Attention, gamers: Your smartphone display's super-high resolution means little, and here's why

It's only when we feel we have sufficient data to back our point up do we feel comfortable making sweeping generalizations, but in the case of smartphones, its fair to say that we have our very own little Space Race. The rush is spearheaded by the Android crowd for the most part, with competing Apple doing things its own way, preferring to weigh in indirectly. But the facts are facts — deca-core processors, more generous allotments of RAM than ever, and tiny displays that fit more pixels than your 50-inch flat-screen...
This is a discussion for a news article. To read the whole news, click here

104 Comments

34. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

The resolution is for Vr headsets, the iPhone has a 1080p display and still manages to get mediocre battery life. The note 4 however runs fine playing games, i dont think they actually run at 1440...

43. Shocky unregistered

#4 kinda went without saying to be honest, our eyes just aren't that good. #5 1440p displays are here to stay and it's a waste of time debating if their worth it or not.

89. cheetah2k

Posts: 2198; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Who actually plays games on an iPhone? Battery doesn't last a day already, imagine what 10 minutes of Asphalt 8 would do? LOL

35. Firestorm

Posts: 44; Member since: Jun 27, 2015

I like my s6 & it really looks stunning. Especially when compare to iPhone 6...

36. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Let's look at the cracked out math on display in this article here. 1080p displays are universally agreed upon to be noticeably better than 720p displays. This was established when the M7 and butterfly first came out. Fast forward a few years later and now 1440 displays are not noticeable vs 750p displays? Please. Don't try to disguise this article as anything except Trying to justify the ridiculously low resolution of the iPhone 6. It's a Apple cult defense article trying to disguise itself, poorly at that, as an article of wasted and unecessary resources. Everyone knows full well that you would never write this article for an Android manufacturer and say the 720p One X display is good enough and the M7 display is overkill.

38. Ninetysix

Posts: 2940; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

First of all, you seem very upset broseph. 2nd, Did the phones all of a sudden jump in size in the past few years? It's hard to distinguish the resolution from each other when playing games on a 5" device. That's the point of the article.

65. ecmedic4

Posts: 520; Member since: May 02, 2013

Yes he is seriously butthurt, its painfully obvious by all the comments he's made already. Of course since they don't concede the S6 as the greatest thing since sliced bread he is gonna get all whiny. Oh and of course the article is obviously an Apple cult article, its all a conspiracy against samsung, how can no one else but Taters see that?! I honestly don't know how these whiny Apple haters can say this site is iphonearena when there is more Apple haters on here than anyone else. He has a huge whining problem! Needs to grow up IMO.

69. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Eh. You don't read much. The handsets I mentioned are 3 years old and have the same display size as the iPhone 6. 4.7 inches. I know what the article is about.

39. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

Sure, a 1080p display is better than 720p display, so long as the diagonal of the panel is large enough for it to matter. For example, a 3.5-inch 1080p display will hardly warrant the costs in terms of power and efficiency compared to a 720p one, since it's just too small for you to enjoy the extra resolution. Now, let's address your second point, which is the transition from 1080p to 1440p. First off, this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, because your eyes have finite resolving power, and diminishing returns -have- already kicked in. So even if we take a less extreme case, and consider a 5-inch display, you'll still struggle to perceive more fine information, simply because it is, once again, too small. And by the way, just to be clear, this article isn't about arguing that you can't perceive the difference between a 720p display and a 1440p one given enough size. It simply showcases the findings of the GameBench team, which clearly illustrate that you have little reason -right now- to crave a super high res screen -as far as games are concerned-.

52. gaming64 unregistered

The best thing about iPhones is the high pixel density, that is Retina Display, not resolution. And by the way, AppleCultist, you don't know anything or anything about a game and how it works except the thought, "higher specs means better".

95. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

pixel density of a surface is known as resolution.

94. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Screen did not get 44.4% bigger since the M7. so as much as i agree with you this feel like a Apple apologie article you need to understand thats. 1080p in 5 inch screen is more than enuf if we talk about bigger screen then yeah its may help on bigger screen ofcourse.

41. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Probably one of the worst articles disguised as an article I've seen on this site in a while. But, at least it's not an outright advert or flame-bait piece. Exactly how does a website dedicated to mobile devices justify not being an advocate for the continued progress of mobile technology in all... arenas???

45. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

We advocate for progress every day, but there's a difference between that and what this is, which is a simple reality check that a lot of people married to their purchasing decisions and beliefs seem uncomfortable discussing constructively, let alone accepting. In any case, just because something adds more numbers to the specs sheet doesn't mean it also adds to the user experience. Like, at all. And just to make it clear, our job isn't to parrot whatever manufacturers say and do, and then clap along blindly, but to actually study what those actions mean for the end users, which, and I know this is a shocker for techies like you and me at first, includes every technically-illiterate person on your block. What seems obvious to you isn't necessarily obvious to them, and you need to understand that we strive to address their needs as well.

66. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I completely understand where you coming from; limited to just the gaming perspective it is well documented that game developers code for the most common denominator so specs may be rendered meaningless at the higher end (which, considering this article revolves around mobile gaming should have been the actual focal point, not "You don't need it really.") however... 1. These are high end flagships. These are devices people want the MOST out of regardless of use-case scenarios. 2. Future proofing. The hardware is already there, soft/firm-ware updates may be applied negating any current comparison due to hardware capabilities. The reciprocal is not true. Soft/firm-ware may optimize, yes, but it cannot push hardware past its limits. 3. Gamers. You were not addressing the technically illiterate though I understand being ecumenical about it. You addressed "gamers". Gamers as a whole tend to have a vested interest in graphics. Try telling "readers" who've read Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series that 50 Shades of Grey is an amazing book and there's no need to read the Beauty series because the subject material is close enough. 4. Parroting. If you have an aversion to parrots, then stop regurgitating other people's works. And if you do, proofread them to make sure they actually say what you wanted them to say. Gather data from other sources. Then compare the results. This is not to address you specifically, but the whole of the PA staff. Most material here IS parroted.

44. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

PA what game is that on pic number 4 and 5?thanks

50. gaming64 unregistered

Modern Combat 5. I advice you not to play it if you don't wanna suffer poor story progression, inferior graphics and gameplay than Modern Combat 4, and internet connection.

106. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

thank you for the heads up

53. Bogdan86

Posts: 48; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

interesting article, but games don't run at that resolution, they are upscaled. i don't think there is a game that runs at 1440p resolution.

54. Tizo101

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

so according to this article 160 ppi is more than enough... lol, yeah ryt.

96. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

no in fact its more like 350 ppi is more than enuf. 5 inch screen with 1080pare around 440 ppi if i am correct wich is much more than needed. Now on a 10 inch screen i would take 2k or even 4k display :) Its called optimisation for better battery life and lower cost for the device..

55. Tizo101

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

so according to this article 160 ppi is more than enough... lol, yeah ryt.

56. gaming64 unregistered

I get the point. Resolution doesn't matter and here is why. First off iOS now uses Metal, meaning it can process more polygons per second per frame, giving dev more chance to give better hyper-realistic surroundings. And second, games don't get upscaled to Quad HD at this point, some sticking to 1080 in order to cover a lot of devices as much as possible. And third, how the devs made the game. Honestly, Modern Combat and Asphalt 8 focuses more on animations and effects rather than texture and surroundings, which is Dead Trigger 2's specialty.

58. gaming64 unregistered

please remove the dont

97. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Gaming64 you are such a fish for Apple. all OS have an interface for graphic Apple just named the one they use Metal. All such software exist only to increase the amount and quality of the graphics... For the rest you are mostly right. PS: the amount of detail and effect your device can handle is 25% thanks to the software and 75% hardware so a device with much more hardware power can in fact beat easily the one with lower end hardware but in mobile industry as many game get developped for IOS device when they get to Android they are just ported games thats where not made for the higher end device. Its like some Xbox one games thats get same resolution and speed as the PS4 when the PS4 as nearly twice the GPU power.

62. ihopnavajo

Posts: 8; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

well, this is a whole bag of "dumb". You realize we're looking at side-by-side screenshots that are only utilizing about 1/10 of our screen's resolution? Basically that turns into "you can't see the difference!! (well, when you downscale both of these images to about 100x200 resolution anyways)." Futhermore, yeah, I see a whole hell of a lot of difference in those zoomed-in examples. In the S6: license plate frame. In the iPhone 6: SMUUUUDDGGGE

98. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

On my 24 inch screen on my desktop those smaller picture as you said where bigger than a 5 inch screen.. still you are right for the rest of the comment.

68. Dreamboat

Posts: 50; Member since: Apr 29, 2015

Just remember kids all those photos are extreme close-ups of picture stills. Once your gaming you probably won't even notice these minor details. 1440p on a 5.1 inch screen for gaming is wasted at the moment. However enjoying other media such as webpages and videos its simply better

72. billyblonco

Posts: 18; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

Try it with vr or google card board games, That's where you will see the real benefits of QHD.

73. Ahovking

Posts: 711; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

Specs aren't everything Android fanboys... Resolution is the perfect example of this.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.