What are your thoughts of 16:9 vs 4:3 aspect ratios for smartphones?


  1. thermal

    thermal Well-Known Member

    I'm curious what people think about 16:9 aspect ratios for smartphone screens.

    Preference for 4:3, 16:9, or indifferent? Do you think 16:9 is the wave of the future or will 4:3 prove more popular and long-lasting?

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  2. Skyroket

    Skyroket Well-Known Member


    no 4:3 long dead. Every display on the market have ration of 16:9.. TVs,Tablets,Laptops,Monitors you name it. Every camcorder, camera shoots in 16:9 mode. No point of having 4:3 Phone display.. when every video on the internet in 16:9 mode.

    But Apple kept it for years... i hated 3:2 format/
  3. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    Some of LG's newer models are 4:3.
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    I think the majority of devices are 16:9 now, it's here to stay. One thing I really despise though is when they take a 4:3 TV show and crop it to 16:9, sometimes cutting the tops of heads off. :(

    My office desktop PC monitor is 4:3, don't watch videos on that, it's for office work. So IMO the taller aspect ratio is better for me here, can see more of the Word documents and PPTs are 4:3 as well.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  5. Slug

    Slug Check six! Moderator

    I don't watch video on my handset so a 16:9 display is, for me, pointless. ;)
  6. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member

    I actually prefer a more square aspect ratio for a smartphone, like 16:10. I think this aspect is a good compromise: HD videos fit will with minimal letterboxing, and landscape mode for browsing allows for more of the site to be shown at once. I believe high-end desktop monitors adopt 16:10 aspect ratios for this very reason (2560x1600, 1920x1200, etc), whereas the easy way out for a manufacturer is to go with 16:9 (2560x1400, 1920x1080 etc.)
  7. Hadron

    Hadron Well-Known Member Contributor

    I don't watch videos on my phone, so am not fussed about 16:9 vs a slightly squarer format. But just thinking of the shape of a device that should fit the hand, and should also work as a telephone (linking ear and mouth), the short, fat form factor of 4:3 doesn't make sense to me.

    Brave of LG to try it, but I suspect it will be a short-lived experiment.
  8. Skyroket

    Skyroket Well-Known Member

    4:3 is dead.. iphone managed to survive with 3:2 format... They insist on it since 07 and they finally gave up and made it with a proper aspect. 16:10 is also dead.. computer monitors came with 16:10 format for years and i personally never liked it and now theres no 16:10 monitors for sale. 16:9 is what will stay for us for years..

    Dslr cameras still shoot in 3:2 format which i believe is just traditional thing it has nothing to do with a hardware. 35mm film use to be a 3:2 format.
  9. cman1414

    cman1414 Well-Known Member

    ideal for me is 16:9 then add height for the on screen buttons so like 17:9 or something
  10. SamuraiBigEd

    SamuraiBigEd Under paid Sasquatch! Moderator

    There are still numerous 16:10 monitors available and since I use my computers more for business I am glad for the extra height for viewing and editing documents.

    DSLR cameras that shoot video shoot 3:2 because that is the sensor dimensions. Most have a setting for wide screen but it crops the top and bottom of the sensor to achieve it.

    As for the phones, I like the 16:9 as long as there is sufficient width to make the screen usable, nothing less than a 4.3" preferably more. The problem with it is if you get a nice wide screen you have a really tall phone, in that scenario I would prefer a 4:3 and I could live with letterbox format.
  11. Skyroket

    Skyroket Well-Known Member

    Talk about about working with the docs... 16:9 format is still be a better choice. 16:9 is wider than 16:10. Side by side documents display more content.

    3:2 has nothing to do with the sensor dimensions. Every dslr camera shots viddo in 16:9 format and also can take 16:9 pics if you use liveview.
  12. SamuraiBigEd

    SamuraiBigEd Under paid Sasquatch! Moderator

    Yes, but 16:10 is taller so it displays more info vertically and side by side is still plenty sufficient.

    Actually 3:2 has everything to do with the sensor dimension, they are all pretty close to that or 4:3. My 5D MkII shoots in 4:3 natively, you have to switch to 16:9. The only way to get 16:9 out of a sensor with a 3:2 or 4:3 format is cropping whether it is video or still image.
  13. Demache

    Demache Well-Known Member

    Actually, no. Its not wider. They are same width, with 16:10 being taller, if the resolutions are comparable 1920x1080 16:9 vs 1920x1200 16:10.

    And DSLRs just crop the video to 16:9 just to make pictures and video fit better on widescreen televisions. Though I have no idea who takes pictures in 16:9, especially on a DSLR, considering you can edit it down to 16:9 later.
  14. Skyroket

    Skyroket Well-Known Member

  15. SamuraiBigEd

    SamuraiBigEd Under paid Sasquatch! Moderator

    Once again Wikipedia shows it's flawed, there are 39 monitors on Best Buys website in 16:10.
  16. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

    as phones get bigger and bigger.. I like big phones. the 4.7" to 5.5" is nice.

    but in 4:3 aspect.. one handed is harder as the phone get bigger.
    so.. 16:9 trys to keep the width reasonable; it also is good for videos.

    I think 16:9 is the better aspect for bigger phones.
  17. Hadron

    Hadron Well-Known Member Contributor

    I just ordered a 16:10 myself - better for my uses than 16:9.

    But I'm ok with 16:9 in phones for the same reason I went for 16:10 for my PC: more vertical height, since I use the phone in portrait and the PC monitor in landscape.

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