HTC One M9 rumors: Is 1080p old technology or display sweet spot?

Android manufacturers and fans tend to focus on the specs and denigrate devices that don't have the latest and greatest. HTC's upcoming device may have a 1080p display, for the third year in a row.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
All evidence points to HTC's continued use of the 1080p LCD display.
In the Android spec wars, a 1080p display is old technology, but I would argue that it hits the sweet spot.

When the HTC One M7 launched with a 4.7-inch 1080p display in 2013, 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution) was the highest resolution available. In 2014, LG was the first to launch a phone, the LG G3, with a 1,440 x 2,560 Quad HD display.

Samsung's Note 4, the Note Edge, and the Google Nexus 6 also have this Quad HD display resolution. While all of these high resolution displays look fantastic, the visual difference to most people over 1080p is minor. However, every one of these Quad HD devices has lower battery life than they would if 1080p was used.

Without serious advances in battery technology, I would argue that 1080p is the perfect resolution to provide a visually appealing experience with long battery life on smartphones with 5.5-inch or smaller displays. The Apple iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch display with a 1080p resolution and I have yet to hear any complaints about it.

Android fans tend to focus on comparing specs side-by-side rather than considering whether or not such specs are even needed and with what additional costs those high end specs come. Personally, I am tired of the spec wars, especially given that there is little difference in performance with high end smartphones today.

While 1080p is my personal sweet spot, I find that even 720p resolution displays are great on phones with 4.7-inch or less displays. The Nokia Lumia 830 that I recently purchased has a 4.7-inch 720p display and it looks fantastic.

Last year, a video surfaced of the HTC One M8 -- so there were no secrets left when HTC made the official announcement. This year, we've see some rumors showing images of an HTC One M9 that looks almost the same as the M8: Two camera modules/sensors on the back; another with one larger rear camera module; some with the same two front-facing speaker grilles; and others with two speakers in small slots like we see on the newest HTC Desire models.

I'm glad that we haven't seen the actual HTC One M9 and prefer to see devices for the first time when official announcements are made.

I don't think there is as much uncertainty with the internal specs as these tend to follow a natural progression and be fairly consistent across the high end smartphone spectrum. It's highly likely the new HTC One M9 will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, have 3GB of RAM, launch with Android Lollipop, and include HTC Sense 7.

We don't know if there will be any water resistance, what the exact form factor will look like, if there will be more than one size variation, and what other innovations HTC has up its sleeves. Even when HTC devices, much like the iPhone, continue their iconic design language, there are always innovations in software.

I will be at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this week and will get some hands-on time with HTC's newest flagship. Do you agree that 1080p is the sweet spot or do you think HTC should continue to go head-to-head with Samsung, LG, Sony, and others in the display resolution battle?

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