Find the perfect smartphone screen size for you

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Which screen is best for you

Walk into any mobile phone shop these days and you'll be overwhelmed by the sheer number of screen sizes adorning the smartphones on the shelves.

From dinky diallers to mammoth mobiles, and everything in between, working out which one is best for you can be tricky.

But fear not, as help is at hand to make sure your hand is pleased as punch when you find its perfect smartphone size.

TechRadar has teamed up with Carphone Warehouse to ensure you make the smart choice when it comes to finding the best screen size for you.

4 inches and under

A few years ago a 4-inch screen on a smartphone was cutting edge, but now these displays are more commonly found on our budget blowers.

If you're looking for a cheap phone which can master all the basics while also providing a screen you can actually use then the 3.5 to 4-inch market is bustling with devices vying for your attention.

Alan Thomas from Carphone Warehouse notes: "All 4-inch phones and under are very easy to use with one hand or small hands – so a cheap phone that's also small is ideal for children and adolescents.

Nokia Lumia 520

"They're also lighter and more portable than other phones, so there's no hassle with finding things to carry them in."

A couple of standout candidates in the low cost arena are the Windows Phone 8 toting Nokia Lumia 520 and the Android Jelly Bean based Huawei Ascend Y300, offering 1GHz dual-core processors and 5MP rear cameras.

For first time smartphone users the Lumia 520 is beautifully simple to operate, with clean, clear live tiles delivering you the most important information with minimum fuss.

If you fancy a handset which can give you a fuller smartphone experience then the Android based Y300 and Samsung Galaxy Fame give you access to the well stocked Google Play store as well as the flexibility of the search giant's operating system.

iPhone 5S

There is a rather big exception to the 4-inch budget rule though - Apple. The Cupertino firm is sticking firmly to the smaller screen size with both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C sporting 4-inch displays.

Both handsets offer up a very different proposition to the rest of the phones mentioned in this section, and while they cost a similar amount to the 5-inch offerings below, you can rest assured you'll get premium build quality, a slick interface and a wealth of applications at your fingertips.

The "mini" brigade

Still want something which will happily slide into the skinniest of jeans but has a bit more oomph, doesn't cost the earth and isn't running iOS 7? Then meet the "mini" brigade.

The two headlining handsets here are the HTC One Mini and Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, which are essentially pared down versions of their high-end namesakes.

Both handsets sport 4.3-inch displays, with the One Mini piping the S4 Mini when it comes to resolution, although the Super AMOLED tech in the Samsung phone means it's super vibrant.

HTC One Mini

While these handsets may not have the huge headlining specs of their big brothers, you do get Qualcomm's robust Snapdragon 400 dual-core processor in both, with 1GB of RAM in the HTC and 1.5GB in the Samsung, ensuring Android Jelly Bean runs seamlessly.

A big plus point of these handsets are their price, giving you the looks and most of the features of the big hitters in a more affordable package - perfect if your finances need looking after.

Thomas explains: "This size is great for people that find they spend a lot of time using their phones for the internet and watching the occasional video, but still want to have a phone that's phone-sized."

Moto G

Also worth a mention is Motorola's Moto G which sports a similar 4.5-inch, 720p display as the others, but a price tag which actually puts it up against the budget handsets on the market ensuring great value for money.

High flying 5-inchers

If you want the best tech and a veritable smorgasbord of features then you'll be looking at smartphones which sport screens somewhere in the region of 5-inches - unless, that is, you fancy an iPhone. In which case, back up a bit.

Thomas has witnessed that handsets in and around the 5-inch mark are impressing consumers the most at the moment: "The 4.5-inch+ screen is what people are moving towards, and once they've seen a larger display and used it they tend to prefer it.

"The fact is some of the most popular phones around right now, such as the Galaxy S4, have 5-inch screens. They aren't necessarily the easiest to use one handed, but offer more choice when it comes to multimedia and entertainment."

Samsung Galaxy S4

When manufacturers launch flagship products pretty much everyone can be found in this remit, with Samsung's S4 (5-inch) being joined by the HTC One (4.7-inch), Sony Xperia Z1 (5-inch) and LG G2 (5.2-inch) - all of which boast eye-popping full HD displays.

All have various stand out features to grab your attention. If you fancy a 20.7MP snapper on your smartphone then take a gander at the Xperia Z1, while the Galaxy S4 will track your hand, eye and head movements, making the phone even more user friendly.

If premium design is your bag then nab a HTC One, or if you're looking for something different to everyone else why not grab a G2 - it's got buttons on the back, don't ya know!

Sony Xperia Z1

You will be paying top dollar for these handsets, but as long as you have the funds available you'll be getting a great deal as they all offer exceptional user experiences and come jam packed with features which will wow your friends and family.

If you're looking for another anomaly then you're in luck as the Google Nexus 5, complete with 5-inch screen, packs the same power and display capabilities of its rivals, but at a rock bottom price.

Concessions have been made on the camera, and it doesn't come tricked out with features, but if you're happy to overlook these points you'll be picking up a bargain.

Phablet phones

Phablets are here in a big way now - in terms of screen size and choice. Alan Thomas explains why: "The phablet is popular because they're like super portable tablets. They're better at videos and films than standard smartphones, and are excellent entertainment devices.

"Commuters love them because they're designed for movies and gamers love them because they're like the PS Vita. Devices such as the Galaxy Note 3 are also quite unique – the S Pen stylus is proving popular, and highlights how these phones have more features or uses than a typical smartphone.

"Because of all the space on screen, business users also like them, and the extra screen makes the phone larger, allowing for a larger battery to be fitted making for longer battery life, popular with just about anyone."

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

While a big screen means a bigger phone, you shouldn't be put off immediately as you could be pleasantly surprised.

"Both phablets and the 5-inch flagships have been made possible with new technology and techniques though. The screens are bigger yes, but the phones themselves are not growing much larger," Thomas notes.

Joining the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 here are the 5.9-inch HTC One Max, 6-inch Nokia Lumia 1520 and 6.4-inch tablet-contender Sony Xperia Z Ultra.

If you're in the market for the perfect tablet-smartphone hybrid then the Xperia Z Ultra should be top of your list as it gives you the big screen of a tablet, but still manages to function as a phone.

Nokia Lumia 1520

The Lumia 1520 is a milestone in itself, as it's the first Windows Phone 8 device to sport a full HD display and quad-core processor, making it a real power house for movies, gaming and business on the go.

Over on the One Max you're treated to a nifty fingerprint scanner on the rear to keep the phone secure, plus it's got a premium metal body, while the Galaxy Note 3 gives you ultimate control thanks to the S Pen stylus.