Smartphones with too-small screens (roundup)

Taking a break from heavy-as-bricks smartphones with featherlight phones is one thing, but some handset makers spoil their designs with overly small displays.

Josh Miller

Add up the size of the average fingertip, the typical number of icons present on a home screen, and the amount of multimedia applications on a smartphone, and we CNET editors usually arrive at the conclusion that 3.5 inches is the optimal starting size for a touch screen.

We'd tend to find a 3-inch screen reasonable if it comes with a physical keyboard that takes pressure off the virtual keyboard. However, lately we've been seeing some smartphones with tiny screens (usually matching diminutive bodies) that measure 2.8 and even 2.6 inches. Keyboard or no, operating these shrunken displays is no picnic.

Is this a confidence or a cost issue? A flimsy attempt on the manufacturer's part to create differentiation? Regardless of their misdirected inspiration, here are five smartphones parading touch screens that are far too small for comfort.