View all web browser and mobile devices available in our cloud-based test lab.
Mobile screen sizes are growing bigger. And it's more important than ever to understand key device characteristics from a development and testing standpoint. This includes:
These characteristics are important whether you are developing native apps, hybrid apps, or responsive web apps.
There are a variety of mobile screen sizes available. As of November 2015, tablet and mobile screen sizes range from 4.7" to 9.7".
Common mobile screen resolutions include: 480×800, 640×1136, 720×1280, 750×1334, 1080×1920, and 1440×2560. The most common resolution is 720x1280.
Android categorizes mobile screen density into one of six families:
Mobile Screen Sizes
750 x 1334
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
1440 x 2560
iPhone 6 Plus
1080 x 1920
iPad Air 2
1536 x 2048
Samsung Galaxy S6
1440 x 1440
iPhone 6S Plus
Google Motorola Nexus 6
HTC One M9
Source: (Perfecto's Device Coverage Index, Nov. 2015)
It's important that you don't mix devices and operating systems based on the location of the devices. And it's also important to understand that screen size and resolution can change visuals.
For example, two Samsung devices with the same screen size but different resolutions might show different visuals to the user. Or they will consume more CPU and battery to process the various app visuals on these devices.
As a starting point, it is easy to determine your device's PPI and classify it as one of the density families accordingly.
Here's the formula to calculate the Dp value:
(calculate the device screen resolution square root --> for iPhone 6 it would be 750 x 1334)
So, you'll get 1,530 as the Dp value.
Match the screen size to the above Dp value to get the PPI.
An iPhone 6 device, which has a 4.7'' screen size, will result in 326 PPI.
Mobile apps run on different devices equipped with very different hardware (systems on chip). Therefore, these devices have a varied amount of CPU as well as battery types. This impacts performance.
So, loading a given app on an LG G4 (5.5'') with 515 PPI would be different from an iPhone 6S Plus (also 5.5") but with a 401 PPI. The CPU, battery usage, and performance (responsive time) would be different for each device.
Because there is such a large, fragmented market of devices, there's a lot for developers and testers to consider. You ought to be thinking of the end user experience. And that means app performance, visuals, usability, and robustness.
It will be critical to know your app's benchmark performance on a variety of devices. This is a good step toward having the right test coverage for your mobile app.
Testing screen size, resolution, and PPI among manufacturers should be your first step in assuring good user experience across platforms.
Take a look at the Android OS release history below. It's clear that bug fixes around performance, battery consumption, and user interface are key.
Another aspect of mobile screen sizes teams should incorporate in their testing is the advent of foldable phones. Teams will need to ensure their apps can correctly adjust and function with all sorts of devices with foldable screens. In 2022 alone, more than 14.2 million foldable smart phones were sold.
When you use a tool like Perfecto for mobile testing, it's easy to test for a variety of mobile screen sizes, resolutions, and PPI. You can leverage our mobile test lab to make sure that your app runs smoothly, regardless of device.
See for yourself how Perfecto can help you test screen size, resolution, and PPI. Get started with a free trial.
DevOps Chief Evangelist & Sr. Director at Perforce Software, Perfecto
Eran Kinsbruner is a person overflowing with ideas and inspiration, beyond that, he makes them happen. He is a best-selling author, continuous-testing and DevOps thought-leader, patent-holding inventor (test exclusion automated mechanisms for mobile J2ME testing), international speaker, and blogger.
With a background of over 20 years of experience in development and testing, Eran empowers clients to create products that their customers love, igniting real results for their companies.