When 1080p is enough: 5 of the best Full HD smartphones
Full HD and 1080p are two terms that refer to the exact same thing, namely a resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels. That's the resolution that most TV sets currently run as the industry prepares for the 4K TV era.
The first smartphone to use a 1080p display was the original HTC J Butterfly, a Japanese-only smartphone that HTC launched back in October 2012. A few months later, the handset crossed over to the US, where it was sold as the Verizon-bound Droid DNA.
When the 1080p smartphone craze started, a lot of voices in the tech community argued that 1080p displays are overkill on smartphones, but most people seemed to agree that the extra detail that videos, photos, and games have to show at this resolution is easily noticeable, and a welcomed improvement.
Fast forward to present day, and 1080p smartphones are basically the norm, at least in the upper midrange and high-end segments of the smartphone market, with most smartphone manufacturers now equipping their flagships with even sharper Quad HD displays. As it turns out, one of our recent studies show that people have a tough time telling the difference between a Full HD and a Quad HD smartphones. If you're not able to spot a noticeable improvement, then it's probably wiser to purchase a 1080p smartphone, as Full HD panels are slower to eat through the battery, and they also put much less stress on the GPU.
With that in mind, let's check out the best 5 smartphones with Full HD / 1080p displays!
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The iPhone 6 Plus will go down in history as the first Apple smartphone with a 1080p display. With its Full HD display that measures 5.5 inches across the diagonal, the iPhone 6 Plus comes with a display PPI of 401. At the moment, this is the sharpest display that Apple integrates in its mobile devices.
Aside from a larger and crisper display, the iPhone 6 Plus is roughly the same beast as the iPhone 6. It integrates specs such as a 1.4GHz dual-core Cyclone processor, 1GB of RAM, 16/32/64GB internal storage options, an 8MP primary sensor, a 1.2 MP secondary sensor on the front, and a 1810 mAh battery. The raw numbers might not seem to be all that impressive, but check out our Apple iPhone 6 Plus review to find out why this is one of the best 1080p smartphones that money can currently buy.
If you're looking for an affordable but well-specced 1080p phablet, the 5.5-inch OnePlus One is an option to consider.
Back when it originally launched in June 2014, the OnePlus One, marketed as a 'Flagship Killer' by the young startup, was one of the hottest smartphones around. Although more than a year has passed since the OnePlus One debuted, the handset still offers a pretty good value for the money, especially at the recently-slashed prices, which start at $299 for the 16GB model.
The OnePlus One comes with specs such as a Snapdragon 801 chipset paired with 3GB of RAM, a 13MP primary camera, a 5MP front-facing shooter, and a 3100mAh battery. In terms of software, the handset came with Cyanogen OS out of the box, but the manufacturer recently launched Oxygen OS, its own Android implementation. Check out our OnePlus One review for more details about the handset.
Sony Xperia Z3+
Although not a very significant upgrade compared to last year's Xperia Z3, the Sony Xperia Z3+ - marketed as the Xperia Z4 in Sony's home market of Japan, ticks a lot of the right boxes.
The 5.2-inch 1080p display, paired with a 2930mAh battery and Sony's impressive record with battery optimization, will most likely translate in a couple of days of usage on a single charge.
On the inside, the Sony Xperia Z3+ comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset paired with 3GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of microSD-expandable internal storage, a 20.7MP primary camera, a 5MP sensor. The outside is only a minor refresh of the Xperia Z3 that Sony launched back last fall, but some actually enjoy the manufacturer's Omnibalance design language.
HTC One M9
Although one of the most criticized smartphones of the year, the HTC One M9 is a very potent and well-built smartphone.
The One M9 comes with a 5-inch 1080p display, but despite being the smartphone in this list with the smallest screen, the One M9 doesn't come with a very compact form factor. On the upside, the aluminum unibody looks great and feels very premium to the touch.
Other pluses include a significant amount of processing power offered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset paired with 3GB of RAM, probably the best primary camera on any HTC smartphones, and a front-facing Ultrapixel camera that takes great selfies even in low-light environment. For a thorough analysis, head over to our HTC One M9 review.
Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3
The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 is the least popular smartphone on this list, but don't let this fool you, the Idol 3 is a handset that offers great value for the money.
The Alcatel Idol 3 comes with a bright and vivid 5.5-inch 1080p display, one that many point out to as the handset's best feature. On the inside, we find the upper mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset paired with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of microSD-expandable internal storage, a 13MP primary camera, an 8MP secondary sensor, and a 2910 mAh battery. Priced at $249, the Idol 3 is a handset that offers a great price/performance ratio. Check out our Alcatel Idol 3 review for more details.