back to article Official: The shape of the smartphone is changing forever

The shape of the smartphone is changing as a fad turns into a long-term trend, a business analyst has noted. Analyst outfit IHS Markit said it expected wide aspect ratios – either 18:9 or 18+:9 – to make up two-thirds of new device sales in Q3 of this year. At the start of 2017, the "traditional" 16:9 ratio display was seen on …

  1. macjules Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Wouldn't it be nice ..

    ... if they could all agree on one standard of fragile, glass casing so that the cost of replacing shattered screens could be reduced?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

      Vendors are a bit fond of fusing the screen and digitiser to the glass for that to work. My current solution is to attach a 3rd party tempered glass screen protector to my phone's expensive screen. When dissapating force applied to tiny spot, half a mm is far better than nearly zero. Screen protector is a bit cracked, phone is fine. Before buying new screen protector, I'll build up the sides of the case with glue or something ( cases sold for the curvey-screened Samsung phones don't protect the screen edges for some reason, so some user modification is required.)

      Fitting glass protector did affect screen sensitivity on S8, but for some reason turning off "Hard Push on Home [ virtual] Button to Return to Home Screen" option made the screen more sensitive again.

    2. Gordan

      Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

      Frankly, it'd be nice if sensibly sized (<= 4") phones of decent spec were to become available again. If I want a device that required both hands to operate, I'll use a 9" tablet. For a phone, I want to be able to reach the top corner with my thumb easily, and being human my thumbs happen to not be 6" long.

      As for becoming taller and narrower, this is again the consumer optinion being shaped to maximized profits - the less square the screen, the fewer pixels there are for any given diagonal size. Fewer pixels means higher yealds, which means lower cost and greater profit margins. We have seen this on desktop displays where things went from 16:10 to 16:9 and more recently the trend toward "ultrawide" screens.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

        Be consistent. You lambast the average consumer for being potentially confused by geometry (area, width, height), but you yourself express the size of phone you want by only giving a diagonal dimension without specifying the aspect ratio. For example, I could cover about 90 percent of the screen of an Z3 Compact (4.6" 16:9, 64.5 mm wide) with my thumb tip without out adjusting my grip. The XZ2 Compact is only half a mm wider at 65mm but has a 5" screen. The XZ2 has a larger screen in terms of area (64.5 cm 2, Vs 58.3 cm 2). The XZ has greater pixel density too, but that's moot to this point. Now, most of an Android user's thumb movements will be towards the bottom of the screen (keyboard and navigation), so most users will happily take the advantages of being able to read more text over the occasional, very slightly extra effort required to move their thumb to the top left corner of the screen.

        I think that the average consumer has used enough phones in the past to choose the size they want.

        1. Piro

          Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

          "I think that the average consumer has used enough phones in the past to choose the size they want."

          I disagree, I think that people buy what the market sells them, I really don't think preferences really come in to it - there's not a single person (other than say, an Apple shill), that wanted the 3.5mm jack removed.

          Removable batteries died out even though they made fixing the phone a lot easier.

          Phones gained little camera humps to make the phones thinner overall and easier to drop, with slippery, awful surfaces.

          Even though you'd then scratch up the camera, and wonder why they didn't just make it flush and fill out the space with battery.

          Until the Gemini, there hasn't been a recent device with a reasonably sized keyboard - my wife has been showing several people her Gemini, and many of them wish they had such a device, some have even offered money for it on the spot.

          My point is, there is demand for devices beyond the ever increasing slab of slippery glass, but people's preferences aren't so narrow that they'd avoid buying the latest crap regardless of questionable design choices.

          1. AMBxx Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

            Sounds like you're describing my Lumia 520. The right size, micro SD, head phone jack, flat back, good shape to hold, removable battery.

            Every so often, I take it out of the drawer to recharge and think about what might have been if MS hadn't completely screwed things up.

            1. darlingimp

              Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

              "Sounds like you're describing my Lumia 520. The right size, micro SD, head phone jack, flat back, good shape to hold, removable battery. Every so often, I take it out of the drawer to recharge and think about what might have been if MS hadn't completely screwed things up."

              You are describing my Samsung Galaxy II as well. Fortunately, I am still using mine.

            2. largefile

              Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

              I don't blame Microsoft for the Windows Phone death. They played the best hand they had left to play. Just could not convince enough app makers to support the platform. Could not gain the traction it needed. If you use a variety of apps (I don't) there just wasn't any way to stick with the platform. I'm still using a Lumia 950XL every day of the week. I use it to talk on the phone, send txt messages and access my email. I'll kill time on the internet with it if I'm stuck in a doctors office waiting room but for the most part, it's a communications device for me. I'll use it till it dies or is broken.

          2. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

            @Piro

            I suggested that consumers have enjoyed choice in the size of phone screen size, and you disagree before talking about batteries and headphone jack. I don't follow you.

            There have always been smaller Android phones available in the low and mid range. Where smaller Android phones were conspicuous by their absence was in the top range - those phones boasting the fastest processors - until the Xperia Compact range. I've seen a few in the wild.

            I've also seen people who've deliberately chosen bigger models.

            So I'll state it again: most people having used smartphones over the last decade are aware of the pros (more screen for content) and cons (harder to hold etc) of a large screen and have made their own informed choice.

          3. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

            These glass slabs aren't slippery if you put them in a case. A case will also solve your protruding camera lens issue. As a side benefit they identify your phone as yours, just in case your mates have the same model.

            Some phones have sapphire over the camera lens; if it's scratched then it's likely due to jewelry or diamond cutting discs (or the dust after using them) that's likely to be the culprit. Blow or brush the camera lens before wiping it on your shirt.

            It's healthy to suggest that certain design choices are questionable as long as one is genuinely ready to hear possible answers. I understand that a protruding camera lens prevents a naked phone from being laid flat on a table, but I also understand it provides a tactile aid to help obscuring the lens with one's finger, and that anyway most people use cases. Some people would say that nudging people to place their phones face down is also socially desirable. There has been a choice, all options have been questioned, and the pros and cons weighed up.

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

              "These glass slabs aren't slippery if you put them in a case."

              Cases suck. If a phone requires the use of a case, then that's a very strong argument to not buy that phone.

              1. Dave 126 Silver badge

                Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

                > If a phone requires the use of a case, then that's a very strong argument to not buy that phone.

                What difference does it make if the protective material is built into the phone, or added by the user to meet their individual needs?

                If you think all users present the same risk to their phone (environment), then you really haven't given this any thought. Maybe you only socialise with people in the same line of work as yourself, or else you've no grasp of simple physics.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

                  "If you think all users present the same risk to their phone ……"

                  Let's just take the common situation of dropping the phone from waist height onto a road surface. If a phone without a case breaks more than one in a hundred times it's too fragile...….. Except for the rare subset of people who never venture outside.

                2. Mage Silver badge

                  Re: What difference does it make if the protective material

                  Thinner, or if same thickness, more battery. Having two cases, like a pair of Russian dolls is mad.

                  Better protection too.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

              If a phone needs an add on case it's a poor design i.e. too fragile for normal use.

            3. Sam Liddicott

              Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

              the case -- that makes your phone really thick again but without increasing the battery life.

              Why don't they attach a flip front cover to the battery case which is thicker because it has more battery?

            4. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

              Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

              "These glass slabs aren't slippery if you put them in a case."

              You pay a lot for the glass case and the expensive CPU and then hide it in a case which incidentally slows down the CPU on intensive tasks because it throttles when it gets hot and the case keeps the heat in. This is not imaginary, by the way. I discovered that the phone I use as a satnav (LG G4) overheats in the car in a case in summer, and the fix was to spend time making it a proper bracket that holds it securely but with a good airflow, whereupon the overheating stopped.

            5. Mage Silver badge

              Re: aren't slippery if you put them in a case

              That's a design fail.

              Similar fail is tablets and eReaders that need a fat cover. The Sony PRS350 may have had a cover option that was simply a flap on the front. Larger screens, Tablets & eInk do need a safety cover, but it should be a clip on hinge, not a box.

              A phone CAN be made such that it doesn't need a cover.

              Was the LG Chocolate (10 years ago?) first touch phone in long shape and maybe Nokia Communicator "brick" first long screen smart phone. 2000 etc. I had the mono and then the later colour one. A modern version would be nice, I suppose the Gemini is nearly the replacement.

          4. Stuart Castle

            Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

            "My point is, there is demand for devices beyond the ever increasing slab of slippery glass, but people's preferences aren't so narrow that they'd avoid buying the latest crap regardless of questionable design choices."

            I'm a bit of an Apple fanboy. Before you laugh and dismiss my post because of that, I genuinely chose Apple hardware because I like the way it works (it does work well for my needs). It looks nice, but, TBH, that really isn't my primary consideration.

            That said, it does have it's faults. I'd like the option of a bigger battery, even if I have to accept a slightly thicker phone or tablet to get it. I'd like the option of adding an SD card as well, although, TBH. I rarely use the full 128Gb storage that is built in, unless I am going on a long journey and load up the phone with videos. Not too bothered about the lack of a headphone socket, as I have a decent pair of bluetooth headphones that last a week (in normal use) on one charge, and I think it's nice not to have a cable that can snag on something and pull my phone out of my pocket (I've had this happen with an iPod before).

            What I don't like, however, is the lack of choice feature and design wise in the smart phone market. Most of the smart phones appear to be using variants of the same design, just with slightly rounded corners, a screen that goes to the edge, or a notch. I'd like a choice, maybe different resolutions. Screen Sizes. A proper keyboard (as per the Gemini), a keypad or touch screen. Maybe even more colours.

            Maybe I'm getting old (I am), but it seems that phones today don't offer the same choice as phones previously. Look at the old Nokia range. They were all clearly Nokias, but the 7110 and 8110 had different features, and looked quite different. Todays smartphones all look like thin slabs of glass and plastic/metal.

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

              > If a phone needs an add on case it's a poor design i.e. too fragile for normal use.

              The issue is with defining 'normal', though a later commenter has suggested that a metre fall onto asphalt is a scenario most of us have encountered. It's probability - my plastic fantastic Nexus 5 survived dozens of such drops, until one day it didn't.

              Indeed, the joy of a £35 Huaweii I once owned was I didn't worry about dropping it, since I bought it as an interim phone. My current Galaxy phone might survive a dozen drops unprotected, but the cost is such that I'd rather not take the risk.

              Using the pubs I do, not only are many of the drinkers tradesmen (I like the mechanic's iPhone 4 surrounded on 4 sides by 3/4 of foam rubber), but many spend the evening in a concrete tiled beer garden; if you spend several hours a week there, over time a drop is inevitable.

        2. strum Silver badge

          Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

          >I think that the average consumer has used enough phones in the past to choose the size they want.

          It's rather difficult to find a new phone, the size I want (still using a Nexus 4 and can't find anything similar).

      2. IanCa

        Re: Wouldn't it be nice .. EXACTLY

        still keeping mine and the wife's samsung S5 and S4 minis alive because there hasn't been anything since that's the same form factor and high spec (someone seems to have decided that small phones now should be the crappy spec ones). A phone, for people like me, needs to be small enough to carry in all kinds of convenient places - like the napoleon pocket of a hike coat, a bike bar-bag, a sailing dry pouch, or simply the humble trouser pocket (without the danger of ripping when sitting and/or dodgy bulging).

        I SIMPLY DONT WANT to carry around a screen big enough to watch movies on, update instafacetweet or any of that tosh. I have several devices that can do that (laptop, 9" tablet) and I don't want to take any of those with me up a mountain / in a boat / on a bike / to the pub.

        seriously, any manufacturer who can bring back the form factor of the S5 mini, with a fully loaded spec, I'll be getting two.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Wouldn't it be nice .. EXACTLY

          The Galaxy Sx Mini phones never had the full internal spec of their bigger cousins. The Xperia Compact range largely did, and, with respect to IanCa's outdoor lifestyle, had the added bonus of being waterproof. They also had several very good battery Stamina modes before stock Android adopted such features. Oh, and an FM radio.

          1. ibmalone Silver badge

            Re: Wouldn't it be nice .. EXACTLY

            The Galaxy Sx Mini phones never had the full internal spec of their bigger cousins.

            Honestly I don't really care about full spec. Keep that for galaxy notes or whatever. What I liked about the Sx Mini was they had good specs in a small phone. The current trend is small phones have the minimum specs: Galaxy A3 no longer exists, but the 2017 model had 16GB of storage and had finally made it to 2GB of RAM, 3 years to pass the spec of the S5 mini. Presumably the thinking goes that if you don't want to pay for a bigger screen then you don't want to pay for more storage or a processor with more than one ant in it either. Unfortunately that means that people who want smaller screens for reasons other than price don't have much choice. Xperia compact is what I've jumped ship to, but even that seems endangered.

            Edit: but sadly no longer FM radio.

        2. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: Wouldn't it be nice .. EXACTLY

          still keeping mine and the wife's samsung S5 and S4 minis alive because there hasn't been anything since that's the same form factor and high spec (someone seems to have decided that small phones now should be the crappy spec ones)

          Precisely. The lack of network software updates to the S4 mini are what eventually forced me to upgrade. The A series is disappointing, because they've speced it along the lines "bigger phone"="better", so the mini-sized A3 would have been a downgrade. Held out a year on rumours of new small Samsungs until I gave up and got Sony XZ1 compact. Yes, it's faster and has some nice features, but even it, after 6 months, still feels uncomfortably bulky in the pocket. The way the official cover integrated into the case was also nice, though probably not possible with a waterproof phone.

          The length is also important for ease of carrying. I realise you can't just compare diagonal sizes when they're making them proportionately longer, but I don't really want to be carrying round a stick.

        3. PeterM42
          Megaphone

          Re: Wouldn't it be nice .. EXACTLY

          Try the Unihertz Jelly Pro if you want small.

      3. juice Bronze badge

        Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

        > As for becoming taller and narrower, this is again the consumer optinion being shaped to maximized profits - the less square the screen, the fewer pixels there are for any given diagonal size. Fewer pixels means higher yealds, which means lower cost and greater profit margins

        Screens aren't becoming narrower: instead, they're becoming taller. E.g.

        Samsung S7: 2.74" wide with a 16:9 screen (4.4" * 2.5")

        Samsung S8: 2.68" wide with a 18.5:9 screen (5.2" * 2.5")

        LG G5: 2.91" wide with a 16.9 screen (4.6" * 2.6")

        LG G6: 2.83" wide with a 18.9 screen (5.1" * 2.5")

        LG G7: 2.83" wide with a 19.5:9 screen (5.5" * 2.6")

        I.e. the screen width has stayed constant at 2.5 inches, while the *handset* width has dropped slightly, but that's due to the ongoing drive to trim bezels down to a micron's thickness.

        Equally, pixel density has stayed fairly constant for the above handsets at ~570 ppi. So the screens are both physically bigger than the old screens and have higher overall pixel counts, which would negatively impact yields.

        And to round it off: the main reason why manufacturers are extending the screen height? Virtual buttons. Moving from 16:9 to 18:9 (or beyond) gives them a nice space at the bottom of the screen where the virtual buttons can sit and not get in the way. And as an added bonus, it contributes to reducing bezel sizes and increasing the screen-to-body ratio; both of which are great for marketing.

        Overall, it's time to step away from the tin foil - there's no need for a shiny hat today!

        1. Florida1920 Silver badge

          Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

          What would be nice is, when people are shooting video, they'd hold the damned phone horizontal.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wouldn't it be nice ..

        "Frankly, it'd be nice if sensibly sized (<= 4") phones of decent spec were to become available again"

        My phone, Moto Z play (5.5" screen) died a week or so ago while on holiday so had a few days to think about what to replace it with. As emergency measure when I got home I went back to my previous Nexus 5 (5" screen) and was amazed how small it seemed. That said, I had thought of getting a Moto G6 (5.7") or G6+ (5.9") but ended getting a Nokia8 (5.3" + Nokia ringtone!) and think I'm happy with the size. Meanwhile, my wife wont use a "smartphone" as a phone as she thinks they are all too big so for a phone she uses an Alcatel "feature" flip-phone and has a Moto G5 with no SIM card as effectively a mini-tablet (though side effect of my phone dying on holiday was I put my SIM in her G5 and I fear she may have become hooked on the idea of facebook-anywhere!)

  2. Arctic fox
    Headmaster

    From your article 2nd July Andrew.

    "......scientists reported an antidote – an under-glass fingerprint sensor which makes a display cut-out superfluous. But so far we've yet to report a successful field trial."

    We can only hope that the notch is a shortlived phenomenen. The word "fugly" does not begin to cover the case.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: From your article 2nd July Andrew.

      On OLED screens the notch doesn't have to visible. It will only be visible if the background to the status bar is not black.

      Apple made a point of making the notch visible and insisting that developers don't hide the notch.

      The Vivo X21 phone has an optical under-the-display optical fingerprint sensor, sold in India a couple of weeks ago. It is possible that the article you refer to is about ultrasonic under-the-display finger print readers, I can't remember.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: From your article 2nd July Andrew.

        "On OLED screens the notch doesn't have to visible. "

        My problem with the notch isn't that it's visible. It's that it takes up valuable screen real estate that I want to use for other purposes (like being able to make full use of the status bar).

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: From your article 2nd July Andrew.

          The notch isn't using up screen space, it's using otherwise unused space in line with the earpiece and camera. Look at a photo of a notched phone and see for yourself.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: From your article 2nd July Andrew.

            I have. The notch sits in the middle of the line where the notifications go, and is taking up valuable space there.

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: From your article 2nd July Andrew.

              Yes, but that notification line is shifted further up the phone by sitting in line with the earpiece. You're gaining 2/3rds of a line, not losing 1/3rd of a line.

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: From your article 2nd July Andrew.

                Hmm, that's not what I've observed. Maybe I need to look at other implementations.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: From your article 2nd July Andrew.

        "Apple made a point of making the notch visible and insisting that developers don't hide the notch."

        We'll probably find in the near future (after everyone else has decided to copy tne notch) thatt Apple have a patent on noteches (on mobile devices)

  3. James 51 Silver badge

    The notch exists for one or two reasons depending on how you view the issue. Percentage of surface covered by screen is one of the metrics that is being used to drive the sale of new phones. So are features such as face unlock. Problem is that the level of reliablity required for high end phones, under the glass sensors aren't ready yet. At least not a price that even Apple is unwilling to charge. the notch is a comprimise, we want to have both things, even if it creates an ugly comprimise that should handle OS level info battery level, signal strength etc etc and tell app developers hands off.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      It's also worth noting that simple rectangular OLED screens were already laser cut. This means that cutting out the notch barely to the cost because it is a part of an existing manufacturing process - there's no extra stage of moving the screen to an extra machine.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      "the notch is a comprimise, we want to have both things"

      Who's "we"? Personally, I actively don't want face unlock, so the presence of the notch is sacrificing functionality in exchange for nothing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Personally, I actively don't want face unlock, so the presence of the notch is sacrificing functionality in exchange for nothing."

        Selfies seem popular which needs a front facing camera, you also need a loudspeaker when making a call. I think there us a proximity sensor there too that is used to detect when the phone is held to the ear. They (currently) have to go somewhere that's not got a screen over them.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          "They (currently) have to go somewhere that's not got a screen over them."

          And, as millions of phones have amply demonstrated, you don't need a notch to accommodate them.

      2. James 51 Silver badge

        @JohnFen, I was saying 'we' collectively. Certainly I don't want them but it's what were getting and getting more of it by the day so enough people want or are willing to put up with it to make it a feature on a lot of phones.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Yes, I understood that. But since I am not willing to put up with this nonsense (as well as the other decisions), and won't be buying phones that are inferior to the ones I was able to buy in the past, I am still not part of that collective "we".

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    but...

    When all you sell is a 18:9 phone, how do you tell if the consumer wanted something different?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: but...

      At the moment there are many similar specced phones with 16:9 and 18:9 displays, so a vendor should be able to work out what the consumer thinks they want based on what they buy.

      Also note that consumers buy what they think they want, and that what they think they want and what they actually want aren't necessarily the same thing.

      A phone designer can spend months living with a prototype and assessing it. A consumer might spend twenty minutes in a showroom with their mind melting under the strain of specification numbers and special offers.

      A phone designer also has access to a lot of information, both quantative (what proportion of users spend what proportion of their time with their phone reading articles in portrait as opposed to watching videos in landscape) and qualitative (how a phone feels in a hand or a jeans pocket)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: but...

      Indeed, being a power user, I wanted at least 20:10 but I'll have to put up with the inferior 18:9 for now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: but...

        Phone in the picture isn't even 18:9 anyway, it's 9:18.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: but...

        20:10??? Surely you really want 22:11 ... it goes all the way to eleven!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: but...

      I wanted 2:1

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: but...

        I wanted 2:1

        You think that's bad? I wanted 1:2.

  5. ninjaturtle

    Why call it 18:9 and not 2:1?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Answer: Comparison to older models that the consumer is used to. These 2:1 phones tend to be the same width as older 16:9 models, (human hands and pickets remaining the same size) so using 18:9 more clearly denotes that the phone is longer. For reading websites, and especially commenting in websites where the keyboard takes up space, a talker display is very nice.

      1. Tim 11

        soon they'll be announcing an "upgrade" to a 24:12 aspect ratio for high end phones - bigger is better, right? ;-)

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          As long as the volume also goes up to 11, then everyone will be happy... ;)

    2. Piro

      I actually think using decimals and fixing one of the ratios is best overall, since it gives you a clear indication of how many times wide to how many times tall, whilst only changing one number.

      For example, you can have 4:3, or in other words, 1.33:1. 16:9, or 1.77:1.

      You can easily omit the :1 for the sake of brevity.

      1. stephanh Silver badge

        But 4/3 is not equal to 1.33

        You are 1/300 short.

        If we use repeating decimal notation, I am OK: 1.3̅

      2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        @Piro

        ... the film production industry does this, but film production had so many different source and intermediary aspect ratios that normalising them was the only way for people to stay sane. And as the final cinema presentation will always a fixed height, with variable width, it makes sense to normalise everything in terms of height being "1 unit" (it certainly makes it easier for a projectionist to work out how wide the curtains have to open to accommodate a 1.85:1 presentation)

        But like it or not, when it comes to TV, and consumer electronics in general, the "-to-9" ratios are ingrained in the public's perception thanks to the billions spent in the late 1990s and early 2000s to launch 16:9 "widescreen" televisions and content.

        And while most of the film-industry ratios are down to the mechanical details of film cameras, the TV ratios that correspond to them are actually a simple geometric progression:

        31:41 = 3:4 = 1.33... :1, approx. the cinematic "Academy" ratio (1.37:1)

        32:42 = 16:9 = 1.77 :1 approx. cinematic widescreen (1.85:1)

        33:43 = 64:27 = 2.37:1 approx. "scope" ratios (2.35~2.39:1)

        64:27 TVs do exist, and were sold in the past by Philips and others, but were advertised as "21:9" to make it clearer that they were a "super-widescreen" set. The problem with these wasn't the display, but the fact that they had to scale up existing 1080p content, with resulting loss of sharpness. But with today's streaming services able to (theoretically) deliver a native, unscaled 2.37:1 4k feed to consumers, I'm expecting a small renaissance in this aspect ratio at the high-end of the market.

    3. JulieM Silver badge

      For the benefit of the non-mathematically inclined, I guess. 18:9 is easier to compare with 16:9; with 2:1, you would first have to equalise the denominators.

  6. dajames Silver badge

    "Traditional"

    The "Traditional" shape for a widescreen display is 16:10. We only have 16:9 because HD television screens have that aspect ratio and there are economies of scale in using the same panels for both (and because LCD panels are now good enough to be used for both).

    18:9 (or 2:1, as we used to call it) seems calculated to remove any possibility of using the same screen as (say) a pocket TV, and so has no chance of bringing any economy.

    Personally, when I view a very-wide display I find the short dimension limiting and want it to be larger in comparison with the larger. I'd prefer something squarer.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "Traditional"

      Not sure how many dedicated pocket TVs or PMPs are sold these days compared to phones. I'd imagine whatever works best for phones will be what is made in most numbers.

      On plus side, 3:2 laptops are back! See Huaweii Matebook Pro X, dedicated nVidea GPU too!

      1. Michael Strorm

        Re: "Traditional"

        The standalone pocket/handheld TV market is all but dead, and as far as I can tell it's as much to do with the switch to digital terrestrial.

        There's a video on YouTube, "Whatever happened to handheld TVs?" that looks at a handheld television made by some no-name company designed for regular DVB-T (the terrestrial TV standard in Europe and some other parts of the world) and it's... less than impressive. It might simply be that the device is shite, but given my experience with other portable aerials, it's more likely that DVB-T just isn't suited to portable use.

        That- along possibly with the need for decoding by low-powered devices- would explain why they created the separate DVB-H standard for handheld devices. However, that was around a decade ago and as far as I can tell, it never got past the trial stage in the UK, and flopped elsewhere.

        Even if handheld digital TV had taken off, I suspect it's something that would have been integrated into smartphones by now, rather than being sold as a standalone device. As things are, most people are just going to watch "TV" over their phone's standard TCP/IP connection.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: "Traditional"

          > given my experience with other portable aerials, it's more likely that DVB-T just isn't suited to portable use.

          Even in the home where people have reliable DVB aerials and/or satellite dishes, a lot of content is either watched over the internet or has been previously recorded. Since phones can play both on the hoof, the demand for a mobile TV receiver must be very small. Possibly handy if you're camping in an area with no 3G and your phone has no storage and you can't read a book.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Traditional"

      Personally, when I view a very-wide display I find the short dimension limiting and want it to be larger in comparison with the larger. I'd prefer something squarer.

      I was going to say "good luck pocketing that" when I realised that my wallet is about 4" by 4". Which opens up a whole plethora of possibilities including single panels, clamshells with a single display and a proper keyboard, or twin panel touchscreen displays.

      And finally, for idiots everywhere, a concertina of about five panels.

  7. Wellyboot Silver badge

    18:9

    Because 18:9 sounds much better than 16:9 and 2:1 seems a lot less to the marketards

    I'm more interested in it actually fitting in my pockets than a small ratio change tbh.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: 18:9

      A taller phone will display more text (less scrolling) than a shorter phone of same width.

      If you're finding that height of phone is a limiting factor with regards to putting it in your pocket, try rotating the phone through 90 degrees and trying again. No, no, I meant 90 degrees through the Z axis, you're just making it even harder for yourself.

      You might also consider the Xperia XZ2 Compact phone. Or there's a new iPhone SE rumoured to arrive soon if that's your flavour.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: 18:9

        No, it will display less text - whenever used to browse a webpage, which will invariably be unusable in "mobile" mode (if the five year old layout even still works) and displaying all of five lines of text in landscape mode, which is the only usable way to view a "normal desktop" site.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: 18:9

          I'd use try a different browser if I were you Dropbear. Yeah, some websites don't flow text properly, but many a browser has 'Simplified' mode to remove the chaff and comfortably display the pertinent text.

          Of course two differently shaped screens of equal area will show the same amount of text if pages were properly displayed. However, I didn't take screen area as my starting point but screen *width* (because it is screen width that most greatly affects hand comfort and pocket comfort). So, for two screens of equal width, the taller one will display more text.

          If we didn't have to carry, hold or pocket our phones they might all be the size our desktop monitors!

      2. jmch Silver badge

        Re: 18:9

        "A taller phone will display more text (less scrolling) than a shorter phone of same width"

        Yes, but it will display less text than a shorter phone of the same *diagonal* (which would be wider). Phones screen sizes have been marketed based on diagonal size, this is now what consumer 'knows'. Taller ratio allows manufacturers marketing departments to boast about bigger screens when in reality they are only increasing the diagonal while keeping the area the same.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: 18:9

          What the consumer *knows* is the feel of their past and current phones in their hand and pocket, and they'll have seen and felt their friend's Galaxy Note (big) and their sister's iPhone SE (little). Some of them will even look at and handle a range of phones in a shop before buying!

          Unlike TVs where, all else being equal, bigger is usually better, people have their own informed reasons for not necessarily buying the biggest phone available - they might have small hands, or they have a physical job, or they primarily use their phone for one-handed texting.

        2. juice Bronze badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: 18:9

          > Taller ratio allows manufacturers marketing departments to boast about bigger screens when in reality they are only increasing the diagonal while keeping the area the same.

          Eh? As per my waffles above, over the last few generations phone screens have gotten taller while keeping the same width (~2.5 inches). So the screens are physically bigger - we've gone from a height of 5.1" to around 5.5" for a 2:1 ratio phone.

          And as a certain socialite-icon would no doubt agree, an extra 0.4" can sometimes make all the difference...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 18:9

          The other problem with a taller screen is that ot will become more likely you get exposed to inline adverts

    2. Michael Strorm

      Re: 18:9

      "Because 18:9 sounds much better than 16:9"

      That's because it *is* better. But it's still not as good as the 180:9 screen I have on my upcoming smartphone which is obviously *ten* times better than even that. I call this a "Ludicrously Widescreen (TM)" display.

      It comes in 7" and 10" versions. But remember, that's 7" and 10" Ludicrously Widescreen (TM), so it's much better than Apple and Samsungs'.

      (I know there are people out there who probably *would* buy this "impressive" sounding device on spec... and I'd like to see their faces when they realised what "180:9" actually implied in the context of a 10" display. They'd soon understand why I'd chosen to name my phone... the Sumshite Stykk.)

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: 18:9

      "But it goes to 11, see?"

  8. nichomach

    Taller and narrower is good news

    Especially the narrower bit. Picked up 2 A8s for people here and they're much more usable.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Taller and narrower is good news

      SWMBO is considering either an A8 or an S8 for personal use. Is the A8 actually any good?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Taller and narrower is good news

        Apparently the A8 has a great screen and water resistance, but better value is to be found elsewhere, so I've read:

        https://www.techradar.com/reviews/samsung-galaxy-a8-review

        Might be worth looking at the price of the S8 - it appears now to be £50 - £100 more but hard to tell without digging deeper through the detach results to ignore cowboy retailers.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Taller and narrower is good news

        If you're buying the A8/S8 sim free, you might want to take a look at a Xiaomi Mi8, if it isn't too big. Get it via Ebay, and pay with a UK credit card, making sure its a UK seller (ie grey import). If you go for the Mi* SE it can be had for about £330, although I think it has an inferior camera to the full fat Mi8. it won't be as good as the S8, but since its half the price it is worth considering.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Taller and narrower is good news

          It's probably not half the price - the S8 was drastically discounted before the launch of the S9.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Taller and narrower is good news

          Get it via Ebay, and pay with a UK credit card, making sure its a UK seller (ie grey import).

          Especially if you're buying for someone else this is terrible advice. Okay if you're buying for yourself but otherwise get from a reliable sales channel.

          Maybe Xiaomi will invest some of the money from the IPO to establish its own sales and support channels outside Asia.

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: Taller and narrower is good news

            SWMBO wants to stick with Samsung.

  9. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Mine's going to be 22:11, far better than your 18:9. Though I hear that 30:15 will be available soon.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Soon they'll be googol powered.

  10. artem

    The notch must die.

    16x9 must come back.

    Stereo speakers are a must.

    Symmetrical phones are a must.

    The removable battery is a must.

    Wireless charging is a must.

    3.5" headphone jack is a must.

    ---

    Those tall notched fugly phones are just that.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Generally I agree with that - I could sacrifice symmetry though.

      The thing that matters most to me isn't the aspect ratio so much as the overall size. My preferred resolution is 16:9, but I'd settle for something else so long at it was on a device that I can actually fit into my pocket.

    2. Bavaria Blu

      Removable battery *and* wireless charging!?

      I think removable batteries are a thing of the past. Probably better to invest in an external "power bank" if you find the power running low

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        No. because it doesn't remove the fact the now-bulging battery is stressing the rest of the phone AND is a fire risk. Frankly, there should be a law that ALL lithium-based batteries be removable by design OR ELSE.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          I'd be more concerned about the fire risks of people carrying 3rd party (from deity knows where) batteries around in the bottom of kit bags where they might be pierced by screwdrivers or whatever. Of course the battery could be housed in a 2mm ABS plastic case, but then your phone would contain a total of 4mm ABS that could be better utilised for a bigger battery in the first place.

          Whilst the very rare occurrence of a burning phone can cause injury, it's very unlikely to cause death, which an unattended fire (kit bag or paper-filled briefcase left in office) might. And if a phone battery does start to thermally runaway, it's maybe not a bad thing that it's surrounded by glass and metal instead of paper.

          Since I have a grasp of statistics, and am a regular road user, the risk of a phone fire is pretty far down the list of things that scare me.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Since I have a grasp of statistics, and am a regular road user, the risk of a phone fire is pretty far down the list of things that scare me.

            You are terrible at statistics.

            Samsung Note 7 Destroyed Car

            Samsung Note 7 Burned Man From Pants

            Replacement Samsung Note 7 Exploded On Airline

            Samsung recall all Note 7

            A statistics significant enough to cause a worldwide recall is a pretty big statistical difference.

            I'd be more concerned about the fire risks of people carrying 3rd party

            You should be concern about both the fire risks of 3rd party and 1st party batteries. They are both chemically stored energy, which can release energy quickly, which in terms means it has safety concern.

            Whilst the very rare occurrence of a burning phone can cause injury, it's very unlikely to cause death

            Just some burn, on the face, on the pants, on your kid, it didn't cause any death! no problem. /s

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Plus this still doesn't address the whole "stress the phone" issue. I have two tablets I cannot use anymore because the bulging non-replaceable battery is stressing the thing to the breaking point. Trying to get them fixed would cost more than the tablet's worth, so that's a Planned Obsolescence angle (which should be considered illegal at some point to reduce trash).

              1. Dave 126 Silver badge

                > You are terrible at statistics

                If you say that you should really go onto to include some numbers in your post. But seriously, you think more people are harmed by phone fires than by road accidents?

                The Note 7 was recalled. You can't use the risk once posed by a recalled product as any indication of the risk of other products.

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Yes you can, because it means they F'd up at some point when they shouldn't have. Things like this are one reason I haven't gone beyond a Note *4*, much as I want to. Non-replaceable battery is a deal-breaker for me when it comes to phones, and after pulling out a number of bulging batteries firsthand and dealing with aforementioned stressed tablets, I stand by my decision.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        External power banks don't really solve the problem that non-removable batteries cause.

      3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        "Probably better to invest in an external "power bank" if you find the power running low"

        If I was happy to carry around an external battery, permantently plugged into the phone because the built-in one has worn out and I'm too cheap to buy a new device every other year ... then I'd prefer no battery at all inside the device.

        1. VikiAi Silver badge
          Boffin

          Sounds like what we actually want is a technical-user-replacable battery. A 'technical user' being anyone who owns a T6 screwdriver independently of the desire to open their phone.

      4. onefang Silver badge

        'I think removable batteries are a thing of the past. Probably better to invest in an external "power bank" if you find the power running low'

        I want both though. I use a solar powered battery to charge my phones, and I want to be able to remove the phones battery when things inevitably go wrong. Though I'll admit that part of the reason for that is my last smartphone's proximity sensor died, it would keep the screen blank during phone calls, so the only way to hang up was to pull the battery.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      The notch must die.

      It almost certainly will in everything apart from Apple's devices; Apple is the only company that has a real investment in it as a design feature.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        I hope you're right. But Apple has been making a number of terrible design decisions over the past few years, and other manufacturers have blindly adopted them (they apparently still buy into the myth of Apple design infallibility). It's a tendency that needs to stop, and I hope it does.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fuck off with your stereo speakers - use headphones you anti-social arse!

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        There's nothing antisocial about using my phone's loudspeaker to listen to podcasts in my own kitchen. Dunno that stereo would do much for me though - anything I care about enough to want stereo I likely care about enough to want headphones.

        It's that I can listen in the kitchen whilst making a cuppa, then stroll to the garden or study that precludes me from plugging in bigger speakers, or faffing around with Bluetooth or Chromecast audio.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the extra length makes all the difference.

    i'll get my coat.

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Happy

      That's just what I told my ex-!

      While handing him his coat.

  12. Teiwaz Silver badge

    thinner and now taller and narrower

    Let that trend continue, we'll all be talking into the kind of pen things used in The Man From UNCLE.

    1. Bavaria Blu

      Re: thinner and now taller and narrower

      Who was he?

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: thinner and now taller and narrower

        @B Blu... I hope that you’re joking. If you’re serious, you’re a child who can’t google things. And are sadly lacking in your cultural education.

        If you’re joking, you need better scriptwriters.

  13. Sil

    Positively hate the 18:9 and narrower ratios.

    In my hand, 16:9 is perfect and on many 18:9 "high end smartphones" the resolution is actually lower than on my 2+ y.o. smartphone.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      I'll happily take your word for your preference for 16:9 over 2:1. However, without knowing what you use your phone for, the size of your phone, the size of your hands and fingers, and the acuity of your eyesight, it's hard to put your preference into any context.

      If you watch a lot of videos, I can see you preferring 16:9, for example.

  14. FlossyThePig

    Vertical Video

    So moving to either 18:9 or 18+:9 from 16:9 will the videos occupy an even thinner vertical stripe when shown on TV news programmes?

    P.S. Don't get me started on the blurred enlargement the broadcaster insist on displaying behind the stripe.

  15. jclayton

    It's crazy how often smaller pioneers are overlooked, android creator Andy Ruben released the first notched phone, the essential, beat apple to market by 3 months, and was announced long before that, all others copied that, including apple

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      You missed the context in the article. He didn't say that Apple made the first notched screen, but that Apple made the first notched 18:9 (2:1) screen. The Essential Phone had a 16:10 screen.

      See:

      "OLED panel pioneer Samsung introduced the 18:9 ratio in its own Galaxy S8+ last year, but didn't feel it necessary to mar the display with a cutout. That came with Apple's iPhone X, much copied this year, with its 18:9 display."

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...square screens?

    Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but that graph seems to suggest that square screens are going to have nearly 1/3 share by the end of 2018.

    What the heck?

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: ...square screens?

      Shitty colour choice is shitty.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: ...square screens?

      Dear AC:

      "For those viewing in Black and White, the pink ball is the one next to the green ball..."

      Look at the top of the graph for the square screen shipments. For some reason two similar colours of green were used in the graph. My best guess is the square screens (that are falling in popularity) are on Blackberry phones.

  17. Teiwaz Silver badge
    Alien

    We now interrupt your call for the obligatory 15 second advert.

    I'm sure it's coming, and the advert will be ever so slightly on topic to your phone conversation.

    The excuse will be 'call prices may have to go up, blah blah monetise, blah blah alternative income streams'

    ....just feeding the tinfoil hatters, tear off another sheet and increasing the lining by an extra 5mm.

  18. Lomax
    Megaphone

    Peak phone

    Was reached with the Nokia N9.

    1. Robert Forsyth

      Re: Peak phone

      As much of a fan as I am,

      the USB-OTG did not work (no power), it has no 4G, the front facing camera did not work well and looked up your nose, the lamp/flash for the front camera did not come on to light your face, it could be easier to change the battery and much easier to replace the micro-USB.

      However, there is plenty of good in it.

  19. I sound like Peter Griffin!!

    Hehehe

    Motorola 'VBOX' v100

    Awww super happy fun times :D

  20. Rob F

    Augmented smaugmented

    Never mind screen ratios, what is my augmented reality view ratio going to be?

    My last two phones have been the Huawei P9 Plus (18:9) and the Samsung S9 Plus (18.5:9) and I really don't notice any difference between them viewing wise, despite the S9 Plus having a 0.7 inch longer diagonal display, despite being only 5% larger length wise. The width of the two devices is identical, any larger and I wouldn't be able to use it as a phone or have it fit in my pocket.

  21. Robert Forsyth

    Shame No Wacky Nokia Concepts

    Kinetic

    Gem

    Camera bump on PrueView 808

    Instead of a large screen, have an eye piece (like an old camera viewfinder) you hold the phone up to your eye and see a 13" screen while guiding the controls/cursor with your fingers/hand holding the phone

  22. LongPass

    16:9 OR FORGET IT

    The day that I can no longer buy a cutting edge flagship phone that has a flat, notchless 16:9 aspect ratio display will be the day that I'll be done buying expensive flagship phones! If my phone cost $200 or less (instead of $1000 or more) I won't care if it has a notch and/or a tall/slim (18:9) display- WHATEVER.

    For years now, I have owned and loved Samsung Galaxy Note Phones. I fell out of love with them, starting with the Note 7. Although it has a 16:9 display, I didn't buy a Note 7 (while they were for sale) because I didn't like the curved edge screen.

    I did buy a Note 8 when it was introduced. I got rid of it a month later. I went back to using a Note 5 (my current phone). I hated the Note 8! I fooled myself into thinking that I could learn to like a 18.5:9 aspect ratio screen with curved edges. I WAS WRONG!

    I'll soon be retiring my Galaxy Note 5 in favor of a Sony Experia XZ2 Premium- a new, cutting edge flagship phone with a 16:9 flat display.

    NO notch, NO tall/slim display, NO curved screen edges... NOT NOW, NOT EVER!

  23. sabroni Silver badge

    A useful extension to the display.

    I guess the facts of this depend on whether manufacturers build notch shaped displays from scratch or not. If the notch means cutting a bit of working screen out then it's a waste. If the manufacturers can build them that way then I guess they're ugly but potentially useful.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: A useful extension to the display.

      Well yeah, some working pixels are cut out of the panel (in the same operation that cuts the whole panel out) However, I'm currently using a non-notched 18:9 display, and it could be argued that the black pixels in the middle of my status bar are 'wasted' most of the time. The limitation isn't isn't the cost per pixel, but the front facing area of the smart phone. If more use can be made if the real estate by bumping notifications up inline with the earpiece, so be it (not an option on my Galaxy, Samsung have stuck loads of sensors up there).

  24. pear

    Phone vendors are being a bit anti-consumer

    I'm not especially bothered about aspect ration as long as I can hold the damned thing.

    By Nokia 808 was a technological marvel. Small but weighty and seemingly indestructible.. ok after many years the xenon flash stopped working (remember those?) , easy to hold, industry beating camera and sound recording (never really surpassed though cameras now have some useful tricks and are much faster), oled screen replaceable battery, absolute works but Symbian effectively died.

    I then switched to an LG G4, which was a total fail, the thing was huge and by modern standards it's not even considered that large. Not to mention bootloop and battery issues.

    Phones that I can fit in my hand are rare, I ended up with an iphone se which is a near ideal form factor, I could take some a little larger - say a 6s, but i think even just reducing bezels would be sufficient.

    I would quite gladly have continued along apple road but getting rid of a headphone jack is just stupid and benefits no one. Then, android manufacturers in their stupidity join that party as a feature so that they can make the phones even thinner and more fragile.

    Google were joking about it one year and then removed it from the pixel 2? At least that isn't giant and would be appealing but they decided to get rid of the main thing pushing me from upgrading to a new iphone.

    There are clearly gaps in the market but the designers seem keen on not filling them.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Phone vendors are being a bit anti-consumer

      Xperia Compact phones are just a tad larger than the iPhone SE. Current SE still has headphone socket, new SE rumoured soon.

  25. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    I'm surprised but I like it. I recently bought an twelvety inch Moto G6+ with a 18:9 display. It's oddly much easier to hold in my hand than my previous half inch smaller 16:9 phone.

  26. The Dogs Meevonks

    I just want a phone with a decent battery life, that's not filled with bloatware. Over that last 4yrs I've had a Mot G2 (4G) and Wileyfox Storm and now a Moto G5S+. The only reason I bought the G5S+ was because the battery started to bulge on the Storm and I was due to go away 4-5 days later and needed a replacement immediately. I paid 30% under retail for the G5S+ and it's a decent enough phone that can last 2 days easily.

    Then I decided to strip down the Storm to see how it was built, and actually use that little speciality tool kit I bought last xmas... I discovered that the battery wouldn't be that hard to replace, so I found one and ordered it... Currently waiting for it to arrive. So my Storm will be repaired and I'll probably give it to my mum to replace her G2 (my old G2).

    Given that I replace my phones every 3yrs on average (unless they fail in some way (storm after a little more than 2yrs)... I couldn't give a rats arse about all the new must have 'shiny' features... I just want a phone that can make calls, send txts and messaging, browse the net without slowing down to a crawl and take reasonable opportunist pics when I don't have my proper camera with me... if it can do all that and make a charge last a couple of days... I'm good... I'm good... and most phones these days across the high budget to mid mid range can do just that perfectly well.

    Not to mention the money it saves me... I have friends who think nothing of being on a £30 a month contract just so they can upgrade their phone every 2yrs.. some are on 3yr contracts. so that's a minimum of £720 up to £1080 they spend... Meanwhile I spend on average less than £200 every 2.5 to 3yrs and £10 a month for unlimted txts, minutes and 3GB of data (more than enough as I'm on wifi 90% of the time)... Over 2yrs that's less than £440 and 3yrs, under £560... a saving of some 40% or more over friends with less common sense.

    That's enough savings to be able to upgrade my gaming computer every two years with a new CPU and video card... or a weeks holiday some where nice... It covers the insurance and car tax for a whole year.

    Meanwhile they're still complaining about money being tight and ignoring every bit of sensible, logical and down right brilliant advice I give them.

    But then again... phone snobbery and perceived elitism is more important to some than others.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      If you're after suggestions, I'm very happy with my new Moto G6 Plus, which I think cost £240 ( maybe £280, who remembers? ) from Carphone Warehouse.

      Battery life seems decent, but the USB-C fast charging is ludicrous. 15 minutes for 80% I think it's supposed to be. Plus the USB-C connector ( being USB-C ) is reversible. Fingerprint sensor is very good, it's quick, screen is big and bright.

  27. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Easy fix for the small display

    Holographic displays are coming, right? https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/19/worlds_thinnest_hologram/

    My self-piloting flying car, which is powered by batteries having 100x the capacity of LiPo, is already using holograms for its AI assistant.

  28. robin thakur 1

    Having gone from Samsung Android landfill to an iPhone 7 Plus, to an X I must say that the ability to have the same size (diameter) of screen in a much smaller body the size of the iPhone 8 with no bezel is one of the biggest steps forward this gen. I drop my phone even less than I used to, can properly use it one handed and larger phones simply look and feel a bit unwieldy to me now, especially if you add a properly protective case, you're not far off an iPad mini...

  29. Claverhouse Bronze badge

    Flip Alone

    I have no great need for a Smartphone, and most look pretty much the same, boring black and oblong; but it will no doubt come --- only however when one is in the excellent flip-phone, clamshell, form of the Razr. If ever.

    I don't see any point in buying stuff I think ugly. Designers are far too stupid to stick to what works.

  30. Esme

    Blast from the past.

    (Cough) Is this thing working? (Leans forward, taps screen). It is? OK...

    Hello! Old biddy from the 1980's speaking! Seen from back 'ere, those things you lot in the future use that you call 'phones aren't really 'phones. They're portable computers that you sometimes make phone calls with.

    What amazes me is that you happily pay umpty hundreds of quid for computers that you (OK: most folks, I don't mean YOU, PFY) have little real control over, when back 'ere in the 80's folk expected to actually own and have at least a modicum of control over anything they paid that much dosh for. Most folks don't use more than a fraction of the capabilities of the durned things, and yet those gadgets are sold promising ever more features because "more is better" (except when it comes to battery life, apaprently. Do you buy cars with half-pint petrol tanks, eh?!).

    Most useful gadget I ever owned was a Psion II organiser. Battery life in weeks or months, easy to use diary and alarm functions, great for note tacking and as a calculator. I've never been so organised in my life as when I had one of those. Recreate one of those with yer modern technology, and just add the ability to to send text messages and make voice calls, and I'd be a very happy bunny indeed. What a camera? oh, add a little USB port and sell a camera module that can be plugged in at need. That'd sort it. Yes, I could live with a much-reduced battery life down to, say, a week per charge, no problem.

    What's that? Sorry, you'll have to excuse me, I'm going a bit deaf in the right lug'ole.. Oh, you want to look at an internet on it? Whatever for?! You'll go blind trying to look at an internet on the small screens your modern contraptions have! Get youself a tablet or a proper netbook and save yer eyesight, is my advice! You might be grand with t'internet on yer "phone" now, but you give it another 40 years and tell me if I'm not right when your eyesights' had all that extra wear and tear on it!

    Heck, even that funny-shaped Blackberry doodad I once will have had was going to be better as a phone than the crap you youngsters currently use! Fit in my hand nicely, and had a plastic holster that gripped your waistband. Good sensible solution! Proper keyboard, as well! You will have been able to get an internet on that, too! I'm going to have seen the launch of Spaceship 1 on that whilst skiving at work! Marvellous stuff! Not a patch on the Organiser for, well, organising me life though, but not bad, and had a replaceable battery too! You've all gone stark raving bonkers, IMHO!

    Rightoh, I'm sure you don't want to be listening to an old biddy like me blathering on interminably about how much better things are back now, so I'll trundle off and leave you lot alone to play with your ithingies and androidicals. (sigh, shakes head sadly) Goodbye! Where's me Scocth gorn..? (mic thump, CLICK!)

    1. onefang Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Blast from the past.

      Well done. Have one of these, sorry craft beer is all they got in this new fangled hipster pub.

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