Smartphones with Quad HD (1440 x 2560) resolution displays (2015)

Smartphones with Quad HD (1440 x 2560) resolution displays (2015)
When we first heard that manufacturers might be making the transition to even pixel-denser displays than the flagship industry standard of 1080p, us and the community as a whole were skeptical of the value proposition. It seemed like manufacturers are sacrificing precious battery life for nothing more than bragging rights — after all, even people with perfect, 20/20 vision would have a hard time actually spotting a difference in clarity on such small panels. Regardless, the Android industry pressed on, and we currently have nearly two dozens of high-end, high-profile devices that offer as many pixels. 

Now, while a comparable (in terms of quality) 1080p panel will always draw less power than a 1440p one, as of late, devices of the latter type have proven capable of providing up to two days of usage – like the Samsung Galaxy Note5 for example. Sure, that one would have probably clocked an even better time if it had a 1080p screen, but it's honestly looking like there's no turning back at this point. Welcome to the Quad HD era, everybody!

So which are these device that would dare stand in the way of extraordinary battery life for questionable benefits to the observer? Let's find out!

Last updated: 10.28.2015

2015 models


We'll be reversing the chronological order of this piece and go through the list of devices lugging around a Quad HD display from the most recent and make our way to the oldest. If you're looking for the very best, it makes sense to chase one from the first group, but you can also save yourself some hard-earned cash by pursuing a 2014 model that has likely dropped in price since.

Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 edge/S6 Active/Note5/S6 edge+


Samsung wasn't the first phone maker to launch a global Galaxy device with Quad HD resolution, but ever since joining the ultra high-res club, it's been churning out top-end devices sporting Super AMOLEDs with more pixels than you can count. Starting with the 2014 Galaxy S5 LTE-A, the list in 2015 grew to include the likes of the Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S6 edge, the rugged Galaxy S6 Active, and the two high-end phablets: the Note5 and Galaxy S6 edge+.


Xiaomi Mi Note Pro


A superstar in China with increasingly more global appetites, Xiaomi's foray into Quad HD territory took a while. With the Mi Note Pro, however, the company finally found a way to include one of them appetizing panels into a phone: just position it upstream. 

The Mi Note Pro is a pretty impressive package on the outside, with a sweet design, an octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, an OIS camera, and dedicated audio chips for better audio quality, but we found that there's a lot Xiaomi could have done better in our review earlier in September.

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HTC One M9+/E9+/ME


While HTC's first flagship for 2015, the One M9, came with a standard, 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution, the company followed up with three whole high-end devices packing a Quad HD panel: the One M9+, the One E9+, and the One ME.

All three come with comparable specs, though the 5.5-inch E9+ is larger than the other two. The rest of the package is nearly identical, though: octa-core MediaTek processors, plenty of RAM, and the same 20-megapixel camera across all three. Despite this well-sounding package, HTC has had quite some trouble moving any of these in anything approaching serious quantities. 


LG G4/LG V10


Of all the phone makers on the planet, LG was the first to introduce a global Quad HD phone to the market with the 2014 G3. The South Korean company, unlike competitors like Samsung and HTC, is kind of conservative in terms of the quantity of devices it pushes out, so there's only been two other Quad HD devices to follow: the LG G4, and the recently announced LG V10. Both of these offer some mighty impressive specs to buyers, though the latter is obviously a tad more intriguing, what with its dual selfie camera system, auxiliary screen on the top, and MIL-STD-810G certification of ruggedness.


Sony Xperia Z5 Premium


For quite some time (until a month and a half, to be exact), Sony shunned Quad HD panels, publicly denouncing them as essentially pointless. Regardless, the Japanese maker obviously decided that it couldn't take pressure that competitors put on it with fancier-looking specs sheet, and finally gave in. But not without a bang.

Indeed, the still minty-fresh Sony Xperia Z5 Premium actually skipped the Quad HD all together, and instead offers a bonkers 4K UHD display with 2160 x 3840 pixels — a world first. That's 801 pixels per inch, or said otherwise — completely nuts!


BLU Pure XL


A re-branded Gionee Elife E8, US-based BLU's Pure XL is a beast, and we liked it once we had the opportunity to take it for a spin. As you can imagine, the Pure XL boasts a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, stretched across a giant, 6-inch Super AMOLED display. The rest of the $349.99 (unlocked) package is as impressive, and includes a fingerprint scanner, an octa-core MediaTek Helio X10 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 24-megapixel main camera.

Did we mentioned it costs just 350 bucks? Right.


Motorola DROID Turbo 2/Moto X Style (Pure)


Despite yet another change of ownership, Motorola's been keeping busy under Lenovo's umbrella, and just recently launched a number of new devices. Two of them — the DROID Turbo 2 and Moto X Style (a.k.a Pure Edition) — come packing just what you're looking for: a Quad HD screen. And that's just a part of the story.

With the former, we've got innovative ShatterShield technology for the screen, with Motorola guaranteeing that it won't shatter or crack upon impact for up to 4 whole years. Add goodies such as Snapdragon 810/808 (respectively), 3GB of RAM, and 24 megapixel cameras with both, and you've got yourself two delicious devices.


Microsoft Lumia 950/950 XL


After a year-long hiatus from the flagship market, which the company supposedly used to regroup and prepare for the launch of Windows 10 for Mobile, Microsoft is finally back in the high-end game with the Lumia 950 and 950XL. 

In many ways, the two are quite alike to each other, though they're also quite different. We're talking two separate designs, different processors (Snapdragon 808 or 810), battery capacities, and screen sizes. What they share, though, is the number of pixels squeezed into them displays: 1440 x 2560, or what you know as Quad HD resolution.


Google Nexus 6P


The name of Google chose for the Nexus 6P is no coincidence, if you think about it, and actually tries to communicate two things: the phone is large (6-inches) and Premium. Given it was only recently announced, it made sense for the Android maker to adopt a Quad HD, and it did!

That's hardly all there is to the Nexus 6P, of course, as the specs sheet includes rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, a 12.3-megapixel camera, an octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor by Qualcomm, and a sizable battery. And, of course, completely stock Android, with no of the nonsense of third-party skins (but none of the extras, too). We quite like the Nexus 6P, as should be obvious by our review.


BlackBerry Priv


If HTC's in trouble, then BlackBerry is nearly in a comma, with sales continuing to drop. That's probably why the Canadian maker went for such an extreme solution: the Android-powered Priv, with its slide-out physical keyboard. And since we're talking displays here, it's definitely worth pointing out that the Priv is also BlackBerry's first Quad HD smartphone.


ZTE Axon Pro/Lux


Last on our list is the Axon duo by ZTE, consisting of the Axon Pro and Axon Lux, with their Sharp-made, 5.5-inch displays with 1440 x 2560 pixels. While the former of the two didn't wow us, we still rated it very favorably in our review from July. That's not surprising, given how that Quad HD panel is joined by an octa-core Snapdragon 810, 4 gigs of RAM, and a 13-megapixel camera, all the while costing just $450 in the States, fully unlocked.


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129 Comments

1. mayur007

Posts: 593; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

2014 xperias should have OIS if its a z1 upgrade then it will be "icing on the cake" z1 does captures awesome pics , sony should work better on the software part to optimize the picture and video..

37. AppleHateBoy unregistered

Afaik Android doesnt support greater than 480 ppi displays. For the Vivo, there won't be too much trouble since it's near to 480. However, if I am right about the 480 ppi thing, Oppo will be in a huge mess. But, "I guess we'll find out, won't we."

44. c933103

Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 28, 2013

......vivo is a sub-brand of oppo...

96. Simona unregistered

but much better than oppo

52. csoulr666

Posts: 116; Member since: Nov 04, 2013

Support for 480+ ppi(XXXHDPI) displays was added in either 4.3 or 4.4 if I'm remember correctly

69. TheOldOne

Posts: 196; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I guess You Know Nothing, Jon AppleHateBoy Snow! The limitation you're speaking about may be realted to the resolution but has nothing to do with the pixed density. Resolution is how many pizels are in total, as the OS needs to handle all the real-estate of the display to draw the guy, apps, etc. Density is just how good the engineers are at packing the above resolution into a smaller or bigger screen (phisical size that is). No OS cares how small a pixel is or big, you can make it (the pixel) bigg as brick it will not care. You need also more memory on the graphic card to suport a bigger resolution; the biggest resolution supported by Android, confirmed by the devices that runs it at the moment, I believe is 1440p - look for smart TV running Android. Android Tablets are also comming.

128. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The Note Pro is 2560x1600. Android supports it just fine.

94. TheOldOne

Posts: 196; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

.....

58. superkuiken

Posts: 168; Member since: Mar 24, 2013

you know that Optical Image Stabilization is no software, right?

75. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

Doesn't change the fact that Sony are short on both counts... :-)

77. mayur007

Posts: 593; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

yes i know

117. waddup121 unregistered

All great phones

122. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

"BlackBerry is nearly in a comma" *coma

125. Acer_Predator unregistered

Exactly I said this few days ago..just repaired friends z1 compact and it is very good phone plus shoots great photos...

2. Odiin

Posts: 373; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

What about Battery? Why there is no competion between manufacturers in Battery technology?

14. PootisMan

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

I don't mind the jump in resolution, but if battery is affected in a major way than I can certainly wait for battery tech to catch up.

101. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The Note 4 with 1440p last longer than the Note with 1080p. In fact it last longer than any phone with QHD.

118. DFranch

Posts: 557; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

Droid turbo lasts the longest.

22. Amir1 unregistered

Cause batteries are not sexy.

95. Jayshmay

Posts: 82; Member since: Mar 27, 2011

It's a smartphone!!! Not a girl. You aren't going to have sex with your smartphone. If looks are all you care about, then get an IPhone, cause that's what IPhone people care about is a status symbol.

99. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Yes you can, there's an app for that!!!

110. Sauce5 unregistered

Shmay I suggest something? If I shmay, what if I told you that iPhones are simply and mass subjectively elegant, classy, and good looking? When I purchase a phone, I make my decision by how the phone looks and feels. You spend all of your time with your phone by looking at it while you're using it, while it is laying on your desk, sitting in your hand, or sitting in someone else's hand. The same goes with a car, guitar, headphones, clothing, etc. People want what they seem deemed fit to their taste. People want what appeals most to their eye. Am I saying this is the ONLY reason people want an iPhone? No. Many people (the vast majority of iPhone users) want an iPhone because of its clean, simple and attractive interface, its ease of use, and its elegance. Yes, "it just works". Other people want it because of a status symbol. But don't bolster your beliefs by thinking that is the only reason why people want an iPhone. Why did I choose the Note 4? Because it is sexy. It is clean. It is classy. Why do I want the M9? Because it is sexy. It is clean. It is classy. Why do I feel this way, because it is taste. And that is where Apple goes above and beyond. Fashionable design and satisfaction to the general publics taste. There are many reasons why people choose the smartphones they own today, many I did not list. Like budget, ecosystem, preference OS, etc. We can sit here all day and talk about this topic, but in the end, it will always come down to one factor. Personal taste.

28. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2459; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

In a way, there has been some competition with battery technology. LG introduced Lithium Polymer battery technology in their flagship device which is a step up from the Lithium Ion battery technology found in the competition.

71. chebner

Posts: 249; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

LG has made advances in battery technology, and last year's G2 was one of the longest lasting for a flagship. This year? Enter the QHD screen plus additional power saving features and battery live still goes down. All the R&D spent on the power saving features negated, and then some, by a screen that provides no visual improvements. Hmmm... seems like money well spent.

102. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Yet the Note 4 with a QHD last longer tan the LG G3. Hmmmm!

80. StanleyG88

Posts: 240; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

Don't think LG "introduced" Li-Polymer in the LG Gx. I had Li-Polymer in my Droid Razr Maxx HD that was out over two years ago. Also, now have Li-Polymer in my Droid Turbo.

49. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

Yeah!Go to hell with your display resolutions.We want better quality displays.Manufacturers and people should learn difference between QUALITY and QUANTITY!F*** u dumb people. Battery and quality are most important!

3. Bishop_99

Posts: 75; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Yes! QHD, the correct name for this display! Completely doubtful Apple would even venture here since their iPhones aren't even HD.

10. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Maybe not Apple, but Nokia/Microkia is very likely to join the QHD party sooner, than later.. With devices like the 1020, 929, and the 1520,, it's obvious that "Lumia" now understands how important it is to have the latest, and greatest hardware, which WP does have now.. I'd have to disagree with the article, not saying that a Lumia device will be first, but I believe well see QHD in 2014... WP8.1 either would already have support for QHD, or QHD would be a small GDR update away... So, I would put Microkia next on the list......

12. Bishop_99

Posts: 75; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Good point.

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