THE latest smartphone battle will be fought over screens, after leading handset makers revealed the first mobile devices capable of rivalling big-screen TVs today.
The advanced phones and tablets, unveiled at the world's biggest mobile phone show and due in stores within months, also received support from streaming TV giants Amazon and Netflix, which pledged to provide entertainment for the smallest screen in the house.
Sony Mobile kicked off the trend on the first day of Mobile World Congress by unveiling the world's first smartphone with a 4K HDR screen, supporting video typically only available on top-of-the-line, big-screen televisions.
Sony marketing executive vice-president Hideyuki Furumi said its upcoming flagship phone, the Xperia XZ Premium, would debut the "next evolution" of screen technology to make the most of home entertainment streamed to smartphones.
"(It offers) an even more realistic and immersive viewing experience," he said.
"You forget you're watching a small screen in the palm of your hand and feel as though you're part of the scene."
HDR video shows off a wider range of colour, greater contrast, and more detail in difficult lighting conditions, such as sunsets.
The Sony flagship phone, due for release in late autumn, will be the first to screen HDR video in a 4K resolution, and Amazon revealed it would deliver 4K HDR content for the device.
But Sony will not be the only company to add HDR video to mobile screens this year.
Samsung revealed both of its new tablet computers would support HDR content this year, albeit at a lower resolution, and LG added HDR technology to the 5.7-inch screen of its G6 smartphone.
Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings said the streaming company would support LG's new smartphone to give mobile viewers a better entertainment experience.
"These advanced screens that we see in mobile are really supporting innovation and then Netflix and others continue to innovate on the video style so you can see the great colours on screen," he said.
"Screens today are just stunning and you can see all the depth right in front of you."
In addition to new screen technology, smartphone makers revealed new mobile cameras at the Congress, with Sony showing off a super slow-motion camera capable of taking 960 frames per second, and Chinese manufacturer Oppo showing off a phone camera with a 3x optical zoom.
Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson travelled to Barcelona as a guest of Sony Mobile.
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