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Most used phone screen sizes to design websites for in 2017

Knowing the most used smartphone screen sizes in your target market can help you decide on how to address your mobile visitors. We put together a detailed breakdown of the most used diagonal screen sizes across selected local markets that you should pay attention to in 2017. While 5-inch and larger phones are the fastest growing categories, 4-inch devices still make up a large part of the market.

How flagship screen sizes changed in the last 5 years

In terms of flagship devices, Apple is the only smartphone maker reluctant to increase the diagonal screen size of its most popular devices. In fact, it is now the only company offering a premium 4-inch phone in the form of the iPhone SE. The only other small phone (by today’s standards) is the 4.6-inch Sony Xperia X Compact released back in September 2016. We don't know yet if these devices will get their sequels anytime soon.

Here are some selected flagship phones released during the last 5 years to give you an indication of the rapid growth of diagonal screen sizes.

Device name Year released Diagonal screen size
iPhone 5 2012 4-inch
Samsung Galaxy S3 2012 4.8-inch
Nokia Lumia 920 2012 4.5-inch
Nexus 4 2012 4.7-inch
HTC One X 2012 4.7-inch
iPhone 5S 2013 4-inch
Samsung Galaxy S4 2013 5-inch
Sony Xperia Z1 2013 5-inch
HTC One 2013 4.7-inch
LG Nexus 5 2013 4.95-inch
iPhone 6 2014 4.7-inch
Samsung Galaxy S5 2014 5.1-inch
LG G3 2014 5.5-inch
Sony Xperia Z3 2014 5.2-inch
HTC One M8 2014 5-inch
iPhone 6S 2015 4.7-inch
Samsung Galaxy S6 2015 5.1-inch
LG G4 2015 5.5-inch
Nexus 6P 2015 5.7-inch
Sony Xperia Z3 2015 5.2-inch
iPhone 7 2016 4.7-inch
Samsung Galaxy S7 2016 5.1-inch
Huawei P9 2016 5.2-inch
Moto Z 2016 5.5-inch
Google Pixel / Pixel XL 2016 5-inch / 5.5-inch

Looking just at the screen size, what was considered high-end in 2012 would be mid-range in 2017, given that very few high-quality devices are now smaller than 5 inches.

A good example is the Nexus family which increased the screen size from 4-inch (Nexus S) to 5.7-inch (Nexus 6P) in just 4 years. It is likely that users who got used to the large screens would find it quite difficult to go back to the small ones especially when they use their phones mainly for web browsing, videos, and gaming.

The trend of adding more inches to screens is also striking if you look at the low-end and mid-range categories. These phones grow as quickly as their flagship counterparts, but often at the expense of the display quality (lower PPI) which we pointed out in the Mobile Report for Q2 2016. A good example is the popular budget-friendly Moto G and Moto E family.

Device name Year released Diagonal screen size
Moto G 2013 4.5-inch
Moto G (2n Gen) 2014 5-inch
Moto G (3rd Gen) 2015 5-inch
Moto G4 2016 5.5-inch
Moto G5 (rumoured) 2017 5.5-inch
Device name Year released Diagonal screen size
Moto E 2014 4.3-inch
Moto E (2nd gen) 2015 4.5-inch
Moto E3 2016 5-inch
Moto E4 (rumoured) 2017 5.2-inch

Most popular screen sizes based on device usage statistics

Here at DeviceAtlas we track web traffic from hundreds of thousands of partner websites using our device detection platform. This allows us to share some exciting statistics about the most popular smartphones used today.

The following charts focus on the share of web traffic for selected screen sizes during the first three quarters of 2016. The trend is clear: phones with screens over 5 inches were growing fast in 2016 across all markets we selected for this comparison. While the share of 4-inch phones remains large, it dropped in 2016.

With more upcoming large-screen flagship devices such as the 5.7-inch HTC U Ultra, this trend will definitely continue in the near future.












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