How The 18:9 Aspect Ratio Is Taking Over Smarphone Screens

Anil - Jun 07, 2019

How The 18:9 Aspect Ratio Is Taking Over Smarphone Screens

Most of the latest smartphones manufactured by Samsung, Huawei, and Apple are carrying screens with 18:9 aspect ratio.

The history of aspect ratios has always been intimately linked to the movie industry. The art of experimenting with aspect ratios began as cinematographers trying to perfect their film’s vision. With every new experiment, a new aspect ratio is born. Sometimes, their experiments become popular enough to become an industry standard.

aspect ratio gif

Keep in mind that when widescreen TVs were invented, people took in 16:9 as a standard of screen aspect ratio. However, smartphones with a notch and the bezel-less display have made their first arrivals, which delivers the new 18:9 aspect ratio since 2018.

For now, customers around the world are rapidly adopting smartphones with 18:9 aspect ratio phones as appropriate alternatives to the 16:9-screen smartphones, even there're still a number of customers considering the new aspect ratio could make the phones get taller but not wider, because the screen size doesn't equal to the screen area.

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What does 'aspect ratio' mean?

First and foremost, what does exactly the aspect ratio mean? As you know, an aspect ratio always comes with two numbers to describe how large a TV or smartphone’s screen or a media piece is. There is a larger number measuring a device’s height and a smaller one disclosing its width. From the numbers, we can find out how high your screen is proportionate to its width.

aspect ratio cinema

For instance, Instagram had only supported the square content, so it means those photos had a 1:1 format. As the numbers start increasing, it will get wider and taller. Note that there’re some standard variants of aspect ratio, from the popular 4:3 in photography to the old 16:9 of smartphone screen to the latest one, 18:9. So that is 18:9 aspect ratio meaning.

Timeline of aspect ratio

The 4:3 aspect ratio has been popularly adopted around in the era of television until the early years of the 1950s. One of the earliest aspect ratios that accepted as a standard is 4:3 used for 35 mm films in the "silent era". Until the invention of television, they also used a 4:3 aspect ratio of the display at the time. The world of cinema faced stiff competition because TV started attracting people in terms of both quality and convenience, instead of having to drive to the cinema.

aspect ratio 169

In order to discover a way to make movies better and more attractive to customers, movie producers finally find out the widescreen format of the 16:9 aspect ratio for dual purposes. Thanks to that, revamped screens let people have a bigger view of the picture when compared to predecessors. In fact, the new 16:9 format helped devices enhance the image quality by allowing for scenery and bolder backdrops for HD TVs.

Why do the 18:9 screens start dominating the smartphone market?

aspect ratio 189

After taking over the role of 4:3, those 16:9 screens were dominating the display market, and most manufacturers cast no doubt on the 16:9 ratio built-in their devices. However, there was still a gap existing between the current 70mm standard for cinema and portable 16:9 screens. Due to that, a solution was actually in need at the time. By inventing a film format with 18:9 aspect ratio phone, the cinematographer Vittorio Storaro did see the solution for the need of making both cinemas and TV get along together.

aspect ratio smartphone

With the effectiveness of 18:9 proven, the 18:9 ratio mobiles screens has been considered as the “streaming ratio”. Later, two Korean brands - LG and Samsung respectively rolled out the LG G6 and the Galaxy S8 with the new 18:9 aspect ratio of the screen. After that, many phone makers started producing more models catching the trend. Some of the other early pioneers include Huawei, Google, and OnePlus. Furthermore, it should be noted that Apple also launched a flagship featuring a new design with a taller ratio of 19.5:9, the iPhone X in 2018.

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