Not happy with a 5 inch full HD phone, try one with a 6 inch 2560 x 1600 display!

by: Gary SimsJune 17, 2013

pixelsAt the high end of the Android smartphone market, this year has been about devices with five inch, full HD (1920 x 1080) displays. But display manufacturers aren’t stopping there. According to industry insiders the key Korean and Japanese display makers are working on six inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) mobile LCD panels.

To do that the manufacturers are looking to use a process called Low Temperature Poly Silicon (LTPS) to make the displays. With LTPS lasers are used as part of the heat treatment. The result is that very high resolution displays can be made. To achieve the increased resolution and greater PPI, LG Display is working with AH-IPS (Advanced high performance-In plane switching) so it can make panels over 500 ppi.

With five inch HD panels in full production, Samsung and LG are considering using panels made in Japan  in order to diversify their supply lines. As a results Japan Display (JDI) and Sharp are also working on 500 ppi mobile displays.

This move to greater than HD isn’t just fueled by a desire for bigger and better. According to recent market surveys, smartphone users under 30 are able to distinguish between 400 ppi and 500 ppi displays.

Unlike the resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels used on full HD display, Wide Quad Extended Graphics Array (WQXGA) has a 16:10 aspect ratio. It is also the resolution used on the Google’s Nexus 10, but due to its size that display panel is only 300 ppi.

Would you be interested in a six inch, 2560 x 1600 smartphone?

  • MasterMuffin

    Maybe if you really try, you can see the difference. But seriously, why?? Damn you Apple, the starter of this (cool) nonsense!

    BTW “But display manufacturers ARE stopping there.” Shouldn’t it be “aren’t”?

    • Simon Belmont

      Yeah. I just got a second hand phone with 720p (moved up from a qHD phone), and my wife just got a 1080p phone.

      I’ll be damned if I can see the pixels on either one of them. It was even difficult to see them on my qHD phone unless I put up close to my eyes.

      • MasterMuffin

        I ment the difference between 1080p and this, but good for you if you’re happy with 720p :)

        • Simon Belmont

          I know what you meant. I still feel that the discernible clarity jump from 720p to 1080p wasn’t as mind blowing as lower resolutions, like WVGA, (qHD was a good intermediary resolution, IMO) to 720p was. (at least not for me, but everyone is different). ;)

          I feel that the jump from 1080p to anything higher (including WQXGA), on smartphones, is overkill. I’d rather see more effort being put into battery efficiency and cheaper storage capacity solutions than using huge pixel densities as a selling point. :)

          • MasterMuffin

            100% agree with the last part!

      • Lil bit

        In other words, you are not below 30. Youngsters and nearsighted people can see these pixels so much better, but since the vision degrades so slowly over so many years it’s not easy to remember how good vision you had when you were 20.

        Trust me on this, qHD sux, and it sux a lot. For me it was a huge difference going from 720 to 1080, and I can still see small imperfections when reading small fonts on the 1080 five inch display. I want 5 inch 2560×1440 and I want it now.

        • Simon Belmont

          If you were talking about a larger screen (today’s norm of 5+ inch screens), I might agree with you, but, qHD on a 4.3 inch screen most certainly does not suck. Try a 4.3 inch screen with WVGA, then come back to me. My vision is perfect. In fact, it’s 20/10, and I’m just under 30, BTW. ;)

          I will grant you that the jump from qHD to 720p, for me, WAS noticeable on fonts (they were slightly sharper), and of course video and pictures (but individual pixels were still basically indiscernible, as reported above, and I’m not pulling out a microscope here). But the jump from 720p to 1080p on a smartphone screen, was much less noticeable (though it’s nice to have FHD be able to use the native resolution on a screen). I think that WQXGA is going to be just further diminishing returns. It’s just about manufacturers being to boast more about specifications, which is expected in the tech world. :)

          • carlisimo

            I think qHD on 4.3″ is good, but not great. I can definitely tell the difference between ~250ppi and 325+ ppi.

            Above that, I don’t really care. In fact, with Android being as laggy as it is, I think a phone would be better if it stayed closer to 350ppi instead of going higher.

          • Simon Belmont

            I agree. You CAN tell the difference between 250 ppi and 325+ ppi (my qHD phone, an EVO 3D, was a 2011 phone, and that was the top screen resolution until towards the end of that year), but beyond that it’s getting to be extra effort for little return (except more battery used due to GPU being pushed harder and brighter or more LEDs being needed to push light through the dense pixels).

            For me, qHD on a 4.3 inch phone was a huge improvement over the HVGA I had on my 3.2 inch HVGA HTC Hero. It was also noticeably better than the WVGA screen on my wife’s EVO 4G. I felt a fairly similar improvement when I went to 720p on my current phone. However, looking at the 1080p screen on my wife’s phone versus mine didn’t strike me as jaw dropping, though it’s definitely a beautiful screen, hence my take that we’re hitting the barrier for perception on resolution increases for smartphones.

        • stucrmnx120fshwf

          Too right, they just don’t have the guts, to put on a pair of $5 reading glasses, I’m 50, with accelerated decrepitude and I can see 3D UD at 6″ with a pair reading glasses. See my comments above about the technology.

    • Piyush

      wow so easily you blamed others , as if apple told them to continue ,apple had studied what are good display for customer and than brought it , yaa i know they over-hyped it by calling it retina display but still they stopped there and started perfecting colors and others things rather than just increasing pixel , you know there is good article by anandtech that only apple is trying to improve display in every direction rather than just increasing pixel like other oem.

      • MasterMuffin

        Apple started this and others followed. That’s a fact, not blaming anyone.

        • Piyush

          but they are not increasing ridiculous amount of ppi , they know what is the limit and stopped there and started improving other thing , do you know iphone 4 was released with retina displays 3yrs ago and from that they never bumped resolution like other oem , its not apple fault if oem don’t study and just bump the specs.

          • MasterMuffin

            Yes, it’s not. I’m NOT blaming them for anything, you don’t have to protect Apple from me. They started and others followed, they stopped but others went crazy :)

          • Piyush

            oooookkkkk , you are right sir :)

  • Ben Edwards

    I wish they’d put some focus into making tablet resolutions better. Full HD is more than enough for phones, how about getting all tablets up to spec with the Nexus 10?

    • John Holmes

      Seems like no good Android tablets have came out since the Nexus 10 over half a year ago. That’s a long time in this industry.

      I feel that around 350ppi is good enough for a phone, and 300ppi for a tablet, and I’m the guy that everyone calls a “resolution-snob” for laughing at them for saying “I can’t tell a difference between my iPad2 screen and your iPad4’s screen”, or how I exclaim that 1080p just isn’t high enough for my 24″ monitors.

  • fsefsgse

    Nah this is overkill… I don’t use my phone 1cm away. So the pixel bump won’t have any effect.

  • Seb123

    Full HD is more than enough…

  • Mochammad Santaka

    Anything over 400 is way over its diminishing return. They should’ve focused on getting OLED display better and make it more cheaper and viable than lcd panels.

  • Pratyaksh Agrawal

    Fk displays work on batteries.. powering such a screen for 2 hours of screen on time is utter nonsense ‘-.-

  • Bjajjull

    4K on 5″ screen, then it’s enough.

    • Adi

      no it’s not, 8K will be.
      actually, no, it’s never enough! MOAR PIXELZ!

      • udara (:

        We need to go Deeper

        • Daniel DS

          How about 8K PPI?

          • Austin Deane

            *gasp* my eyes bleed with joy!!!

  • Christian Eckhardt

    I would really like if the manufacturers put more focus into better batteries and longer lasting smartphones.

    • WarGasm

      There was a company that made some advancements in battery tech a couple months ago, but I doubt that will be coming to consumer devices anytime soon.
      Until then, batteries will hold as much as their physical size…and surveys APPARENTLY show that most people prefer to sacrifice a battery for a slimmer phone.

      • Shawn

        What also bugs me is that we havalways read for years now about how some scientist, or university or company has developed some new battery technology and that it can supposedly power a cell phone and the like for a week or a month etc before needing a charge. Also it is as small as a penny or as flat as a peice of paper and can bend or shape it self to the product its attached to. But have we ever seen any of these break through in any product or even a working protoype?

        • Matthew Eli Hopkins

          Because what you’re reading about is either primary research or extremely early proofs of concept. Or possibly even just theoretical work, where they’ve worked out the theoretical possibility of something but don’t have a physical representation yet.

          This actually reminds me of watching a show on the Discovery channel called “Beyond 2000” and they had a segment about how blue lasers could allow optical disk capacities to increase by 10x-100x. This was back in the mid to late 90s I watched this. Blu-Ray was commercially released in 2006.

    • On a Clear Day

      Much ado about nothing? Possibly? There is a point where the human eye is incapable of discerning any appreciable differences in resolution. Many, many years ago a study was done as to the viability and value of extremely high resolution TV screens. That study found that in homes where people were forced (because traditionally the living space was tight – I think they had Japan in mind) and people were really up close to their TVs that in those situations higher resolution did provide a viable advantage because being so close people could see the pixels/dots or whatever.

      However, as I recall, it was determined that in homes such as we have in America where traditionally space and sitting relatively far back from our TVs was common the high resolution systems produced negligible, perceived, major improvements in the viewing experience.

      We are talking about a 5 inch or 6 inch screen (which I personally think is silly – why not just buy a tablet and get on with it). Yes, it is nice to know that one has the sharpest of the sharpest, the fastest of the fastest and the best of the best, but there is a point, which we seem to be arriving at where these wonderful “improvements” aren’t so much practical nor particularly useful as much as they are merely one more desperate attempt on the part of manufacturers to somehow, anyhow they can think up some way to differentiate their product from the technological “masses” they are competing against..

      • stucrmnx120fshwf

        Wrong READING GLASSES people = 3D UD at 6″, 14 nm means 15GHz, bring it down to 5GHz and it’ll be 10 times cooler per compute cycle, than current mobile chips, 1 PB/s optic fiber, to 1GB/s copper twisted pair, 1GB/s power line home networks, 1GB/s WiFi ac, 1GB/s 5G LTE Advanced, TB Green Ray DVD. SATA 3 6 GB/s, USB 3 5 GB/s, GDDR5 250 GB/s, Sony PS4 2 million, million floating point calculations, per second, ie. 2Tflops/s, therefore 4 billion 6″ 3D UD devices in 2018, you only need 25 MB/s for UD, 1/40th WiFi ac. It’s all about economies of scale, what ? Were going to stop wanting eye candy? That’s not human nature, I’d even go so far as “That’s UnAustralian mate !!” We Ozzie’s didn’t invent WiFi, so someone could deny us 3D UD smart phones. Anyway the emerging economies, are now worth more than the developed world economies and more than half their citizens are going to be young enough, for 1 more generation, to see 6″ 3D UD, without glasses, until afluenssa, diabesity, old age, sets in.

  • Simon Belmont

    Haha. Every year a new resolution peak on smartphones is reached and every year people say “resolution X from last year is fine, and we don’t need a higher resolution.”

    This just in from next year: “We don’t need UHD (4K) because WQXGA is more than enough.”

    • stucrmnx120fshwf

      Yes these young wiper snappers and there telegraph, why in my day carrier pigeons did a fine job.

  • ruhsi…

  • Fase Aarf

    Wouldn’t be cool if they could make it on the Note III?

  • Larkhillv

    All this will do is put unnecessary strain on your phone’s processor….

    • MADJUN

      no, nothing to the proc. THE BATTERY, HUGELY.

      • sergioosh

        Before the pixels end up on a screep they have to be calculated and as this is a SoC solution you might say it will put strain on processor. By putting a strain on the processor it will drain the battery.

        • Larkhillv

          Indeed, that is what I meant. More pixels to push around, the more processing power will be used and drain battery.

          • stucrmnx120fshwf

            At 14 nm it’ll be as cool as a cucumber at 6″ 3D UD.

  • freedomspopular

    How bout we start working on making desktop/laptop displays at this resolution that are actually reasonably priced.

  • Tom Pajak

    How about working on displays that don’t look like crap when the sun is out…how big is big going to get before the makers realize its just too damn big?
    ..5″-5.5″ should be considered the absolute limit to a phone..after this they shouldn’t advertise it as a phone anymore but instead as a minitablet or microtab or micro smart tab…
    …I gotta agree with everyone else..BATTERY LIFE SHOULD BE THE #1 PRIORITY!!!

    • sergioosh

      As long as there are people wanting to buy it and call it a phone-> it is a phone. Don’t impose your opinions on other people.
      Also, note that the bigger the device, the bigger the battery can be. I know, that it also means bigger screen, which ends up sucking up the battery… The thing is, there is probably still a way or two to reduce screens energy consumption, but battery will always have bigger capacity if it’s physically bigger.

  • edison emerald

    make the screen 6.5 and im in

  • edison emerald

    make the screen 6.5 and im in

    • Austin Deane

      how ’bout 6.9″? And a 9:16 aspect ratio (2560×1440) instead of that funky 10:16 aspect ratio?

      • sergioosh

        why is it “funky”? IMO it’s the perfect ratio for a phone screen. That’s why I didn’t go for note2 :)

        • Austin Deane

          I say it is funky because it makes the screen wider (not wider as in even more wide screen, as that would imply a screen ratio wider than 16:9. I mean as in height. like, if it were in a landscape orientation… I think you understand what I mean, and it probably didn’t require awkward explanation), and also makes it so certain videos are letter boxed. If it were the difference between comfortably holding a phone, and having strain on your hand because the phone stretches it a little too much, would you still choose 16:10?

          • sergioosh

            I understand your point of view, but I still think 16:10 is better, because:
            1. It’s better for viewing web pages both in landscape and portrait mode. Especially in landscape, as notification bar (if not using fullscreen, which I guess is usually the case) eats up part of the screen height while full width is used.
            2. Letter boxes? Well not all content in the world is 16:9. Movies are usually in even wider format so you will end up with letter boxes anyway. Also, there’s still a case of 4:3 content like older TV shows. You end up with less wasted space on 16:10. Moreover, 16:10 is so close to 16:9 that you might as well strech the content or crop it without much impact.
            3. Comfort of holding a phone relies more on the size, not width/height ratio. This is a matter of perspective. You could say 16:10 screen is wider, but you might as well say it’s shorter.

          • Austin Deane

            Clearly you understand what I’m saying. Everyone has their own preference, and I respect that. However, the reason for the recent increase in phones with 16:9 aspect ratios is that it allows the width of the phone to be less than that of a 16:10 aspect ratio phone. While I’m not going to change your opinion/preference, here are the approximate dimensions of the Note II if it had a 5.5″ 16:10 display. Before that, the important dimensions of the original Note are 146.9 x 83 mm, and the same important dimensions for the Note II as we know it are 151.1 x 80.5 mm.. Now, the approximate dimensions of the Note II with the 16:10 aspect ratio: 147.81 x 86.05 mm. While you have your preference, and very valid reasons for it, Samsung and other device makers are making the right choice with 16:9. The width increase may not seem like a lot, but given the how little the height decreases, it is pretty clear which is the better choice. Personally, if there was a way to have 16:10 without the increase in width (which, as you scale the screen increases greatly), I to would prefer it. To watch some of my favorite anime without too much letter boxing….

          • Austin Deane

            A note is how I came to these estimates. I use 3D modelling Software, Trimble SketchUp, and what I did was create the respective screen sizes with 16:9 and 16:10. Then, I put on top of the “displays” the dimensions of the devices, which allowed me to determine how much space is around the top, bottom, and sides of the screen for the Note II. Based on the assumption that a Note II with a 16:10 screen would have the same dimensions around its screen, I was able to determine the approximate dimensions of a Note II with 16:10 aspect ratio display.

          • sergioosh

            You make too many assumptions! In Note II they increased the physical size of the screen and reduced the amount of pixels (let’s leave subpixels for now)… One of the reasons I skipped Note II. That is totally the opposite of what I had in mind. I’d rather have a 0.2″ shorter device with 16:10 screen ratio and higher ppi. I also disagree that tall device is “clearly better choice”. Why is that? With phones that have screen size over 5″ there’s a problem of weight distribution. Whether you use one or two hands you will be holding the device by the lower part. With a tall screen most people will hold it below it’s centre of weight, so should your grip loosen up for a while you might end up with device laying on the ground in pieces.

          • sergioosh

            Yet another reason. Let’s assume you have a fixed size device. If you fit a 9:16 screen it will fit nicely, and if you go 10:16 you will have to use screen of the same width but shorter. You will end up with: greater ppi, smaller screen (diagonal) and bigger bezel below and/or above the screen. Considering what Samsung does with its devices lately they most probably don’t go this way… which IMO is a mistake. The bezel on the bottom is necessary and I think it should be bigger in order to hold the phone comfortably. Small bezel on the bottom and capacitive buttons (hate them…) really don’t go well with each other.

          • stucrmnx120fshwf

            Yes fHD, then UD without letterboxing, or translation, or depixelation.

          • Austin Deane

            Oh, one last note. The reason I specifically brought up a 6.9″ display with a 16:9 aspect ratio is because of a phone I have designed. It is called the Atomos Curve, and it’s dimensions are 163.79 x 87.93 x 6 mm. It is an absolutely awesome device, with a beautiful design.

  • Dusan

    No, 1600p is an overkill for a tiny screen. Hell I’m gaming on 1080p on a 40″ TV and I’m happy.
    High resolution puts pressure on the battery as well as performance, screw that, boost the battery capacity, not pixels… most people can’t see the difference between 720p and 1080p, and now they want 1600p… phone manufacturers are starting to treat us like idiots.

    • Cornstarch

      maybe you should go back to 480×600 display. That will save you a boatload of battery life or heck, back even further back. It seems the battery life of my 1920×1080 phone seem to beat the battery life of the old 480×600 phone. Could this be better battery technology, more efficient processor and ram or more efficient display? Dimwit like you always hold everyone back

      • Dusan

        No, it’s dimwits like you who want irrelevant things and hold down where the real progress is needed.

      • stucrmnx120fshwf

        A 1 pixel torch can use more power than a 3D UD 6″ smartphone, depends on the processor, give me 14 nm.

  • Nathan Jay Bell

    with the note3’s octo processor, wqxga will be a breeze.and who says samsung won’t work on better color quality? If we suggest it, they will r&d it. if you b1tch, then why would they read your post to begin with?

  • Garry DeWitt

    sure, why the fuck not.

  • James Childress

    I would love to see that. I have plenty of room in my pocket for a 6 inch phone. I am over 30 and I can see the pixels on my 5 inch 720p GS3.

  • Rooney-

    AH! Where is this smartphome industry heading towards!!! Will my kids carry a tablet kind phone in future to make calls!!!!??

    • Larkhillv

      Like anything else, the mobile industry follows trends. Not too long ago, it was all about how small/thin your phone could be (I mean older phones like the original Razr). Who knows what phones will look like in 5-10 years, or if we’ll even be using phones as our primary devices. Who knows, maybe wearable tech will grow more rapidly than people expect.

  • Matthew Eli Hopkins

    6″ 1600 screen? Where the hell is my 23″ 1600 monitor for a reasonable price? Mainstream computer monitors seem to have plateaued at 1080 and it’s rather annoying.