Smartphone size – the grow is not over

Let’s take a look at the display size of newest devices today :

HTC EVO 3D/Sensation/Thunderbolt : 4.3″
HTC Incredible 2 : 4″
LG Revolution : 4.3″
Motorola Droid 3 : 4″
Motorola Droid X2 : 4.3″
Nokia E7 : 4″
Samsung Galaxy SII/Droid Charge : 4.3″
Samsung Infuse 4G : 4.5″

Let’s do the same thing for last years’ devices :
Apple iPhone 4 : 3.5″
HTC Desire HD : 4.3″
HTC Incredible : 3.7″
Motorola Droid 2 : 3.7″
Motorola Droid X : 4.3″
Nokia N8 : 3.5″
Samsung Galaxy : 4″

There’s an interesting trend here : screen size are getting bigger and bigger since the first iPhone in 2007. Phones with big screens like the HTC HD2 were adressing the high tech fanatics just a couple of years ago but they are now the new standard. And I think this will continue for the following reasons :

1. Bigger is better.
This is a simple truth right ? With the age of touch screen smartphones came the need for bigger screens. The only limitations to this rules is that a smartphone needs to fit your hand and your pocket.
I remember how people were joking at my phone when I was using my old Qtek 2020 (3.5″ screen) : it looked so big, so fat to be a phone! 5 years later these guys all have an iPhone next to their ear while I’m using a Sensation.

2. Display format changes from 4/3 to 16/9.
This is an obvious trend. Compare an HD2HD7 with a Sensation and you’ll see what I’m talking about : 16/9 displays fits better in hand and feels smaller.

3. Wasted space.
Current smartphones still have lot of wasted space around their screen, as you can see in this photo with a Nokia N8, an LG Optimus 7, an HTC Sensation and a Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Nokia N8, LG Optimus 7, HTC Sensation & Samsung Galaxy Tab

4. Front buttons will disapear.
This is what you can expect from Windows Phone 8 (using similar gestures than the one introduced with Windows 8, working vertically) and iOS 6 in the future, so this will free some more space around the screen.

For all these reasons we very well may use 5″ screen smartphones two years from now.