Like it or not, 4K smartphone displays are heading towards us, and there's nobody left to stop them! After Samsung casually hinted at 4K AMOLED displays for the upcoming Galaxy Note 5
, Japanese purveyor of IGZO screens and border-less smartphones
Sharp climbed on the stage to announce the world's first 5.5-inch mobile display with a 2160 x 3840 pixels Ultra-HD (4K) resolution. The panel is scheduled for mass production in 2016, and comes with a mind-boggling pixel
density of 806 pixels per inch.
Looking a little ahead, the announcement is made even crazier by the perspective of a non-too distant future, where smartphone displays have reached 8K (4320 x 7680) resolution - that's 16 times as many pixels as ye olde 1080p display, as well as the resolution employed for top-end full dome theater projections! If you think we've finally lost it, well, LG is allegedly making an 8K 27-inch display for Apple, so shrinking it down to phablet-size is a matter of time and technological progress.
Still, it's only 2015, and we're "only" enjoying 1440p resolution displays on our high-end Android devices. You'd be forgiven if you can't quite figure out the practical purpose of 4K smartphone screens, seeing that those 2K displays we mentioned are already considered "overkill" by many consumers and manufacturers alike. While that's perfectly reasonable, we can still see 4K screens offering two very nice, but not necessarily essential benefits. First, they can reproduce 4K video content pixel for pixel, which means extremely sharp and lush visuals fired at your entertainment-hungry eyeballs at a close distance. And second, 4K displays will make VR headset experiences absolutely sublime, as the greatly enhanced pixel density removes the screen-door effect, and therefore provides better immersion.
Other than that, we can only hope battery technology will catch up with the demands of 4K displays soon enough, as ultra-high definition should not compromise daily usage.
Sharp IGZO 4K smartphone display