Business Insider Edition

Samsung's new Galaxy S20 Ultra phone's screen is so big it would have been considered a tablet a decade ago

Antonio Villas-Boas , Business Insider US
 Feb 17, 2020, 10:48 AM
The Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus
  • The new Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has a screen measuring 6.9 inches, just 0.1 inches shy of the 7-inch screen from the Google Nexus 7 tablet from 2013.
  • If this new Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphone were released back then, it probably would have been considered a tablet.
  • Samsung is no stranger to making phones with giant screens. Its first Note phone from 2011 had a 5.3-inch screen that was massive compared to the 2011 iPhone 4s, which had a minuscule 3.5-inch screen.
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.

Just seven years ago, in 2013, Samsung's $1,400 (R26,999Galaxy S20 Ultra probably would have been considered a tablet.

Indeed, the Galaxy S20 Ultra's screen measures in at a massive 6.9 inches. That's just 0.1 millimeter shy of the 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet from Google.

To be fair, the Nexus 7 was a comparatively compact tablet even for its time. The standard - Apple's first iPad from 2010 - had a larger 9.7-inch screen. These days, compact tablets are slightly larger: the iPad Mini's screen measures 7.9 inches, so the Galaxy S20 Ultra might still not be considered a tablet by today's standards.

When I held the Galaxy S20 Ultra in my hands, it didn't strike me as particularly large, especially not as large as Google's Nexus 7. That's surely because the S20 Ultra's bezels are significantly narrower than the Nexus 7's, which has some pretty substantial inch-wide bezels on both the top and bottom.

Samsung is no stranger to giant smartphone screens. The company arguably introduced the world to large smartphone screen sizes in 2011 with its first Galaxy Note phone, which had a 5.3-inch screen.

That seems minuscule by today's standards where few phone screens go below the 6-inch mark, but it was unheard of back when most phone kept their screens under the 5-inches. For context, the iPhone 4s from 2011 had a 3.5-inch screen. The iPhone SE released in 2016 was among the last small-factor smartphones with a screen size of just four inches.

Generally, though, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is in line with the trend of smartphone screens getting bigger and bigger every year, which has been the case for almost a decade now. I remember getting my Nexus 5 smartphone back in 2013 and thinking its 5-inch screen was far too big.

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