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By retaining the same width, the thumb is still free to be able to travel across the entirity of the screen. A wider screen -- as found on a number of Android handsets -- are more difficult to use single-handed.
In March, a report by The Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Lab claimed that almost 90 percent of smartphone ownerswant a smartphone with screen in the 4.0-inch to 4.5-inch range, as long as the device is thin.
Smartphones sporting 4.5-inch displays are pretty large beasts. Take the LG Optimus 4G LTE, for example. This handset measures 133.9 x 67.9 x 10.5 mm, which doesn’t sound much until you put it up against the iPhone 4S, which measures in at 115.2 x 68.6 x 9.3 mm. That might not sound like a big difference, but in your hand it is.
On the iPhone my thumb comfortably travels across the screen, but with a larger handset I can’t do this, which turns using the handset into a two-handed job. This is not always an issue, but for tapping out a quick text message or email, having to wield a big smartphone is a disadvantage rather than an advantage.
Image source: iLab Factory.