How Much Of Your iPhone Is Actually Screen? Not As Much As You Think [Chart]

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 1.26.59 PM

Apple fans may argue that from a bang-for-your-buck perspective, an iPhone is one of the best smartphone deals around. If you’re judging simply by how much screen proportionally makes up the front of your device, though, this chart makes a strong case that the iPhone is a pretty bad deal compared to various Android phones.

The percentage of an iPhone’s front that is screen and not just bezel maxes out at 60.6% for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5, drops to 59.7% for the iPhone 5c, and plummets all the way to 54% for the iPhone 4 series. And if you’re unlucky enough to still have an iPhone 3GS, only half the front of your device is actually usable!

Compare that to the LG G2, where 75.7% of the device’s front is display. Pretty marked difference. Of course, we’ll see how the iPhone 6 with a rumored edge-to-edge display ups the ante, though!

  • The Gnome

    One of the dumbest articles I’ve yet read. Why not throw the iPad mini in there too now that we’re comparing oversized phablets to real phones.

    • Guest

      I am sure you will be jumping for joy if Apple product is the first on the list. In addition to that, you might find this article useless and not stupid. You should all just go back to BGR. You will find more useless articles there. Now move on…

      • Barrett Jasper

        Apparently 21 others agree with the comment ;-)

  • whatsup

    Who cares about this? What a stupid and wasteful article.

  • Steve Jackson

    I think the more interesting question is – which screen is more resilient?

  • PMB01

    Stupid chart. It would be worth something if it compared phones with the same size screen only.

  • Matt Perkins

    Apple could just simply add a phone to the iPad Mini and it would trump the phablets in screen size. But if Apple did that what would Android users have to talk about? That’s their number one selling point of Android phones is the big screen. They lost the argument to talk about flash with Adobe abandoning flash on mobile devices. And they need the argument that it’s less of a walled garden to make up for all the security issues Android has. And of course they need features/specs to justify them having an uglier phone with a less stable mobile operating system. And most Android users have cheap to free phones so these “advantages” Android has makes them feel less poor/cheap. So if Apple released an iPhone with equal specs and a bigger screen then all the Android phones, all Android users would have is their walled garden argument to justify being poor or cheap.

  • mahadragon

    Funny that Brownlee makes this article today because I was just looking at my iPhone 5 the other day and made a mental note about how small the screen actually looked compared to the rest of the front face. I think the leaked photos of the iPhone 6 made me think about it because supposedly the new iPhone has a lot more screen taking up the front than in the past.

    It’s a blessing and a curse. The screen is so sensitive it’s too easy to accidentally press. If you made the whole front a big touch screen that would mean you would have to hold it entirely by the sides which is already hard to do because the iPhone 5 is like a bar of soap, too slippery.

  • mythofechelon

    Well, yeah. That’s what happens when you have a gargantuan display.

  • perpetuallearner

    I am not sure how these calculations were made exactly. I am using a 3GS (don’t judge me; I only change phones after they don’t work any more), and 50,8% just doesn’t seem right. I mean, I’m looking at it right now… No way 50.8% is possible.

  • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

    Gee, another metric by which Apple sucks and fails again, based on a who gives a horse’s patoot. “My screen is a bigger percentage of the front face of my phone than yours, nyah.” I have an iPhone 4S and it works GREAT. Before I bought the 4S I had an original iPhone purchased in 2007 that worked flawlessly up until the time I upgraded.

    Another article on CoM today had Ben Lovejoy telling us about how he was slightly embarrassed to use so many Apple products, lest he be thought of as a fanboi. What’s happened to you guys at Cult of Mac? Have you finally caved and bought all the piles of horsehockey that have been being sprayed about Apple these many years?

    All that said, I’d be first in line to buy an iPhone with a 4.5″ or 5″ screen to make web browsing easier and photo display better. But you’ll never see me switching to Android just to get a bigger screen. Screen size is NOT the only metric by which phones are valuable.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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