Aug 01 AT 4:03 PM Edgar Cervantes 57 Comments

Sony Ericsson planning 4.7-inch 3D device; how big is too big?


Sony Ericsson has promised to improve their commitment to the Android platform. Devices like the Xperia Arc, Pro and Play are definitely much better than last years itinerary. Just how much is Sony Ericsson working on their Android smartphones, though? It seems they might be trying a bit too hard.

Rumors indicate Sony Ericsson is working on a 3D (glasses-free) device to compete with phones like the HTC EVO 3D and the LG Optimus 3D. Sony Ericsson’s secret smartphone is no pipsqueak, though. This guy is rumored to have a massive 4.7-inch display, blurring the line between a tablet and a smartphone. But size isn’t all that matters; the resolution on this 3D device should also be quite stunning:  1280×720p. There’s not much more you could ask in a 4.7-inch display.

Not much else is known about this supposed 3D smartphone yet, but the little things we do know are quite impressive. While many prefer those imposing larger screen devices, others may see them as “too bulky.” There must be a limit, though, and we believe a 4.7-inch screen would be reaching it.

It came to our attention that many of you thought the Samsung Hercules‘ 4.5-inch display was already too much. I personally love 4.0/4.3-inch devices. They’re large enough to use comfortably, but not too huge (in my opinion). But they can be hard to carry around in small pockets. Using a 4.5-inch device, like the Samsung Infuse 4G, is definitely much more uncomfortable for the small-handed. Personally, I can not imagine how comfortable it could be to use a 4.7-inch smartphone. But that’s just personal preference;  many of my friends do tell me my 4.3-inch device is huge.

We’d like to see what the demand for a 4.7-inch 3D display would be, so please let us know what you think. Would you be interested in such a big display, or is it too much? Are you a fan of 3D smartphones? What is your favorite screen size for smartphones? Where is the perfect balance of portability and comfort? Which device are you currently rocking?

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • Jess Blanchard

    I feel sorry for Edgar’s male friends if they think 4.3 inches is “huge.”

    • Edgar Cervantes

      Yeah, they say it is to big to hold and carry around… :P

      • TWiT Commander

        Well, 1280×720 (16:9) is a narrower aspect ratio than 800×480 (16:9.6). So the device may be may not be as wide as you guys may be thinking.

    • Edgar Cervantes

      They also complain about the thickness of it. Which is something that can be improved by making the device longer than it is wide. Like the EVO 3D.

      • Jess Blanchard

        It’s true. Girth is more important than length.

        • 4n1m4l


        • BiGMERF

          spit up Bacardi laughing

        • Girth Brooks

          well well well……. maybe we can get together sometime

    • Richard Yarrell

      I applaud SONY and openly appreciate what they are doing. Someone has to SPURN TECHNOLOGY AHEAD and HTC and LG has done that and we as consumers benefit from it. Rather people WANT TO LIKE 3D OR NOT that is today’s technology and I appreciated HTC taking the lead in this technology for the EVO 3D. Now look what happened LG made their 3D device, SAMSUNG is making their 3D device in September/October, and now SONY jumps on the bandwagon. You can definitely expect APPLE to have a 3D device soon. As far as 4.7 inches the BIGGER THE BETTER and people better get use to it. For a fact next years EVO BRAND will sport a 4.7 or 5.0 screen SO YES the BIGGER SCREENS ARE COMING… I personally like that and look forward to the future especially 3d….

      • snowbdr89

        Im pretty sure you’re the only dumbass out there dick who likes a 3d phone.

  • Mil

    Sorry but 4.7″ is too big. The size of the Samsung Galaxy S2 is the maximum size phone I would go for. That has a 4.3″ screen but I wouldn’t so no to a bigger screen if they can squeeze it onto that same SGS2 dimension. However, 4.7″ is a monster and there’s no way that could practically be squeeze on a phone the size of SGS2.

    • BrandonJD

      I think 4.7 can be manageable if they can get the bezel size down. So many large screen phones nowadays could be smaller than they are, if they would just work on engineering to shink the size of the bezel around the screen.

      For a phone with a nearly 5 inch screen, there is no reason that all of the phones hardware could fit within the footprint of the screen. And if you make the navigation buttons at the bottom hardware buttons and not capacitive, you can make them much smaller, thus taking up less space.

      The HTC Sensation 4G has a 4.3 inch screen, but it has a smaller footprint than phones with a 4inch screen. All because they reduced the unnecessary space that is often put above and below the screen.

  • Rob Koehler

    As a person who carries a 7″ Galaxy Tab as my phone, this is not too big. That’s actually big enough to lure me back to an actual phone.

    • Edgar Cervantes

      Yeah, I was just thinking that. Back when the 7-inch Galaxy tab came out, I thought it would be a cool idea to use it as a phone. Only if you use a tablet that much though. Sucks that the US didn’t get official support for using it as a phone…

      • Rob Koehler

        That wasn’t a big deal to me since I was planning on rooting it any way, but it still does suck since the T-Mobile specific radio doesn’t support voice and 3G data……

  • auramae

    I have a 5″ Dell Streak. The 4.3″ phones are usable, but I never wish my phone was smaller or had a smaller screen. I could maybe make do with 4.7.”

    • R.S.

      When it came out, I checked out the Dell Streak 5 at Bestbuy and thought it was the perfect size. If SE did come out with a SE 4.7inch phone, I would consider buying it. That is of course provided that the rest of the specs were decent.

      For years, phones kept getting smaller and smaller. I for one am glad that they have gotten bigger. I remember my last non smart phone (the voyager on Verizon) was considered huge by all of my friends. Now, pretty much every single smart phone is bigger than it even the ones now considered small or average size.

  • Mr Guzz

    Size will be ok…..But I’m not a Sony Fan !

    • Gook

      Lucky then that this is made by sony Ericsson and not sony.

  • Interpol91

    It depends on how they’re going to package this phone into a reasonable size/thickness. I love a 4.3 inch screen but I could see a 4.7 inch phone being usable..

    Either way not too crazy about it since it is a Sony

  • rockinevo

    I can’t imagine whipping that phone out I’m good wit the size of the Evo, why have a phone that size instead of putting that phone in a holster or a pouch might as well rock a fannypack or a bookbag. Sony lets focus on performance instead of size size.

  • JSB

    4.7 is now reaching the max I think but not too big. Here is why, screen frames will continue to become smaller and once they remove the front buttons 4.7 screen on a device the size of a itouch will be perfect. I’ve been waiting for this for 10 years now. Now if Samsung can master the flex screen and take a 4.7 with two folds to a 10″ tablet, even with a thickness of 12-14mm when folded would be great. Now we are talking, phone and tablet in my pocket like it should be.

    • cb2000a

      It will happen. We are probably two to three years out on folding screens on phones.

  • Franz

    Remember the Dell Streak @ 5″? haha this is nothing.

  • chris

    I think if they can keep the size relatively similar to the current line of 4.3-4.5 inch phones then that wont be bad at all but if they make the phone close to 6+ inches overall then I think that is too large for a phone.

  • Remi

    4’3 is huge enough, but I wouldn’t mind having a 4’7 if buying a 3D device. Watching movies on my Arc or Galaxy SII still feels small. It works, picture is perfect but I never do it cuz of screen size still feels small for enjoying a movie.
    I hope the rumors are true :-)


    I may be willing to go as far as 4.5.. Might. But then again the man in me would push me for bigger. I know I’m a fool. But a sony phone I will pass on. If it were an htc product I may think a few times. Lol

  • Brixe

    Seeing why good Sony Ericsson is design a Phone..
    I think, a 4.7″ Display SE Phone will make it difference to other OEM.
    It will definitely an All-GLASS Front Panel, with LESS-Boarder is Possible.
    I have Xperia Arc, the Ergonomics or Handling is Far better then SGS2.

  • Tal

    Na – I disagree Sir. 5.5″ is the ultimate size. Which bring us to either the mysterious Samsung “Q” or whatever it is going to be called with 5.3″ or this 4.7″ Sony with 3D. Maybe Samsung will have it 3D too
    Anyway. ~5″ phone and a ~10″ tablet is my preferred gear.
    Believe it or not – with 4″ screen I hardly surf the net. ~5″ will probably allow me to read much more on the net than now.

  • cityboytech

    I’m a huge fan of the EVO 3D but I believe any 3D screens larger than 4.3″ needs to be a tablet and it shouldn’t be a tablet if it’s less than 10.1″. My point: I want a 10″ glasses-free 3D tablet

  • thaghost

    Imo, 4.7 is too big. Choice is good however so let them make it. I dont expect it to sell very well, tho.

  • SliestDragon

    Way too big for me, though the resolution is awesome! Hopefully we’ll start seeing 4.3″ phones with that resolution soon.

  • punzz

    Stunning, anyways i. Really expect better from se.

  • Zhi Hao

    I think it would be ok if it uses an edge to edge display, since that would keep it’s size to about that of current 4.3inch devices.

    Given that ICS would supposedly do away with dedicated buttons, this phone might actually be a decent choice. Looks like Q4 ’11 and Q1 ’12 would be really interesting for the mobile industry!

  • sylar

    That to me is to big. I could probably live with it but I wouldn’t be terribly happy. I have small hands and I’m not sure i could hold it with just one of them very well. Plus I may be odd but I don’t typically watch too many movies on my phone.

  • PixelSlave

    I don’t know. I am a pretty small guy and ~4″ is fine to me (I do want it to be at least 4″, though. Three-something is just way too small.) But there are a lot of big guys in this world. You know, I always think that the best commercial for a >4″ Android phone is to put a guy like Yao Ming next to a short old lady using an iPhone, and picturing how he struggle to put his finger on the tiny screen, then showing how the Android phone works its wonder with its bigger screen. So, may be there’s indeed a market for a 4.7″ phone. After all, if a guy is big enough to carry such phone, he probably has a pocket big enough to house the phone.

  • JayMonster

    4.3 is going to max me out size wise. I have a tablet, I don’t want my phone to be one.

  • Jim McP

    I’d have no problem with either of those phones! 4.5, 4.7. Sounds good to me, especially if it has a QWERTY keyboard!

  • Gregm

    I have big hands. Big everything.

    I could go for it actually. SE phones generally have thin edges.
    I use my phone far more as a little computer than an actual phone, so sure.

    The 3D I could skip though. I’m not a 3D Hater. I like a bit now and again. But maybe not so much in my day to day phone use. Hopefully it can be switched off except for specific 3D situations.

  • aj

    To answer the first question well i cant really say right now. While i do love my droid x and all the other 4.3 inch devices i havent really got a chance to form a opinion on the bigger phones. While i will admit it is harder to type vertically sometimes i still love it. Now i might give it a chance. Like was mentioned if the phone is too wide then yes that can become a problem but the height shouldnt as much as an issue except for the using the power button but i hardly use that(ok maybe a little more with turning my scree on and off). To answer the second question no im not a phan of 3d phones. It hurts my eyes and im afraid my self and others my suffer from epilepsy. I answered my favorite earlier which is 4.3 but i have never used the anything bigger than that just looked at them(infuse 4g) at best buys. Although 4.3 is my favorite i do think that 4.0 truly is the perfect size for portability and true comfort

  • aj

    although i have some questions and concerns about such a big phone? With more length could they make it thinner? Bigger battery? How much would that high of resolution and screen size affect battery life and performance(since the phone has to push all those pixels on the massive screen) along with a possible custom UI? Is it going to be heftier or lighter(kind of similar to first question)? Hopefully all these questions will be answered when it comes out

  • marwan

    I am useing 7″tab as a phone so the 4.7 would be greatto use

  • Eben1277

    I’m a big guy, with big fat fingers, so the bigger the better. I wish my droid X were bigger, and 4.7 with 3D and with Sony’s name attached to it (everything I’ve ever owned that had SONY written on it has worked without fail), This could be my new dream phone.

  • Mike

    people forgot that the size of the bezel can be very much reduced with those new technology, so we would see a 4.7inch screen fit in a phone of the size of galaxy s2 in the very near future.

  • brunswick

    I currently have a Streak 5 and ill be completely honest….its a bit much. The screen size is awesome but I think that Dell could have made the phone smaller at either end and also brought the outside edges of the phone closer to the screens edge to reduce its overall size. Since this is something other manufacturers have done i think its possible that SE could make the 4.7″ screen work for a lot of people. They just have to watch the overall size of the phone.

  • Lucian Armasu

    4.7″ seems too big for most people. Even 4.5″ is too big, especially if it’s not edge-to-edge and still has physical buttons, which the Samsung one does. But either way, I think all smartphones, from low-end to high-end, should be 3.7″-4.3″. Less than 3.7″ is too small for a touchscreen phone, and 3.7″ is big enough for most people (including women), while 4″ and 4.3″ ones are better suited for most male out there, who want to take advantage of bigger screens.

  • Robert S

    I want bigger screens. I carried around my sgt like a phone in my pants sidepockets. That was the upper limit for me. So 4,7 is no problem. And its so much easier to use the phone with a big clear screen. I want!

  • Alpha

    Surprised a few people mentioned it here (props to those who have) – Most people seem to forget the Dell Streak’s 5″ screen. At times, I think it’s too big, (in portrait mode only, but the real estate I have for my large hands, is perfect. Sony bringing a 4.7″ psh… BRING IT!

  • alex

    does everyone forget about the fail Dell Streak 5 inch, no one remembers that is the biggest phone as of now, sheesh

  • matt

    OMG, I would so buy that phone. I use bluetooth for everything, and seldom use the phone at all. Only reason I havent bought a 7 inch galaxy tab is that it doesnt make or receive “normal” phone calls.


  • Edgar Cervantes

    Wow…. I didn’t know so many of you would like the bigger size that much! Would you guys be down for other manufacturers adapting 4.5 and above screen sizes? Maybe a 5 inch samsung or htc device?….

    • BrandonJD

      I would totally be down for a htc 4.7 inch phone. As long as it is thin like the HTC Sensation, and not thick like an EVO 3D, or HD7.

      I think the average android phone screen size increase has been a good thing for the platform. It makes touchscreen only devices easier to use and more practical, and it also has allowed for more detailed apps that can now put more on screen at once. For example, PowerAmp Music player has a ton of features, and they are perfect for a 4+ inch phone. However, if I had a 3.2 inch phone, I would have to hide alot of the settings in order to make things big enough to touch accurately.

      Several months ago, Engadget was calling 4 inch phones JUMBOPHONES. Now they are essentially the norm. What surprises me is that Steve Jobs is so against having a bigger screen on the iPhone. He cant be right on everything I suppose.


    4.7″ for me would be the best display size. I am a fan of big screens but not too big. This has to be the ideal mobile territory limit for a smartphone. Also why on earth would a company like SE or SAMSUNG develop a phone of this size and attach a property (Nokia E90 style) physical keyboard to it with numeric keys. No current phone brand has a true Communicator rival in place. It is really sad. With a screen size of 4.7 and true Communicator style form factor, I will and many past loyal Symbian user will have the ultimate Android smartphone. SE must also make sure that the design is comprehensive true to the Sony identity rather than some stupid HTC designs that keep changing almost weekly.

  • Thaddeus

    4.3-4.7 is perfect…. And a 5″ screen would be ok with a thinner bezel around it. With Ice cream sandwich coming out with no hard keys will make that easy.

  • David in Chelsea, Massachusetts

    Looking forward to a larger-screen phone – about 4.7 – 5 inches would be perfect to bridge the gap between phones and tablets.

    I rarely have my phone in my pocket, so a bigger screen would not be an impedance. I have a tablet, it’s WIFI only, because I have no desire to pay TWO carrier charges – one for a phone and one for a tablet. The hell with that. And i’m not tethering, either. I just want a phone that is big enough to surf comfortably on the go. That is about 4.7 to 5 inches, for sure.

  • mushine kamil

    The bigger the better please make it more big then 4.7

  • james braselton

    hi there wait a miniute i have seen way bigger phones out there there are 5.3 inch phones and if you supper size microsoft will build a 55 feet windows 9 phone and there are 65 feet tablets who will buy a 55 foot windows 9 phone for $55,000