Samsung, Google to scale back giant screen sizes on new Android phones

“While Apple has been the subject of incessant queries wondering when it will follow Samsung and Google’s Motorola subsidiary in making a big screen iPhone, both Android licensees are now planning new phones with screens closer in size to iPhone 5,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider.

“Samsung is releasing two ‘mini’ 4.3 inch variants of its flagship Galaxy S4, reports BGR, one called the G4 Zoom with a 16MP camera, and another which launched today as the G4 mini,” Dilger reports. “While both new devices will have a screen much closer in size to Apple’s 4 inch iPhone 5 released last year, they will be equipped with a “qHD” resolution of 960-by-540 pixels, considerably less than the 5’s Retina Display at 1136-by-640 pixels, and even slightly less than the 960-by-640 pixel iPhone 4 released in 2010.”

Dilger reports, “Google’s influence at Motorola is also resulting in a shift from “bigger is better” to simply “better is better,” according to a report by Sascha Segan of PC Mag.

Read more in the full article here.

37 Comments

    1. Samsung is doing what it always does: offer a wide variety of choice.

      Apple does as well — if you’re in the market for an iPod or laptop. If you’re in the market for an inexpensive, large, or low-feature phone, then Apple doesn’t compete. Unfortunately, by not competing, Apple has ceded these markets to the competition. MDN can blog endlessly about Samsung supposedly only ships phones, they really don’t sell them or make money, but the reality is that it’s raking in a lot of money off of products that Apple COULD make better. Cook’s timid leadership is the only plausible reason why Apple would deny itself lucrative global phone markets.

      1. Mike, While you explain well, you are talking about Dell. Its a market that Apple does not go to. And now Dell is having great trouble going there.

        Selling a product below cost to get market share only works if you make money on it. Dell loses money on their cheap stuff and tries to make it up on their expensive machines.

        Hey, Mr. Dell, How is that working for you?

        Just a thought.

        1. Don’t twist Mike’s comments. You’re the one mentioning cheap not him. He’s right, Apple is missing sales on a larger iPhone and a more affordable smaller iPhone. Those are just simple facts. Apple makes different sized iPods and iPads. No reason they can’t do the same thing with the iPhone. They don’t seem to have a problem with margins on the iPad or iPod so why would they have a problem with margins on different sized iPhones? They wouldn’t and they won’t. They’re about to bring out the smaller iPhone. What will you say then? And they’ll bring out a larger iPhone as soon as they can. What will you say then? Apple isn’t perfect. If they were they would already have a larger iPhone and a smaller iPhone available today. Mike’s right.

      2. “re inexpensive, low-feature phone — Apple has ceded these markets…”

        Yeh, just like they ceded the markets on:
        – the OH SO MIND-BOGGLINGLY IMPORTANT market of netbooks
        – bargain basement desktops
        – bargain basement laptops

        How are those great markets doing for all the PC makers?

  1. I’d like a larger screen. The HTC ONE is my Android reference phone. It’s 1920×1080 4.7-inch (468 ppi) Super LCD 3 with RGB Matrix. Gorgeous screen.

    iPhone 5 is 4-inch (diagonal) 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi.

    It’s not important, but it makes the phone so much *more* of a media consumption device.

    Is it an iPhone killer? Nope. Too many more issues, but I sure wouldn’t mind a slightly larger screen on my iPhone.

    1. I get a kick out of samsung putting 468 ppi displays. Cause we all have 20/2 vision……right. Our eyes are so sharp that we can see like superman.!!!

      Doubling the screen pixel density beyond retina only draws twice the power. If 326 ppi is the smallest we can see (and those of us older really cannot even see the 326 ppi 🙁 ) then anything more than that is a waste of battery and cpu power.

      Yes you can claim better specs, but they really do nothing good. OH wait, why does this technique sound so familiar??

      1. Yes. 300 ppi is where the diminishing returns point is for high quality digital photo printing, and photos about the size of smartphones look perfectly goo at 150-200 ppi. I agree with you. A waste of energy, bandwidth, and a waste of perfectly good pixels. My iPad 2 at 163 ppi looks fantastic. All thos high resolution specs are a sales gimmick to get the suckers who just look at specs and think they are getting something better when a spec exceeds another products spec.

        1. So you guys don’t use your iPads or iPhones for photography of any kind? Hate to tell you, but pixel density matters to a lot of folks, especially when zooming into photos taken by state-of-the-art photo equipment.

          Apple at least is smart enough to offer two different resolutions of iPad — which serves two different niches of the market. Such a shame Cook doesn’t realize the same variety is needed for the iPhone.

          1. Mike, while I understand the need for a select few, I am sure Samsung will spend time and money selling items for the 400-600 people where it makes a difference.

            But Apple is in it to make money and to make a difference to the most number of people. Its a trade off.

            Just a thought/

          2. Mike, have you not seen photos taken and seen on the iPhone 5? It is as good as my big SLR. It doesn’t get better than that. A big screen ‘Roid is just that.

            Pixel density is irrelevant if you can’t see the pixels. Apple however, doesn’t settle on pixel density alone. They calibrate the colors and the display quality so that it looks true and perfect.

          3. The SCREEN display specs have nothing to do with the photographic capabilities of the tablet or phone under discussion, Mike. The capability to zoom in also has NOTHING to do with the photograph that will be taken. The quality of the lenses and cover glass (iPhones have sapphire for that purpose rather than plastic found on most Androids) is far more important. Zooming in to examine detail is a function of the ability of the eye to discern pixels, which brings us back to screen quality and the human eye and overkill of too many pixels beyond what the human eye can see. One, the camera, is an input; the other, the display is an output. They are independent of each other. So your point in regard of photography is specious. Twaddle. Not germane to the issue. Do you understand?

          4. LOL! @ “pixel density matters to a lot of folks, especially when zooming into photos”.

            So when you zoom on your tablet, the resolution of the screen goes down ? Or is it that the app you are using scales the image instead of re-rendering at the increased zoom factor. Doesn’t sound like a comment from a professional photo expert. Your professional photo equipment is probably going to waste on you just as much as the extra invisible pixels on your screens.

      2. Once you get past 300 ppi, the lens itself is what makes the picture better, not more pixels. When you buy a real DSLR, you’re paying a premium for the lens. Phones take good pictures these days, but the picture quality isn’t near what the good DSLRs do. The phone camera’s strength is it’s portability, allowing you to capture spontaneous events without dragging around a heavy camera. Color accuracy, distortion of the lens, brightness and contrast are the keys to great looking pictures. 326 ppi is plenty of resolution. My 3 megapixel Nikon of years ago takes better pictures than today’s smartphones.

  2. I think Samsung is just beginning to be able to squeeze a lot of their crap into the smaller phone so they believe that having a smaller phone will attract many iPhone users. They still don’t get the overall ecosystem aspect of iOS let alone the minimalist elegance of iOS vs. the so many features I can’t work the phone aspects of Android phones. What was that phrase Tim Cook used, Android devices are “Feature Phones” as opposed to “Smartphones.”

    I completely agree. It’s like getting in a feature heavy Kia after driving a BMW with only the features required to enhance the driving experience.

  3. I should say I want a slightly larger screen but the ability to still operate the device comfortably with one hand, via the thumb. I can do that with the HTC One.

    Once you’re outside of one handed operation, it’s a tablet? Like iPad Mini? If you add a phone to it, it’s a “phablet?”

  4. So phablets are turning out to be more of a fad? If you think about it the competition has had to play with what a phone could be to different people including size so there had to be a large phone phase. But it seems to be turning out size does matter, only in this case a REASONABLE size. Love my iPhone 5. Sure it can be a little larger but I wouldn’t want it to be much bigger. Kinda close to a perfect form factor now. Not that there shouldn’t be large phones for those who don’t own an iPad. Different strokes. I remember a time though when how small something could be was more highly valued than how big. Big is easy, small is hard.

  5. Um, I see no indication in this article that Samsung is going to “scale back giant screen size”. Nor do I see anything in this article that suggests that phablets are losing their popularity.

    What I do see is that Samsung has decided to take advantage of their market popularity to EXPAND into the handset size currently dominated by Apple.

    The only remaining question is whether Apple will try to expand into the phablet market currently dominated by Samsung.

    1. Samsung is so innovative, they seem like google… Try everything, throw it against the wall and see what sticks. If you option did not stick, well, too bad. no same replacement for you.

      I had a connector problem with my iPhone. Took it into the store and they gave me a new/fully refurbed phone on the spot. After re syncing it, it was just like my phone never had the problem.

      I can see samsung…. well, sorry sir but we no longer carry that phone… would you like a different size phone that will not run your current apps??? And I am standing there, thinking….. “I only bought this phone a week ago!!””””

      PS, Samsung has NO CUSTOMER SERVICE. I bought a large screen tv from them and three days after the warrantee ran out, they basically told me to bugger off. It took a class action suit to get them to admit they used under rated caps in their power supply. It happened in so many of their tvs that when the repairman came out, he did not know what the problem was listed as but he happened to have exactly the right caps to repair the tv.

      Just saying.

  6. It seems somewhere I stumbled across a chart that showed the sales breakdown of different screen sizes, and the iPad mini-micro sized android phones are not really selling all that well compared to smaller screen sizes.

    1. My wife is an optometrist. She used to have people above 40 check how they liked their prescription for readeing glasses by looking at a magazine. Now she has them check on their smartphone, and often she tells them to increase their font size rather than buy reading glasses if they don’t read newspapers, etc. much.

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