Poll results: How much is too much? Vote for your phone screen resolution of choice

Poll results: How much is too much? Vote for your phone screen resolution of choice
We asked you last week what smartphone screen resolution do you think is the best tradeoff between pixel density, power consumption and visibility. Granted, we have different screen sizes and matrix technologies, which changes the ppi count to an extent, but at these types of resolutions, it doesn't matter as much as it used to. Alternatively, the question might be read as asking what resolution is already enough on our phones, and the borderline from which manufacturers should look into more tangible screen quality characteristics like power consumption, brightness, reflection, and so on.

With even budget handsets starting off with HD 720p displays these days, midrangers boasting 1080p screens, and high-end models blasting off to the Quad HD mark, do we need higher mobile screen resolutions? Rumor has it that Samsung will have a 6" Ultra HD Super AMOLED display with 4K resolution in mass production next August, just in time for an eventual Note 5 announcement a month after. 

The other two big players in the mobile display game, LG and Sharp, are also ready to introduce such mobile displays that will be breaking the unthinkable 700ppi pixel density barrier. It's certainly something to brag with, but, given that Quad HD phones today last less on average than their 1080p counterparts when it comes to battery life, which in their turn give away to 720p handsets, the constant resolution chase becomes somewhat moot, as our own poll results suggest.

Almost half of our 4050 respondents have pegged 1080p as their preferred resolution of choice, or the sweet spot where more than enough pixel density meets frugal power consumption, and other virtues. Quad HD is the next favorite, with 19% of the votes, while Ultra HD, which is not even retail yet, got 12% of the votes. Interestingly enough, 14% of you would take the highest resolution that the manufacturers have to offer at the moment, while only 6% are satisfied with HD 720p only at this point in time. Still, the poll results show that users are overall satisfied with the 1080p threshold, and anything over that shouldn't compromise too much with battery life, brightness, or other important display quality criteria.

How much is too much? Vote for your phone screen resolution of choice

HD 720p (720x1280 pixels)
Full HD 1080p (1080x1920 pixels)
Quad HD 1440p (1440x2560 pixels)
4K Ultra HD 2160p (2160x3840 pixels)
The more, the merrier



1. android_hitman unregistered

" 6% are satisfied with HD 720p only" - for sure Iphone users.

8. timukh

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Actually it depends on the screen size, like for 4.5inch 720p is enough, for 5inch 1080p is enough. Since phones are increasing in size higher resolutions for larger screen is justified, but if someone puts a 1440p on a 5inch screen then that is nothing but an overkill. So to be honest it actually depends on the screen size you are using.

29. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well size wasn't the limiting factor in this poll, and so it has to be disregarded for this. The fact that a downscaled 1080p video will have artifacts even on a smaller screen cannot be ignored. 1080p should win hands down because of available content and battery efficiency right now. QHD will be more relevant in the coming years though and soon should take it over. Anything beyond is just for measuring ___ks.

49. Y.U.No.Work.4.Manufacturer

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Well available content and battery efficiency wasn't a limiting factor in this poll, and so it has to be disregarded for this.

45. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

For less than 5inch HD is enough and even qHD will do. We need more battery life not resolution pls.

12. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2278; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

I've noticed that ever since the announcement of the 6+, the Apple fans stopped talking about how the PPI was an overkill but rather, talk about how the resolution is an overkill.

14. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Anorher hater. I have Z3 Compact and screen is excellent. Don't need more pixels just to eat my battery.

15. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

At 720p a cellphone has a higher pixel density than the tv you watch. Any more than 720p on a cellphone is a waist of battery. I would rather have a 720p screen and a battery that lasts 4 days than a 4k screen with a battery that you will only get 8 hours of use out of. I am an Andrioid user and that voted for 420p. No iPhones here.

18. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The viewing distance is different though, if you watched a TV from less than 20inches, you would want a higher resolution.

42. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

That's not going to make that extreme of a difference in battery life, only speed.

20. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

That's why 720p only has 6 percent. A small minority that will continue to get smaller. 720p in this day and age, now that's an underkill.

35. lloures

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

I have a 2013 Moto X and think that 720p is really fine. I'd prefer a 4.6" screen at the same res though. For Bigger screens, Full HD is better, but these are not what I want.

47. chocolaking

Posts: 495; Member since: May 22, 2012

what we have is a human eye.

2. smarttechbadworld

Posts: 74; Member since: May 07, 2014

1080p come on people we need more, we can even see the pixels on a 2k display.

6. timukh

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

with a microscope? Then yes!

7. bigmaster

Posts: 198; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

Nope, with a VR ? Then yes!

9. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

What has VR to do with smartphone screen? It has it's own screen/screens

37. bigmaster

Posts: 198; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

Hey! The gear VR and the note 4 the QHD screen isn't enough with the gear VR.

46. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

some vr's use smartphones. And even 1080p looks pixelated. UHD will be the best suited for VR.

10. timukh

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

The article said "phone screen". So 1080p is enough if you are using till 5.5inch.

3. vincelongman

Posts: 5723; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I want 4K or 5K for VR But 1080p or 1440p is enough for phones We need 120+ Hz displays now, especially since Material Design has lots of animations Also maybe something like gsync/freesync for phones/tablets as well

4. bigmaster

Posts: 198; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

Yeah I love to see Sammy develop it's QHD Scree that found on the Note 4 and make it more efficient and have a less impact on the gpu, QHD is just enough IMO, love looking at my Note 4's screen!

36. lloures

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

You can't make a screen have less impact on the GPU without changing the resolution. The GPU spends more energy because it have a lot of data to process (more dots, or pixels), it's not the screen fault that the system is pushing all that pixels to the GPU.

39. bigmaster

Posts: 198; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

Yeah I know, but I think the SD 810 when the S6/M9 hit the market will be ideal for that kind of resolution and will be more efficient, even will be something more powerful than the SD 810 when the Note 5 go on sale next October!

5. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

1080p is sufficient for phones but if screens are bigger like tabs and TVs then more is good.

11. tkk76

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 03, 2014

Why pay a premium for something that eats up your battery and lessens your GPU performance? Vive me enough pixels so that everything looks crisp. For me that is 720P at 5", or maybe 1080p for others with better eyesight. Beyond that you are paying to make your phone less effective.

13. letosaw

Posts: 135; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

totally agree with you bro (Y)

17. Awalker

Posts: 1981; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Manufacturers think it's okay as long as they give you the same GPU and battery performance as their phones from yesteryear. I would rather have a 720 or 1080p display with GPU and battery performance that's dramatically increased from my last phone.

26. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

You are not paying a premium. Would you be okay with them charging you $600 for 1080p and 1gb of ram now and the $600 for 1080p and 1gb of ram 5 years later? Because that's what the 1080p voters are asking for. Silly human. The savings don't go to the consumer. It goes straight to the manufacturers pockets. So I much rather them having 4k resolutions with 600 nits and one week battery life 5 years later rather than 1080p with 600 nits and two weeks battery in 5 years. The more the merrier is the ONLY sane option. Just because it potentially negatively affects battery life and performance now it doesn't mean technology should stop. As long performance stays the same, increase everything. Eventually the battery and GPU WILL catch up. No point letting manufacturers pocket our money without trying to go higher than 500 ppi.

38. chebner

Posts: 249; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Hey Tater. No one is suggesting that tech development should stop. We are saying tech development into areas with extremely limited benefit should stop. Is ever increasing resolution really innovative? Perhaps a bit of a simplistic view but increasing resolution is just making pixels smaller and more of them, which requires additional processing power and battery to fill them. If they really wanted to be innovative, OEMs would be developing new battery tech that would enable a phone to last for a week with normal use. That would actually be a noticeable benefit. If additional tech dev is needed on the screen it is in the area of power consumption, not increasing resolution. When they released the G3 LG bragged about the innovation they put into making the screen more efficient, but the with the extra pixels it's battery live is a half hour shorter than the G2. Back to the drawing board I guess.

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