With smartphones becoming an integral part of our lives, manufacturer are experimenting with pushing the boundaries of everything they can possibly put in a palm held device. Smartphone display resolution is one of the trending thing that is going farther and farther than the reach of imagination. Started at a really low resolutions, smartphone makers have been so far successful with the HD, Full HD, 2K resolutions. And the latest 4K display on Sony Xperia Z5 Premium has just pushed the pixel rush a bit more further.

Reportedly many other OEMs have already started their share of 4K smartphones and are gonna bombard the market real soon. I’m sure many of us are super excited to see what a 4K display on a 5 or 6 inch smartphone would look like. Well, it would look useless if you ask me as I am still wondering how would a 4K display with north of 850 PPI pixel density makes sense on a smartphone. The question of whether or not to have 4K display on smartphones is a long going debate and today we will see the facts regarding the pixel rush.

Does 4K Resolution Smartphones Make Sense?

Few years ago, Apple suggested the concept of “Retina Display” by which they advertised that human eye can’t notice the difference of the display quality over 300 PPI. However, Apple disproved themselves with the “RetinaHD” display on iPhone 6 Plus which offered a pixel density of 401 PPI. So, do you think that Apple realized that more pixel density would amount to better viewing experience? Moreover Qualcomm has stated that a person with perfect vision can notice a difference way up to 573 PPI (2K resolution) on a smartphone. All these would definitely point that more the pixels, better the viewing experience but science might prove us wrong.

Image quality on 4K displays would obviously take a bump but not to a level that we can differentiate it from 2K displays. The only noticeable difference you could observe is when you zoom a 4K resolution picture or video, the FHD and 2K displays would then blur out while the 4K display still gives a better clarity. However, you might not notice the difference even after zooming a picture unless you put the smartphone too damn close to your face. But who does that?


Viewing distance is another major criteria to judge if we need 4K displays. If you have a smartphone with 2K resolution display, you might have never seen any individual pixels on your device even if you look a bit close. But with the Full HD displays, you’d definitely notice a fair amount of individual pixels if you look close but everything would be fine if you’re viewing at it from a fair distance. So, the viewing experience doesn’t matter on the screen resolution after some level, given that you’re using it in an optimal manner.

But talking of the extremities, 4K resolution displays with around 850 PPI wouldn’t make much sense if you couldn’t be able to differentiate individual pixels on 2K display. 4K would have a certain bump in quality from 2K but not even a person with super crazy eyesight can notice that good. Moreover, more the pixels on your device, more the device resources gets depleted and worse the battery drains.

So, finally I would say it wouldn’t be any beneficial to have 4K resolution display on smartphones when you can’t take any advantage of it.

Are 4K Displays Totally Pointless?

Even with the facts pointing against 4K displays, I am really interested to see a 4K display on my smartphone but certainly not now. Moreover, 4K display on a 10-inch tablet would actually make sense as you can take advantage of superior quality when compared to 2K displays. But on a phablet, it hardly makes sense to use 4K resolution with battery power at stake. However, eventually when the 4K smartphones prices come down, there’s no reason not to buy a high quality display unless you’re concerned about the battery backup.

In future, when the 4K content is widely available, having a 4K smartphone might actually come handy to watch high quality videos and UHD TV content on your smartphone. However, as of now OEMs are just going crazy and obsessive with pushing the boundaries of pixel density on smartphones beyond the persistence of human eye. And we seriously doubt if they’re going to stop with 4K resolution.

So, what do you think of the 4K resolution smartphones? Are they the future or just manufactures luring us with unnecessary things we never wanted?

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