The mantra of the cell phone industry used to be “bigger isn’t better,” but that was back in the days when people still made phone calls. Now that we spend more time browsing the web, watching movies and gaming on our mobile devices, people are warming up to larger smartphones screens.

Android vs. Apple

When it comes to the battle of the big screens, Android devices are clearly in the lead. The most popular of Android’s massive phones is the Samsung Galaxy Note II, which has a 5.5″, 1080p display. But the biggest Android phablet of all is the soon-to-be-released Sony Xperia Z Ultra. This comically large device features a 6.44″, full-HD Triluminos display that’s ideal for watching videos shot with its 13-megapixel camera.

Apple, on the other hand, has yet to go the lengths of Android devices, and for good reason. As a smartphone and tablet manufacturer, it’s in Apple’s best interest to keep these products separate. Not only does it encourage users to buy both an iPhone and an iPad, it also gives developers the ability to create apps that play to the strengths of each screen size. With games in particular, a 4″ iPhone 5 display and a 9.7″ iPad display are two very different beasts. However, there are rumors that Apple is preparing to release 4.7″ and 5.7″ phones.

What’s optimal for smartphones?

With screens ranging from the 4″ iPhone 5 to the 6.44″ Sony Xperia Ultra Z, the optimal smartphone size is really just a matter of opinion. For people who prefer to keep their phone in their pocket, the iPhone 5 is a wise choice. For those who stream a lot of movies or read media-rich articles — and don’t want to own a tablet and phone — the Sony Xperia Ultra Z or amusingly-named Samsung Galaxy Mega are just what they need. But as the great size debate rages on, a third option is on the horizon.

Discrete screens

The sizable smartphone screen may be safe for now, but what will happen once wearable devices like Google Glass and the rumored iWatch enter the market? Can these hands-free devices make an impact on the market, or will the public stay faithful to colossally sized smartphones? We’ll find out once Google and Apple begin their rollouts. Until then, you can read the speculation about them on your phone, tablet or phablet.