1080p OLED, high refresh rates, deep blacks; what used to be the haymakers of the premium TV sector is what smartphones have now. It’s amazing how it didn’t even take a decade to transport revolutionary TV tech to small screens. With the competition to be the number-one smartphone brand, manufacturers are aggressively incorporating these features (and even better ones) into more accessible price points. Brands like Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Pocophone, while not being household names in the US, are top-rated because of what they offer: high-spec phones for a mid-range price.
But, if there are small players, there will always be bigger ones. Cheaper phones may be bringing next-gen tech to the masses, but it’s brands like Samsung, Sony, and Apple that are defining what brand-new features will flood the smartphone market for the next three to five years. The Samsung Note line has its inimitable stylus; the latest flagship Xperia phone finally brought the Alpha-level photography to Sony’s premier handheld device, and iPhone has the notch and the clout (an underrated quality of Apple devices). If there’s something these brands do better than everyone, though, it’s the screen.
What You See Is What You Buy
Whether you’re looking at a phone online or in a store, it’s the screen that dazzles you. Even more so now, with so many new additions to smartphone screen tech. 90hz refresh rate is a game-changer in its ability to bring smoothness to any interaction with your smartphone. High resolutions allow for better pixel density and color accuracy. HDR certifications may (probably) be the reason why you’re watching so many movies and series on your phone during the lockdown.
It all seems pretty lovely until you accidentally drop your phone and crack its screen (as many do). Now, you can’t have a cracked screen when it’s what cost you a two-year locked-in plan with a carrier or at least $1,000. Samsung, Sony, and Apple all have their repair services, but when it costs you $300 to get the screen back, it’s nice to know that you can turn to third-party Note, Xperia, or iPhone screen repair that won’t cost you as much. Because of guys at JerryRigEverything and iFixit, it’s not that hard to find one in any big city or even small towns.
Now, those mid-range phones that don’t have it all; they have a particular advantage. They won’t be as expensive to repair, or they weren’t expensive, to begin with, so you can replace them. Chances are if you spend at least $400, you’d want to use it for at least a year. Again, you can always take a chance on third-party service providers or even yourself.
What’s Next for Smartphone Screens
Samsung, the most popular provider of smartphone screens, recently trademarked a new kind of display that will feature on future phones. It’s not much of a departure from screens now, but if they’re able to bring television-level HDR certification and better power efficiency, that’s big. That would mean longer screen time and better accuracy, two things that may likely decide your next smartphone purchase.
There’s no denying that during the lockdown, your screen time with your phone has skyrocketed. That will only push smartphone makers to do better in their next releases, and you can bet that it’s the screens that will be the battleground for their upcoming models.