Picking a smartphone today is a rather tough affair because the market seems to be largely abandoning any sufficiently narrow niches, so most devices on store shelves look largely the same. Although there are usually some subtler differences, some of which are sadly unavailable on the spec sheet.

Do mind the “last updated” here, because the industry evolves and the information here will grow out of date as time goes on.



Traditionally, screen sizes were judged in terms of length of diagonal across the display, that’s what inches usually refer to.

For a long time it was a good estimate for the physical dimensions of the device, because aspect ratios and bezel sizes were largely the same. This, however, got less sensible as manufacturers started to eliminate bezels from devices, to the point of rounding corners even, making the ends of the screen diagonal reside off-screen.

Screen technology

You’re very likely to find only two variations of screen technologies today:


A very simple type of screen to understand: every pixel on the screen consists of a few tiny light sources. So unlike other screen types, this one doesn’t need backlight.

Usually somewhat expensive. Tends to be bright and rich in color.

Consumes wildly different amounts of power depending on what’s on the display. Power users sometimes specifically choose “true black” themes with pure black backgrounds because these leave most of the pixels completely off. Due to this effect, it’s typical for devices with this type of screen to be capable of displaying some “idle information”, like brief notification previews or current time without waking up the device.

IPS and similar

A popular type of LCD known for being color-accurate even when viewed from extreme angles. Power consumption depends mostly on brightness of the backlight, which needs to be on for anything on the screen to be visible.

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