Top smartphone makers are rolling up their sleeves for another round of competition with models that feature full high-definition screens that allegedly offer more than twice the clarity of existing models.
First up is Pantech, which plans to unveil the tentatively named Vega R4 on Jan. 28 featuring a 5.9-inch HD screen, the biggest so far.
Next is LG's Optimus G Pro, a follow-up to the Optimus G released last year. It will be equipped with a 5.5-inch HD display from LG Display, quad-core processor and 13 megapixel camera. LG hopes to beat rival Samsung to the launch.
Samsung, the world's No. 1 smartphone maker, is expected to roll out a new model in the Galaxy series in the second quarter. Industry watchers say it will have a 4.99-inch HD screen and an eight-core "Exynos 5 Octa" processor.
But they are up against formidable foreign rivals. Taiwan's HTC was the first to roll out the Droid DNA full-HD smartphone in November last year. Sony, Huawei and ZTE all introduced HD smartphones at the CES 2013 in Las Vegas early this year.
Chinese players had been considered second-tier until now but have now stolen a march on Korean firms.
The competition over HD smartphones is impacting the market for operating systems as well. Google's Android OS supports almost all resolutions and screen sizes, but Microsoft's Windows Phone OS does not, according to market researcher NPD DisplaySearch.