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We try out six of the best picture-perfect phones

Published 25/02/2016

Microsoft Lumia 950
Microsoft Lumia 950
Huawei P8
iPhone 6s Plus

Film and TV award season is upon us, and if you want to watch footage and films on a smartphone, pick one of these models that come with fantastic screens. Polly Weeks reports.

Power of your PC

Microsoft Lumia 950, £419.99, from www.

Running on Windows 10, this phone could easily double up as a PC. In fact, the Continuum feature, when combined with a keyboard, external monitor, mouse and Microsoft Display Dock effectively turns the device into a regular computer - perfect for watching the Oscars on. However, with a 5.2-inch WQHD screen and 564ppi (pixel per inch) there's no need to hook it up to a larger monitor. The colours are bright and crystal clear, the black stands sharply against light colours and there's even 'sunlight readability enhancements', which basically means if you're watching something outdoors, the quality of the display won't be reduced. Taking films and photos yourself? This model has 4k video resolution, 3x video zoom and your snaps can be up to 20mp.

Pretty as a picture

Huawei P8, £299.99, from

This phone (and the box it comes in) certainly looks pretty, but just like the Oscar nominees, in addition to looking sleek and glamorous, it's packed with quality too. Huawei may not be a well-known brand in the UK, but head East and they are market leaders. This model highlights why. The 5.2-inch, 1080p Full HD Display works a charm, and if you do want to adjust the hues, you can use the phone's Emotion UI function which lets you adapt the colour temperature from cold to warm. On top of that, the camera comes with a good set of options and extras, including optical image stabilisation, so if your hands are shaky, your pictures won't give you away. You'll struggle to find a better value phone out there.

Real plus points

iPhone 6s Plus, £619, from

Like an actor who walks away with an Oscar every year, it's hard to top the appeal of an iPhone - and it'd be impossible to not include the latest Apple model in the best screen awards. The iPhone 6s Plus is a thing of beauty. It comes with a 5.5-inch Retina HD display and 1920x1080 pixel resolution. Yet, when it comes to this model, it's not really about the specs but the ease of use. Take the 3D Touch function, it will recognise how much pressure you're applying to the screen and react accordingly. For example, press the Videos icon a bit harder and longer than usual and rather than open the app, it will instead give you the shortcut of listing your films so you can choose what to watch quickly. The pictures you take will be bold, bright and unbelievably detailed, while the video you record in 4K will be practically blockbuster quality. So, whether you're filming, taking pictures or watching films, you're guaranteed a flawless experience.

A wonderful display

Google Nexus 5X, £299, from

Oh, what a phone. From the moment you turn on the Google Nexus 5X and see the colours on the wallpaper, you just know you're in for a treat. Produced in conjunction with LG, this smartphone (smart in both senses of the word) really does offer up a wonderful display. The 5.2-inch Full HD display screen has 424 ppi and the colours are super sharp. As for the 12.3mp camera, it's been created to deal with bright lights - picking up on the finer details (and colours) of what you're filming. What's more, there's a design quirk, so that if you want to take a photo quickly, just flick your wrist and the camera function will appear (even if your screen is locked).

Feel the force

Moto X Force, £499,

Clumsy people unite. There's finally a phone that, no matter how many times you drop it, won't have to live with the indignity of having a cracked screen. Motorola's X Force comes with the claim that it has 'the world's first shatterproof display', which means you won't be watching films through annoying cracks. Despite the phone focusing on its super-strength lens, its display also packs a powerful punch and there's a 5.4-inch AMOLED Quad HD display with 540ppi, which gives deep, rich colours when you're using your phone as a TV. The camera is also great quality - in fact, you'll be able to take 21mp snaps on the camera and there's 1080p video capture facility. As always, Motorola have quietly gone about delivering a high-quality phone with great specs.

A premium experience

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, £599,

Given Sony produce great TVs, it's not surprising their Xperia Z5 Premium phone focuses on ensuring its display is of the highest quality. In fact, it's sold as 'the world's first 4K smartphone' and when you take into account its ppi is 806 (its competitors are around the 400-500 mark) it's hard to argue this phone isn't the market leader when it comes to display capabilities. Whether you're watching something on the device or recording your own film, it picks up on every colour in front of you - so your photos really will reflect what you're snapping.

Prices above detail sim-free phones. Contracts available for all models

App of the week

IMDb Movies & TV, free, App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore

An oldie but a goodie, IMDb is a wonderful database packed to the rafters with film and TV information.

The app is filled with interesting facts and has a wealth of information to keep film buffs tapping away.

Top 10 bestselling iPhone apps

1. Face Swap Live - Switch faces with friends & photos in live video by Laan Labs

2. Football Manager Mobile 2016 by SEGA

3. Minecraft: Pocket Edition by Mojang

4. The Official DVSA Theory Test Kit for Car Drivers by TSO (The Stationery Office)

5. Heads Up! by Warner Bros

6. KIMOJI by Whalerock Digital Media, LLC

7. Facetune by Lightricks Ltd

8. 7 Minute Workout Challenge by Fitness Guide Inc

9. Ski Tracks by Core Coders Ltd

10. Theory Test for Car Drivers UK - Driving Test Success by Focus Multimedia

Belfast Telegraph

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