New infographic reveals how much of phone’s front is occupied by the display

by: Andrew GrushFebruary 12, 2014


We hear it all the time when we post news related to various handsets, particularly those from Sony: “Awesome looking phone. That bezel, though”. The trend these days is to make a display as big as possible, using up just about every inch of space on the front of your phone to do it.

So how much of your phone’s front is actually occupied by the display? A new infographic posted on Twitter by @somospostpc helps solve this question.

As you can see below, the LG G2 leads the pack, with it’s display taking up 75.7% of the screen, followed by the Note 3 with 74.6% screen space. At the bottom of the spectrum are older devices like the Galaxy S with just 55.7% of the space taken by the screen, or the iPhone 3GS with the screen only taking 50.8% of the surface.


The biggest takeaway is that bezels are rapidly shrinking as time passes, particularly in the Android world. We don’t see this trend slowing down any, either. What do you think, how important is bezel-size to you?

  • Tjaldid

    the ZL is missing ;)

  • Keith Taylor

    It was important to me to have the biggest screen on the most reasonable size phone. My first choice was the Note 3, then the G2 followed by the MotoX. I got the G2 and didnt look back…I wish I could have all

    • Levi Pinder

      I held on to the original Galaxy Note for as long as possible and said I wouldn’t go back to anything with a smaller screen-size – the G2 looked set to be the replacement, but I ended up going with the Nexus 5 because it was significantly cheaper. I managed to swap the Note for a 2013 Nexus 7 and am starting to think a tablet + a smaller phone may be the best compromise. I really couldn’t go with anything smaller than the Nexus 5 though – I don’t know how iPhone users survive!

      • smokebomb

        My gf still has a 4S on Verizon and she’s always asking to use my phone (nexus 4 on T-Mobile) for the internet because my network is faster and the screen is bigger yet she refuses to stop buying iPhones. Women and their fashion accessories smh.

      • Bilal Mahmood

        They have to squint their eyes at the tiny screen

  • MasterMuffin

    I’m surprised of HTC One’s 64.8%! I though it would be lower in the list because of the speakers, but it actually beats Z1. That bezel, though! :D

  • Benjamin

    My Sony Xperia ZL will dominate in this category. Nuff said.

    • Jaime

      Yeah, why is not the ZL in there?

    • BAMrom

      Galaxy Mega 6.3 also! :))

  • Leonardo Rojas

    Interesting, though incomplete. The Xperia ZL should/could be in the top three. The Lenovo K900, should be included too.

    It’s very nice to have this kind of devices, with very small bezels, they look better just by being so compact yet big. You can be shocked by looking to the Xperia Z1 with those huge bezels. But, doesn’t look ugly either.

    I’ll keep my ZL for as much time as Sony delays to release another great big and compact smartphone. Hopefully with better battery this time n.n

    • harrold

      The ZL is actually above the G2 :p

  • Brendon Brown

    Lol, oaks forgetting about the Xperia ZL, at least like 75% screen and bezel ratio.

    • jangaleon

      75.84% for the zl

  • Jason Yuen

    Bezels are shrinking, but it could also be attributed to the fact that screen sizes are getting bigger. We should be measuring screen size to device volume instead. With a big enough screen (like a tablet), you could cram all the components thinly behind the display. Kinda like TVs.

  • Shark Bait

    Well done nexus 5!! Chin up iPhone

  • Luka Mlinar

    Try doing that when they release the HTC M8. That phone is more logo than display.

    • Kassim

      Look at this leaked image over on Techradar from earlier today – it clearly shows that the area where there used to be capacitive buttons is now populated by the bigger display.

      I am FAR more inclined to believe this new leaked image of the M8 relative to that (clearly and lazily) Photoshoped job that fooled just about everyone else on here yesterday.

      How anyone thought yesterday’s leaked image was of the M8 (with it’s bigger screen) is beyond me…

      • Shark Bait

        I agree, unfortunately it doesn’t take much for the media to hype about a rumour, with little grip on the truth. Some are seriously bad, and I could knock them up in less than an hour. It annoys me when they have no credibility

        • Shark Bait

          I thought id back up my claim, a few minutes and its easy to remove the capacitive buttons and add some on screen keys. I did this on my chromebook, That shows how easy it is to fake such things!!

          • Kassim

            If you look closely, that’s actually what my point was all along – these things are far too easy to doctor that people should stop being too invested in a particular image (especially one that makes no physical sense)…

      • Luka Mlinar

        The problem with your image is the removal of the HTC logo up front. I don’t buy it, sorry.

        • Kassim

          I’m not saying that this is the final image – far far from it!

          I’m just saying that this is more believable (as far as the laws of physics go) than the other image – nothing more, nothing less.

          I mean, I’m sticking with my original One for at least another year so, this new One is nothing but eye candy for me – I have no vested interest in how this phone turns out…

  • Septerra

    Lol @ all iPhones.. xD

  • satsmine2k4

    Lumia ftw… With it’s bezel not the screen…

  • John Garlits

    I have the G2, and one thing I love is that it’s nearly all screen on front. That said, there is more to the story than physical bezels. The default software on the G2 leaves a big space on the side for the soft keys when in in landscape for games or other apps (at least maybe until the KitKat update happens?), so the effective usable screen space is reduced by a kind of “software bezel.” It hasn’t been enough to be a huge problem for me, and the keys do minimize to tiny dots, but that space is still used up and not available for the game/app.

    • smokebomb

      That’s my biggest issue with the Xperia Z1s. There’s SO much unused real estate under the software keys it should be a crime. Not sure what they were thinking.

      • John Garlits

        I didn’t realize that. When I was comparing the G2 and the Z1S in store, I guess the hardware bezels were so big I didn’t notice. At least with software, there may be ways to change things around. I think there are root apps or even ROMs that let you adjust the size of the softkey space.

    • Guest

      Well, if you are a root user, you can use apps to make that screen real-estate available and access the buttons by swiping up. I’m pretty there are also custom ROMs with this feature. As you said, it is only the default software, so I honestly think the display-occupation percentage is pretty accurate on this infographic.

  • cycle454

    smaller the better

    • smokebomb

      That’s not what she said :-D

  • Megan Perry

    I’m curious what the percentage is on the Droid Maxx!

  • namesib

    Only phones with hardware buttons have 100% of the screen estate 100% of the time, so I would subtract a few percent off phones with ugly virtual buttons.

    • T.J.

      You’d rather have a phone where you can never use the screen behind the capacitive buttons or one where you can use the screen behind them sometimes? Capacitive buttons are not an improvement.

      • namesib

        I’d rather have a phone where I never have the screen occupied by buttons that could be placed on the bezel instead. Of course they are an improvement: look at the chart. The Note 3 and GS4 still beat the Nexus 5 AND they have 100% of their screen estate usable 100% of the time. Immersive mode is a cheap compromise for this.

  • namesib

    Hardware buttons and the S4 and Note 3 still have a better ratio than the Nexus 5 lmao. LG’s real space is smaller than advertised due to the virtual buttons.

  • namesib

    The iPhone 3GS is shocking.

  • Kassim

    The (more believable) HTC M8 leaked image…

    • Ben Edwards

      That looks much better. Here’s hoping 2014 is the year OEMs stop planting redundant logos on the front of devices.

  • Stu14nmUD64bit7″

    With the Nexus 7 FHD, they reduced the side bezel so much, that it fits in my pocket, though why the huge top and bottom bezels, I wouldn’t have minded if the thing, had to be thicker for the battery. Love that the Nexus 5, has little bezel and that kit kat does full screen for games etc.

  • Cat

    I expected to see LG G2 in the first places, I checked it out at the store and was really impressed by huge screen with thin bezels. I personally find small bezels better looking and think there should as little non-screen front space as possible, especially when the smartphones are getting bigger and bigger. In terms of that, I also prefer Galaxy S4 over S3 and don’t like the iPhone.

  • Southall87

    Am I the only person who needs that bit of side bezel? I was forever catching the right hand side of the screen with my palm on the nexus 4, I don’t have this problem with the z1compact due to the bigger bezel.

  • Andrew T Roach

    At this rate all Android flagships are going to be exactly the same before long. Big screen, no bezels, Qualcomm processor, different logo on the back.

  • One of the reasons why I love G2.

  • Deepak
  • Jesus

    Lol @ HTC One

  • Noel

    Well we all know the Xperia ZL should be at the top of that list. How i wish Sony will make a redo Xperia ZL with 2014 specs, a 5.2″ 1080p or 2K screen, QSD805 chipset, a bigger removable battery, 32/64GB int plus SD card slot and their 20MP camera. This device doesn’t have to be so thin…something like 8 to 10mm thin acceptable due to demand for a beefier battery.

  • Tahseen Noor

    You guys forgot about Sony Xperia ZL …..