Smartphone screen resolution: Higher and higher

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Smartphone screen resolution: Higher and higher

When it comes to producing the best smartphone, screen resolution is just one area that manufacturers are continually trying to enhance to ensure their devices stand out in what is a hugely oversaturated market.

Screen resolutions on the up!

This year it’s been all about 5-inch, 1080p displays, with handsets like the HTC One sporting an impressive screen resolution of 469ppi. However some industry watchers are predicting that in 2014 WQXGA displays could make an appearance, which would see screens jumping to 1600 x 2560 pixels with a ppi of 500 and above.

Nexus 10 WQXGA Screen

It is thought that the first smartphone to showcase a WQXGA display will likely be a 6-inch ‘phablet’ device, although high-resolution screens of this kind are usually found in larger products like the 10-inch Google Nexus 10, which has a respectable screen resolution of 300ppi.

Shrinking the WQXGA display down to 6-inches means that its density will shoot up to 500ppi, twice as many pixels compared to a 1080p screen. Text will not only appear sharper and more defined, but images will become so crisp it’ll feel as though they’re jumping out from the display.

Will it catch on?

While this all sounds very impressive this technology will no doubt come with a hefty price tag. And, in a market where more affordable devices are hitting stores with a generous helping of high-end specs, the technology will also need to be made available to the budget-conscious masses, in order to really catch on.

Many industry experts already claim that the human eye simply won’t be able to tell the difference in resolution between a 720p and 1080p display, from a regular viewing distance, so it brings about the question of whether there is really any need to continue increasing the pixel count on smartphones.

That said, once one manufacturer adopts this technology other companies will be sure to follow suit in order to keep up with the trends, just in the same way firm’s quickly adopted 720p and 1080p screens.

Question time

Of course such advanced technology raises a number of questions, particularly around what changes manufacturer’s are going to make to other elements of the device, including the processor and battery, which will both need to be optimised in order to cope with such a demanding display.

Once again it looks like it’ll be a battle of the smartphone makers as to which will be the first to bring this technology to the masses. According to Korea’s ET News key Korean and Japanese display makers such as LG Display and Japan Display are just two of the companies already working on said WQXGA mobile LCD panels.

Screen on a Sony Smartphone

These displays are produced via a process called Low Temperature Poly Silicon (LTPS) which uses lasers to heat the display and help achieve the exceptionally high resolution.
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Screen it all before

Companies like Toshiba and Sharp have already developed WQXGA panels, but now a great deal of speculation is likely to emerge as to which phone maker will be the first to integrate this technology into a smartphone device.

Even with the full HD offerings available today consumers are still demanding displays with crisper, more vibrant images and text, and this latest development could be the perfect solution.

With manufacturers continually looking for ways to ensure their smartphones stand out from the crowd there is no doubt that many will favour this new technology, and being one of the first to showcase it will certainly help boost their brand awareness.

That said, the success of WQXGA displays comes down to two things. Firstly, potential consumers will want to see a noticeable difference in the screen performance compared to this year’s 1080p offerings if they’re going to fork out extra cash for the innovation.

Secondly, companies producing devices with this screen technology mustn’t forget about improving other, vital elements of their handsets, such as the battery and processor, because without these no matter how impressive a mobile display may be, it won’t be of any use to anyone.

This guest post was written by Sarah Hazelwood of Phones 4u, the home of all the latest smartphone deals and reviews.

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News · Phones 4u · Technology information


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