To play around I installed Android in VM Ware Player using this image: http://www.android-x86.org/releases/releasenote-4-4-r1

Since I have two Screens of which one is a 5:4 in portrait mode, that's the one I want to use the 5:4.

To use all the screen real estate available I played around with the resolution as described here:

How to change screen resolution on android rooted device?

But no matter what after bootup the vertical screen size is about 22cm. e.g. 800x700 gives me 22cm. 1100x700 gives me 21cm. 500x700 gives me 23 cm.

What is strange is that the horizontal screen size is not influenced at all.

What am I doing wrong?

The problem is that some apps I want to try out rotate the screen. If I disable rotation they are cut off at the bottom.

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