The 5-inch screen is one of the headline features of the Galaxy S4, thanks to its whopping 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution. That’s Full HD to me and you. It’s an impressive boost from the 720p display of the Galaxy S3, but for most tasks, you probably won’t notice much of a difference.
The S4’s screen is pin-sharp, with icons and text showing no fuzziness around the edges at all. Reading long passages of text in Web pages is perfectly comfortable, and of course high-definition images look beautifully crisp.
The screen is big, bright and incredibly bold.
The HTC One has the same resolution, but its slightly smaller screen size means its pixels are packed tighter. The One boasts 468 pixels per inch (ppi), which narrowly beats the S4’s 441ppi, but I really couldn’t tell any difference between them, even when looking close up. More pixels might mean a sharper image, but even above the 720p threshold of the S3, there’s little point in choosing between them — there’s just not enough difference.
What really counts is how well it displays your photos, videos and apps. Luckily then, the S4 does a great job here, too. Its display is the Super AMOLED type found on some of Samsung’s earlier phones, making it incredibly vivid.
Colours are rich and bold, almost to the point of being a little oversaturated. If it’s too garish for you then you can choose from different colour profiles in the settings menu. It’s bright too, but isn’t quite at retina-burning levels. My colleague Jessica Dolcourt struggled a little with reflections under the bright San Francisco sunlight, although I didn’t have the same issue under the grey London skies. Sadly. It easily countered our office lights, however.