Smartphone and tablet makers are pushing the limits of display size as evidenced by a slew of devices launched at IFA trade show in Germany- smartphones are getting bigger and tablets are getting smaller.
Samsung and HTC released devices at IFA with a range of form-factors which includes 4.5-inch, 5.3-inch and 7.7-inch displays.
Apple in relation to these OEMs is rather conservative in endowing its next rendition of iPhone 5 with a 3.7-inch display. Rumors suggest that iPhone 5 will feature an edge-to-edge display. Also Apple maintained the same 9.7-inch display size for its second edition of iPad, the iPad 2.
However questions galore as to whether customers will warm up to these large screen smartphones and small screen tablets. Evidence suggests the contrary, as Dell recently retired its first Android 5-inch tablet/smartphone, the Dell Streak.
The 5-inch factor was an oddball in the midst of other form factors which had caught the fancy of Dell's competitors. Most of the current breed of tablets flaunt 7-inch, 8.9-inch. 9.7-inch and 10.1-inch form factors. Thus Streak 5 was too small to be tablet.
As a smartphone it was rather big at 5-inch as the most recent breed of smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Thunderbolt and Motorola Photon, sport 4.3-inch display sizes. The upcoming smartphones are expected to push the limit to 4.5-inch displays.
Here is a list of devices unveiled at IFA which bring a different flavor to screen sizes:
Samsung Galaxy S2 LTE:
The Samsung Galaxy S2 LTE smartphone features a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with 800x480 screen resolution. It is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and offers 16GB internal memory. The phone is 0.37-inch thick and weighs 4.6oz. Galaxy S2 LTE will also feature an 8MP rear-facing and 2MP front-facing cameras. It is fitted with a Li-on 1850 mAh battery. The phone will come pre-loaded with Android Gingerbread.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7:
Samsung unveiled a new tablet form-factor with the Galaxy Tab 7.7. The new 7.7-inch Android tablet flaunts a lean figure measuring 0.31-inch in thickness and weighs a mere 0.73 pounds. Galaxy Tab 7.7 is powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and sports a 7.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1280x800 screen resolution. It offers up to 10 hours in battery life and comes in 16GB/32GB and 64GB configurations.
Samsung Galaxy Note:
Samsung unveiled another device under the moniker Galaxy Note touting the devices as a new category of product. The device takes after Dell Streak 5 and is part smartphone and part tablet with a stylus. The Galaxy Note will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread and is powered 1.4GHz dual-core processor. It offers an 8MP camera rear facing and 2MP front facing camera. Its key distinguishing feature is a 'Smart Pen', a stylus to control functions. The device comes with 16GB of internal storage. The Galaxy Note is 0.38-inch thick and weighs 6.3 oz.
Windows Phone OS 7.5 aka Mango-based Smartphone from HTC called HTC Titan was also unveiled at IFA. The phone sports a 4.7-inch display with 800x480 screen resolution. Titan is powered by a 1.5GHz processor. It offers 16GB internal memory and has 512MB RAM. It also features an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 1.3 front-facing camera. It weighs 5.6 oz and is 0.39-inch thick.