Xperia ZL has the highest screen to body ratio ever. How important is that for you?

by: Bogdan PetrovanFebruary 15, 2013
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sony-xperia-zl [aa]

The Xperia ZL and its sibling, the Xperia Z, are scheduled to become available in the following days across the world.

The flashy Xperia Z hogged most of the spotlight, but you shouldn’t dismiss the ZL because, as you can read in our Versus piece, the differences between the two phones are minimal and mostly esthetical.

According to a Sony press release, the Xperia ZL will be made available in Canada starting in April from multiple carriers and retailers. The release touts the screen to body ratio of the Sony Xperia ZL, which is apparently the highest on any smartphone ever.

Sony said it reviewed 884 smartphones, most of which have a screen to body ratio between 60 and 68 percent. In other words, on most smartphones today, the screen occupies about two thirds of the footprint of the device. The Xperia ZL has a ratio of 75 percent.

Here’s a chart we’ve reported on last year, that shows that back in May 2012 the phone with the best screen to body ratio was the Galaxy Note.

screen to body size ratio smartphones

A high screen to body ratio means that you can enjoy a larger display on a smaller device. How important is this for you? Is the high ratio of the Xperia ZL a real selling point for you? Let us know in the comments section.

  • MasterMuffin

    I would like the sgs4 to be as big as sgs3, that would be amazing!

    • ryallen

      Exactly. Shrink the top and bottom wasted space, and they’re there.

    • Possible with on screen buttons :)

    • Bone

      It’s possible. The Xperia XL is actually smaller though thicker than the S3 and has a a larger screen, so Samsung can do it too, just hope they don’t sacrifice in battery.

      The Xperia Z vs. ZL comparison shows the cutting limitations BTW. With all the stuff they must put into the body, antennas, battery, hardware components, camera, leds, screen, slots and chips, the only way the ZL could got smaller was by making it thicker. And despite going down in screen size, the HTC One will be as big as the Xperia ZL.

  • William

    Not extremely important to me. I hear how Apple people dis the Ipad Mini, simply because it’s resolution is not the “best”.

  • Kassim

    So, basically the larger the bezel around a screen, the worse. And damn right too!

    I mean, look at how annoying the Nexus 7 looks, especially if you compare it to something like the 6.1″ Ascend Mate – the Huawei occupies far less real estate for not a hugely significant loss of screen size!

    • Bone

      The Ascande Mate actually has better screen-body ratio the Xperia ZL.

      • red burn

        Your wrong, the ZL has a 75 % screen to body ratio. The ZL 6.1″ Ascend Mate has a 73.2% screen to body ratio. You can tell in pictures and of course you can calculate it yourself.

        • red burn

          Actually the ZL has a 75.56% screen to body ratio*

  • ryallen

    This is very important to me, and a lot of people who complain about phones being too big. If Samsung did the same thing, they would rule the world.

  • Reginald Spence II

    Plus, less room for carriers to put their fugly branding all over it. I’m looking at YOU Verizon…

  • carlisimo

    Are on-screen buttons counted as screen area? I’m not sure how I feel about that.

    In practice though, I find that the thickness of the side bezels is far more significant than what’s going on at the top and bottom.

    • If you get used to on screen buttons you might find you enjoy them a lot, I know I do.

  • mike

    Very important!We all want thin bezel!

  • I really care about that ….Xperia ZL (5 incher) is even smaller than Galaxy S3 (4,8 incher)

  • The ratio doesn’t affect the key size metric that bothers me – distance from the back button to the notification shade. It’s the bottom-to-top reach that makes me constantly shift my grip on the Galaxy Nexus and feel like I’m going to drop it at any moment.

  • t cathcart

    You can squeeze the Motorola RAZR HD/MAXX in just below the Note at 66.4%. Not sure I’d want thinner bezels as my fingers already encroach the screen and I often hold the phone by it’s chin when reading books/articles. More screen would be a detriment the way I use it.

  • DAngelo8

    Again, another pointless article when statistics come into play. Of course, a high screen to body ratio is important – everyone wants a larger screen without increasing the overall size of the phone. But how can one compare apples to oranges?? Any phone that uses software keys automatically loses that area as considered part of the screen, such as the ZL, other Xperia phones. Put a ZL next to an SG3 and anyone would clearly see that there is no visual screen real estate gained on the ZL.

    • Walter van Lille

      But the software buttons adds a helluva lot of flexibility.. As in they can dissapear when u’re playing a movie, which does add real estate.

      • DAngelo8

        What flexibility? There is no flexibility gained by taking up display real estate most of the time during use. The only flexibility they offer is to allow phone manufacturers to be lazy in designing a phone – they don’t have to design hardware or capacitive buttons into the phone layout. If a manufacturer using software buttons did it properly, then there wouldn’t be a 10mm bezel below the display – that space where top phone makers such as Samsung, LG, and HTC place dedicated hardware of capacitive buttons.

        • Walter van Lille

          So, not seeing buttons when browsing photos or watching movies is not flexible? Or the fact that the buttons can move to fit the orientation of however you’re holding your phone? Think about it, that capability basically defines the word flexibility as it applies to a Smartphone. And of those phone makers you mention, I like LG and HTC, but you know that Sony ranks above them when it comes to “top” phone makers. Only Samsung can be used as any kind of argument that applies to Sony.

          • DroidnTech

            I disagree. As a software developer, I can say that moving buttons go against all fundamental principals of good software design. Moving buttons defines COMPLEXITY. There is not a single advantage of having moving software buttons over fixed buttons. I have a phone with software buttons and thought I would get used to them, but they suck. Software buttons are the single worst development that Google has introduced in its authoritarian effort to lock down button positioning.

          • Walter van Lille

            Whoops.. Sorry firstly, I wanted to click on the reply and downvoted you by mistake. On topic: I have to disagree with you disagreement.. ;-) I’m an end user that is busy typing this message on my Iphone, holding it horizontally on my “soft” keyboard buttons that oriented itself to the way that I’m using it. Really nice and functional. Can you Imagine how COMPLEX it would be if the keyboard did not orient itself to the horizontal view?

  • Zhanfeng Liang

    very very important

  • Walter van Lille

    Makes my buying decision reeeeally very difficult.. I want the waterproof functionality and looks of the Z but I really prefer a smaller phone overall, and even the sgs3 looks a tad too large for my tastes. Aaaaargh!!