All you need to know about Smartphone “Aspect Ratio”

Vivo NEX Dual Display

When phone specifications and the display are being discussed, or when a new phone is being reviewed, you must have in one way or the other heard or came across the phrase “Aspect Ratio”.

In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about aspect ratio.

What is Aspect Ratio?

In simple terms, the aspect ratio is the relationship between the height and the width of a display screen of a Smartphone. It is also the measurement of how tall or wide a smartphone display is, but it is important not to mistake it for screen size. Also, it not only applies to Smartphones but any rectangular display-tablet, laptops, etc.

The aspect ratios are commonly written in ratios with the bigger figure on the left side and the smaller figure on the right side. In some cases, they are written in decimals, the larger figure on the left divided by the smaller figure on the right will give a decimal ratio. For example, a display aspect ratio of 16:9 is 1.78 in decimal, i.e., 16/9= 1.78.

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Types of Aspect Ratio

  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio

This is probably the most common aspect ratio used for smartphones; it is sometimes presented as 1.78. It has been in use since 2010, so for any device with a 16:9 aspect ratio, it simply means there will be 16 pixels in one direction for every 9 pixels in the other.

It became the standard ratio for smartphones because the majority of smartphone contents (video, gaming) are also in the same format. So for devices who’s display are not in 16:9 aspect ratio, you will experience a “letterboxing effect.” It is a black bar that appears at the top and bottom of the content displayed on the device.

  • 18:9 Aspect Ratio

So, Smartphone manufacturers decided there was the need to increase the size of the display of a smartphone without necessarily increasing the phone size or its dimensions. This was achieved by increasing the height of phone screens (from the regular 16-18) while still maintaining the width at (9). However, because contents are available in 16:9 aspect ratio, the black bars will always appear at the top and bottom or in some cases to the left and right side of the display. The most important thing 18:9 aspect ratio offers is; it allows for convenient usage of smartphones, it allows users to zoom in on video content.

  • 19:9 Aspect Ratio

The 19:9 Aspect Ratio is becoming increasingly popular and used by smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and ASUS on their devices. Smartphones with 19:9 Aspect ratio has 19 pixels in one direction for every 9 pixels in the other. Smartphones with 19:9 Aspect ratio are generally slimmer and comfortable when handled; they also come with non-existent bezels.

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Aspect Ratio Fragmentation

The Aspect ratios listed above are the commonly used ones on smartphones, but there are variations and fragments. For example, when you see a device with Aspect ratio 18:5:9, don’t get confused, they are simply aspect ratios that are based on the regular 18:9 Aspect ratio. Or a 19:5 aspect ratio is just an extension of the 19:9 aspect ratio.

So, when next you are reviewing or probably want to purchase a smartphone, Aspect Ratio should be put into consideration.

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