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We asked, you told us: 1080p is ok, but it's all about battery life

In this week's poll, your votes told us that 1080p suits almost an even split of people. But it's all about the battery.

Published onAugust 4, 2018

Samsung Galaxy S8 screen under microscope

This week’s poll is all about your smartphone display, and we wanted to know if you prefer  a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display, also known as 1080p, or Quad HD display (2560 x 1440), or 1440p.

In truth, just about everyone figured out that this the poll wasn’t really truly deeply asking if you prefer a lower resolution screen. That question alone is pretty much a no-brainer: higher resolutions are generally better, even if minor. Displays are what we rely on every day and it’s always so nice to have a phone with a display that’s vibrant, and crisp. But the question is loaded up far beyond just a resolution question.

But battery life matters. A lot.

The issue is that higher-resolution displays generally have more pixels, and therefore need more power. Higher resolutions mean more pixels per square inch packed in, more pixels need more power, and that hurts your battery life. That makes 1080p, which is already sharp on most 6-inch smartphones, more attractive to some people. Battery life matters that much.

Quad HD displays also tend to be more expensive but the final price equation can be murky, depending on OLED vs LCD screens, overall component quality, and brand margins, rather than a straight fight between Full HD display costs and Quad HD costs in phones.

It’s all ripe for a debate and a poll, and here’s what approximately 65,000 of you (our biggest vote in quite some time!) said across our network, on the website, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The results are really really close, with a few wins for each. The Instagram result is the biggest percentage win, but YouTube votes are the biggest of the pool, awarding a possibly more significant win to Full HD option. That’s also how the Facebook votes went, while when we also offered the ‘no preference’ option, the vote was scarily close on Twitter and the website. (We did have an ‘Other’ option where a few people said 4K, but it was 1 percent or less)

So what does it all mean? It depends on your view. Manufacturers service both markets, and there’s close to even support for both here. It’s a reminder that even if Quad HD is technically better (if only by a small margin, but important for VR), battery life remains the beating heart of some many smartphone purchasing decisions.

Here’s some of what you said in the comments:

1080p (Full HD)

  • I love battery life more than overkill screen resolution
  • FHD is the best and is the sweet spot. QHD sounds good but not really that noticeable even on a 6″ screen unless you really look hard. Also, FHD saves more battery so that’s a win
  • I think a 1080p AMOLED panel is perfectly fine for a phone. Especially with an emphasis on battery life these days

Quad HD:

  • 1080p is the bare minimum, and by all means doesn’t look bad. However, once you go to a Samsung infinity panel you cannot go back. Nothing beats it no matter what you try to tell me.
  • I have a Galaxy S8 plus, and since I changed the resolution to Quad HD, I don’t feel like going back. 
  • All these people in the comments sound like they are settling with 1080p. If I’m paying $1000+ for a phone it better have a 1440p screen at the very least. There is a difference between them.
  • Some battery life comments, some pro-Samsung comments, and some demands for higher resolution for higher money. Feel free to continue the debate in the comments section below, and stay sharp and crisp yourselves. Until next time!

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