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HTC explains the One M9’s missing 2K screen

Luke Johnson

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HTC One M9

The HTC One M9 landed earlier this week with a mass of improvements in tow. There was, however, one glaring omission from its specs sheet – a better screen than its predecessor.

Now we’re not saying this a drawback for the 5-inch phone. It’s 1080p panel is a beautiful addition, but with the LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy S6 having already switched to 2560 x 1440 pixel QHD displays, it was expected that the Taiwanese manufacturer would keep step with the competition.

Defending its approach of sticking with a Full HD display as the industry moves into the realms of 2K, HTC has explained the reasoning behind its decision.

Just because you have the technology, it doesn’t mean you should actually use that,” Peter Frolund, Managing Director of HTC said speaking with TrustedReviews.

He added: “If you look at where we are today, the technology around smartphones are so advanced that your eyes can’t really see the differences between one screen technology and another screen technology.

“With another screen technology there might be a flip side such as power consumption. It might be boring to talk about, but if you want the best possible battery experience then there’s a balance to make between other elements of the phone.”

Backing up Frolund’s thoughts, Graham Wheeler, Director of Commercialisation and Product Management at HTC added that while 2K screens provide a benefit on larger devices, around the 5-inch space, users can’t see any discernable differences.

“For us it’s about the complete experience,” he told us. “You’ve got to look at the device and how people use it.”

He added: “For us we just want a device that works perfectly, and for this device we thought that a 1080p screen was the best choice.

Although suggesting that 2K screens aren’t a current necessity, Wheeler has failed to rule out HTC ever moving into this space.

“It’s not to say we’ll not do a 2K screen for sure because we’ll review that for every device, but for this device it makes sense to take that beautiful display from the M8 and use it again.

“Why do something that doesn’t give an impact but maybe affects other areas of the device?

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HTC is not alone in fearing the battery effects of adding a 2K panel to a smartphone, both Sony and Huawei have previously expressed their concerns in this area.

“If we think of this size of screen, even up to 8-inches, they are relatively small screens and it is very difficult for the human eye to discern the difference between 2K and Full HD,” Calum MacDougall, Sony’s Director of Xperia Marketing said speaking to TrustedReviews recently.

He added: “We don’t believe the trade-off between having a 2K screen and battery consumption is the right trade-off for a consumer.”

Despite maintaining it was right to overlook a 2K panel of the flagship One M9, it will be interesting to see what the company does next.

With the HTC One M9 Plus having been the subject of multiple leaks and rumours in recent weeks, it has been suggested that the company’s next offering could be a 2K powerhouse only 0.2-inches larger than the current model.

If accurate, this would contradict a lot of the company’s claims. Stay tuned to TrustedReviews for all the latest.

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