Poll: Do you want 6.44-inch phones? What size Chinese phones do you...

Poll: Do you want 6.44-inch phones? What size Chinese phones do you want to see?


The Chinese phone market has got itself caught in a mad race to release the latest ‘hot’ device. They believe customers want 6.44-inch phones or larger, but are they right?

It is very interesting to visit Chinese phone manufacturers at their offices here in Shenzhen, as you get a better understanding of the team behind the phone. UMi are a group of passionate phone geeks (who seem addicted to their own forum), iOcean are eager and confident, and Newman are a more traditional Chinese company.

iocean skyfall phablet

Although they each have different ideas and management structures the general rule is they all believe international phone customers want larger screen devices. 6.44-inch displays look to be the trend, but bigger is a possibility too:

People will be making calls on 7-inch phones this time next year!

At least that’s what iOcean’s head of marketing believes anyway.

5-inch screens or more?

umi cross rear white

While meeting these companies I gave them my views on the current situation in the Chinese phone market, and suggested that bigger phones might not always be better. Perhaps they should concentrate on building the best 5-inch phones they can first, with support and updates, before building larger and larger machines?

So, what do you think? Do you think Chinese phone makers should keep on producing larger and larger phones? Or do you think they should work on producing flagship devices with smaller screens and put their efforts in to improving performance and design?

[poll id=”3″]
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  • Greg

    If I could have the same phone number on two different SIM cards, then I would have two devices. One no wider than 65mm for frequent use, and one with a 7″ screen to use at home or on holiday perhaps. But only if my phone number could be linked to each phone simultaneously. That’s why I liked Asus’ idea of a phone that docked into a tablet, but so far they haven’t hit the right combination of price and features for me to buy one.


    Although I am a 5 incher person, I would like to see 6 inches with 8-cores in next generation. One more thing, even if they make 6 inches they should also make 5 inch equivalent of their next generation. Some people would like to see 8-core 5 inches in their pocket instead of 6 inches.

    I think phone makers should develop 4 versions in their next generation. 5 inch Youth, 5 inch Advanced and 6 inch Youth, 6 inch Advanced version with same hardware.

    • yoavst

      4 inch, 4.5 inch, 5 inch and 6 inch versions

    • I am not sure people really want Youth and Advanced phones… if you gave 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM for a very low price, nobody would buy a 2GB RAM phone…
      at least that’s what I think… the price difference for an Advanced model sometimes does not compensate for the upgrade of just 1GB RAM…

      • CPO

        Another benefit of bigger screens is reduced eye strain. I bet iphone sized screens are ruining peoples eyes. The most important thing for me is bringing the bezels and thinness down. I want a phone thats the size of todays phones when its in a case. The reason for this is that i want to keep the phone a few mms off my body to resuce radiation.

        • GS88

          A few years ago 4.3″ screens were considered BIG! Now they call it a MINI (S4 Mini, Motorola DROID Mini and HTC One Mini).

          I think 4.3″ (for me) is perfect. Although the One Mini is still big (just like the One S), the DROID Mini is perfectly sized.

        • We live with Steve Jobs’ personal legacy of stubbornly insisting that hand fit was ALL important and completely trumped viewable screen area.

          The world has spoken, and it’s clear that most people prefer bezel-less 5+ inch devices.

          My instincts tell me that 6″ is about as far as it will grow, and even then with extreme effort to minimize the overall width and height of the device.

          I don’t know which size I’ll pick for myself eventually. But I’m fairly sure it will be at least 5.5″

          • anony

            No not really, otherwise source.

      • Agreed. “Youth” phones are not only ridiculously named, but are useless SKUs for the vendors. It serves everyone’s interests to limit the variants and increase the economies of scale to reduce the costs of all the products, rather than needlessly fragment the space and increase costs and complexity of support.

  • arsalan

    I like bigger phones. Where I can surf the internet easily without having to resort to desktop or laptop. Which I can carry easily also. For me 6+ inches is the best.

  • I say this on almost every post here, at the risk of being called a spammer. 4.7 inches max!

    • chalimoja

      I second that. I currently own an iOcean X7 a 5incher which i thought would not be too big after owning a Star B92M which was a 1:1 clone of the S3. Believe me when i say this thing is huge! almost bulging out of my pocket. I even went out today an compared it to the S4, while its just as narrow as the S4 its noticeably taller so i cant even imagine a 6.44 inch phone. Goodness. 4.7 is indeed the best size. But i do love my X7 to bits, been getting mad compliments. Guys can believe its a China phone.

      • Hah! I’m using an OPPO Find 5 which the iOcean X7 is a clone of, so we’re on the same boat. Just like you, I really like the phone and get a lot of compliments from iPhone and S4 owners, but when it comes to practicality, the phone lets me down at times. I mean it’s fun to use the phone at home, but when I’m on the move, I’d really like to have a smaller device. Something like a Miezu MX2 or an iPhone 5S would do good 😉

        • arsalan

          When you go beyond age 40, then I will ask you again what size do you like? It depends upon an individual preferences and one’s eye sight. For young age may be 4 inches is sufficient but for older people, no. And secondly even if your eye sight is okay, surfing on bigger screen is totally different as compared to smaller screen.

          • Greg

            True, but I’m with Yash, if you’re busy and on the go, easy one handed use is an asset. At home, or sitting having a coffee big screens arelovely. It’s a dilemma!

  • carlorff

    I am an IT from Central part of Europe, and I hope they are reading our comments.I would like a big small phone, the only one that is similar to my ideal phone is LG G2 it is as big as Optimus 4X or Samsung S4 but with 5.2 inch display. Whoever makes a big phone or a phone with big lcd but with small dimensions has won.The G2 would be a winner but I do not know what were they thinking or smoking by canceling the micro SD card slot? My suggestion to Chinese manufacturers would be that they have to squiz the space around the lcd so they can make the phone as small as possible.The ideal size would be from 5.2 to 5.5 inches.

    • anony

      Some kind of evil shit indeed (aka money) since lo and behold, G2 korean version has msd slot AND removable battery.

      • chalimoja

        the Korean version also has a smaller battery which sucks since the international version has been getting great reviews about its huge battery. But there is no excuse for no SD card the Sony Z1 has one so why not?

        • anony

          It’s still 2600mAh and you get the luxury of carrying around spare battery, effectively doubling or tripling the life.

          • chalimoja

            the international version has a 3000mah battery.

            • anony

              Yeah and my point is the the removable battery version is only 400mAh smaller.

  • renaud

    I like the Goophone i9 size at : 5″7. Why this size is not present in the pool ?

  • BrianJackson

    I am more than happy with my 4.7″ G4 as anything bigger probably wouldnt be comfortable in the front pocket of my jeans. If I was a man bag sort of person I would probably go bigger to max 5.5″ but anything larger would look silly next to your ear. Better to get a mini ipad or nexus 7 tablet and carry a smaller phone just for calls and texts but for me 4.7 is the perfect balance as I can do everything I need without carrying two devices.

    • chalimoja

      +1 ^, I have come to believe that 4.7 is indeed the perfect size after owning a 5 inch phone. I previously had a 4.7 phone and it was pretty comfortable. Am having problems fitting the 5 inch in my pockets. Maybe if they slim down the top and bottom bezels it would be more practical like the S4.

  • 6.44 or bigger is the future… but those bezels have to be ultra thin… it’s about time to have glass from side-to-side, keeping the phone restricted to the LCD dimensions on the sides [of course top & bottom have to have mic, earpiece and cameras]…
    of course, someone have to come up with the right software to recognize that you are holding the phone by the LCD sides first…

    • anony

      I’d like to see you become a chinese phone company CEO. Handling numerous return and repair for broken phone (no bezel = no protection on the side for the screen), and ultimately bankrupt the company since people are still buying sane sized phone over stupidly big shit that only troll can use.

      • CPO

        Oh really? Tell that to Pantech with their phone chopping video where they smash and chop lesser phones with the tiny bezel vega. That video proves that thin bezels isnt nessesarily less durable.

        • anony

          Manufacturer made video? Sure….

          I’d like to see yours try.

          • CPO

            Thats a good idea. Somebody needs to test that by recreating that crazy video.

  • finn

    I think 4.7″ is just right. 5″ max.

    My Find 5’s screen is a half a centimeter to big.

  • Areared

    For me a phone should be able to fit in my jeans pocket, so I think the best size is like 4.7 inches with very small bezel, like the Moto X or smaller. A bit smaller than a Samsung S3 / S4 anyway.

    • Areared

      I can think of exceptions however: women would want bigger phones because they have handbags to store them in…

      • CPO

        I think we should wait it out and see if we get used to the big screens. Its brand new so maybe we’re just not used to em yet and thats why they look weird and huge.

        The plus to big screens is you can see em from further away and can minimize that “hunched over anti social staring into the abyss” look when working on your phone.

      • Rdmkr

        My opinion is: 4 to 4.5 inch is ideal for 720p screens; 4.7 to 5.5 inch for 1080p screens. FHD is an awkward resolution because no matter what size screen you put it on, there is always a problem. On 4.7 inch the PPI is too high to matter. On 5.5 inch, your phone is beyond cumbersome. 5 inch is compromise between the two but in my experience it doesn’t feel like a “sweet spot”.

        • Rdmkr

          Sorry, the above was not supposed to be a reply.

          My reply was: I haven’t had trouble fitting a 5 inch phone in a pocket. Getting it out while sitting (for example, in a car) on the other hand can be tricky.

  • Harald

    Thank for telling them what we really want, or they might not have noticed 🙂
    4.7 inch is perfect for me, 5 inch is still OK, anything above too big

  • CPO

    What I want to see is a holographic projection phone where the screen is projected up above the face of the phone so a 4″ phone can produce a 7-10 inch viewable area. You control it star trek style without actually touching any screen, it senses you touching the virtual screen.

    Ok now go make it happen, we’re waiting.

    • anony

      No we don’t.

      The idea looks cool but we use phone not to look cool but to get it out of the way.

      This is the same idea people thought would look good but fall flat in the face of reality (think Minority Report, Iron Man, you can do that kind of control nowadays but no one really want to use their pc like that for more than 10 minutes).

      • CPO

        Its not to look cool its for functionality only. Name another solutipn to put a 8″ screen on a 4″ phone. I guess you prefer the samsung way which is a flexible screen you unroll like an old school roll up window drape that you see in cartoons.

        • anony

          I prefer thought control to some awkward holographic sure-to-be-hard-to-use-practically, we’re not there yet but it’s progressing step by step.

          The best interface is no interface.

          • Chinese Phone Outlet

            Voice interface will be the next step before the holographic displays. For that, you want really good mics in the phone and lot of them (from my very humble understanding of phone tech)

            I want a phone that will recognize my voice to where I can whisper to it with it in my pocket in a not silent environment and it will recognize me and do the command without having to speak in an audible embarrassingly loud voice, looking like you’re talking to yourself in public.

            Basically, voice recognition is the future, and there is a market for making your device excel in that aspect of the tech. It is embarrassing enough doing voice commands to your phone where it overrides the convenience factor of it. Android is putting their efforts to getting better on voice tech, so we really need that top level hardware to take it all the way to the next level.

            People want a speaker phone that they can know for sure that the other side of a phone call can hear them clearly when they are not right by their phone.

            I know the iphone is supposed to have really good audio for phone calls, and that it has 3 mics. I notice that a lot of even the really high end Chinese devices only have 2 mics. It’s one area that I think some revolutionary improvement could be made.

            I would like to the the microphone specs published as an industry standard. You kinda have to dig a bit to find that info usually. If you can find it at all on certain phones.

      • CPO

        Im talking about a virtual screen that just hovers over the top of the phone and senses when you “touch” it. I dont think we have seen that yet in reality. Its obviously the way to go once we get to bezeless design.

        Its the only way to get a bigger screen in a smaller device without some inspector gadget style mechanical solution.

        • CPO

          You will see that in the future. You are also gonna see horizontal holographic matrix screens in bars with a mini live holographic projections of sporting events. The players will be 4-5 inches tall. It will be like watching a live sporting event as a giant 200 foot tall person.

          • anony

            And what? You’re gonna get a dome just to watch that on your effin phone?

            The simpler and more elegant solution to your dream is near, you just have to support Oculus Rift.

            • Chinese Phone Outlet

              The horizontal 3-D holographix matrix screens will be stand alone devices. I don’t know how big the actual projector size is gonna be but it will probably be projected up onto a surface from underneath and the action will be seen on top of the surface. If you scaled down a basketball court, just do that math on how big the figures would be vs the surface size.

              There will be all different scales of em. Smaller ones for your house. Just to be going on while you watch the game on the main screen in the background, but it’ll be fun to kinda feel like you’re there and have a little mini basketball game going on that you can watch. They will do all the sports too. Anything that has to do with sports like that, there is a huge market for it. Just from bars alone in the beginning when they’re really expensive.

              I don’t know if its really gonna be true hologram tech as we know it either, there may be a cheaper or better way. It’s more like a 3-D projector pretty much, but True HD 3-D where the objects you see take up true depth and look real without wearing the glasses.

              Maybe there’s a way to make the pixels go down into the screen a little bit. Like if you had layers of screens stacked on each other, and you turned on the pixels at different layers to create true depth. In a horizontal tabletop screen orientation, you could make it look like objects were true 3-D because you would be looking down into the screen 6-8 inches or so.

              You could also hang a screen like that up on the wall too the regular way. This isn’t that far off. And it’ll catch on quick because it’ll be undeniably really cool and truly revolutionary and futuristic. But also very useful and practical from a wealthy sports fan’s standpoint. Or a business trying to attract customers and be the first in their area to have one.

              With a screen like that, a business could use it over and over again for in store marketing. They would save money vs. buying flashing printed hologram materials that they throw away after one use.

  • drzahraee

    6″ with a perfect device size and weight is my favorite !
    I prefer to use a Smart phone and a tablet in one unit . As we know it “PHABLET”.

  • Customer

    I really want a highend which has a 4.5 screen and has a nice look (thin bezels, not too thick and is maybe made of steel or aluminium)
    and a FHD Display!
    That would be amazing!

  • Bart

    As you know I started 2.5 years ago with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, a 7″ smartphone. That size is good for my eyes. Considering advancements in technology today’s 6.45″ are an even better deal, so recently I bought the OrientPhone Mega 6.5. That smartphone also fits much better in the pocket of my suit. So not as large, but a great phone, with an even better screen for my eyes.

  • anony

    Number of Galaxy SIII sold within 100 days : more than 20 millions
    Number of Galaxy SIV sold within 2 months (60 days) : about 20 millions

    Number of Galaxy Note I sold from Jan to March : about 5 millions
    Number of Galaxy Note II sold within 2 months : about 5 millions

    iocean said : “People will be making calls on 7-inch phones this time next year!”
    Sure iocean whatever yous said, hope to see you next year, if you’re still exist that is.

    • And your point is?

      The Galaxy SIV that you so aptly used as an example of your “why small is better” example is a 5″ phone! The same size that you would have called GIGANTIC and unwieldy only 1 year ago (or maybe 18 months ago 😉

      Look, it’s clear that there will be multiple size options as things settle after reaching the practical limits of ergonomics that would be comfortable for humans. But I think that this will mean basically two sizes: MEDIUM and LARGE. There isn’t room left for the “small” screen, and the only people that seem to want small screens are trying to get an iPhone experience and for some reason couldn’t get an iPhone.

      Medium will be: 4.7″- 5.2″
      Large will be: 5.5″ – 6.1″

      While I hate to discourage ANY efforts from manufactures with large screens, I’m not bullish on the 6.44″ screen size making it. Even with a zero-bezel, it’s still too big even for the large phone advocates.

      • anony

        Did I? I’m not even sure I’m here 18 months ago. Or is that you grasping the straw I’m seeing?

        Also S IV is less wider (ugly way to put it I know) than S III despite being 5″.

        • Airyl

          Are you sure you weren’t around 18 months ago?

  • ZecaMarol

    I want phones with 5 inches and with very thin edges.

  • junior_poa

    4.5″ or 4.7″ i guess better

  • keller

    We dont really care about sizes. We care about package. the screen can be 5.5 for all i care, but just as long as the footprint of the phone is small enough to fit .

    I’d like to see 4.7 phones with the size of the mi2s and 5.2in phones with the size of 4.8 phones.

    As far as phablets go – they’re great for people who actually want a tablet but also need it to have phone capabilities and at the same time be pocketable.

    Also : Please copy the LG G2.

    • Chinese Phone Outlet

      Yeah I’d say, do as big of a screen you can do with 1mm bezels with it still being fairly durable. I have never hit the side of my phone on anything it always lands on the corner or the front or back. They should just do a layer of that anti shock material on the inside of the phone on the corners.

  • wurstt

    This Marketing guy will fail, because he believes in an illusion. Making phone calls on an 7″ device is not the future. IFA 3 years ago, 2010: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 with 3G.
    It’s nice to have 3G on such a device, to have internet connection in more places, but holding such a monster to your ear making phone calls: no way.
    Huawei ascend mate and Asus Fonepad aren’t a success. You can’t sell it to people as a phone. Markting people should sell it as a tablet, because it is a tablet.
    5 inch are enough for mobile browsing and telephony. Note 2 is too big already. My friend looks like a clown while taking phone calls.
    If you want a mobile browsing device than use a tablet or even faster in terms of productivity, a laptop (maybe a Ultrabook or Convertible with touchscreen like mine)
    Even apple users are lucky with their 4 inch iphones (too small for my taste, but yes, browsing is possible).
    A 5″ smartphone can’t replace my laptop/desktop pc and my 10 inch tablet (galaxy note 10.1) wont do it either, but it’s nice PHONE which features multimedia features like web browsing while you are on the road.

    seriously, in what pockets do you want to put somehing bigger than 5.5 inch? Sometimes I need to run to catch a bus/train and in this moments I already think that my 5 inch phone is a small obstacle.

    • keller

      pockets arent a standard size. you can fit as much as you want – that’s why we have such large size selection – so people can get the biggest one they’re comfortable with and is still pocketable and just use that.

      • anony

        It’s also a fact that not many people in this world pocketing such huge “phone” comfortable.

    • Chinese Phone Outlet

      It all depends what you use your phone for. If you don’t talk on voice calls much, and mostly do text and online on your phone, bigger seems to be better. Looking ridiculous when you’re talking on voice calls seems like its a valid trade off for a bigger screen and less portability for a lot of people.

      And for women, the size issue isn’t as big an inconvenience because they can use a purse. Men and women that don’t carry backpacks, fanny packs, wear suits or have murses, and like to carry their phone in their pockets still need choices for phones that aren’t the size of an NES cartridge. My girlfriend likes to carry her phone in her bra, and you can only do that with a phone so big.

      • Airyl

        That last part about your girlfriend was kind of unnecessary. And kind of awkward.

  • beginner007

    1. Decent phone for humans are of size between 4.5″ – 5.0″
    2. Phone for monsters : >5.0″ 🙂

    • Airyl

      I take offence to this.

  • Alan

    i think you are asking the wrong question here Andi. Complete measurements of the phone are more important and that in relation to screen size.
    A 6,44 inch phone has then what an 8 inch length because they had to add so much bezel? you know xiaomi and meizus latest phones screen size and complete measurements are a good example

    • Yes you are right in that a well designed phone with large screen is perfectly acceptable, however we aren’t getting this from these smaller Chinese phone makers. They are just producing larger and larger phones regardless of bezel size and overall width.

  • PeterP

    As for design, I like the no logo back 🙂 But if you are going for the simple approach, make it symmetrical if possible, not with the holes to the right. Go read some Bauhaus books. Add some styalised design in the casing, like the oppo headphone surround. Make it balanced with things lining up and research some different materials.
    Size, it needs to fit in a pocket. 5-5.5 depending on bezel design/construction materials. > 5.5 or maybe 5.9 with design is a fail. It’s not a phone.
    The iOcean x7’s problem was it’s lack of clearly stated gorilla glass or other such protection. I think if it had this it would have been a much greater success.
    And what’s the price difference between 2000mah and 3000mah? Again, it’s a selling feature which would have been stand out rather than a buy for small cost extra.
    Big Battery, Glass protection, well implemented camera (N003) or novel lens/BSI, dual sim, sdcard, 2GB, 1080, NFC, DIRAC, Snapdragon, Design / Bezels / Solid phone (love the wet noodle comparison), waterproof, colour choice, LTE.
    Andi, I applaud your remarks. Developer community support is very important. How hard to give away a few free phones for hours of Dev work?

    • Chinese Phone Outlet

      Don’t forget more microphones. But the rest is a good list. I would like to see 3 and 4gb ram phones too if its at all possible. From what I’ve heard, 1gb of ram is only $8. It would be nice to see 2gb/32gb standard, instead of that $80 more for the 1gb ram and 16gb more rom game.

      The 16gb 1gb versions don’t really even sell over here the US, the market is more concerned with the advanced versions. They don’t mind paying more for the advanced ones, but more will sell if they can do something about the price.

      Zopo is pretty reasonable when it comes to this. The ZP990 spread is only $30 standard vs. advanced. That seems like a fair markup on that extra 1gb ram and 16gb rom.

  • Chinese Phone Outlet

    They need to make flip phones that open up hot dog way instead of the hamburger way. That way you could take calls with it in the closed position and it would be long and narrow, more like a natural phone handset design style. Then you could unfold it and have the full sized screen when you needed that. It would have to be bezel-less on one side tho, otherwise you’d have this huge line going across the middle of the screen when you had it open to full screen mode.

    That would give you the benefits of the large screen in a size you could slide into your pocket.

    • anony

      Yeah well, too bad it didn’t help Motorola back then. Apparently people don’t really like the idea.

  • Chrispynutt

    I actually think that 6.5+ phones open up an interesting option.

    That is of affordable high spec tablets. Think about it, few 7″ tablets come with 1080P screens & replaceable batteries. The addition of GPS, NFC, decent cameras and 3G radios are functions very few tablets have. I can only think of something like a Galaxy Note 8.

    If you could switch them to tablet mode, even small handed folks like myself might get one.

    Maybe there will be a new category for 6.5″ smartphones called Tablones, ie tablets that can be used as phones, rather than Phablets phones that can be used as tablets.

  • Manos

    G4 advanced 4.7 is the best size and has some power but they can make it smaller in the future we will see that

  • Allanitomwesh

    Now,4.5inch with JiaYu G3 bezels,4.7inch with JiaYu G4 like bezels and 5 inch with Xpreria ZL bezels,these are my upper limits.I consider Note 2 too large,and galaxy mega and Xperia Z Ultra ridiculous. You cannot hold it to your ear,you cannot put it in a jeans pocket,THEN IT IS NOT A PHONE.SIMPLE AS THAT. PHABLET is not English grammar,and I will not call my device such.

  • Nickname

    I dont know why the companies cannot see there is a big product hole under 5″. 4″ well made phone is not existing. There is no reason to buy 4″ phone with the same dimensions as a 4.7″ phone :S
    I really miss the 4″ phones with thin edge.