Many smartphone users never watch full length movies on their handsets, a Dialaphone poll has revealed. Even in the age of 5-inch, high-quality displays it seems that mobile phones are not being used for showing longer films.
In our poll, over half of the people who responded indicated that they never watch full length movies on their handset, with only a tiny amount answering that they do this regularly. There is a middle ground of people who occasionally use a smartphone to view feature length films but they are far outnumbered by those who do not do this at all.
There are now many handsets that seems ideally suited to the purpose. Recent high-end devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z have seen 5-inch displays become commonplace and there are larger phablet handsets such as the Galaxy Note 2 which push these dimensions even further, offering a huge amount of screen space to show a film.
In the case of the Xperia Z, the Japanese firm’s handset also makes use of BRAVIA display technology, adding a near 3D effect to high-quality footage and making it appear to almost leap out of the screen.
In recent months we have seen a new generation of smartphones emerge with displays that are a step above anything we have seen before. Sony and Samsung’s flagships make up this grouping along with the HTC One, a handset which has a slightly smaller but no less impressive screen.
While displays have come on leaps and bounds, they are also well supported by software that is tailored towards showing films. Native movie players are standard on many smartphone platforms, along with several third party options which are available from their respective app stores.
Beyond this, there are now a number of apps dedicated to streaming movies from online sources. Web-based services such as Netflix and the BBC iPlayer have successful and well-designed mobile apps and can be used to watch movies on a phone. While a reliable Wi-Fi connection is often needed to go with these, the speeds offered by the new 4G networks promises to make it even easier to stream and watch films on the go.
Despite all this, there are still few people who regularly watch movies on their phone, as our poll indicates. There are reasons for this though, one of which being that while smartphones may now be well suited for the task there are several other devices which are far better. After all, there is little point in using you handset to watch a film if you have a TV in the corner of the room.
The only situation where your phone could be the sole option for watching a film is if you are out and about, and the portability of smartphones makes them ideal in this circumstance. However, another problem comes into play here, namely battery life. Since much of a smartphone’s power usage comes from its display, having the screen working overtime for the several hours it can take to play a film will put a big drain on the device.
So even though smartphone displays are well up to the task of showing high-quality films in all their glory, it may be something as simple as the device’s battery that puts people off using them for this task. Until manufacturers overcome this problem and work out a way to get even bigger batteries into their handsets, users may just shy away from playing full length movies on their phones.