Open thread: Is this really the “just right” size for a smartphone?

by: Bogdan PetrovanJuly 30, 2013

Compare Mobile Phones Side by Side with Actual size 28 000643

Note: read our updated Moto X roundup for all the details on specs and features.

The image above (you can click on it for a larger version) is based on a render that the already notorious Moto X  leaker Taylor Wimberly recently posted on Google Plus. Basically, I took his image of the Moto X and the iPhone 5 and scaled it so they are proportionally correct placed besides other top smartphones.

In case you can’t tell, the devices are, in order, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, Moto X, Lumia 1020, Galaxy S4, HTC One, Note 2, and Galaxy Mega 6.3.

According to Taylor Wimberly, Motorola wants to sell the Moto X as the world’s most compact high-end Android smartphone. Looking at the simple image I made and judging from the many things that we already know about it, Motorola isn’t exaggerating too much.

Remember what Motorola’s chief of design said back in spring about the Moto X’s size:

[quote qtext=”there’s a sweet spot for consumers that we’re currently exceeding in the market. There are some people that like a big display, but there’s also a lot of people that want something that’s just about right. I think ‘just right’ is important, and we’re designing so we don’t disappoint those people.” qperson=”Jim Wicks, Motorola” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

At least for me, the “just right” sweet spot for a smartphone is definitely at the right end of my improvised scale.

How about you? Is the Moto X just the “right size” for you? Looking forward to your opinions.

  • RarestName

    Personally, yes.

    • Luka Mlinar

      2nd that.

    • Anywhere from 3.5 to 4.6 is okay for me. I still use my iPod touch 2G along with my Xperia SP. The 4:3 aspect ratio makes it usable.

      • RarestName

        4:3? You mean 3:2?

  • Tamadrummer94

    What’s the screen size on that thing? Looks smaller than 4.7 to me. I think no, but then again I have some monstrous paws on me.

    • Nickan Fayyazi


  • Bryan Z

    I use two phones iPhone 5 for iOS and LG Nexus 4 for Android and Ive gotta say sometimes I wish my iPhone had the Nexus size now this Moto X seems to be the same size (please correct me if wrong) as the nexus 4 so therefore I would say yes that is a good size for a phone

  • EvenInTheDarkestHour

    it does seem to be a good size…I have a 5.5″ which is a great phone, but at times a bit too great. 4″ is a bit wee for what is available to be displayed as we use smartphones today…a happy medium? We shall see…

  • Matthew Eli Hopkins

    After handling a coworkers Xperia U I really liked the smaller form factor and how it felt in the hand, briefly considered getting one until I saw the outdated specs and lack of microSD slot. Was considering the S4 Mini once it is available in the US however I may need to keep an eye out for the Moto X now.

    For the record I have an S3 currently and while happy with it I would like it even more if it were a bit smaller.

  • gx3k


  • Chris Schutte

    I’ve had a Galaxy Nexus for 2 years and as much as I love it, I frequently find myself wishing it was just a little smaller so it wouldn’t bulge in my pocket so much. And then they make these “mini” versions that also skimp on the specs. So yes, this sounds perfect for me.

    • dogulas

      Exactly. It seems like no one is able to make a smaller phone with the same power. At least on the Android side. Too hard to cram everything into that kind of space. So they just make it bigger.

      • Wesley Geddes

        The thing is is that the iPhone’s specs aren’t close to what high end android devices are. Apple does a fantastic job at optimizing the hardware to the software. So they don’t need top of the line specs.

        I think this is what Motorola is doing, optimizing the hardware and software so that it doesn’t need to have the best specs to be the best phone.

        • Sean Karpa

          I 100% agree. iPhones do great for their specs. Often smoother and less bug filled than Android. But will show their lack of power in heavy apps or when they go over 3-4 years old more so than an android (although many androids may just stop updating sooner).
          I really like Moto’s approach to this phone (coming from a current iPhone owner). It is good to see a company not follow the spec battle or my screen is bigger than yours battle.
          Neither of these two battles matter to me. I do like the HTC One but the screen is too big for my wants/needs. The Mini is too specs down for an android phone. However, if Moto stays on this course, I will certainly be eyeing their phones before I upgrade to anything.

          • Wesley Geddes

            The HTC One’s screen is the same size as the Moto X. The difference is the bezel. The HTC One has a HUGE top and bottom bezel. Which makes the phone as big as the S4, which is .3 inches bigger in screen size.

          • Sean Karpa

            You are correct. That is why I said I like the HTC One but not the size of the phone, and I meant I would buy a smaller Moto X like phone if the approach was the same.
            My screen size is between 4-4.3. I would not want anything outside of that. The blackberry with the 4.2” screen looks about prefect, minus the fact it is blackberry.

  • gordonyz

    6.5 is a perfect size for me since I won’t need a tablet any more

    • Nickan Fayyazi

      The Xperia Z Ultra seems to be the phone for you then.

  • alila2

    if we put the MX (4.7″) between the iphone 5 (4″) and the htc one (4.7″) , and compare the phones sizes we get one conclusion , it is the perfect size, a 4.7″ screen in a 4″ screen body. innovation any one ????

  • Nickan Fayyazi

    Yup, I analyzed the picture a little and, comparing the Moto X screen to the One screen, it’s definitely 4.7″.

  • Quryous


    Note 3 is next on my list. None below the Note 2 will be even considered. The Samsung Megas lose out because of inferior specs, not size.

  • Josh York

    I have an S3 and I’m really pleased with its size. I would probably be just as content if it were a touch smaller. I’ve definitely gotten used to the large screen, but a little smaller wouldn’t bother me. Even better would be same approximately same screen with slightly smaller bezels. That would be cool to me.

  • Paul Allen

    I enjoy the big screen on my Note 2 but I miss how comfortably the iPhone 4 was for one-hand use. What I’d really like is an Internet-only LTE tablet, maybe slightly bigger than the Note, so I could go back to carrying only my Samsung Alias flip phone when all I need is voice and text.

    • Joshua Hill

      Can’t you tether your phone to your WiFi tablet? Not sure if the Samsung Alias has data capabilities.

  • Valtheus

    If the screen size is actually 4.7″, then its not too big, not too small, so yeah it will be actually “just right” for a lot of people.

  • pasta bon

    “But is a compact build still desirable in the age of super phones?”
    uhh, don’t you think we’re going backward ?

    AMPS start with large brick mobile phones.
    then GSM era kicks on, phone become smaller & more compact.
    and now we’re in 3G/LTE era, phone size gets bigger again ?

    as we’re more technologically advanced by now, don’t you think mobile device should be more compact than years ago ?

  • dogulas

    Yep. Anything that improves 1-hand operation is a win for me. Big phones are nice, but not if you want to use them with one hand. Also, I just want this phone to be super successful. And to do that, it has to fit into the jeans pockets of everyone. That means larger sizes are just off the table.

  • End in sight

    I think it is the right size for me. I plan to get this phone…unless Sony can provide a better option. I am not going to wait for the Nexus 5, however.

  • Magnetic1

    Size of phone I believe is tied to the person’s loquaciousness. The more they talk the smaller the phone needs to be. The less they talk more likely they are browsing the internet and bigger screen needs to be.

    • Sean Karpa

      That’s actually a pretty good observation. I rarely see phone actually talking on a Note 1,2 or anything bigger. (1 time)

  • john

    i have really small hands, i struggle with the 4.5 inch lg optimus l9

  • Milan

    I have a galaxy s4 and i feel it’s a little too big, for example you can’t use it with only 1 hand. I believe 4,5 inch is the perfect size!

  • Wesley Geddes

    Why are we comparing the screen sizes? Shouldn’t we be comparing the entire phone? I mean it’s the phone we hold in our hands, not the screen.

    The Moto X and the HTC ONE both have the same screen size, but obviously the ONE is MUCH bigger than Moto X. That’s awesome.

    We shouldn’t compare screen sizes, and compare the difference between the phone size and the screen size. That would give us a better comparison.

  • nexusowner

    i have a nexus 4 and i love it but when one hand is holding something and i try to use the phone, i find it a bit difficult to use it. for example touching the top right corner to go into the settings.

  • SeraZR™

    4.7 enuf said :P