The real iPhone X screen area vs iPhone 8 and 8 Plus when watching video

“The new taller and narrower iPhone X display can often fit more content on one screen while reading, browsing, or using many default apps,” Daniel P. writes for Phone Arena. “When it comes to watching video, though, the advantage shifts significantly to the cheaper iPhones that Apple came up with this season. Since the iPhone X has a quirky 19.5:9 display aspect ratio, it either blackbars regular formats that, say, form the vast majority of YouTube videos, or clips some stuff out when zoomed-to-fill in compatibility mode.”

“The usable area of the iPhone X display is akin to a standard ratio phone with 5.4″ diagonal, which is about what the 8 Plus offers,” Daniel writes. “If you want to see a standard definition video in its entirety, though, the iPhone X’s usable area shrinks to the one of a standard aspect phone with a 5″ diagonal or so – only 12% higher than the iPhone 8, in fact, and 16% less than what the 8 Plus has to offer as screen area while watching video.”

Daniel writes, “If the movie or TV series are shot in the 2:1 Univisium format, though, the power shifts to iPhone X, yet these are still few and far between (sigh, Kevin Spacey all but killed House of Cards).”

Read more, and see all of the image comparisons, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Notch giveth and the Notch taketh away.


  1. It’s for this very reason that I preferred referring to ‘bunny ears’.

    It’s a standard sized screen with extra useable area either side of the sensors. Otherwise it’s a 19.5:9 display with a notch, which sounds less logical.

  2. MDN needs to get over this “notch” issue.

    When viewing the vast majority of video formats the “notch” does not even come into play!

    Ignoring the area impinged by the “notch” the iPhone X (subtracting that entire area including the “viewable areas on each side of the “notch”), the aspect ratio is approximately 2.08533 : 1.

    Digital Cinema Standard aspect ratio is 1.896 : 1
    U/HDTV aspect ratio is 1.778 : 1
    Standard Def TV is 1.333 : 1

    NONE of these are as wide as the capability of the landscape mode of the iPhone X. Thus for all of these there will be areas of black on each side of the video being played. None of these formats are impacted by the “notch”.

    Even if you get into some of the ultra wide formats, the iPhone X when excluding the area around the “notch” still handles the ultra wide formats better than the iPhone 6, 6s, 7, or 8 models.

    For things like SDTV the Plus models show a larger physical area (but not more real, visual information), but that has NOTHING to do with the “notch” and has everything to do with the vertical physical size of the screen in landscape mode.

    1. “vertical physical size of the screen in landscape mode”, the wordiest every way of saying “width”. I agree though, Apple stupidly made the X screen narrower than the Plus. Video isn’t even a big problem for me, it’s simple screen elements like photos on web pages that are noticeably smaller than on the Plus. The longer screen and “bunny ears” doesn’t make up for losing several mm off of each side instead of simply keeping the Plus screen and reducing the bezels, especially the chin and forehead.

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