The iPhone 8 will have a sharper screen: here is the most likely resolution

This is what the iPhone 8 could look like

This is what the iPhone 8 could look like


Back in February, the first major leak about the iPhone 8 appeared. KGI Research analyst Ming Chi-Kuo, known for his connections in the Asian supply chain, published a report revealing that the iPhone 8 will cost more than $1,000 and provided the first illustrative drawings of the new device.

Just recently, however, Apple accidentally released an unredacted build of HomePod's version of iOS, and it contained some enlightening new details about the iPhone 8. First, we got a codename: D22 for the iPhone 8, with D20 and D21 being the codenames for the successors to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. But also we got to see a very interesting tid-bit about the iPhone 8 screen and its likely resolution: the new OS would support an iPhone with a hardware resolution of 1125 x 2436 pixels. Earlier, Ming Chi-Kuo claimed the iPhone 8 resolution would be 1242 x 2208 pixels. So which one is true?

Daring Fireball's John Gruber chimes in with an analysis of all the information available out there and here is the summary of what the iPhone 8 display will look like according to all the latest evidence:

Apple iPhone 8
display info
Aspect ratio2.17:1
Display size5.8 inches
Resolution1125 x 2436 pixels
Pixel density462 pixels per inch
Scaling3x 'true' Retina

As you can see, the leak that comes from Apple itself only contains references to a 1125 x 2436 pixel resolution, and has no reference to a 1242 x 2208 pixel resolution. There are a few other important objections to that earlier theory, but let's first take a look at how Apple handles different resolutions. 

Apple works with points, not just pixels when it refers to display elements in code. That means that elements like the iOS navigation bar, iOS icon size and others are consistent in terms of their actual size on everything from the original iPhone to the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 6/6s/7 and the iPhone SE. These are all iPhones except the Plus sized ones, where things are very slightly bigger. All those sizes are expressed in points, not in pixels and this is one important distinction. 

Leak from HomePod iOS software

Leak from HomePod iOS software


iPhone resolutions

iPhone resolutions

To understand the reference between points and pixels, we need to look at history. The original iPhone as well as the iPhone 3G and 3GS had a pixel density of 163 pixels per inch (ppi). Then, when Apple introduced its 'Retina' displays with the iPhone 4, the resolution jumped from 320 x 480 pixels, or 163 ppi, to 640 x 960 pixels, or 326ppi, but the actual size of all elements like icons and the navigation bar remained the same. Apple pulled this trick by introducing points: notice that the new pixel density was exactly 2x the original one. Hence, all elements for the new iPhone had to be redrawn to be exactly 2x times bigger. That is why we say that the iPhone 4 has 2x scaling: all elements are 2x bigger in pixel resolution, but are of the same actual physical size, or have the same points per inch.

The Plus sized iPhones were introduced later and differ slightly: they use their larger screen not only to fit more content, but also to make everything on the screen a bit larger. Larger things are easier to tap on and larger text is easier to read. The Plus sized iPhones have a slightly different base of 154 points per inch. Less points per inch means a bigger size for individual elements. It's worth noting that Plus sized iPhones use 3x times scaling, or even more detailed images.

An interesting detail is that all elements for the Plus sized iPhones are drawn targetting an actual resolution of 1242 x 2208 virtual pixels. This is to simplify things: it allows developers to use images scaled at exactly 3x times. This, however, is a slightly larger size than the physical resolution of the display (1080 x 1920 pixels), which forces Apple to do a slight downscaling.

Here is all of that in a single table:

DevicePointsPixelsScaleBase
PointsPI
Virtual
PointsPI
Physical
Pixels
Physical
Pixels Per Inch
Size
iPhone 8812x3752436x11253x1544622436x11254625.8"
iPhone 6/6s/7 Plus736x4142208x12423x1544621920x1080401
*downscaling
5.5"
iPhone 6/6s/7667x3751334x7502x1633261334x7503264.7"
iPhone 5/5s568x3201136x6402x1633261136x6403264.0"
iPhone 4/4s480x320960x6402x163326960x6403263.5"
iPhone OG/3G/3GS480x320480x3201163163480x3201633.5"

It's logical for Apple to do a similar trick with the new iPhone 8 by introducing a screen with a 3x the pixel density. And there are two likely options using the regular iPhone's 163 points per inch base value, or using the Plus sized models' 154 points per inch base value. The latest leaks all suggest that the new iPhone 8 is using the 154 points per inch as base, and then sticks with 3x scaling to get to a pixel per inch density of 462.

Put simply, all of the pieces of the puzzle come together and point that the new iPhone 8 display will have the following parameters:


Of course, only time will tell whether all those calculations are true, but this is what all leaks and rumors so far suggest.

Related phones

iPhone X
  • Display 5.8" 1125 x 2436 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 2716 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

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37 Comments

1. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Impressive as usual.....

26. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Which part is impressive?? This rough sketch or the actual iPhone 8? Because the iPhone 8 may look different from this sketch.

33. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Basically everything you view on this phone as far as media, witll be scaled BS and will not be native and will be garbage. Enjoy looking an 1440p or 4k video, all scaled down to some non-standard garbage resolution. But you're impressed? But you hated on Samsung non-standard resolution? The hypocrisy has already started.

2. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Apple at it again with the unorthodox display resolution.

17. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

19. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Yep. Can't wait to hear all the rationalizing from the trolls who laughed at how long the S8 was.

22. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

They're iFans, they'll just say something retarded like "Apple did it right" like with the iPhone 6 and bigger screens. They have very short and selective memory.

30. khanhbee90

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 03, 2015

S8 is really long because it still has quite thick bezel at top and bottom. But the rear bezel is too thin. So S8 looks very long.

36. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No it does not.

27. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

All of a sudden, the hypocrites don't find the aspect ratio stupid, too long, too remote like, impractical, nor a grief. It's now impressive or no big deal.

35. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

It won't be made to be this way when the iPhoen comes out. All the Samsung haters will claim Apple's black bars on the side is better. Just watch. In fact CNOUR has already started saying it was impressive. lol

34. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

But the fans who ripped Samsung about their new aspect ration of 18.5:9, will be perfectly ok with Apple not using a non-standard resolution where media won't fit. Then also what sucks os all 1080p videos have to be scaled up to fix and 1440p videos have to be scaled down to fit. But on the Galaxy S8, both fit at their native resolutions... I can't wait to see more hypocrisy when this phone is released.

3. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

What did I just read? My head is spinning....

6. Victor.H

Posts: 1043; Member since: May 27, 2011

Haha well, I wish I could explain it simpler, but truth is that it's a bit complicated. Let me know if you need something specific explained in more detail :)

7. slow00

Posts: 97; Member since: Mar 08, 2017

Victor there is no need to go into specifics..just add another paragraph to your article stating that the galaxy s8 the lg g6 and soon to be released note 8, v30 pixel2, mate 10, essential phone, and sharp aquos are iphone 8 clones and we are gonna understand the true meaning behind your piece about the iphone 8 pixel resolution...

9. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Your scaling picture is off. How could the resolution of the 8 be 1125 pixels in width but still be skinnier than a 1080 pixel 6 plus?

10. Nopers unregistered

Higher PPI

12. Victor.H

Posts: 1043; Member since: May 27, 2011

Thanks! It's all good now!

14. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Ahh.. thanks, that pleases my OCD.

16. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

All except for that horrid Bright-Yellow text on an already bright-white background. Makes the yellow-graphic text look like mush to the eyes. :(

4. phonearenarocks

Posts: 606; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

With the aspect ratio of 2.17:1, Does it mean that it will appear more lanky than the G6 and the S8 Duo?

5. Victor.H

Posts: 1043; Member since: May 27, 2011

Good question! The S8 has a 2.06:1 aspect ratio and the LG G6 has a 2:1 aspect ratio, so yes, it will appear 'narrower' or 'lankier', if you prefer.

8. phonearenarocks

Posts: 606; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

In such case, I know that you guys still might not have the actual dimensions but should this eventually be corrected? https://www.phonearena.com/phones/size/Apple-iPhone-8,Samsung-Galaxy-S8/phones/10414,10311

13. Victor.H

Posts: 1043; Member since: May 27, 2011

We have updated the dimensions, but that image for the iPhone 8 is just an automatically generated placeholder that we update when we have official pictures.

11. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1182; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

I think this wouldn't be the case here, my guess would be xxxxx times 1080. This would let the display fully accommodate "older" iPhone 6p-7sp apps fully with a virtual or something similar bar, you could maybe also remove the bar freely like android. Wild guess, but totally possible.

15. ColinW

Posts: 412; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

What the article my misses is these resolution s are still behind their peers and in the case of the smaller iPhone worst in class by far.

18. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Why? Anything over 326ppi is just a gimmick.

20. haruken

Posts: 303; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

That's not enough for VR, hence why Samsung flagships have high resolutions that you can change when needed...

21. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I'm not sure if Apple cares about VR via phone screen.

24. slow00

Posts: 97; Member since: Mar 08, 2017

Of course apple doesnt care....the AR kit is already magical. .with the augmented reality features on the iphone 8 apple will claim that they solved global issues like climate change, poverty and the Syrian crisis...

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