When 1080p is enough: 5 of the best Full HD smartphones

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.

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OnePlus One


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.

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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.


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35 Comments

1. Tsrnexus

Posts: 43; Member since: Mar 19, 2014

The nexus 5 has a very well caliberated display. The blacks could be better but still its one of the better displays.

6. waddup121 unregistered

True. Just go that display callibration spreadsheet on xda, fix it up and it will be better.

32. abhishekrocks

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Yes coulour in nexus 5 may not be punchy or vibrant like samsung but they are accurate.

2. shiftt

Posts: 333; Member since: May 03, 2015

HA! Every phone on here justifies their screen being a 1080p screen by price except the iPhone 6+.

8. amasog

Posts: 552; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

that is true if you can not afford an iPhone.

22. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

Wrong. Even if you can afford thousands of it, it won't change the fact that you're paying more for less.

3. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

1080p on sub-7in is enough, though...

15. drunkenjay

Posts: 1657; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

no its not if somethings is enough then it would be those 90s nokias. those were enough for a phone. the phones now are multimedia devices which also functions as a phone.

20. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

your point is invalid the reason we have smartphones today and not those 90s nokias is innovation stronger processors, coupled with stronger gpu in a small compact size coupled with touch technology and well developed software and you the rest 4k is just spec war there's nothing innovative about increasing the pixel count on a 6inch > display just a reason to call new and sell for a higher price

26. sssbeesss

Posts: 20; Member since: May 04, 2014

I guess you haven't tried vr yet

4. waddup121 unregistered

Good list haha

7. singhkaran9830 unregistered

Instead of the HTC one M9 you should place either the M8 or Galaxy S5.

10. amasog

Posts: 552; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

OK. make your own article & list only the phone you want to be on the list! LOL!

11. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

I totally agree that the I phone 6+ is the biggest 5.5 inches smartphone out there. The best money can buy ? do you joke ?

12. Simona unregistered

Parena u are apple iphone w***e :D every article is your iphone Parena u ar ill !

16. drunkenjay

Posts: 1657; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

and everything is about galaxy s6. they are the most popular so they get more spotlight.

13. thebig_ben

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 05, 2015

Where in blazes in the galaxy s5? There's an Alcatel Idol on this list but arguably the second best phone of 2014 is not on that list lol.

14. iialparslan unregistered

and There is Xiaomi MI Note! Where is it?

17. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

I would add the xiaomi mi4i to that list as well.. The display on mi4i is just gorgeous.. The blacks are very deep and is close to amoled levels. The viewing angle and contrast ratio is spot on as well.

18. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

I would add the xiaomi mi4i to that list as well.. The display on mi4i is just gorgeous.. The blacks are very deep and is close to amoled levels. The viewing angle and contrast ratio is spot on as well.

19. Ghost04

Posts: 517; Member since: May 03, 2014

As much as I know , Huawei P8 has one of the best FHD displays in the market .

21. rifat44

Posts: 49; Member since: Apr 29, 2015

Ok,i have read all the comments and articles and FHD and QHD but after I came to the results that QHD is useless.......... and those who doesn't like my comment I want to say that even high end specs laptop don't have FHD screen why the hell they are using QHD displays on a 6" phone......... And then all the brands should release FHD flagship version with the same high specs for us............. but who will listen to me

24. mihai.a

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 15, 2015

A 1080p Galaxy S6 with better battery life, insane GPU performance, and a lower price... Yep, that sounds very good to me :)

23. mihai.a

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 15, 2015

Hi guys, and thanks for your comments ! Please note that we've included only smartphones that are currently available in the US. As some of our readers mentioned above, the Huawei P8 and the Xiaomi Mi 4i are both good picks if you can get your hands on one that actually works with your carrier's bands.

25. rifat44

Posts: 49; Member since: Apr 29, 2015

Hlw mihai.a,is there any chance i can work in phonearena

30. mihai.a

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 15, 2015

Head on to the following link, follow the instructions, and submit an application. phonearena.com/jobs

33. rifat44

Posts: 49; Member since: Apr 29, 2015

But they don't reply to my email over there,can u give ur email address we can talk over email

29. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Why did you include phones that had to get throttled/underclocked to reduce overheating issues -_-

27. TezzaBP

Posts: 274; Member since: May 18, 2015

Guys, this wasn't a poll or anything, these are just personal opinions by the one who made the article

28. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Z3+ and M9 Throttled to death should not make this list..

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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