The Samsung Galaxy S8 will change the way we think about display sizes

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will change the way we think about display sizes

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The way you think about phone sizes is about to change. Thanks to the new Infinity Display on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the nearly bezel-free design of the LG G6, the standards we’ve used to predetermine if a phone is too big or too small likely won’t hold up for much longer.

For essentially the last six years, our understanding of phone sizes has relatively stayed the same. A phone with a 4-inch display was thought of as too small for many, but perfectly sized for some. Anything between 4.7 inches and 5.1 inches — both the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7 fit into this category — has been considered the sweet spot for the past few years. And then everything over 5.5 inches — the iPhone 7 Plus, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Pixel XL — has been considered the pocket busters of the smartphone world, too big for many people to realistically consider.

But thanks to these new edge-to-edge displays, we’ve got to readjust our standards as to what is too big to use. Let’s look at the dimensions of the iPhone 7 Plus, the Pixel XL, and the Galaxy S8:

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Google Pixel XL vs. Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S8 Google Pixel XL Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S8 Google Pixel XL Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Display Size 5.8 inches 5.5 inches 5.5 inches
Dimensions (inches) 5.9 x 2.7 x 0.31 in 6.1 x 3.0 x 0.34 in 6.2 x 3.1 x 0.29 in
Dimensions (millimeters) 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6 mm 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Despite having a larger display than both the Pixel XL and the iPhone 7 Plus, the Galaxy S8 is notably shorter and more narrow, making it easier to hold. Even when compared to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and the 5-inch Google Pixel, the Galaxy S8 really doesn’t give up much more than a few millimeters in height:

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Google Pixel vs. Apple iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8 Google Pixel Apple iPhone 7
Samsung Galaxy S8 Google Pixel Apple iPhone 7
Display Size 5.8 inches 5 inches 4.7 inches
Dimensions (inches) 5.9 x 2.7 x 0.31 in 5.6 x 2.7 x 0.33 in 5.4 x 2.6 x 0.28 in
Dimensions (millimeters) 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5 mm 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm

The Galaxy S8 is essentially a taller Google Pixel. That’s a staggering change to our concepts of how we must judge phones before we get time to actually hold them. For example, people who are looking for a new midsized phone and are considering the Galaxy S8 — 5.8 inches sounds too big, but is it really?

Even the Galaxy S8 Plus with its seemingly massive 6.2-inch display isn’t out of the realm of possibility for most people, as it’s nearly identical in size to the iPhone 7 Plus. And thanks to the combination of the edge-to-edge displays, curved screens, and new aspect ratios, the way we measure phone displays is also changing, as my colleague Vlad Savov explains in detail.

So as we go forward, with the rumors of an edge-to-edge display on the next iPhone, and the other manufacturers that will follow Samsung’s trend, it may be helpful to think twice and check the dimensions of a phone with a display once considered too big to handle before you write it off.

#gadgetbingo

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