How many pixels can dance on the edge of a pin? Wait, that’s not how it goes.. but ever since Apple launched the first iPhone with a so-called “Retina” display, device makers have been participating in an arms race to see who could pack the most pixels into a smartphone-sized display.
There are a number of phones with 2560 x 1440 pixel or high-resolution displays, including the Google Nexus 6 which launched today. But most have 5 or 6 inch screens.
Sharp, meanwhile, is showing off a 4.1 inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. That means it has 736 pixels per inch… or more than twice as many as the original iPhone 4 with Retina display.
Sharp says that means graphics on this 4.1 inch screen would be just as sharp as on a 6 inch display with a 4K (3840 x 2160) display.
The screen uses Sharp’s IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) technology.
Sharp isn’t the only company chasing the dream of 700+ ppi displays. LG recently unveiled a 5.5 inch screen with 538 pixels per inch, while promising that future screens would have 600 or 700 ppi.
via Gizmodo, Nikkei Technology, and BigTorrent.su
I can see using ultra high DPI in electric viewfinders for cameras, but serves no purpose for a phone screen. You just end up paying more for a feature that degrades your battery and GPU performance.
Probably too many Apple customers who think screwing a jeweler’s loupe into one eye helps complete the “Mr. Peanut” look they hope to achieve by buying overpriced toys – while just making themselves the poorer in so many ways.
I really don’t get the PPI Armsrace. In the good old days of PocketPC 2002 / Windows Mobile 2003 my Phone came with a 3.5″ Display @ 320×240 and there was nothing i couldn’t adequatly do at the time.
I’m currently on the Asus Padphone 2 with a 4,7″ @ 720p and don’t really see the need for more on a phone.
The one good thing that could come from this display is a decent high spec phone with a managable Displaysize for comfortable 1-handed operation.
I would like to see a PPI arms race on desktop monitors. The 1920 x 1080
resolution has been in place for so long that it’s getting rancid. Woot has
a refurbed Samsung 28″ 3840 x 2160 monitor for $500. I’d heard that $500
was supposed to be the price for the Samsung monitor new this Christmas.
Amen to that. The desktop is dying because everybody that mattered decided the desktop was dead so why invest in it. Good grief, is it too much to ask to at least get fine mode FAX resolution on a desktop display while they are fighting over how many unviewable pixels that can shove onto a stupid phone? But noooo, on the desktop it is still the same 100dpi that was high end twenty years ago, just on a slightly larger display now.
There’s potential, also, to help with 3D displays… the kind you don’t need glasses for… as you basically need twice as many pixels to display each of the two points of perspectives you need for the 3D effect…
The technology could also eventually find its way into even smaller things and maybe even things like contact lenses, or just glasses, for augmented reality, besides just VR goggles, etc…
Otherwise agree on phones and larger devices that we’re already starting to exceed the good enough range and starting to enter the overkill range…
Seriously, this is just getting silly. Even at the 350-odd PPI of my phone’s screen pixellation is completely imperceptible; quadrupling the density achieves nothing but greater load on the processor.
Once 700+ppi goes mainstream, pinch-to-zoom will become obsolete; instead, we’ll all just carry a magnifying glass to “zoom in” on pictures.
I am wondering if they plan to use fresnel lens to enlarge the display (I remember the Sinclair TV80). A stretching fresnel lens would be very cool. Making the stretching lens touch sensitive might be do-able too. Reminds me of the joke about the retiring doctor with a jar full of foreskins.
All of these advances are needed for things like the Oculus Rift.
What PPI would the Oculus Rift need before people can’t tell anymore?
Well, at what PPI can’t you tell anymore if you hold a smartphone as close to your face as the displays in VR Goggles typically are? If you got the answer, double that resolution because you’ll only get half of it per eye and you’re done.
Less than 736 PPI.
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