4K displays are becoming popular and are the new trend in the television market, but LG is taking these displays even farther. The company has just announced a new 4K panel for smartphones, which will come in at a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels on a 5.5-inch screen.
This will be the first Quad HD display to ever come out with the intention of making it onto smartphones. Prior to LG's 4K display, all QHD panels have been seen on monitors and televisions.
For those of you keeping track, a 2560x1440 resolution provides a density of 538 pixels per inch, which is far superior to the still impressive Retina display from Apple. The Retina only has a pixel density of 326 ppi.
Making It to Market
We consistently see companies show off amazing devices and gear during conventions only to wait five years for a finished product, and that could be the same with LG's new smartphone display. Television manufacturers are finally close to making 4K sets a viable purchase, so mass producing a smartphone with such a high-resolution display would simply cost too much right now.
Not only is the screen itself expensive but it requires extra processing and battery power, which, once again, would drive up the price. As LG points out in its press release, there are benefits to having a QHD display, like the ability to view full Web pages without distortion. However, the battery life of any phone running this type of panel would suffer tremendously and many of the benefits of the display would be negated.
Good on Paper
When looking at the specs and imagining a super high-resolution phone screen, everything sounds great. But there are few benefits to the display in a real-world scenario. The human eye is the biggest limitation and is not something that will be upgraded anytime soon. We already know, through research, that the eye cannot notice pixels on a 320ppi screen when held 10-12 inches away.
If people are unable to see the difference between a 1080p and a 4K display on their smartphone, there is no reason to buy it other than bragging rights. Having such a high-resolution display makes sense for TVs and monitors, but implementing the same panel on such a small screen does not make sense for the manufacturer or the customer.
LG did not provide any timeline for when a set of QHD phones would be coming out, but when they do, it seems doubtful the screen will be a major selling point. Battery life complaints are one of the most prevalent among smartphone users, so unless LG comes up with a new way to provide far better battery life to a phone, the QHD display will not work.
Pushing the QHD panels onto tablets does make more sense and many people have a feeling that smartphones will only receive it if they are above 5.5-6 inches.
Posted: 2013-09-14 @ 4:43am PT
Welcome to my world 538 ppi or higher. Let a 7 inch tablet with 2160p res come. I do not care if I can't tell the difference between 1080p and 2160p so long as the battery is powerful enough for such a high-res screen.
Posted: 2013-08-24 @ 2:20am PT
You will notice the difference if you use it in Oculus Rift :P
Posted: 2013-08-23 @ 4:50pm PT
This "journalist" mixes 3 different resolutions definitions together. How is it even possible to screw up this badly. It's not that hard to google "4k" or "QHD"
Posted: 2013-08-23 @ 1:13pm PT
Whoever wrote this article has no idea what they are talking about. 2560x1440 is not 4K, and not all screens at this resolution will magically have the same high PPI, it depends on the size of the screen. Fire this moron.
Posted: 2013-08-22 @ 8:27am PT
2560x1440 is not 4k
Posted: 2013-08-22 @ 3:44am PT
And just because our eyes won't notice the difference, shall we be just stuck with 440 ppi? New challenges and innovations shall emerge as ppi gets higher and higher. Be stretched let the limits.
Posted: 2013-08-22 @ 3:09am PT
Even if my eyes won't notice the difference I would still like to have it.