Did you know: Sony has been claiming we don't need QHD screens on our phones for years, now puts one on the XZ3

Did you know: Sony has been claiming we don't need QHD screens on our phones for years, now puts one on the XZ3
Alright, it's a well-known fact by now that smartphone tech has been on a plateau for the past few years. Yeah, sure, there are some advancements in processor tech, some more RAM, some more storage space. But generally, if you spend your money on a flagship — any contemporary flagship — you are guaranteed to have an awesome phone. Nobody is ages ahead of the competition, all the latest tech is super-accessible, and everyone is making pretty stellar phones.

In the race to sell the "best thing out there", manufacturers have often made some "questionable" upgrades or added features with arguable usefulness to the end user. Like the jump to QHD resolution (1440 x 2560 pixels) four years ago. Nowadays, QHD is a standard on phones, because everyone was racing to adopt the super-sharp resolution out of fear of being left behind. But a ton of users out there were and still are questioning the need for it. On a small, 5-inch or even 6-inch display, it's pretty hard to spot a difference between QHD and good-ol' FHD (which is the "regular" 1080 x 1920).

A couple of companies didn't care about QHD one bit

One was Apple, the other one was Sony

Sony's Director of Xperia Marketing at the time, Calum MacDougall, came out and said:

Effectively, this statement mirrored the opinion of plenty of powerusers at the time, who were concerned that the toll on battery life and processing power was way too high for the minuscule benefits that QHD would provide.

And, over the years, Sony has silently supported this claim for its flagship phones. The Xperia Z3, Z5, XZ, XZ1, and XZ2 all had an FHD resolution.

Except... there's this 4K phone out there

We don't need QHD, but here — have a 4K phone!

Well, there was this one fluke series — you might have heard of it — the Xperia Premium. Just a year after saying "we don't need no QHD", Sony released the Xperia Z5 Premium — the world's first smartphone with a 4K (2160 x 3840 pixels) display! Now, isn't that overkill?

So, basically, Sony's stance was "1080p is enough... but if you want exorbitant amounts of pixels, we can go 4K for you!". And yeah, granted, nobody else has gone for a 4K display yet, and Sony's Premium series is still alive and well (the latest XZ2 Premium launched recently, too) to carry that message.

In comes the Sony Xperia XZ3

Now that the Xperia XZ3 is announced, we see that Sony has finally caved to peer pressure. It's the first Xperia with an OLED panel, which is pretty cool, and it's the first Xperia with a QHD resolution. Well, since it's got a display ratio of 18:9, it's actually QHD+, which is 1440 x 2880 pixels.

But there's probably a good reason for that!

When we are talking about OLED screens, we are talking about display panels where each individual pixel lights up on its own (as opposed to LCD displays, where the screen is backlit). In this scenario, QHD does seem to provide a lot more flexibility in terms of contrast, color saturation, and brightness. It's not just about raw sharpness — it's about having precise control over the overall image quality by micro-managing its pixels separately. In other words — QHD on an LCD screen might be redundant, but QHD on an OLED display is definitely nice to have.

Related phones

Xperia XZ3
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Camera 19 MP / 13 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3330 mAh(23.8h 3G talk time)



1. maherk

Posts: 7029; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

They did the same when everyone was using 3gb of ram. And their fans always hate on curved Amoled screens, let's see hoe they'll spin this one around. As for the phone itself, I do like it, but I wish they went back to the side mounted fps, or at least reposition it to a higher place on the back of the phone. One thing for sure, the XZ3 Premium will definitely be one of the best phones once released, the camera on the current XZ2P is highly underrated, imo the best overall camera out there.

2. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Remember the “Crapmoled pentile” term. I’m really missing Circo right now. Lol......

4. maherk

Posts: 7029; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I don't miss him tbh lol

12. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

This one is RGB, not amoled.. It same of TV. No active matrix

14. maherk

Posts: 7029; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

There might be an argument about this if we're talking about 720p panels, but at 2k, like seriously who care? Anyways, do you have any idea if Sony are looking into releasing an OLED tablet? I love their OLED tvs( I currently have the 9000E, while not OLED, I still love it), and would love to get a tablet with OLED and front facing speakers.

23. monoke

Posts: 1197; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Unless they solved the shorter lifespan of the blue pixels issues of oled, I'd be really surprised if it is rgb. We'll see.

3. hansip87

Posts: 231; Member since: Nov 10, 2015

seems like Sony is getting younger supervisor nowadays. the only thing remains is the OIS.

5. ijuanp03

Posts: 669; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Yes I remember how they always say we don't need QHD displays...BUT.. same goes to Huawei. They said 1080p is good enough and won't put QHD display but they did on the regular Huawei Mate 10.

6. Ellio74

Posts: 74; Member since: Mar 22, 2018

Maybe it's also due to the layout of the display, are they using a PenTile matrix or a normal one? Also the benefit of switching to OLED is maybe better for the battery, so they decided to upgrade the resolution.

7. tokuzumi

Posts: 1962; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

When the competition has been using a 2k screen for 2-3 years, and are in the same price point, or cheaper, there's no excuse to not have one.

8. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

No headphone jack, no buy...not going to even think about buying it. But other than that, everything seems right. The thing is, on UIs and menu and stuff, 1080p is great. But when you watch videos on YouTube, or stream videos on phones, you can really make out the difference between, 720p, 1080p and 1440p even on a 5.5 incher.

9. drifter77

Posts: 402; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

FHD 1080p is more than enough, unless we're talking about a screen size over 6.5 inch.

10. Jason2k13

Posts: 1471; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Did you know for years piyath hated the Samsung curved screen, but now likes it?

13. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Flat screen is better

21. thedizzle

Posts: 202; Member since: Oct 05, 2017

^ this. I love my notes, but f**k this curved screen bs

11. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Z4 Tablet is 1440p. Difference betwen 4K/QHD is more than QHD/Full HD. If it had 1080p too, battery would be 10-15% better than xz2.

15. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

A lot of company's complain and claim we don;t need things, because they don't want to spend the money to provide them, because it eats into profit margin, or because they think they have the power to buckle a trending, or create their own. "we don't need a stylus, no one is gonna by those hummer phones, megapixels don't matter, you don't need 4GB of RAM in a phone, you don't need big displays, you don't need high resolutions because above 330PPI you can't see the pixels anyways, you don't need headphone jacks, wireless charging, fast charging, file transfer over BT, USB Mass storage, sdcards and many other things. The thing is, no one ask them what we need or don't need. what matters is, if you want your products that may be less popular to sell, then you need those selling points. Some OEM's may not need this, but they are the exception. Certainly not the rule.

16. ahmadkun

Posts: 670; Member since: May 02, 2016

Google: made fun of apple removing the 3.5 mm like they will keep it forever, just one year and they removed it LG: said they are always giving the option to remove the battery.. now all thier new phones are not battery removable Apple: said no body wants stylus and phones should not be big .. now the have stylus and big phones Lenovo: said they will release the most advance smartphone ever, and they released something evevn not better than 90% in the market Huawei and nokia : they are using professional DSLR and tell thier people this was shot with our phones After all that why we should wander?

17. cocoy

Posts: 464; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

For me it doesn't matter, all of us are human beings prone to say something without thinking about it first especially if you are already on the spotlight or being interviewed or in front of a camera. Let the customers decide if they want it or not.

18. irossdrummer

Posts: 371; Member since: Jan 17, 2015

Next from Sony, the Xperia XZPSTDGYSVX7 Premium Pro

19. ryq24

Posts: 876; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

If you can't beat them join them.

20. Djz89

Posts: 447; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

TBH it's not necessary at all, 1080p is more than enough. But this i think is to gain more sales, me, i would prefer 1080p and better battery.

22. monoke

Posts: 1197; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Qhd is still a tweener resolution that hasn't been adopted by content providers, videos, games. It's fine for phone interface particularly with pentile matrix as it's true ppi is much lower than rgb. But 1080p I feel is still fine and indiscernable at 6.5 inch or less screens.

24. DurTeeDee

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

they werent wrong

25. xfire99

Posts: 1207; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Did you know that Apple said: - Note pen is a gimmick. - 3.7" is optimal for smartphones and no need bigger. - AMOLED is a gimmick. - Wireless charging is a gimmick. and alot did you know craps!

27. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

While this is technically true, you are purposely taking the quote out of context. He was talking about how screen should follow content and not other way around (like this 18/9 BS). When most cameras were filming 720p and internet was barely good enough to stream at that resolution it made sense to have 720p screen. Then we moved to 1080p and then to 4K. Never there was (and probably never will be) a 1440p video standard so screens shouldn't be at that resolution. 4K on Premiums still remains the best option since it scales with every popular video standard. 4K is shown per pixel (1x1), FHD is shown at double res (2x2) and for 720p every pixel is exactly 9 pixels on the screen (3x3). 1440p only scales properly to 720p video while 4K and FHD (2 most popular standards) have upscaling/downscaling artifacts.

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

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