Samsung working on a 4K '800ppi' phone screen, and 7th-gen AMOLED displays

Tucked neatly in the info that Samsung will be starting production of 7th generation AMOLED panels from Q2 next year, is this little nugget: "Samsung Display has continued research to diversify its OLED portfolio to include foldable OLED, chip-on-plastic OLED and 800ppi high-resolution OLED."

Well, we are not surprised that the 7th generation will be upon us next year, while every other OLED screen maker is still tooling up for the 6th, and with every new generation we get better panel quality, less power draw, and the like, but it's the other three things mentioned that piqued our interest. The foldable OLED is clear - that's for the elusive Galaxy X bendable phone that may or may not be produced in small test batches later this year to test market reaction. "Chip-on-plastic" is also another industry speak for flexible AMOLED displays with plastic, instead of glass substrates, similar to the curved displays of the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

How about that "800ppi high-resolution OLED," though? This kind of pixel density isn't for TV screens or tablets, but rather smaller devices, like phones. A 5.5" display with 3840x2160 Ultra HD "4K" resolution would have exactly 801ppi pixel density, for instance, and it's not the first time Samsung is rumored to be perfecting such a 4K screen. Samsung was said to equip the S8 with those, but it went the route of Infinity Display, and we can't say that we are disappointed with the result. 

The Note 8 is rumored to arrive with a 4K panel, but if it is indeed a 6.4" one, as speculated, and Samsung wants to keep its new 18.5:9 ratio, the phablet might score a 4428 x 2160 resolution, with the on-screen buttons strip occupying a hundred pixels or so at the bottom. That would return "only" 770ppi, though, not 800, but it's in the ballpark, so VR aficionados might be inclined to give it a pass. 

After all, so far only Sony has phones with 4K displays in its "Premium" line, so if Samsung pulls this off, it would be a cause for significant bragging rights, and battery life nightmares.

source: The Investor

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39 Comments

36. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

PA keeps claiming that going 4K has to be a battery drain and again you will be wrong. The same was said about 720p, 1080p and 1440p. Samsung has managed to prove you wrong by going OLED. The strength of OLED is what Apple fan boys who kept saying LCD was superior, is now gonna rise like a Phoenix and make you all be wrong again. Samsung has increase resolution even in screens of the same size and increase resolution and still lowered power draw. The secret is the diamond pixel arrangement. 4K will allow for more pixels in a given space. The assumption is because you have to add more LED's, that means more power draw. That is true to some degree, but here is the catch. When you rearrange the pixels, the GPU uses them in combination to make the image. Even though you may have more physical LED's on the panel, the GPU can be controlled to only turn on the ones needed for the image. With LCD's you can because the whole screen is always lit. So no matter how large or small the image is, the battery causes a constant drain. LED's do not because individual pixels can be turned off. Even if you are viewing a native 4K image or video, all pixels will never be on 100% of the time. Even if the display draws more power, the consumption of power can be reduced in other areas, to compensate for the power draw gain in the display. Samsung has already moved their CPU to 10NM design. They will have perfected this by the time the Note 8 comes, and it will be just as efficient as the S8+. They can also still increase the battery size as well. All these combined can give the Note 8 even with a bigger dip lay at a higher resolution, the same power usage as the Note 7 or S8+. The S8+ has a QHD+ display. It is very near 4K. Yet it still manage to outlast the iPhone 7 Plus. The biggest advanced on OLED is black is black and on LCD's black is not. The bulb of an LCD is its Achilles Heel. The fact is, no matter what content you are viewing at any resolution, there will always be black and black means off and black means no power is being used. So webpages with black text, movies with black drops, photos with dark shadows, all mean 100% of the LED's will never be lit. ITS GENIUS. With LCD's every pixel will always be lit no matter what color is being shown, because LCD's can't display true black.. Not only do you have to consider the arrangement, but the LED size. On the diamond pantile display, the LED's can be of varied sizes. Which is why haters claim OLEDs look fuzzy. You cant see fuzz at these PPI levels. If you look at Samsung OLED TV's, they are bigger and have high resolution, and yet use less power that tvs from years ago. I think this is one reason Samsung does not push the Mali to be desktop-like, like Qualcomm does with the Adreno and Apple does with the PowerVR. The Exynos with Mali plays QHD video in a loop for 16+hrs. Even the iPhone at 720/1080 cant match or beat it.

31. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

only thing i want on an android phone is to have the ability to change screen color, hue, sharpness, and contrast...already got brightness, why not add the rest? some phones have too much color, either hue is too red, and not enough contrast...give me the ability to customize my video setting please???

28. Tony_5600

Posts: 82; Member since: Apr 09, 2017

Samsung nailed it with their infinity display in the S8, Bringing even better 4K display for the Note 8 would be an OVERKILL for 2017 standards lol. As long as it doesn't sacrifices battery life then its fine.

26. p51d007

Posts: 706; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Faster processors, faster graphics processors, tighter, brighter displays, but...the BATTERY stays the same size, or gets smaller to handle the THIN/STYLISH phone case. Give me 720-1080, the 8xx processor and it will be FAST ENOUGH for 99% of users. It's a PHONE, not a fashion accessory.

24. BGChicago

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 16, 2014

720p, 5" 75% screen to body ratio, s835, 4-6 GB RAM, grippy back, no thinher than 9mm for better grip 3000+mah is what I need. Extra buttons on each side, custom mapable.

25. BGChicago

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 16, 2014

The CPU can be even 6** since I don't play games. Descent LG g6 cameras. Why can't no one make a small descent phone???

20. htcisthebest

Posts: 439; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

Samsung should charge the evil Apple at least $150 per AMOLED display for the iPhone 8. Apple doesn't invent those hardwares but always buy from others at a discounted price. I am not sure why Samsung is selling their components at a cheap price to Apple. Given that Samsung has 95% market share of AMOLED panels, they are the monopolist and if I were them I would charge Apple as high as I want to.

23. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Apple could use any cheap low res display from the 90s, just like they still do on the iPhone 7 and their MacBook Air, it wouldn't stop their buyers from even selling their kids to pick one up...

19. qolamreza

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 01, 2015

Great then by default it will be full hd...

18. xfire99

Posts: 1207; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Samsung will do the same as S8 and let peoples choose between. 720p - 1080p - 2K - 4K resolution. Want save battery, go for 720p and VR high perfomance 4K. Simple!

14. LovesCameras

Posts: 51; Member since: Dec 02, 2015

4K screens have been around for a while. I recall the Z5 Premium, 2015. Back then people claimed the extra pixels served only to increase cost, no real benefit. Most recently people claimed VR goggles are boring due to the lack of compatible apps and uncomfortable to wear. Really, there's not much content that will do 4K natively, it's all upscaled. Regarding the 4K camera... well, suffice to say I carry my dedicated camera often because I dislike the image quality of current smartphones.

29. Macready

Posts: 1832; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Even without native 4K content, things will look better with smaller pixels, simply because they're less obvious as being ...pixels. Asside from the whole detail/sharpness discussion.

32. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

did Z5P can work with google's daydream or gearVR? no?

13. tango_charlie

Posts: 347; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

I don't care about crazy high display resolutions or fancy gimmicks. Decent hardware + monster battery at a affordable price point. That's all I'm asking for.

15. mixedfish

Posts: 1574; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Affordable price point? You might as well ask for the impossible if you want a branded phone with latest technology.

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31798; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I keep pressing the home button, gotta get used to just touching the area.

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31798; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Im good on the 4k screen. That's going to keep me away from the Note 8, if it happens. The battery life will take a hit. Loving my S8 Plus BTW.

12. sgodsell

Posts: 7659; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I take it you don't have a Gear VR then? A 4k display should be awesome with VR. Plus the latest Gear VR 2 is bringing some much needed spacial awareness to the gear VR platform, with it's new controller. Similar to Daydream's controller.

8. vijay.alapati

Posts: 181; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

And still they will default your phone to 1080p and say battery is great

6. Ray.S

Posts: 464; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

It'll probably look great in the default HD 1080p mode!

21. Tech_fan

Posts: 94; Member since: Mar 28, 2017

hehe...you are so funny ray...keep it up and enjoy with iTOY 750p LCD display!!!!

4. galaxy-gear

Posts: 119; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Samsung quen of technology

3. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

holy crap. it better be at least a 4500mah battery just to keep on the same level as the S8. What a waste of battery.

1. Landon

Posts: 1249; Member since: May 07, 2015

Although it would be great for VR, most won't want/need a 4K screen. We want better battery tech.

2. rubyonrails3

Posts: 375; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

Most want 4K :-p but most don't need 4K

5. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Dude, most people will leave their screen resolution on their S8 as default. Not many people even use VR. Once they past 1080p, no one really cares about resolution on these small screens. It's diminishing returns. What people do care about with the Samsung displays are the OLED displays. I'm diehard Apple, but Samsung has the best displays in the business! I own a Samsung TV by the way.

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7659; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

When you place the S8 in the Gear VR headset, then it goes to the highest resolution, automatically. Clearly you don't use VR, or know much about it nctx77, and it shows.

17. mixedfish

Posts: 1574; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Comments like yours sounds like you came from a time machine from 2012. You make the exact same points when we were going from 480p to 720p and then 1080p. Screens were also growing from 3.5" to 4.5" to 5", so you can't use that bullcrap pixel density argument.

22. karan1402d

Posts: 89; Member since: May 28, 2015

But then Samsung doesn't have the best TV around. It's the LG with it's fantastic OLED TVs that are the best. It's miles ahead of any other brand as none produce OLED TV commercially, only recently Sony launched their 1st OLED TVs(again the panel is sourced from LG) but at ridiculously high prices, when OLED already are pretty expensive

30. Amir123a

Posts: 126; Member since: Aug 27, 2016

You own a samsung tv but samsung does not make oled tv's. You got lcd tech. What a shame. Indeed, samsung oled panels are industry leading for mobile while lg is leading the tv industry with their oled panels. I guess samsung saw more profit in mobile oled and lg didn't.

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