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Tuesday April 14, 2015 5:10 am

4K Is Cool, But Do You Need It on Your Phone?


Posted by Andru Edwards - Categories:


Sharp wants to get in on the 4K phone display action early.

The Japanese display maker is looking to elevate the smartphone screen to unprecedented levels with a new 5.5-inch touch screen that is capable of showing images in 4K. As Techblog.gr reports, Sharp's new IGZO display has a resolution of 840-by-2,160 pixels, or 806 pixels per inch (ppi).

For those keeping track, that's about twice the resolution of the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note 3. But that huge bump in resolution probably won't make too much of a difference for most people, according to Wired. You'd need super-excellent eyesight — or a magnifying glass — to even notice subtle differences in very detailed graphics and tiny text.

"In many/most cases the additional sharpness and resolution are lost for most people, most applications, and most viewing conditions," Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, told Wired. On a more positive note, it would, however, make it easier to rescale Full HD content, which is becoming increasingly standard.

Another downside — it would probably cut down on battery life big time, considering all the power needed to keep that massive amount of pixels lit up.

As for whether Sharp's new 4K smartphone screen will make its way to handsets any time soon, we'll just have to wait and see. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Late last year, Sharp launched the Aquos budget smartphone (pictured), which sports a 5-inch, 720p IPS LCD panel at 293ppi for only $149. Its edge-to-edge screen impressed, but call quality left something to be desired.

Meanwhile on the 4K front, Vizio just yesterday launched its second Ultra HD TV lineup, offering a range of screen sizes from 43 to 80 inches, with prices starting at just $600 all the way up to $4,000. The new TVs display more than 8.3 million pixels in every image, offering four times the resolution of 1080p Full HD for "breathtaking detail and clarity," Vizio said.


Angela Moscaritolo

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