The Vivo Xplay 3S shows us exactly how sharp a 1440x2560 resolution is

A sort of a fixation on display resolution has taken a grip of the smartphone world, and it won't loosen for the life of it (or us). Whereas until recently 1080x1920, or full HD screens, were the very best you can expect from a smartphone, manufacturers such as LG Display and Japan Display are pushing the boundaries further still, leading to a few rather natural questions.

The very first one of those is simply curiosity – how sharp a 1440x2560 display really is? Well, an internal slide from a Chinese Vivo presentation has now answered that question, as it shows the 5.7-inch 515ppi Xplay 3S, the company's upcoming new flagship. It shouldn't surprise you that a Chinese handset maker could eventually snatch the title for the first 1440p smartphone, seeing as it's BBK that is behind Vivo, the same company that operates the Oppo brand. Anyway, as you can see, zoomed in like this, the difference is undeniable and quite perceptible, especially if you compare it to the 'lowly' 326 pixels per inch the iPhones boast.

Which gets us to the second most common question – do we really need it? A strong case can be made about even the impossibility of discerning much of a difference between a 720p and a 1080p screen, though a trained eye will definitely spot the improvements. But a jump to 1440p, now that just feels redundant, and hopefully this statement won't look like one of those panic articles from two years ago, that had bloggers fret over how ridiculously big a 4.5-inch screen is. But quite frankly, we can only really justify a 1440p screen on a big-screened phablet, where the size of the diagonal is at the cost of image clarity.

Regardless, whether a 1440p display makes sense or not isn't really a concern for most manufacturers, as drumming up successive generations of smartphone lines is getting increasingly difficult, as most bases have been covered already (at this point in time, that is). This means that we'll be seeing this fledgling trend take off, likely by the end of 2014.

source: Weibo via G4Games



1. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

Too pixelated for my 1/20 eye sight.

7. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

I can still see every pixel. I'm half peregrine falcon so I have 20/0.05 eyesight. Pixel densities need to be at the minimum of 30,000 before I'm satisfied...

8. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Minimum of 30,000. Preferably 50,000+.

24. GeekMovement unregistered

how about until pixels no longer exist.

28. jan25

Posts: 470; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

you mean atom size? still unsatisfying.

29. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Yeah you got a point. I've been learning about photons and I heard that this underground x military scientist is working on an ultra thin, ultra bright, ultra powerful new display technology. It uses dark energy to slow down photons to cause them to bond into photonic molecules that can change light wave patterns depending on the number of photons bonded in each molecule. Each photonic molecule is called an imagon. Idk how he manages to keep the imagons from anhialating with the anti-gravitons but still though... Oh and it gets 48,000 nits bright. Right now it looks like a light saber that changes colors. Lol.

31. affinity1221

Posts: 6; Member since: Jun 26, 2013

You sir. you get the funniest comment ive seen award.

2. naveenstuns

Posts: 184; Member since: Feb 19, 2012

OMG!!! I got a monitor with only abt 95 PPI :(

10. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

You sit further back from monitor than a phone so it doesn't matter as much.

19. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Nope, both are like, 30 cm from my face.

3. saenaedewe

Posts: 72; Member since: May 01, 2013

what's next? is there any ppi limit?

11. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

4k or something between 1440p and 4k thats 16:9.

12. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

As long as they can make it into small enough packages and compensate for battery life, no, there really isn't any limit. Next would be 4K, or Ultra HD, which would be 881 ppi at 5 inches.

20. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Expect 4K to be the next 'holy grail', kind of how 1080p was. 4K flat panel displays are coming on the market for this year's holiday season, some smartphones are capable of recording videos at 4K resolution, and, and, and. Nothing like competition to raise the bar. I wonder what will replace 4K?

21. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Sharp and Panasonic have already made 8K prototype TVs, they're 85 and 145 inches though, and 4 years away from production. 7,680 x 4,320 @ 5" = 1,762 ppi. Damn.

25. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Aha! 8K sounds like a logical progression. I wonder about the bandwidth requirements for even 4K. Just one 4K video would blow through a month's worth of data at current plan levels (unlimited plans would get throttled, so they really aren't an option, either). Carriers must be salivating at the prospect of 4K video.

32. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

By the time 4K comes to smartphones, most major carriers will have nation-wide LTE with enough bandwidth to support their entire subsciber population on unlimited data at a decent price. Unless technology makes a huge advancement in the near future, which could very well happen, but for right now they can only manage 2560 x 1440 at 5.7", but that won't even be out until late 2014-early 2015. Or maybe Google will bring those WiFi balloons over to urban countries so we won't be so dependent on cellular networks. That'd be cool.

9. hboy857

Posts: 367; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

For a 5 inch screen 1080p is more than enough.

27. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

The issue at this point isn't resolution because for me I can't discern pixels on anything 370 and up and still though anything 270 and up has that "retina effect", if that makes sense. My issue is the screen glare. Screens are plenty bright these days but they have such high reflections. Once it gets to the point that an IPS screen can look as crisp as a sheet of fine paper in the mid day sun will be the point where I stand impressed. I mean, even my LG Optimus L9 has above average outdoor visibility but when I think about it all....its still quite pitiful that resolution is an OEM's biggest concerns...

13. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2267; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

"I see dead pixel.

22. buccob

Posts: 2979; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Yeah, the "I" has a dead pixel...

14. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2363; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

That's sharp.... I like

15. TheOldOne

Posts: 196; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

why are we keep discussing about the screen/size (720p or 1080) in respect with the human perception for image details when, in fact, we should discuss only about the DPI+distance from the screen?! You could have a plasma TV located 5 meters "sharper" than an iPhone.

16. taikucing unregistered

Battery life: 2 hours

17. blingblingthing

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

It may be harder to notice the improvements; but I'm sure they will price the phone a accordingly. No need to beg for lower resolutions.

18. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

and when they make 4k phones they zoom in further to satisfy you that 4k is better than 2k. this is gimmicky. improve that battery instead.

23. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

May be the OEMs should start worrying about more important things than PPI, like corlor, brightness and outdors visibility. I personally can´t differenciate any change over 300 dpi. Better batteries anyone?

26. JC557

Posts: 1925; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

When reading stuff on my LG Spectrum 2 and HTC Rezound it almost feels like I'm looking at e-ink, that's how clear it can be. Compare that to the Droid Razr M or iPhone 4/5. The Droid DNA's display fools me into thinking it's just a sticker on a display model until i touch it. So maybe there can be some slight differences... Though for larger screens. I think this may be a bit much for 4-5".

30. JMartin22

Posts: 2380; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

They put these magnified images of text like our eyes are microscopes. The only thing going beyond 1080p should help with is PenTile displays. One advantage LG did mention with the 1440p display was better rendering of desktop websites on mobile displays.

33. garlic456

Posts: 251; Member since: Dec 24, 2012

I want a device with 10000000000000000 PPI.

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

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.