Vivo Xplay 3S will be the first phone to feature a display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution

by: Andrew GrushOctober 16, 2013


It was right around this time last year that the first 1080p handsets started to roll out to the market. At the time, many folks claimed that 1080p on a smartphone was unnecessary and that 720p was more than good enough.

Fast-forward to today, just about every major Android flagship features a 1080p display. You might think that’s where the resolution spec war should end, but that’s not stopping Chinese smartphone maker Vivo from jumping to the next level.

Today Vivo began teasing its next handset, the Vivo XPlay 3S, which it says will be the world’s first handset to feature a 2560 x 1440 resolution display – or “2K” as Vivo is referring to it. Vivo didn’t specifically mention who was making the display or how big it would be, but we’d imagine this could be the 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 resolution display that was announced by LG Display back in August.

The real question is whether we even need smartphones with displays higher than 1080p.

In addition to the so-called 2K display, Vivo also indicates that the phone will have a high-end 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU and will support 4G TDD-LTE/FDD-LTE technology for all three Chinese carriers.

The Vivo XPlay 3S might not make its way out out of China officially, but that doesn’t make its arrival any less interesting.

The real question is whether we even need smartphones with displays higher than 1080p. Despite early claims that 720p was ‘good enough’, most folks today will admit that there is something sharper and more impressive about phone’s with 1080p displays. The same thing might happen when we get our first look at phones with resolutions that are even higher.

On the other hand, the benefit might be pretty small considering the trade-offs. Specifically, we imagine that the larger display will slow the phone down both in terms of raw speed and in the graphics department. Such a display may also suck the phone’s battery dry very quickly, unless Vivo sticks in a huge battery to make up for the difference.

We suppose only time will tell for sure whether the Vivo Xplay 3S’ high-end display is a worthwhile improvement or just a gimmick, but it certainly feels like overkill.

It’s interesting to note that while the “2K” resolution of the Vivo 3S is a big jump forward, it isn’t expected to be a resolution “standard” by any means. The next big jump in mobile and home TV display technology is largely considered to be the 4K resolution, aka Ultra HD – or 4096 x 2160 pixels. For those wondering, the new 4K standard is already technically supported by Android.

What do you think of the idea of having displays higher than 1080p on your handset, worth the effort or are you perfectly content with your existing 1080p (or even 720p) display?

  • Balraj

    Guys I think someone should do a research on how these displays are gonna affect our eyes !!!
    Most of us are gonna be looking at our smartphones most of the time
    If it’s eye damage then screw the technology… !!!!
    My eyes already hurt when display is in half brightness, while reading articles on internet or reading books…

    • Failbot

      Touchwiz implements Autobrightness +/-. I set mine to Autobrightness -5 and all is well.

      • Balraj

        I’m using custom Rom
        Also I think ppl should wait for battery technology to improve b4 implementing high resolution display tech

  • Mayoo

    My tech side says : Awesome!
    My human side says : Dude, you won’t see the difference.
    My wallet side says : If you do see a difference, you will pay too much for too little visible improvement.
    My Android side says : Bring 4.4 already! (off-topic)

    • MasterMuffin
      • Balraj

        Nice article..
        Learnt a lot

        • MasterMuffin

          It’s weird, a website named “Cult of Mac” actually made a good article :D

      • What matters are not the extremes but the distribution:

        Secondly, even more important, there’s the question of how high do you have to get before people stop caring enough to pay more for higher resolution, even if they can see it.

        And last but not least, making a display that is indistinguishable from reality is kind of nonsense as long as it’s flat, and 3D isn’t going anywhere fast. You can get some very high quality so it might feel like you were looking through a window if you close one eye, but I suspect that has more to do with color reproduction and luminosity than resolution at this point.

    • Randy Nelson

      Sound like a damn loser.

      • John

        This is a haven for nerds. Get out.

    • Charlie Collins

      Well said.

    • Fred Chiang

      thats what everyone said about 1080p. look where we are today lol

  • Dragonscourgex

    I’m still content with 720p screens on phones.

    • Failbot

      Comparing the Note 2 and the Note 3, theres a noticeable difference with the improved screen now 1080p. Not as important for movies and such, but for text, especially on websites, it is very important and MUCH improved. That being said, “2K” might be overkill, as you’ll get text clarity even smaller, but maybe too small to read at that point anyways!

      • Empias Kater

        I have the Huawei Ascend Mate atm .. a 720p, and it’s great .. i come from a 1080p screen, and i don’t see any diffrence, in fact i like my browsing on the Mate better ..

  • KickCheese

    I’m fine with my 480p screen on my Galaxy S2

    • Failbot

      Whatever you do, don’t pick up and use a Note 3… you’ll never go back to your S2.

  • Attila Magyari

    The real question is whether we even need smartphones with displays higher than 720p.

    I don’t think anyone notices the difference on smaller than 5″ screens. It just drains battery for no reason. I hope they will still give us the choice of not getting an extremely large screen resolution phone.

    • Failbot

      I think 1080p is the sweet spot for phones 5″ or more. You really need it if you have good eyesight and view websites on your phone a lot. The text is far easier to read.

      • Fred Chiang

        you don’t know until you’ve tried it. remember everyone saying 720p is enough? “omg the human eye can only see 326ppi why would we need 441 on 1080p”. then it came out and everyone shut up

        • Failbot

          That’s why I said “I think” as opposed to “IT IS” or “I know”. My point is that we are limited by our eyesight as to how small the text can be and remain readable, regardless of how good the text is on the display.

  • William Larsson

    I think anything over 1080p is too much as of today, because battery drain will be a huge downside to a phone with a phone with that high resulotion

    • Failbot

      Agreed, 1080p is really the sweet spot, and the technology will only get cheaper if we keep it at 1080p.

    • Fred Chiang

      lol, thats what everyone said about 1080p. I still remember “the human eye can’t see about 320ppi why do we need 1080p at 441 ppi, so stupid” look where we are today. don’t bash until you’ve tried it :)

  • Alex

    I really dont get why go over 720p on phones with most of the 15″ laptops stuck on 1366×768. Iven 1080p for tablets are more than enough.
    More important than that is the quality of the screen, view angles, cooler, contrast, etc…

    • Failbot

      For text, 1080p is very useful on 5″+ screens, specifically on web pages if you enjoy surfing full web pages, not the stupid mobile versions.

      • jackabood

        i think people should stop with this already there is more to a screen then it’s res

        1-power consumption
        2-screen tech
        3-refresh rate (as far as i know most of today’s phones have 30hz)

        same thing goes to camera there is no need to go 41mp

        • Failbot

          Short sighted. 41 mp is fantastic for digital zooming without loss of quality.

  • iJimaniac

    Lol, this will (hopefully) never catch on. 1080p is the absolute highest resolution a phone needs. Tablets on the other hand…

  • RanRu

    It all depends on how close you are to the display. If you have a habit of holding your phone two inches from your face, you’ll probably see a difference (you should also probably reconsider holding your phone two inches from your face).
    I think sales folks will be able to sell displays like this by telling people to hold it like that in the store, but it won’t make a difference in the real world.

  • Amine Elouakil

    did I miss it or there isn’t a mention of the screen size in the whole artical, something important to mention, if it is the LG Screen it is 5.5″

    As for the resolution, I find it good, people were saying 480p is enough then 720p (qHD didn’t catch people attention that much) then full HD 1080p, I want high resolution, better screen technology, it need to catch up so screen technology prices drops and we can see affordable 4k home tvs and so on

    • Ben Edwards

      You missed it:
      “Vivo didn’t specifically mention who was making the display or how big it would be”

      • Amine Elouakil

        Thanks lol, it’s funny I’ve read the artical twice and missed it :) but my excuse is I wasn’t fully awake :)

        • Ben Edwards

          Coffee time for you sir.

  • spade

    Woo, 2K display? On Smartphone? Seriously? Ok, now it’s getting ridiculous! Even my laptop 14″ display just have an HD resolution(i know that was lame), Full HD display is more than enough for smartphones. I wonder who’s following this :/

    • Fred Chiang

      thats what everyone said about 1080p before it came out. when it came out everyone shut up :)

      • spade

        Yeah, i know.. But still 400ppi and above it’s pointless imo :/

  • yama

    Please develope better cameras (sensors), soundchips, batteries and material instead
    Of this crappy megapixel/ghz/ppi/flexi hype.

    • Alfredo Richardo Haurissa

      give this man medal!

  • Eddie O’Connor

    I’m sorry..this falls along the same lines as “Hi Def Radio”…..I mean…no offense to the audiophiles on here…but your ears can only HEAR in a select set of frequencies..and there’s no way to digitally “enhance that!… can alter frequencies and their intensity levels…but its THE SAME FREQUENCIES!… yes this might be “higher resolution” on your smartphone….but your eyes can only see to a specific resolution….and no further…(unless you happen to be a cyborg…or have a bionic eye implant!) have you ever tried to read fine print?….and no matter how close you got to it… couldn’t see it?….it remained blurry…..well this falls along the same lines… some point the “sharpness” will be lost on you because your eyes can only process a certain amount or visual level before it goes “out-of-focus” again!…I guess as long as someone will build it…..someone else will buy it!