Top 5 smartphones with 1080p displays [update]
Handset makers claim that full-HD displays, with their higher pixel density, will deliver sharper and clearer images onscreen.
However, the reality is that unless you have an extremely discerning eye, you probably couldn't tell the difference between a 720p and a 1080p screen unless you held them up to your nose.
Don't forget that all those extra pixels will be especially taxing on your battery as well. Plus, as CNET Asia Senior Writer Aloysius Low has pointed out in his Android superphone commentary, 1080p content takes more processing power to render, and also hogs a lot of the limited storage space on a handset.
Will all these factors matter to consumers? Based on our experience so far, it's more important for a screen to have better viewing angles, brightness as well as color accuracy. This will make for a better overall experience.
As such, here are some of these smartphones that fit our criteria with 1080p displays that are bright, colorful and sharp. Note that some of these handsets may already have hit the shelves, while others will be coming soon. Here are five handsets with full-HD displays (in alphabetical order).
CNET Asia rating: 8.1 stars
The good: 3,200mAh battery that offers one and a half days of uptime; powerful performance; good low-light camera; brilliant screen; microSD card slot.
The bad: Glossy plastic materials lead to lots of fingerprint smudges; no water-resistance feature as found on the previous handset.
The bottom line: The HTC Butterfly S packs better specifications compared with the HTC One, but doesn't have the great industrial build. If you're the type that prefers the fastest hardware, then the Butterfly S is the one for you. Otherwise, stick to the better-looking flagship One.
Display size: 5 inches
CNET Asia rating: 8.3 stars
The good: Beautiful industrial design with aluminum chassis, vibrant and sharp display; snappy performance; good low-light camera performance; interesting new UI; good speaker performance.
The bad: Lack of details on UltraPixel camera due to low megapixel count; average battery performance; no microSD card slot.
The bottom line: With a beautiful design and additional features that even skeptics of custom UIs may grow to love, HTC has a winner in the One--just watch out for the average battery life.
Display size: 4.7 inches
At a New York press conference on Wednesday, LG took the wraps off the LG G2, its newest flagship handset. Equipped with powerful specs, this G2 knocks the Korean mobile company's previous flagship, the Optimus G Pro, right out of the water.
Not only does the new G2 sport a 13-megapixel camera like its main rival, the Samsung Galaxy S4, it also runs Android 4.2.2 and has a vivid 1080p HD display. Uncommonly, and not completely comfortably, its volume rocker and power buttons are located on the phone's back.
CNET Asia rating: 8.4 stars
The good: Gorgeous design; speedy performance; sharp screen; good camera; water-resistant.
The bad: Edges too sharp; non-removable battery; fingerprint magnet; speaker volume too low.
The bottom line: The Sony Xperia pulls out all the stops in terms of specs, resulting in a smartphone that's top of its class.
CNET Asia rating: 8.2 stars
The good: Fast and snappy performance; lightweight; expandable storage; brilliant screen; abundance of software features (that you may never use but will be glad to have); great 13-megapixel camera; runs Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean).
The bad: Plastic build; looks just like any other Galaxy smartphone (even the cheap ones); pricey; cluttered UI needs tidying up before you start using it; keyboard's auto-replacement feature is buggy.
The bottom line: Samsung's latest flagship isn't groundbreakingly new, which could mean that the company has run out of ideas on how to freshen up its smartphone designs. That said, the S4 is fast and packs plenty of hardware and software features that you will be glad to have.
About the author
Aloysius Low is a Senior Writer at CNET Asia and covers all things mobile. A former World of Warcraft addict, he now dabbles in social media to stave off the withdrawal symptoms. As a lover of all things furry, he's also the unfortunate slave/minion of two adorable cats.
About the author
Jacqueline Seng is a presenter/writer for CNET Asia, focusing on mobile phones. Her induction into the world of IT involved typing out stories on a computer in kindergarten--not that much has changed. The only girl on the editorial team (for now), she is also an avid potato chip connoisseur, heist movie enthusiast and indie/hiphop music aficionado.