You may be a mobile phone buff who’s always reading-up on the latest advances in technology. If so then you will have heard rumours since last summer about the 4K displays that are potentially coming to smartphones near you.
It’s widely accepted that Samsung’s display technology sets them apart from other smartphone providers, so you may have been wondering will Samsung have 4K displays on their 2016 smartphones. But the real question is, do you really need a 4K screen on your smartphone?
What is a 4K Screen exactly?
At a basic level, all screens have a resolution; this is expressed as the number of horizontal pixels by the number of vertical pixels. As an example, 1280×720 means that there are 1280 rows of horizontal pixels and 720 vertical pixels. The theory goes that the higher the resolution, the less blurry the image. You may find that the resolution is abbreviated as this is commonplace – for example, the ‘HD’ (High Definition) logo that you find on most TVs these days. High Definition means a resolution of at least 720 vertical pixels. To be classed as ‘Full HD’ it needs to be a minimum of 1080.
However, there are several levels above ‘HD’ which is were it can get a little mind boggling. Stick with me on this one! 2K video has to be at least 2,000 pixels wide horizontally (Full HD (1080p) is generally 1980 pixels horizontally). QHD, or Quad HD, has a horizontal resolution a little higher at 2,560 pixels. That means there are four times as many actual pixels than in the 1080p, hence Quad-HD.
The top standard of ultra hi resolution is currently 4K. This normally offers a display resolution of 3840 x 2160. 4K is a standard that’s starting to appear in high-end TVs and computer monitors, as well as services like YouTube and GoPro which are starting to record or playback 4K footage.
Do I need a 4K screen on my smartphone?
The allure of higher resolution screens is a simple concept: more pixels should, in theory, mean a sharper, clearer, more detailed image. But improvement isn’t just as simple as sticking a higher-res screen in each new generation of phone because after a while people will stop noticing the difference. Pixel density is a measure of how many pixels are packed into a physical area, normally measured in pixels per inch and these pixels are the reason that 4k is not necessarily needed on a smartphone.
Although the higher resolution screen might sound like an improvement, the human eye stops being able to make out a screen’s individual pixels after a certain point. After that point, increasing the resolution further won’t be of any benefit.
So, will Samsung have 4K displays on their 2016 smartphones?
We reckon not. It’s not surprising to hear the rumours that Samsung won’t go ahead with 4K displays on their 2016 smartphones as the benefit to the consumer would be as such invisible. Instead it has been reported that Samsung will focus on improvements in the power draw and outdoor visibility of their existing and future lines.
What do you reckon? Is a 4K screen on your smartphone worthwhile? Or would your prefer Samsung to focus on improving other aspects of their smartphones to be released in 2016?