Sharp's announces 4K smartphone display with crazy 806ppi pixel density

Scorpus

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

sharp smartphone display ultra hd 4k

Sharp has today announced one of the craziest smartphone displays yet: a 5.5-inch IGZO LCD panel with a resolution of 3840 x 2160. That's right, this display destined for the next generation of flagships packs 8.3 million pixels into a palm-sized area, equating to a massive pixel density of 806 PPI.

This new 5.5-inch 4K Ultra HD display is the same size as the Quad HD panel found on the LG G3, but thanks to its significantly higher resolution, it blasts the 534 PPI display out of the water in terms of pixel density. Even the Galaxy S6, which packs a 5.1-inch 1440p panel, can't compete with its mere 576 PPI display.

sharp smartphone display ultra hd 4k

Unlike with high-density AMOLED panels, Sharp hasn't needed to use a PenTile subpixel matrix, with this Ultra HD LCD panel using a traditional RGB stripe. Sharp hasn't revealed any other display specifications, so it'll be interesting to see how it fares in terms of brightness and power consumption, the two major downsides to high-resolution panels.

Sharp expects that this 5.5-inch 4K panel will begin mass production in 2016, meaning it's on track for inclusion in flagship smartphones released towards the end of 2016 or start of 2017. All we need now is a smartphone SoC that is even remotely capable of rendering to such a high display resolution.

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MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
Nice and 4 hours of battery life just what I want in my phone lol.
I'd guess the people who are smart enough to figure out how to make a 4K smartphone display will understand that people will not want it if it can't stay turned on.

I fully expect this conversation to head in the direction of 'we can't even see that much resolution' and rightfully so. I saw the Galaxy S6 (1440p) in a store the other day. The S6 did look noticeably sharper at 1440 next to my phone at 1080p, but I think we might be getting near the end of the resolution race.
 

madboyv1

TechSpot Paladin
I still believe any kind of resolution/density race is silly, however on Neowin's article regarding this, the commentor discussion basically calls this out as being entirely impractical with today's (and even tomorrow's) phones, but then points out a different outlet: displays for VR gear. While I'm not invested any VR platforms at the moment, that's one place where such a high pixel density would definitely be useful I'd imagine. Also, on VR Helmets, they're either plugged in or would have higher capacity batteries so the battery usage complaint is almost moot.
 

trparky

TS Evangelist
We're already pushing the current Lithium Ion battery technology to the limits and as we push it even further we're going to see more issues like batteries getting bigger inside the devices, exploding batteries, and batteries that have a significantly reduced number of charge cycles due to increased internal dendrite growth.

A high amount of pixels on the screen may be nice and all but current mobile GPUs can't adequately power the screens which results in dropped frames. I'd much rather have a lower resolution screen with full frame rates than to have a higher resolution screen with reduced frame rates.

Look at the Galaxy S6 for proof. The benchmarks have been saying that the device starts to drop frames as the resolution goes higher. Now this may be just because Samsung somehow screwed up in the development of the device's processing chip (SoC) which may very well be possible since this is the same company that screwed over millions of people who bought 840 EVO SSDs.
 

Lionvibez

TS Evangelist
Can you tell the difference on a 5` display from 1080p,1440p and 4k??

If so is one of your parents part eagle?

instead of tigerblood you got eagle dna lol.

I understand the need for advancement but lets be serious here 90% of market will take a phone that will last 3-4 days on very heavy usage over a 4k display with 8-10hours battery life.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
It was just a matter of time before some manufacturer tried it, I'm just surprised they took so long but I've got to wonder how meaningful it is on a 5.5" screen. People will buy it for bragging rights only, I can't see it being more useful than that.
 

Lionvibez

TS Evangelist
It was just a matter of time before some manufacturer tried it, I'm just surprised they took so long but I've got to wonder how meaningful it is on a 5.5" screen. People will buy it for bragging rights only, I can't see it being more useful than that.
Yup just like curved HD TV's.
 

Filip B

TS Enthusiast
Don't get me wrong I'm a PC enthusiast and I love new great tech but damn .. seriously? There's really no point of even having 1440p on 5 to 6 inch device. Full HD looks absolutely great and from normal viewing distances you can't tell the individual pixels thus no point in higher density. Apple has this right "retina" 1920x1080 on 5" is retina from 20 cm (8"). Or do you watch your screen from 10 cm away?
 
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MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
Can you tell the difference on a 5` display from 1080p,1440p and 4k??

If so is one of your parents part eagle?

instead of tigerblood you got eagle dna lol.

I understand the need for advancement but lets be serious here 90% of market will take a phone that will last 3-4 days on very heavy usage over a 4k display with 8-10hours battery life.
The battery savings is more like 20% not 400%. No one makes a phone that lasts 72 hours in a battery test. For example, the LG G3 (1440p) got about 8 hours in tests compared to the LG G2's (1080p) 10 hours. (http://www.anandtech.com/show/8169/the-lg-g3-review/3) Screen resolution was mainly to blame. If you're laying down at night and your phone has 40% battery instead of 30% battery does it really matter? You're going to plug it in anyway.

Don't get me wrong I'm a PC enthusiast and I love new great tech but damn .. seriously? There's really no point of even having 1440p on 5 to 6 inch device.
Just because you can't see a pixel on a 1080p screen doesn't mean more of them won't help. Next time you're able to demo a phone, like in the store or something, open up Google Maps, or something else with many lines that go in all directions (like the picture in teh story above - that was specifically chosen to show off resolution) and look at it side by side with your 1080p phone. You'll notice the difference. I did easily with the S6. I'm an average guy with contacts, who's now old enough that I can't actually focus my eyes close up.

I would also imagine (although I'm just guessing) that much higher resolution would cut down on the need for processing tricks like anti-aliasing. Diagonals can looks much better without all the work.
 
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Lionvibez

TS Evangelist
The battery savings is more like 20% not 400%. No one makes a phone that lasts 72 hours in a battery test. For example, the LG G3 (1440p) got about 8 hours in tests compared to the LG G2's (1080p) 10 hours. (http://www.anandtech.com/show/8169/the-lg-g3-review/3) Screen resolution was mainly to blame. If you're laying down at night and your phone has 40% battery instead of 30% battery does it really matter? You're going to plug it in anyway.


Just because you can't see a pixel on a 1080p screen doesn't mean more of them won't help. Next time you're able to demo a phone, like in the store or something, open up Google Maps, or something else with many lines that go in all directions (like the picture in teh story above - that was specifically chosen to show off resolution) and look at it side by side with your 1080p phone. You'll notice the difference. I did easily with the S6. I'm an average guy with contacts, who's now old enough that I can't actually focus my eyes close up.

I would also imagine (although I'm just guessing) that much higher resolution would cut down on the need for processing tricks like anti-aliasing. Diagonals can looks much better without all the work.
I think you are missing the point.

The numbers I quotes are not ment to be exact.

People want more battery life in theirs phones increasing screen resolution for little gain at the cost of battery life is counter productive.
 

thorpj

TS Enthusiast
When will Phone manufacturers begin to understand that their buyers want better battery life, and don't care if the phone is paper thin, or packing a 4k display.

4k on a phone is just unnecessary
 

MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
I think you are missing the point.

The numbers I quotes are not ment to be exact.

People want more battery life in theirs phones increasing screen resolution for little gain at the cost of battery life is counter productive.
I'm not missing the point. I understand what you're saying, but do you understand that so long as your battery can get you from the morning until bedtime the additional juice isn't providing you with anything? Same reason your car doesn't have a 30 gallon tank.

And what that shorter battery life was balanced by other perks, like a phone that charged very fast. This is exactly what the S6 can supposedly do. It's supposed to be able to charge up to 4 hours of use in 10 minutes. We won't know exactly what that means until reviews come out, but a quick charge like that can easily offset some of the inconvenience of shorter life.
 
G

Guest

Please invent/innovate an efficient & capable battery tech already then bring on the resolution wars of 4k, 8k, 16 for the F sake.
 
G

Guest

Alright, bring me a smartphone with 4K resolutions on 5.5 inch display! I want to see everything in full details because my eyes could tell the difference between 1080p vs 4K resolution even from 5.5 inch display!! :D
 

Badvok

TS Evangelist
... from normal viewing distances you can't tell the individual pixels thus no point in higher density.
You've totally missed the point, the very last thing you want to see is individual pixels. This is why any quality printed matter is generally at least 600dpi so curves appear smooth and sharp.

When you reach resolutions where individual pixels are no longer apparent you also reduce the need for a lot of post-processing like anti-aliasing because this is handled naturally. Though generating the detailed image itself is, of course, still very difficult.

However I do think going higher than 600dpi is most likely to be for VR rather than phones, as others have said.
 

Filip B

TS Enthusiast
You've totally missed the point, the very last thing you want to see is individual pixels. This is why any quality printed matter is generally at least 600dpi so curves appear smooth and sharp.

When you reach resolutions where individual pixels are no longer apparent you also reduce the need for a lot of post-processing like anti-aliasing because this is handled naturally. Though generating the detailed image itself is, of course, still very difficult.

However I do think going higher than 600dpi is most likely to be for VR rather than phones, as others have said.
I don't think I have. Higher (than 600) pixel density on cell phones is completely and utterly redundant if we're talking 5-6". Unlike PC monitors (they could use 4k standard or even 8k) and obviously VR that needs probably 16k rez.