Five of the best phones for watching movies on long-haul flights

If you’re one of the growing army of frequent flyers who never switch-on the seat-back screen, you need to choose your smartphone more carefully

Forget pixels, disregard resolution, and think about what you’re actually watching on that tiny screen propped-up on the tray table. There’s a rule for watching video: the rule of three-eighths. Take the height of your phone and multiply it by about three, and watch from there – the optimum distance for the pixels in the HD video you’re watching. For non-HD, it’s the rule of five-eighths. However, what phone you choose also makes a big difference.

1 – Google Pixel XL

Created to battle the iPhone 7 Plus, Google’s 5.5-inch phone has a 5.5-inch screen that uses an AMOLED display. Cue rich, contrasty video.

2 – LG G6

With Dolby Vision and HDR 10, new flagship phone from LG is all about HDR, which can be downloaded from Netflix. The G6’s 18:9 QHD+ FullVision screen is 5.7 inches.

3 – Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

This 6.2-inch, 18:9 Infinity Display – built around a Super AMOLED panel – has a Quad HD+ resolution (so, nowhere near 4K), but can show HDR content and more colours than most phones.

4 – iPhone 7 Plus

Who on Earth would buy an Android phone?! If that’s your take, consider Apple’s flagship, whose 5.5-inch LCD display has Full HD resolution capable of much brighter, more colourful images than is has any right to host.

5 – Sony Xperia Premium XZ

You want a 4K screen? This 5.5-inch, 18:9 aspect ratio FullVision display can show HDR video – now downloadable from Netflix.

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