understand why at the surface this seems to be true. This is why I was pleased that Apple made the iPhone 5 with a larger screen. One of the criticisms about the iPhone 5 I have heard was that the screen was still too small at 4-inches. It was clear from listening to the presentation at the iPhone launch event that Apple is convinced that from a design perspective 4-inches is the ideal screen size for clean one handed operation. So the question I want to tackle is whether there is clearly more value to be had in smart phones with screens larger than 4-inches. In essence, is bigger better?

The initial assumption is that the larger the screen the more information I can see at one time. If this was not true, then I would have to question value that would be derived from the larger screen smart phones outside of perhaps games and videos, especially given the design and hardware tradeoffs necessary to make a larger screen as well as the compromise in efficient one handed operation.

To test this I looked at key applications on both the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy Nexus to see if applications like email, text messages, viewing web pages, Twitter, Facebook, etc., were that much better on a 4.6″ screen. In all the scenarios I wanted to look at, I compared both devices with key applications and looked at how the information was displayed.

Email

For many email is still a critical application. Email support for Microsoft’s Exchange was one of my more frustrating experiences overall with Android. Email is critical to me in my workflow and I have always liked how Apple handled Exchange server and I prefer the UI of Mail as well to many other mobile email applications.

As you can see from the below screen shot both the 4″ screen on the iPhone 5 and the 4.6″ screen of the Galaxy Nexus displayed roughly the same amount of information.

On Android the app lets me see about 6.5 messages and the iPhone shows me 6 full messages, which is one full message more than the iPhone 4S. My conclusion is that the 4.6″ Galaxy Nexus provided no significant value with respect to email over Apple’s 4″ screen on the iPhone 5.

Text Messages

Not everyone may consider email as critical as an everyday application as myself or other professionals but text messaging is a different story. Text messaging may be one of the most important applications on any smart phone and I was curious to see if the larger screen provided any significant value when it came to text messaging.

As you can see from the text message thread below, the iPhone 5 actually shows more messages as a part of each thread than Android. A key thing to note is that on the iPhone 5 I have a thread that is often more than one line per message, where as on Android there are more one line messages. When I looked at text message threads on the iPhone 5 that were more one line messages, I could see almost double the amount of messages on the screen than on Android.

Conclusion: iPhone 5 with its 4″ screen does a better job displaying text messages than the 4.6″ Android Galaxy Nexus.

Facebook

Facebook is another key application that many consumers use regularly on their mobile devices. Both of the screen shots below were taken using the mobile application created by Facebook for each platform.

As you can see both devices show roughly the same information with the iPhone 5 showing just a bit more of the timeline but not enough to consider it useful. My conclusion was the Facebook experience was generally similar with no significant value being derived with Facebook on the larger 4.6″ Galaxy Nexus.

Twitter

Not everyone uses Twitter. I do regularly and it is an important application in my every day smart phone use. The comparison screen shots below are Twitter’s official application on both iOS and Android.

Here again we find very similar experiences between both devices with no real value being derived from the larger 4.6″ screen.

Web Browsing

Web browsing is another key application to a smart phone experience. Many sites are deploying mobile versions of their sites but to do this test I wanted to see if the larger 4.6″ screen on the Galaxy Nexus let me see more of a full web page than the iPhone 5′s 4″ screen.

So I went to the full version of the NY Times to see how the experience compared on both devices.

As you can see here again, both devices display about the same amount of information regardless of their screen size differences. Interestingly, however, even though the iPhone 5′s screen is smaller than the Galaxy Nexus, when viewing the full version of the NY Times on both sites, I still found the iPhone 5′s screen easier to read the text and key elements of the page. Thus, the full web experience was actually better on the iPhone 5′s 4″ screen than the Galaxy Nexus 4.6″ screen.

Key Conclusions

What I am pointing out in this analysis is in the same vein as the issue I brought up in my column last Friday, which was that customized apps, tuned to a screen size, are going to out-perform in terms of experience and value than apps that are simply scaled to match whatever screen size gets thrown on the market. Scaling an application just increases its size relatively but as I show above does not lead to more information and debatably a better experience.

The one area where this may make a difference is with games and videos where a slightly larger screen may be pleasant. But those use cases are just one part of the overall device usage.

We are already seeing the vast majority of iOS developers beginning to tune their apps just for the 4″ screen. This is not something we can say with Android development. It would be difficult to create custom applications for all of Android screen sizes in order to utilize the value of each screen size–if even possible at all. This is why Android is based on an app scaling philosophy.

I am watching closely how iOS developers take advantage of the larger screen to see if the custom apps built for 4″ screens actually provide more value in terms of experience and value than scaled apps on Android to fit every screen size.

Ultimately consumers will have to choose which tradeoffs they feel are most valuable as they evaluate what matters most to them in a smart phone experience. What performing this analysis proved to me was that I found no real significant value in terms of experience or information display with even the largest Android smart phones.

In conclusion, bigger does not necessarily mean better.

Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research. He is a husband, father, gadget enthusiast, trend spotter, early adopter and hobby farmer. Full Bio
  • gun2hd

    What a joke. What phone do you use? Email: which one could a person read with out glasses Android? or view attachments? Text message: with image and time stamps Android wins, Facebook: Really? Android is the clear winner!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BR73CHAQBRCOGE3YQHKYHN5XXE Alfa Spider

      I don’t see the harm in allowing people to rationalize their choices. I find the analysis rather strange as well. Larger fonts and bigger images on the right in a couple of situations. The difference between 4.6″ and 4″ is probably negligible (or can be offset by app efficiency) in most circumstances. For me, the difference is significant in web browsing, image review, watching video clips and clarity during navigation with maps. To each their own.

    • FalKirk

      It would be more helpful, gun2hd, if you provided more reasoned arguments and less insults and unsupported conclusions.

  • http://twitter.com/PoCk3T Lucas

    This article is cleary a joke. Just for text messages, there is the same amount of messages, but it’s clearly in advantage of Android where you can actually see the picture of who you are writing to ! I don’t even talk about other exemples..

    • Jurassic

      Pictures are nice, but unnecessary when using text messages.

      What you should be looking at is how much more text information, and the greater number of responses you can see on the iPhone 5 screen. To most people, this is more important.

      • macbarb

        I disagree. When someone sends me a text with a photo in it, I like to be able to see it.

    • benbajarin

      I don’t find that to be an advantage personally. As I pointed out from my perspective using both devices, I see no clear advantage to the larger screen.

      Also I think you largely missed my point. Which is that custom apps are the best way to take advantage of each screen size. If Android developers made unique apps for each screen size, it has the potential to be fantastic. I simply find app scaling to not necessary yield the same value as app targeting..

      I went into detail about the similar problems Win 8 will have with tablet fragmentation on touch based applications last Friday.

      http://techpinions.com/windows-8-tablet-fragmentation-and-the-app-dilemma/10466

    • AdamChew

      You mean seeing your own face in text message is a big deal.

    • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

      Oh, wow. A picture! Is it that hard to keep track of people’s names, those things at the top of the message pane?

      This is a classic example of Android thinking, where UI clutter is assumed to be a feature.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Yuriy-Samorodov/100000138723317 Yuriy Samorodov

        For texting. Do you see the full person’s name on the top of iOS app? And what’s for Android?

  • http://twitter.com/mjaniec Maciej Janiec

    GMail is a key component of Android. Hence you should use GMail client on Google Nexus instead of a general email app for comparison. It is MUCH better than the general email client…

    • steve_wildstrom

      Well that’s true, but it’s a big problem for those of us who don’t use Gmail. It happens that Techpinions.com mail is Google Apps Mail, byut my main personal mail account is IMAP and I also have an Exchange account.

      I have always found it very odd that Android has separate apps for gmail and other mail. I much prefer a unified mailbox, though I suppose I’d feel differently if I used Gmail exclusively.

    • benbajarin

      Exchange server, which our corporation uses for email, as does many other corporation on the planet, is not supported in the Gmail app but only in the “other” email application. Which is horrendous in my opinion.

      • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

        How perfect is it that 15 years after Jobs declared a truce with Microsoft that a key iOS feature is it’s integration with a Microsoft service?

  • Richard

    Yeah, this article is a bit ridiculous. You are simply confirming your bias. If you prefer the iPhone screen, good for you. But don’t try and prove to the world that it’s better.

    On iOS, you’re usually stuck with the default app and little to no customization. On Android, you can pick from many, many email, texting, web browser, etc. apps which offer full customization and theming. One example is Handcent SMS, which allows you to set the font, size, color, and theme of every element of the interface. So if you want tiny text, you can have tiny text. A larger screen allows for more options, more possibilities! You can have larger text that’s easier to see, or smaller text and fit much more on the screen. You can watch videos at a larger size. You can type easier on a bigger screen. That alone is value, so it is false to say there is no value gained from a larger screen.

    Yes, both phones have some pros and some cons, but to say the iPhone or its screen is categorically ‘better’ is an argument you can’t win.

    • FalKirk

      “… to say the iPhone or its screen is categorically ‘better’ is an argument you can’t win.” – Richard

      It’s also an argument that the author didn’t make.

      • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

        But since he DIDN’T “choose” the Android, he is OBVIOUSLY iBiased and cannot be trusted to be subjective.

        Nevermind that the iPhone 5 has more pixels-per-inch (326 vs 316), giving it a higher resolution, as logical arguments cannot be given ANY credence or validity.

        I don’t care what anybody says, a larger screen requires more battery, meaning battery life is shorter or the battery is physically larger, thus making the handset larger and heavier. THAT is a compromise I will NEVER make.

        Give me my thinner, lighter, faster iPhone. If I ever need to break a window, I’ll find the closest Android user and see of they’ll let me use their bric, errrr, phone.

        • Gary

          PPI is not a good way to judge the screen. The Iphone 5 screen is better than the Galaxy Nexus but lags behind the HTC One X and LG 4x HD.

          • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

            Says WHO?!

            Because I have a direct quote from an independent, non-biased display testing/comparison site that states that the iPhone 5 does in FACT have the BEST display they have ever tested.

            Can YOU present the same evidence to support YOUR statement? Or are you just blowing pixels out your SD slot?!

            *** Quote *** (DisplayMate.com)

            “Conclusions: An Impressive iPhone 5 Display…
            Smartphone displays are continuing their rapid evolution in performance. Apple has again taken the lead in methodical refinements and factory calibration that are necessary to produce accurate very high picture quality. Based on our extensive Lab measurements the iPhone 5 has a true state-of-the-art accurate display – it’s not perfect and there is plenty of room for improvements (and competitors) but it is the best Smartphone display we have seen to date based on extensive Lab measurements and viewing tests. In particular it is a significant improvement over the display in the iPhone 4 with much lower screen Reflections, much higher image contrast and screen readability in high ambient lighting (the highest we have ever measured), and a significantly improved and accurate Color Gamut and Factory Calibration that delivers very accurate colors and very good picture quality. While it’s not quite as accurate as the new iPad, it is still probably more accurate than any consumer display you own (including your HDTV), unless you have a new iPad.”

          • pwsfinest

            Just because you quote another site’s opinion about the quality of the display doesn’t make it a “FACT”.Words from your messiah…
            What Steve Jobs said at the time was this:”It turns out that there is a magic number right around 300 pixels per inch that, when you hold something around 10 or 12 inches away from your eyes, is the limit of the human retina['s ability] to differentiate the pixels.”
            Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/173702/why-retina-isnt-enough-feature/#2KJYBCYbcfkIcUkm.99

            Could he have been wrong?! No way! It must be FACT that it’s a mute point to argue the difference in any display greater than 300 ppi. So I’ll get off my soapbox if you’ll get off your horse.

          • unhinged

            Moot point.

            Sigh.

  • No Nonsense

    What a nonsense!
    Even though I’d pick the iPhone5 instead of the Nexus if I need a new phone because the Nexus is too big for my hand. But the conclusions are all nonsense.

    I doubt this guy has any common sense.
    It’s like saying a 21″ screen has not difference from a 19″ screen, just one or two more lines of text.

    • FalKirk

      “It’s like saying a 21″ screen has not difference from a 19″ screen…” – No Nonsense

      Resolution is often more important than screen size.

      Your argument is backwards. Arguing that size is always better without taking resolution into account is the truly nonsensical argument.

      • unhinged

        While not being nonsensical, the combination of resolution and screen size is still not a meritorious argument: the ultimate utility provided by the screen and the application and the computing power behind it is what is most important.

        It’s like comparing hammers: a bigger surface area on the head is nice – unless you’re trying to insert a nail into a narrow crevice. A heavy head is nice – unless you’re using a fragile pin that will bend on a poor strike. And the handle length is going to vary depending on the weight of the head to provide the best balance for the swing.

        If, for the job you need done, the device is not appreciably better or worse than another – there is no difference between them in practical terms. This is what Ben is trying to show in the article.

  • JJJ

    This is stupid considering you can change the resolution on android. I have mine set to a higher resolution so that I can see about 14 gmail inbox messages on one screen (Galaxy Nexus). Let’s see you try that with an iPhone… http://goo.gl/LBf5o

    • steve_wildstrom

      Changing the resolution by the method given in your link requires first rooting (the Android equivalent of jailbreaking) the phone, a step many users will not want to take for a variety of reasons.

      • roam

        No your wrong no rooting needed its in the options its called text size small, medium and large

        • steve_wildstrom

          I was just following the link given by the OP and the app he was describing clearly states that root access is required.Changing the text size is something very different from changing the resolution.

          • dave

            Actually, in android text app you can pinch to increase or decrease the font size without root or any system changes, on the fly. iOS and the iPhone 5 is a year behind the times. Map app sucks, smaller screen, lower rez, lower pixels per inch, no USB mass storage support, no way to add more storage, siri is a joke, only allowed to install apple approved apps, etc… people buy it because they just want anything that says apple is, most of them can’t even tell you what’s inside or what it does, or the fact that all the “new” features are what android have 1-2 years ago.

          • steve_wildstrom

            At least in Ice Cream Sandwich, you can pinch and stretch in an email message or web page but not in the email list, the message list, or your Twitter feed. In other words, exactly the same as on the iPhone.

          • dave

            I am doing it in email and text as we speak.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=775861653 Harald Rudell

    Hi,

    This is a great article!

    What you might consider is that the optimal text line length is 800 pixels, and Android is closer to that. Check out the line lengths of the iPhone email above, it would clearly be more easily readable if they were longer, maybe even up to twice as long.

    The other aspect is the width of the on-screen keyboard in landscape mode. We want 11″ here, so wider is clearly better. Check the speed of typing including error correction.

    Apple chose 4″. This is going to be a drawback for movies and typing. They probably make more money at this size, and can finally say they have the thinnest smartphone without opposition.

    The thumb commercial they put out is ridiculous: it’s stuck in the past, and indeed touts a shortcoming of their product.

    • benbajarin

      Check. Tested here – http://www.sense-lang.org/typing/tutor/test.php

      iPhone 44 wps
      Nexus 38 Wps.

      • Jekyll

        There’s no point in comparing typing speed. With the galaxy nexus you can choos between a large selection of beautiful keyboards with many kind of acceleration (slide, prediction, etc.), while on iPhone you are stuck on the apple keyboard.

        • steven75

          And the percentage of people that changes the keyboard on their phone has to be at least 1%!

    • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

      The thumb commercial they put out is ridiculous: it’s stuck in the past

      Did thumbs become longer in the last 5 years? Are thumbs no longer necessary to operation?

      Another Android talking point: bigger is better no matter how uncomfortable the device may be to operate.

  • steve_wildstrom

    I think there is an important point Ben made here that is being missed by the commenters. Because the operating system is tuned for a specific display size, iPhone apps can be extremely efficient in their utilization of the display in a way that Android apps, which must support a wide variety of sizes, cannot. This isn;t a value judgment; it’s a statement of fact. You can argue that the choice provided by varied screen sizes makes it worthwhile, but you have to admit that the tradeoff exists.

    This is true of a great many things about the iPhone. Apple has a built-in advantage getting maximum performance (in all senses of the word) from minimum resources because the design is a) integrated and b) standardized.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=775861653 Harald Rudell

      Excuse me, that is not a statement of fact, it’s a value judgment.

      Browsers have coped with resizing since 1995.

      Trying to argue that a smaller screen is somehow better is going to be difficult. Apple chose a small screen for the iPhone 5. The iPhone might be superior in some other aspects, but it does have a smaller screen with a lower resolution compared to Samsung. For most use cases, this is going to be less useful.

      • unhinged

        Browsers have coped so well with this that there is still vigorous argument about the optimal way to design web pages for multiple screen sizes.

        I agree that what Android does works, but is it better than the iPhone? This limited set of tests suggests that it is not better than the iPhone even with a slightly bigger screen, for several heavily-used applications.

  • Balaji

    If bigger is not necessarily better, then why does Apple have to increase the screen size in its latest iPhone. I have been reading your posts for quite sometime, and I feel you are a strong apple supporter and always say whatever Apple is doing is right. Why not write some posts criticizing Apple?

    • Jurassic

      The cleverness of the iPhone 5 is that it has a larger screen than the iPhone 4S, but at the same time it is a much smaller phone.

      The iPhone 5 is 20% thinner, 20% lighter, and is smaller in volume than the iPhone 4S.

      This gives users the best of both worlds. ;-)

      • macbarb

        Not really. If you want to view photos sent in e-mail or texts, bigger is better. It’s also better for viewing videos. And even though there may not be much more on the page with the Galexy, the print is larger. Apps like facebook, which won’t go to landscape mode or allow larger text, are easier to view on the Galexy.

    • Windroipple

      Bigger phones for bigger hands and smaller phones for smaller hands…….
      As simple as that

  • Rob Stewart

    The issue with this article is that your initial premise is not necessarily correct. I don’t have a phone with a bigger screen to be able to view more information. I have a bigger screen so that what is on my screen is substantially easier on the eye. This is shown to be effective in all of your examples, where the larger screen is a much more pleasant viewing experience. By starting with such a generalized assumption you’re largely invalidated your conclusions.

    • FalKirk

      “I have a bigger screen so that what is on my screen is substantially easier on the eye.” – Rob Stewart

      I believe that most objective observers would agree that increased resolution, not increased size, is what is truly “easier on the eye”.

      • Gary

        Then you would want the LG HD, it has a higher resolution than the Iphone but uses the same IPS technology. I have one and my brother has the Iphone 5, the LG screen displays more info on the screen and has a crisper display.

  • bregalad

    I think the article does a good job of looking at the issue from the perspective of getting information onto the screen. Even then there are a few examples where his “essentially the same” isn’t quite as close as he says.
    My problem is that putting x amount of information on the screen isn’t my priority. To me physically larger text isn’t just nice to have, it’s an absolute necessity. I’m not going to pull out reading glasses every time I want to glance at my phone. Having said that there are many times when I’ve looked at text on an Android device and found it very hard to read despite being physically bigger than text on an iPhone. It seems that all smartphones are for the young and nearsighted.

  • http://twitter.com/djbriandamage djbriandamage

    I’m impressed the iPhone 5 makes such efficient use of its limited screen size, but if I were writing this review these aren’t the (only) tests I’d have put forth. I’d also have tested stuff like this:

    - home screens (some Android launchers allow as many as 7×7 icons per page)
    - a couple more website tests (iPhone has much superior colour but the Galaxy Nexus shows more content)
    - photographs (a larger and higher resolution screen is clearly superior but iPhone’s colours are way more vibrant and closer to Pantone than the Galaxy Nexus)
    - ebooks (Galaxy Nexus’ higher resolution and wider aspect ratio fit more words with sharper fonts due to the tight pixel clustering)
    - touch precision (iPhone has superior hardware andor touch detection but small button appear larger and are easier to press on a bigger screen)

    • dave

      Galaxy nexus is over a year old. I would hope apple could finally build something with a slightly better screen. Only took them a year…

      • steve_wildstrom

        Actually, the Galaxy Nexus is about 10 months old. It first shipped Nov. 17, 2011.

      • pwsfinest

        That’s what makes this article so funny… he’s comparing THE iPHONE 5!!!! to a 10 month old Android device… and it clearly still fails. Put whatever spin you want on it, but this new tall, skinny, tiny screen is WAY behind the competition. Same amount of content on a larger screen = more readability. If the eagle-eyed author could reduce the font size further, he could see his entire inbox, but that’s not what the majority of users want. He also fails to point out that the Galaxy Nexus actually gives you the first line or so of the email instead of the useless web address information… way to completely gloss over that. The iPhone is for the hipsters and technologically challenged. If you fall into that class and you love the iPhone, then great! However, pretending that this is an unbiased review is offensive.

        • benbajarin

          Read and be informed. Not sure how you can read these qualitative analysis and say this screen is WAY behind the competition.

          http://www.displaymate.com/Smartphone_ShootOut_2.htm#Table

          http://www.anandtech.com/show/6334/iphone-5-screen-performance

          • pwsfinest

            Sorry, I should have been more specific… way behind in size and technology. It’s the same screen they have had for years, just slightly bigger, while everyone else is actually innovating and offering choices with things like Super AMOLED+ and other advanced technology.

          • benbajarin

            based on those I have talked with who do this for a living like my friend Anand, and guys at DisplayMate and Display search, none would agree with what you just said, that what Apple is doing with the screen is not innovating.

            Second, I have been in Samsung’s labs and the labs of oter display makers and there is some very cool stuff around the corner. All things Apple can do as well, specifically around pure OLED. No reason to count them out and say they aren’t pushing the boundaries there. That’s a fully subjective statement not objective.

        • Dave

          The Apple screen looks good. No doubt about it. But it is still smaller, and still lower resolution and even less DPI than many of the screens that have been out for almost a year now. It doesn’t mean that the iPhone screen sucks… it is more of a criticism of, “The richest most ‘innovative’ company in the world had 18 months to deliver the goods, and THIS is all they came up with???”

          It still lacks key features. has Wifi issues, the map app sucks, etc…

          Despite the loyal legions of Apple fanatics who care more about brand names than features buying them in droves, it is still behind the times and an inferior product to most of the Android flagship phones.

  • dave

    This is clearly a joke. By your logic a 19″ LCD is better than a 30″ LCD because they both show the same data. The point is that the larger screen gives a better display, and the android screens from last year are still higher resolution and higher DPI than the iPhone 5

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Allen/100000608593534 Joe Allen

      I had the Galaxy S3 for a few days, now have the iphone 5, the iphone’s display is way better and the colors are realistic and not oversaturated (especially greens) like the Samsung.

      • dave

        Which is why I went with the HTC one X series. Faster, better screen, better materials, etc… the iPhone 5 has a lesser screen than my HTC rezoumd had a year ago…

    • steve_wildstrom

      The relationship between pixel density, screen size, display technology and overall quality is complex and judgments are necessarily subjective. For example, I personally don’t care for the OLED displays used on many Android phones; I find the colors oversaturated and garish. But I also admit that is a personal preference.

      What is not open to debate is the question of resolution. The Galaxy Nexus display has more pixels, but the iPhone offers slightly higher resolution because the pixels are packed a bit more densely. The iPhone is 326 pixels per inch, the Galaxy Nexus is 320, and the S3 is 306. But both the Nexus and the S3 are PenTile displays, which effectively exaggerate the pixel count relative to a three-subpixel display like the iPhones’.

      We talk loosely about x-by-y resolution, but we should remember that is the pixel count. By this same standard, the Retina iPad offers a lot more pixels at lower resolution than the Retina iPhone. (The standard optical test of resolution is how fine a set of closely spaced lines can be displayed properly.)

      • dave

        The HTC rezound was 1280×720 with 342ppi. Last year. Personal preference is what it is, but apple is behind the times in almost every way but marketing. People don’t buy apple for the specs or features. They buy it because they want an iPhone. I bought three of the stupid things, but I learned that just buying a phone for the name is missing the boat.

        • benbajarin

          I think people buy iPhone for more reasons than people give them credit for. Consider it loyalty, superior design, Apple’s ecosystem, etc etc. Consumers are not stupid despite what people think. Our consumer research continually demonstrates that consumers are savvy buyers and getting more savvy every year. They are making decisions with very specific intent and reasoning and have researched other options and made the choice they feel is best for them.

          I see no value in criticizing people for their choices in a smart phone or any technology product for that matter.

          • dave

            I can show you a dozen YouTube videos of the people on lines for the iPhone and it is clear that they are idiots just buying into hype and image, not substance.

          • benbajarin

            I disagree on so many levels. When people camp out to buy tickets for sporting games, or concerts, are they also idiots?

            Let me ask another question I simply find psychologically interesting. Why do you feel the need to criticize and judge other people because they made a different decision of a smart phone than you?

          • AdamChew

            Kind of funny you have to resort to name calling when you have lost an a debate.

          • dave

            i haven’t lost anything and I didn’t call names. the iPhone is in most ways an inferior device. the average iPhone buyer is more concerned with image and brand loyalty than features, and they are on average less educated on the tech itself.

          • benbajarin

            Simply wrong. Can you back that up with research or is that just a generalized statement? What you are pointing out is entirely subjective. The best phone for me may not be the best for you and specs have absolutely nothing to do with it.

            You are discounting quite a bit about the Apple ecosystem, simplicity, convenience, design, etc., which are all features.

            I’ll as you this again. What is the point of criticizing others consuming choices with technology? Is that fact that people are buying iPhones severely impacting your quality of life?

          • unhinged

            Here’s a thought experiment: imagine we’re talking about writing pens. I’m sure there are ballpoint vs felt-tip nerds out there who have endlessly fascinating debates discussing the merits and drawbacks of each, but the rest of us find it irrelevant – we care about the results of using the tool. We don’t need to educate ourselves on the finer points, we just choose a pen we’re satisfied with and use that.

            Now switch the thought experiment back to mobile phones: the vast majority of people will choose something they’re satisfied with and use that.

            The difference? A mobile phone is a ~$2000 purchase (with post-paid monthly contract). If I was paying that much money for a pen, you better believe I’d do some research. But I still don’t care about the nitty gritty details of ink technology or barrel length or nib forging – I want something that does the job, that feels good in the hand, that makes me happy when I look at it. And if other people feel a bit envious when they see my pen, well, sometimes I’ll feel good about that and sometimes I won’t care. If other people think I’m a show-off for having that pen, sometimes it’ll annoy me and other times I won’t care.

            So how will I determine which pen to buy if I can’t try one out before I buy it? I’ll ask my friends which one to get. This happens with all sorts of devices – PCs, cars, phones, fridges, washing machines, … Popular things sell well. Devices that work well for people become popular. Popular is subjective.

            Tech specs seem to be objective, and they bump your geek cred. But there’s a lot of things in life where the whole does not equal the sum of the parts, and again subjectivity raises its head (is it worth it to _you_ that the faster processor in your phone has a high power draw and the battery drains 10% earlier than a different phone?). I’m glad you’re using a phone that you feel is superior. I’m glad I’m using my 2yo iPhone 4. I’m glad you’re spending your time configuring an optimal solution for your needs. I’m glad I paid some company to figure that out for me so I can spend my time doing something else.

            You want to spout your opinion that you and your buddies laugh at people who think iPhones are the best device for an individual? Knock yourself out. On the internet, nobody can hear other people shrug and ignore it.

          • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

            And 11 of those videos are from Samsung.

            Face it. You don’t like Apple, so you invent reasons for people buying Apple that assume the buyers are stupid. That way you don’t have to think too hard about the actual reasons people buy Apple.

            It’s not the 90s anymore. Apple is a global juggernaut. And still the detractors use the same tired, boring and pathetic fallacies to denigrate Apple’s customers.

            Give it a rest, already.

          • Dave

            I don’t like Apple for several reasons. They are more cut-throat and ruthless than Microsoft ever could be. They steal other people’s ideas and then explouit a broken patent system to pass them off as their own and then tie up the court systems, at tax-payer’s expense to try and beat companies like Samsung in court where they failed in the marketplace.

            They charge top dollar for last year’s technology, they intentionally hold back innovation and choices for their customers, and by the above litigation ALL consumers, etc…

            I used to buy iPhones, several of them in fact. But I got tired of a company telling what I could and could not do with an item that *I PAID FOR*. I was disgusted when they tried to prosecute someone for “illegally jail-breaking” his own iPhone.

            To the majority of iPhone customers, the iPhone is little different than a Beanie Baby. It’s the “Cool thing to have”…

            If it suits your needs, go for it, it is a fine device afterall, nobody has said that it wasn’t. We just laugh at people who stand in line for a week to get a phone with features that they could have bought 18 months ago.

            We laugh at people who still refer to Apple as “innovative” in the phone market, when the reality is that they haven’t innovated a damned thing since 2007. In fact, Apple tries to slow innovation year after year.

            It’s that arrogance coupled with the ignorance that platforms like Android have moved way past Apple, that “head in the sand but I will still be smug” attitude that rubs people the wrong way.

            Most iPhone users are not educated enough to know what they don’t know, and when they look down their nose at people that DO know, and DID have these features over a year ago, it gets tiring…

            I have owned and used both platforms personally, extensively.

            Have you?

          • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

            I don’t like Apple for several reasons.

            I’m going to bet right now most of them are really your problem.

            They are more cut-throat and ruthless than Microsoft ever could be.

            Never mind that that claim is entirely subjective, welcome to the world of global corporatism. Corporations act in their best interests and the interests of their shareholders and customers. Apple is no more or no less “cut throat” than Microsoft. And given that Apple and Microsoft have openly coordinated on a number of fronts, the epistemological nature of your claim indicates a lack of awareness as to the true nature of competition.

            They steal other people’s ideas

            A claim for the most part fabricated from whole cloth, usually based on the idiotic myth that Apple “stole” the GUI from Xerox. A claim almost always made from the position of complete ignorance of the fact that Apple is the most copied tech company on the planet. Nothing Apple has ripped off, providing the particular example is even true, can measure up to the level of outright photocopying of Apple’s designs and UI that has been going on since 1984. Turnabout is fair play. Going to use the notifications UI element that Apple supposedly got from Android. Try this on for size: Android wouldn’t even look or work the way it does if not for Apple!

            tie up the court systems,

            Oh. You are one of those people that thinks that Apple is the only one that ever brought a blizzard of lawsuits against competitors, another claim based on a facile grasp of history. Here’s a ticket to the clue train; look up how many companies Microsoft sued over the use of “Micro”, “soft” and “Windows”. Or even look up a little company called “Oracle”. Or the number of class action suits against Apple for some crap reason or another.

            Pretending Apple is abusing a patent system specifically used to protect a companies intellectual property from poaching by other companies is to be not only ignorant of the number of lawsuits not involving Apple going on at anytime, but is also a cavalcade of ignorance regarding the patent system itself.

            try and beat companies like Samsung in court where they failed in the marketplace.

            Apple made 8.8 billion last quarter. The iPhone is the most popular phone in the world with the highest customer satisfaction ratings bar none. Samsung, using designs ripped directly from Apple, made 4.5 billion in the same quarter and never tells anyone how many phones it really sold.

            Yeah, Apple is suffering so terribly in the marketplace. So terribly they sold 5 million phones in a weekend. So terribly they are one of the largest and most profitable companies on the planet.

            They charge top dollar for last year’s technology, they intentionally hold back innovation and choices for their customers, and by the above litigation ALL consumers, etc…

            Yet your darling Samsung isn’t copying Microsoft or RIM, are they? They are copying Apple.

            And enough with the nonsense about “innovation”. You people wouldn’t know innovation if it bit off a chunk of your skull. 5 Years after Apple upended the entire mobile market you are trumpeting the merits of an OS that only looks and acts the way it does because it was stolen directly from Apple! Even Microsoft, who modelled their entire Windows OS after Apple, had the good sense to design a new mobile interface that works radically different from Apple. But we are supposed to pretend that we should thank the copycat Android for stealing the Apple UI? Please.

            But I got tired of a company telling what I could and could not do with an item that *I PAID FOR*. </b

            Oh be quiet, you whiny ponce. Jailbreak your phone if it was that much of an issue. Otherwise, give it a rest. If you think animated wallpapers and giggling icons are more important that Exchange integration, you can have your precious also ran OS. Provided you can find someone to sell you this years version of it, and not a two year old leftover.

            We laugh at people who still refer to Apple as “innovative” in the phone market

            No, we laugh at ahistorical fools who think that the copycat OS became the original by simply forgetting whose UI it really was.

            the reality is that they haven’t innovated a damned thing since 2007.

            And again, you wouldn’t know innovation if it stove in your chest with an axe. You can pretend that adding geegaws and dead ports and useless UI baubles is “innovation”, but the industry is following Apple’s lead for a reason. Or did you not notice when Apple made the iPad and suddenly people cared about tablets for real? But you are almost certainly one of those types that think that because the iPhone 5 has the same visual design cues as the previous generation, that makes it the same phone. The same bozos that think “innovation” is making a phone with a screen so large you risk knocking yourself unconscious when you bring to your ear.

            platforms like Android have moved way past Apple

            Yet you can’t give me a single example of Android “moving past” Apple, you just continue to blither about Apple! The majority of Android users will never get meaningful updates, and some of those phones are only 6 months old. So hey, before you try to convince me that Android has moved past anyone, how about you wait until more than 5% of Android users are on a current OS?

            Most iPhone users are not educated enough to know what they don’t know,

            And there it is. You have no actual real world data that suggests Apple has fallen behind anyone and then to prove how smug Apple users are, you make comments about how ignorant Apple users are. Do you even know what “smug” actual means? Because calling 450 million customers “ignorant” regarding their choice while also calling the them “smug”…

            Well, jackhole, that’s smug.

          • Windroipple

            “They are more cut-throat and ruthless than Microsoft ever could be.”

            >>Did Apple force you to get their products ? or what ?

            Did MS forced u buy windows and install it ? Who asked u to ? I hope you are using Linux and enjoying it

            You made the choice to get those , but they didn’t suit you , And what are are you doing ? instead of accepting ur mistake , You throw blame on x or y.

            “They charge top dollar for last year’s technology, they intentionally hold back innovation and choices for their customers,”
            >>When u wireless charge your phone while making a phone call holding to ur ear or when u see NFC everywhere ,

            Come back and speak.

            ” when the reality is that they haven’t innovated a damned thing since 2007″
            >>Someone doesn’t know what innovation means.

            “Most iPhone users are not educated enough to know what they don’t know ……….”
            >>That shows lot of arrogance and no understanding of society.

            So , A doctor with Ph.D uses iPhone or Android but he doesn’t know about OS or platforms or mobile phone related technology (apart from MRI’s or equipment used in hospitals)

            So , Doctors are idiots ? Obama uses iPhone , he is also an idiot ? (I am sure he is more successful than you ever been and also well educated who still doesn’t having much knowledge on “techy stuff” like you)

            There are BILLIONS of people who work on non-techy sectors and still have so much higher degrees , knowledge and IQ.

          • steven75

            It sounds like you are the sort of person that values feature checklists over anything else. Glad that you found something you liked, but it is your misunderstanding about Apple, not others stupidity that is to blame here.

          • Gary

            Right except if you look at phone battles online by tech sites, the high end androids continually beat the Iphone. My brother is an Apple die hard, he won’t even look at other phones. My LG 4x HD beats the Iphone in every way possible, the screen is better (he admits it) and it is much faster and has way more features. Polling also shows the more you care about tech, the more likely you are to buy Android. But the Iphone has the apple logo. I don’t think most Iphone users have done much research.

          • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

            Then he doesn’t have an iPhone 5, which has been tested by INDEPENDENT testing entities to be both the FASTEST phone available as well as having the best display available.

            I will gladly post links to both sites (www.anandtech.com and http://www.displaymate.com) and ask you to present VERIFIABLE, quantitative proof of YOUR argument.

          • benbajarin

            They do in fact, they simply don’t just go off specs. I’ll say this again but it is a very simple concept. What is the best phone is entirely a subjective statement. What is the best for me may not be the best for you. Specs are simply irrelevant. It is the experience that matters.

          • steven75

            For someone that says “I don’t think most Iphone users have done much research” you should really go read some mainstream reviews of the iPhone.

            Doesn’t mean it’s the right phone for you, but to say silly things like”My LG 4x HD beats the Iphone in every way possible” makes you look silly.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Geoffrey-Longo/1554642747 Geoffrey Longo

            I know many iPhone users, and most of them do not even know that there are other phones that provide the same functionality. I don’t know how many times I tried to discuss other phones and have heard comments like “well, I want to be able to access the internet and maybe listen to music, so I need an iPhone”. As if it is the only phone that can do that. Needless to say, they have no idea what the screen size is or the resolution. They just know that the iPhone is popular, so they follow along.

        • steven75

          Did you know that Samsung spends far more in marketing than Apple? True story.

          • dave

            And Samsung sells a lot more phones than Apple.

            And their commercials are actually funny. :-)

            What is really cool, is that Ubuntu is writing a Phone version that will still function as a desktop OS. In fact, you can drop your phone in a cradle that has an HDMI monitor, keyboard and mouse, and use it as a full fledged PC. quad-core processors, 2GB of RAM, dedicated multi-core graphics chips… today’s high end Android phones have specs on par with many basic laptops. Having an actual PC in your pocket, that also works as a phone and PDA, is a great idea.

            Gonna be very cool. Don’t worry, the iPhone 6 will give Siri a british accent, so that’s pretty cool I guess as well. She will sound cooler as she repeatedly gives you the wrong answers to your question and plots a course to Guam rather than the nearest drug store or whatever…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Allen/100000608593534 Joe Allen

      oh and the iphone 5 is 326dpi while s3 is 306

      • pwsfinest

        What Steve Jobs said was this:
        “It turns out that there is a magic number right around 300 pixels per inch that, when you hold something around 10 or 12 inches away from your eyes, is the limit of the human retina['s ability] to differentiate the pixels.”
        Your Sheppard can’t be wrong, can he? So 20 dpi doesn’t matter over 300…

    • benbajarin

      Nope. You missed my point entirely, which was to show that the best way to take advantage of screen sizes is to make custom apps which uniquely take advantage of the real estate. I am not saying smaller is better, only that in the cases I evaluated, bigger was not necessarily better nor did it render any significant value.

      Their are tradeoffs to deviecs with larger screens. They are bigger, bulkier, require bigger batteries, have battery life issues. My point was to look at whether or not the tradeoffs were worth the larger screen. What I pointed out was that from my perspective they are not since I get roughly the same experience with Apple’s 4″ as I did on the 4.6″ Nexus.

      There is a clear value point from the 4.6 over the 3.5 as I stated. But not necessarily being gained by .5 of an inch. Plus we are already seeing that Apple’s developers taking advantage of the 4″ screen with new applications to use the real estate better, are already providing new experiences that are not deployed in Android’s scaling philosophy.

      • pwsfinest

        He didn’t miss your point. Either you failed to make it or he’s right on track. YOU failed to talk about (or quickly glossed over) all the great things about a bigger display that everyone is pointing out here. I’d rather play a game or watch a movie on a larger display. You can display the same amount of information using a larger, easier to read font with a larger display. You can resize widgets (if you had them) to make use of that real estate. Etc, etc, etc… PLENTY of developers are making apps that take full advantage of a larger display. You seem to be stuck on MORE information displayed is better and not at all focused on HOW the information is displayed, WHAT information is displayed, and the OVERALL experience with that information. Maybe I missed it, but you didn’t talk about why the iPhone is displaying html crap instead of the first line or two of the emails. Where’s the focus on USEFUL information displayed? Where in this article are the examples of “providing new experiences that are not deployed in Android’s scaling philosophy”?

        If your point here wasn’t to throw Apple a bone and this was an article on screen size, then why didn’t you compare the new screen of the iPhone to the old screen of the iPhone? Or two Android phones?

        • benbajarin

          My focus was on is bigger better. When using the devices side by side in comparable use cases the answer is no. I found the text to be roughly the same size in most cases. Look at my screen shots and tell me the text is more readable on the Jelly Bean device. They look roughly the same despite the .5 inch difference. The same is true when you look at them in real life.

          Second, I agree its about how the useful information is displayed. Hence the new apps being developed for the iPhone 5 are significantly better than their Android counterparts that are not. Take CNN for example, MLB, Yelp, etc, all better when built specifically for 4″ rather than scaling.

          Also you clearly have not used iOS Mail before as is shown in my screen shot it actually does show the first few lines of email where the Android email does not. Note here that I am not using the GMAIL app because it does not support MSFT exchange which is my work standard and therefore I had to use the “other” email app on Android.

          Lastly, my point, which many who are simply glossing over my article and making un-informed comments, is that it would be better for Android developers to build specific app experiences for specific screen sizes. IF they did this, I can imagine, that apps on 4.6+ and larger would be extremely good and extremely useful. Only the way Android is built, and fragmented, and the many variables in SOCs and other hardware make this very difficult. This is where the iOS developer and the Android developer are operating with different tools and different philosophies.

          I used these devices side by side and analyzed that in many of the same use cases and I found no benefit to 4.6+ in the way useful information is displayed.

          If you think this is incorrect then I suggest doing a similar analysis using both devices and fully analyzing how developers are taking advantage of the screen real estate in both platforms as well as the dramatic result that resolution plays in this reality.

          Given that nearly every person who is giving me grief in this thread is an Android fanatic, It would seem reasonable that they have not tried the experiment I did, nor have they probably even seen or touched or used an iPhone 5. Therefore we have people speaking from a standpoint of no experience, where as I took the time to do the analysis fully looking at both platforms to address the question of whether bigger is better.

          So I welcome someone to actually try what I did and make fundamental points to the contrary.

          • pwsfinest

            I’m using the examples you used in your article. YOUR email picture… html crap in every “disqus” email, not in android app. If you’re point is app design for screen size, then use comparable apps. Handscent with “iPhone” style would have been a better comparison for texting. Maybe include the Gmail app, even if you don’t personally use it. The Facebook app has additional interface buttons showing, hence the loss of timeline display. I agree that that “customized apps, tuned to a screen size, are going to out-perform in terms of experience and value,” just as a Porsche will outperform a Kia on the same stretch of roadway. However, this isn’t title of your article or it’s primary focus. You aren’t comparing the quality of apps that are available that may be optimized for different screen sizes. Are you saying that NO android developer is optimizing their app for a 4.65 to 4.8 inch display? If you aren’t saying this, then you should have compared two similar android apps, one optimized and one that “gets thrown on the market” for a smaller screen.

            Apple was cool in 2008, but as soon as Android came out, I was sold. I can at least admit that I can’t stand Apple, it’s policies, it’s anti-competitive practices, it’s arrogance, or it’s ignorant followers that just need the newest status symbol instead of the best equipment for the money. Dollar for dollar, newer Android phones are a far better value with better technology. That’s why you’re not getting any flack from Apple lovers; you’re justifying “upgrading” to the 2010 technology that is iPhone 5.

          • benbajarin

            That’s not actually HTML crap, that is what Disqus has as the sender. Look at the emails below that is how everything but Disqus looks.

            Dollar for Dollar – feature for feature my Kia Optima stacks up with a high end Mercedes or BMW. Will you also criticize the BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche owner for personal preference and personal choices?

            I find these debates with Android fanatics to be exhausting and useless. Think about it, someone choose a different product than you. So what? Is your life worse because I choose an iPhone? I have no idea why people need to criticize others for their purchasing decisions. It is childish at best.

            Because, I am an industry and consumer market analyst, I get every smart phone and tablet that comes on the market. I like many of them and I dislike many of them all for different reasons. Yet for my own personal preference and taste I use the iPhone as I find it to be the most efficient in my work and personal flow of any device I have used. Now not everyone has the perks I do getting to try every device, but the bottom line, I choose the iPhone.. So What? Who cares? It is not a big deal, surely there are better more worth while things to get ones panties in a bunch over?

          • pwsfinest

            Again… your pictures. One shows html, one doesn’t. Now it’s Disqus’s fault that your argument is poor? I’m not criticizing your choice. I’m criticizing your attempt to justify your choice to others. It’s obvious that you like Apple better, yet you attempt to act like you’re unbiased in your articles and your comments. If you can afford to waste your money on a status symbol that is not a good value, then more power to you… whether that be an Apple product or a Porche. My only point was that a Porche is “optimized” for performance but a Kia does just as well for getting from point A to point B and suits more people, just as it’s obvious that an app that is optimized will outperform one that is not. This, as you claim, is the point of your article and no one would argue. You are, however, CLEARLY trying to justify YOUR decision to stick with a little screen and trying to pass it off as actual, in depth analysis of optimized apps.

            The only credit I can give you is that you are not censoring my criticism of your article and for that, I commend you, since it would be easy to just delete my posts. You may have the last word.

          • benbajarin

            Let’s again try to have a more intelligent conversation about this. My goal is to add perspective, not judge, I am not trying to justify others purchases that is their decision. Why one should care so much about what others choose, I have no idea..

            The email point, is moot, yes its odd how disqus handles it and I don’t like it on either platform. Have you read all my columns about Google, MSFT, Amazon, or other platform providers or are you making a snap judgement and assumption by saying I am unbiased in all my articles and comments?

            Do you know what an industry analyst is and what I do for a living, which is the basis for my credibility in this industry?

            AND thank you for the credit, we only sensor people who use foul language, make ad hominem attacks, and the like. If you can have an intelligent conversation we like you around, and we appreciate at the highest level the ability to respectfully disagree.

          • terry

            Hi Ben, I just read this post today. Maybe to prove your point you can show three different screenshots, 3.5 inch, 4 inch and 4.7 inch and show how many data is missed.

        • macbarb

          Exactly! It’s more about what we see after we tap on the app, than how many apps fit on the screen.

    • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

      I hadn’t seen any 19″ cell phones. Can you point us to one?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=775861653 Harald Rudell

    There is another factual error in this article, and that is that Samsung’s latest Android phone is 4.8″, so the 4.65″ tested here is neither the largest nor the latest.

    • steve_wildstrom

      Ben made it clear that he wrote about the Galaxy Nexus because that is the phone he had been using since June. I suppose he could have used a Galaxy Note with a 5″ screen, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

    • benbajarin

      I never stated anywhere that I was using the largest of Android screens. When in fact I do own a Galaxy Note. I choose not to use that device for a reason in that many Android devices are 4.6″ and it may be a trending sweet spot for Android OEMs.

  • http://twitter.com/redwanhuq Redwan Huq

    I don’t like how all the text in each example is claustrophobic on the iPhone. Bigger = easier on the eyes.

    • benbajarin

      I fully buy this point. I can see how that works for many people. I am fortunate in that I have very good eyes. I found no significant value in the app scaling to render text larger. Both platforms let you increase text size for every application. In my using in the default settings, I could read text the same on both devices.

      • PhilNelwyn

        I love how you always talk about the amount of information displayed vertically but not horizontally…

        Look at the status bar on both phones: the iPhone has no place to display notification icons legibly; the Galaxy Nexus displays three of them and still have room for a lot more.About emails, I would be pissed if I couldn’t read an entire subject without opening the message, like on the iPhone.

        You also forgot widgets. Android devices display a large number of informations on the homescreen, that’s a good reason for wanting a bigger screen.

        You put games and videos aside when it’s actually the main motivation for people to choose a larger display.

        And you say “the largest Android smart phones?”
        Well, I’d like so much to see the same analysis comparing the iPhone with the Galaxy Note…

        You only talk about things that fit your reasoning, this article means nothing.

  • Gary

    The biggest problem is that this site is run by old men who are out of touch. They are extremely uneducated about the things they talk about, they agree with frat boys over other tech sites. I went through a list of end of year phone top 10′s and a High end Android phone was #1 on virtually every tech site’s list. But Iphone is the best, right? Just go to your retirement homes and do whatever you do. It seems like half the comments section of every article complains about the article. What is wrong with you people?

    • benbajarin

      I’m sorry your calling me an old man? Do your homework. On our authors, learn what industry and market analysts are. There is no excuse for ignorance with the advent of the Internet.

      “It seems like half the comments section of every article complains about the article.”

      You clearly have not read more than one of our columns.

      Also, I say this continually which is why its clear to me you have read very little of our columns here.

      What is the best phone is an entirely subjective statement. The best phone for me may not be the best for you. Consumers are buying devices with more than specs in mind. Specs have nothing to do with it. It is about a whole lot more.

      We try to keep our comments here respectful and intelligent. If you can not do that then please do not comment.

    • unhinged

      Clearly, we are too old.

      I hope you live long enough to be in our situation.

  • http://twitter.com/djbriandamage djbriandamage

    I must apologize for my kneejerk reaction. I jumped to the wrong conclusion when I didn’t see my comment appear after posting.

    It’s unfortunate that you’d decide to actually censor my second comment, though.

    • benbajarin

      I didn’t see another comment of yours pending approval in my Disqus admin panel. You have a comment just below here. Is that the comment you were talking about.

      We don’t manually sensor anything, we simply have Disqus look for key words and if they show up in a comment it goes to an approval que for me to approve.

      I’m sorry your other comment didn’t get posted but its not in the approval que so I am not sure what happened.

  • NDM

    The fact that the iPone’s 4 inch screen performed so well is a result of a really good design. Apple’s design prowess is often lauded for its esthetic results, but overlooked is how it makes a devise more efficient and easier to use.

  • Matang_Lawin

    Buying smartphones for their screen size’s sake to me is a no brainer. If you really wanted big big screens then go buy a tablet. Ipad is practically a gigantic iphone anyways if it has call functionality and I find it awkward to have a very large screen (ranging from 4.5 up inches) smartphone cause itll never fit well in the pocket.

    • http://twitter.com/NBGuyver Nitebreed

      Do you wear skinny Jeans or something? It fits fine in any pocket. I noticed that iphone lovers said that anything over 3.5 inches is too big and won’t fit in your jeans. Now they increased the size to 4″ you guys say anything over 4″ is too big and won’t fit into your jeans. lmao! It’s like talking to an 8 year old.

  • http://twitter.com/tvfarrell Mana Farrell

    To be honest mate, everything just looks better on the Android screen. The pics on the left just look cramped, squashed in, especially the email, I mean that is over the top squashed. That’s in my opinion. The Android to me looks far more pleasing to the eye, especially the layout. Cheers

  • krkj

    full of shi…its like comparing 50inch TV to 32 inch TV ,both display same picture,bigger better don’t u get it

    • benbajarin

      It is absolutely not the same. Wait until you see 10″ Windows 8 tablet apps running on a 27″ touch based all in one. Then you will understand my point.

    • MSFTie (Former AppleJunkie)

      lrn2english, don’t you get it?

  • arabsrulechina

    4 inches is the optimum size for a phone. Any bigger, and the law of diminishing returns. At some point, a phone will be too big to be considered a phone when you can’t use with one hand.. or fit in your pocket.

  • Tom

    Hi, thank you for your article. Says an Android fan.

    Although I’m more of an android fan, I know that bigger != always better. The clear advantage of the bigger screen of Galaxy Nexus is bigger text. But I’m not buying your opinion that smaller physical size and smaller pixel width on iPhone 5 makes website reading more easily readable than on Nexus.

    I haven’t owned any of these devices (on Defy+ now) and I’m actually deciding between Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4. Why that old? I live in Europe and iPhone 5 16GB without contract costs from $900 whereas iPhone 4 16GB $550 and Galaxy nexus $400. I rather spend $500 on some great trip than slightly better phone. Could you recommend from the usability and Getting Things Done perspective which one to get? Thank you.

    I love on iPhones that everything is snappy and smooth. Apps load fast, scrolling is perfect, no lag anywhere, keyboard is simple and great with really visible letters what you just typed (thoug I find Android 4.1 keyboard almost the same useful). Although I didn’t test Galaxy Nexus much with Jelly Bean if it stands on par with iPhone 4 in terms of smoothness and responsiveness. Does it?

    But i hate on iPhones the chains. You have to push any media to iPhone through iTunes. You can’t just download content from web and store it on your phone. And probably the worst thing – GPS doesn’t work with data. So when I’m on a trip abroads, iPhone is useless for GPS.

  • Maccabeus

    I do not like very large screens on mobile phones, but I do not like small ones either. I just switched from an iPhone 4s to a Motorola Droid Razr M mainly because the Razr M has a 4.3 inch screen display, which I consider just about perfect. Had the iPhone 5 featured a 4.3 in. screen, I might have upgraded to that. Of course, there were other reasons. The Razr M was $100 cheaper, but had as much RAM as the iPhone 5, and it also offers a micro SD slot up to 32 GB, on top of the 8GB internal memory, so I am getting more memory for a fraction of what an iPhone 5 32BG phone would cost. The Android also has a larger battery, and it can do pretty much everything that the iPhone can do. It is also very fast, as fast or faster than my iPhone 4s. The best part of this deal is that because I am on a family plan, I can still upgrade next summer to a better Android phone or the iPhone 5 or 5s or 6 or whatever Apple comes out with next. I loved my iPhone 4s, but it will be fun to compare the two operating systems over the next year. Only then can I say if I am an Apple fan or an Android fan.

  • Tommy C

    Hi, Nexus S user here with both Google Nexus S and new iPhone 5 I can say the screen is slightly bigger on the iPhone 5. After 2 years on two different Android devices I felt it’s time for a change. Don’t get me wrong, I love how flexible and customizable Android is, in fact iOS is pretty boring but the small size screen on the iPhone always made me look at Android phones. I have to say I prefer a bigger screen than 4 inch and I won’t lie, I wish the iphone 5 came with with 4.6 inch screen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Yuriy-Samorodov/100000138723317 Yuriy Samorodov

    And what about ebook?

    Just pick up something similar like Kindle app and compare.

    Actually, i love iPhone’s size, however reading experience is a deal breaker for me.

  • http://www.livingsmart.dk Kenneth WedMore Lund

    Thank you for a great “down to earth” take on the differences. I use iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as my daily workhorses and one thing that I find to be really different, is the way Gmail operates. It’s just so much better on the Android-platform, and even though Google makes both apps, in my eyes, the Android-version is just such a great experience, compared to the watered-down iOS version. Like “swipe to archive” for instance. My point is, that it’s not just the hardware-differences that makes the big difference :)

  • stan newman

    Great article with side by sides. More product comparisons for us-ons will be brain candy!
    stan

  • Dudley

    This was the most poorly conducted comparison, for example, the font of Androids text messages can be made smaller, and not have those pictures. Things like this were consistent across the whole article. Like for the email.. Can you not count? But anyways, I actually think that all the leading android phones are way to big, and that the iphone 5 fits perfectly in the hand. But maybe even a 4.3″ display would be nice so they can jam some more pixels in there making it HD. Android: great OS, but the phones just don’t fit in my hand, and sometimes even my pocket…

  • http://twitter.com/Dion0025 Clarence Williams

    i phone 5 need bigger screen 4.3 still

  • Lou

    I read this hoping to find an unbiased article to help me decide which phone i should get with my next upgrade. What i find is a useless bunch of rambling about screen sizes. Do you really think that the reason people buy Androids is because the screen is bigger? And then assume its because of how many more emails and texts can fit on the screen (because god forbid we scroll down to read the rest)? What a waste of time. On your next comparison, back your biased opinion with actual facts that explain the phones performance.

  • Tom

    Are you comparing operating systems or screen sizes? Doing both makes no sense. Not a very convincing article from a professional technology analyst.