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

1. Landon

Posts: 1245; 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: 7451; 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: 1560; 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.

27. p51d007

Posts: 705; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Most "want" 4k, because they think they "need" 4k. Marketing 101, tell people you NEED something, and the sheep will follow right into the door.

33. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

P51d007, are trying to prove to the world how ignorant you really are? With VR the higher the resolution, the better. VR cuts the screen in 2, so a 4k display is really 1920x2160 per eye. A QHD display in VR is really 1280x1440 per eye. I notice pixels with a QHD display. But it's much better than a HD display, which is only 640x720 per eye. Look at Apples iPhone 7 is only 667x750. Talk about pixels and screen door effect. Now you can see why Apple hasn't been pushing VR or AR yet. Because it would turn people off of VR or AR.

39. techbuttcheex

Posts: 204; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

I have no desire for 4K. I like Galaxy phones because they're among the highest quality OLEDs---which means great contrast ratio and power efficiency.

7. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You say that now. However more and more VR and AR apps are arriving every day. Not to mention places like NASA and others are gearing up to remove multiple displays in the near future. Instead of having a desk with 5 monitors with keyboards and mice. You can replace that and more with one VR headset. Just look in the direction of where a monitor should be placed, and voila. You are looking at what's on a monitor. Plus the one keyboard and mouse will start to work in that monitor. Look at another virtual monitor and your keystrokes and mouse movements work in that one as well. I can see laptop and desktop displays going bye, bye. Especially if you have a 4k display in front of your eyes. Head tracking has improved 10 fold over the last year alone. The IMUs (accelerometer and gyroscope) have increased their accuracy so much. Plus the speed of them has increased as well. Need proof look at the Pixel smartphones with both their EIS camera stabilization and Daydream VR. Personally I can see desktops and laptops go the way of the dodo bird. Especially with mobile VR/AR/MR headsets and the addition of cameras embedded in front. That will bring not only much better VR with a 4k display, but with the cameras in front you will have really great AR as well. This is coming a lot sooner than you think.

16. Landon

Posts: 1245; Member since: May 07, 2015

Myself being an engineering technician, I'd love to see all of that come to fruition sooner than later. I'm currently using 4 monitors and we're starting to deploy 43" Dell 4K monitors...so basically the same virtual real estate. We have a few Hololens' floating around the office that are used more for selling purposes but after using one for a few minutes, it would be insanely cool if I was detailing with one of those. Overall, we wouldn't be using phones to connect these models at the office considering the computing power we need to run these models, but one could eventually use a phone out in the field for VR and AR purposes to check interference and connections.

35. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Landon, if you understand what I was actually saying, then you would have realized that a 4k VR headset is actually greater than a 4k monitor. In the sense that as soon as you move your head in one direction, for instance to the left you get roughly a 2k monitor in that direction. If you look up you get a new 2k display, If you look straight in front of you then you get another 2k monitor, and then look up another 2k monitor. Look to the right another 2k monitor, and up another 2k monitor. So that is 6 - 2k monitors with with one VR headset. There is nothing stopping someone from adding more monitors when a user looks below. So you could get 9 monitors with a minimum of desk space, using one VR headset. I think that is cool.

37. Landon

Posts: 1245; Member since: May 07, 2015

I realize what you're saying. I just like talking tech. I can't really talk about it much considering my wife barely knows how to run her iPhone lol. Our industry will eventually get there but our company specifically runs at a snails pace when it comes to technology and it can be frustrating.

34. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

But you can always scale it down like on S8 or have root and resolution changer apps.

38. techbuttcheex

Posts: 204; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

And better industrial design---digitizers, cameras integrated into the display, etc.

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.

4. galaxy-gear

Posts: 119; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Samsung quen of technology

6. Ray.S

Posts: 459; 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!!!!

8. vijay.alapati

Posts: 181; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

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

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31308; 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: 7451; 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.

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31308; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

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

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: 1560; 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.

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: 1824; 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?

18. xfire99

Posts: 1206; 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!

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