Over the last fifteen years, smartphones display have grown in size exponentially. It is funny how, while six inches was once considered the definition of a phablet, these days we can call a six-inch device compact. Along with larger screens come improvements in color fidelity, resolution, refresh rate, and other technical marvels that enhance the smartphone experience.
Over the last fifteen years, smartphones have grown in size exponentially. It is funny how, while six inches was once considered the definition of a phablet, these days we can call a six-inch device compact. Along with larger screens come improvements in color fidelity, resolution, refresh rate, and other technical marvels that enhance the smartphone experience.
When buying a new smartphone, it is important to consider the display specifications because people are consuming more and more content on their phones, whether it is through watching HDR movies and shows or binge-watching your favorite TikToks. Innovations have made it possible for displays to take on new forms, such as edge-to-edge, curved, and OLED, and competition has made these phones more affordable than ever.
Here are five Android phones with some of the best screens in the market, ranging from incredibly clear 4K panels to the really fluid displays found in foldable smartphones. However, there are always a select handful at the top with the most advanced display technologies.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
With its Ultra-series of phones, Samsung has polished the recipe with its many design advancements, such as folding panels or the overflowing edge displays in its previous flagships. Samsung has been the undisputed ruler in display technologies, and not just in its smartphones.
With its tried-and-true build and design, the Galaxy S23 Ultra certainly plays it safe, but that does not mean it shys away from what may be the best all-around smartphone display: a massive 6.8-inch 2K AMOLED display that refreshes at 120 Hz and boasts great outdoor visibility thanks to its 1,750 nits of peak brightness. The nearly bezel-less, edge-to-edge panel with a centrally aligned hole-punch camera is just one of the many features that combine to create an immersive experience.
With its robust specifications and S Pen, the S23 Ultra is an incredible phone—especially considering how well users have rated its battery life. It also boasts one of the best camera setups, with a 200-megapixel camera that can record 8K video and a dedicated periscope lens that can zoom up to 100 times.
Samsung’s good track record with quick software updates and long-term support further make this phone a solid recommendation. As expected, all of this comes at a hefty price of $1,200, but there really isn’t anything like the Galaxy S23 Ultra in the market.
Sony Xperia 1 V
The Sony Xperia 1 V boasts a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate and a 21:9 refresh rate, making it one of the only smartphones available with such an absurdly crisp resolution of 643 ppi. The display is typically slimmer and taller than most phones, making it perfect for scrolling through vertical videos or watching widescreen HDR content. Yes, Sony is still making smartphones in 2024, even though it is marketed towards a niche audience of display and camera enthusiasts.
With a triple camera setup that uses Zeiss optics and Sony’s proprietary S-Cinetone video look, the Xperia 1 V runs on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage that can be expanded further using the microSD card slot. All three cameras can record in 4K HDR at 120 frames per second and have the same autofocus technology as Sony’s professional cameras.
The Xperia 1 V, touted as the ideal media powerhouse, boasts front-facing stereo speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack that supports Dolby Atmos and LDAC for wireless earphones, and a sleek yet robust in-hand feel thanks to Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus protection up front. However, the phone’s steep $1,200 price tag must be justified by its impressive display and camera features.
Google Pixel 8 Pro
The improved display is one of the Google Pixel 8 Pro’s main selling points this time around, as the device still manages to be a great value for $1,000 even after a price increase from last year’s model. The Pixel 8 Pro boasts one of the brightest smartphone displays ever, peaking at 2,400 nits at maximum output thanks to the adoption of an OLED panel. When you combine that with its flat 6.7-inch 120 Hz display, you have yourself a winner.
The Pixel 8 Pro offers a respectable movie-watching experience even without Dolby Vision thanks to its LTPO technology, which enables the phone to lower its refresh rate to as low as 1 Hz. This helps greatly preserve battery life, especially when using the always-on display. Android 14’s Material You design loves splashing colors throughout the user interface, and they do reflect really well on the HDR10+ certified panel.
Though not the most powerful, the Tensor G3 chipset powering the phone is efficient and offers a seamless user experience because it has been designed specifically for Pixel devices. Pixels have always been known for their cameras and software, and the 8 Pro takes both of these aspects to new heights. Google’s computational photography has seen even more improvements thanks to the addition of software features. Exclusive Pixel-only goodies include AI-generated wallpapers, background noise remover, and a one-tap magic editor.
Although OnePlus is primarily recognized for its flagship smartphones that offer a good balance between price and performance, its debut in the foldable smartphone market shows just how high-end the brand can go. The $1,500 OnePlus Open, the company’s most expensive phone to date, is still fairly competitive when measured against other phones in the same market.
Both the 2K displays refresh at 120 Hz and have a ridiculously bright peak brightness of 2,800 nits. The cover display is a 6.31-inch 20:9 panel that can go as low as 10 Hz to save battery. When unfolded, the massive 7.82-inch nearly square display is immersive and surprisingly has the least visible crease in any foldable smartphone. Both panels are Dolby Vision compatible and provide a fantastic HDR viewing experience.
The OnePlus Open’s fluid display, combined with OxygenOS’s smooth and fluid experience, makes for an unparalleled experience. The phone, in typical OnePlus fashion, is powered by flagship-grade internals, including the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage.
The triple camera setup, optimized in collaboration with Hasselblad, makes the Open an excellent shooter as well. Being foldable unlocks unconventional use cases, such as multitasking with split-screen apps and floating windows.
Asus ROG Phone 7
With its ROG series of phones pushing the limits in terms of raw performance, Asus has been at the forefront of the smartphone gaming space. The ROG Phone 7 is no different, sporting one of the fastest displays on any smartphone along with a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and up to 16GB of RAM. The phone’s robust internals are expected considering its gaming-focused design.
You can set specific refresh rates for individual games, bypassing any default capped limits. The 6.78-inch 165 Hz AMOLED panel with support for HDR10+ and an impressive peak brightness of up to 1,500 nits provides an experience like no other handset when gaming. Pairing a touch sampling rate of 720 Hz with Asus’ rather bloat-free and stock Android user interface, this phone has perhaps the most fluid experience.
Unlike most modern slabs of glass and metal, the ROG Phone 7 has a noticeable forehead and chin, preventing mistouches while gaming. This also leaves space for a dual front-facing stereo speaker configuration, allowing for an immersive multimedia experience. The ROG Phone 7’s cooler accessory not only promises better thermal performance but also has a subwoofer, a 3.5mm audio jack, another type-C port, and four tactile remappable buttons.
Asus has always placed a high priority on long battery life, and the ROG Phone 7’s 6,000 mAh battery offers remarkable endurance. Passthrough charging is supported, which allows the battery to power the phone without the need for additional charge.