As people become more addicted to mobile video, browsing and other rich-data applications, the technology of Smartphones must be developed to keep up with demand. Smartphone screens have been targeted for improvement, but what will this offer users and will they value the change?
The Latest Announcements
LC has recently announced its latest mobile display offering: a full HD, 5-inch touchscreen featuring a superb 1920×1080 resolution. This impressive new display is due to be showcased at the forthcoming SID Display conference in Boston and the build is expectedto be incorporated into new devices later this year. It certainly does seem that smartphone designers are maintaining pace with consumers’ desire for improved technology.
Apple, of course, kicked off the high-resolution capability for mainstream mobile screens with its legendary Retina Display, which was first incorporated into the iPhone 4, but since the launch of this iconic device other handset manufacturers have pushed the boundaries of screen size and image resolution.
The latest Apple 3.5-inch smartphone screen offers an incredible 326 PPI (pixels per inch) and yet LG has far exceeded this with its latest 5-inch screen; with the full HD resolution offered in a 5-inch, diagonal screen display, the PPI measurement reaches an incredible 440! Compare this with the very first PDAs launched a decade ago, such as the Compaq Aero in 2000, which offered a 4-inch display and PPI rating of 100 and yes, the differences are profound.
New Display Technology
LG is promoting this latest display technology for the new 5-inch HD screen, utilising something called Advanced High Performance Switching for in-plane use, which allows for wider view angles and greater light transmission. This should help to offset an element of the power requirements for smartphones, as the technology won’t require quite as much power for lighting displays.
As with all things in life, there are trade-offs to consider when new capabilities are built into mobile technology and there is a visible one here between the screen size and the ability for full HD resolution, which has a direct impact on smartphone size.
Some commentators have suggested that Android phones are getting bigger because they require room for LTE radio functionality, but others believe that this reason is secondary and possibly even invalid. The alternative argument is that consumers want bigger screens at higher resolutions to make more of their preferred activities – e.g., engaging with interactive applications and watching mobile video – that is all best experienced through bigger screens and better resolutions. It’s worth noting, for example, that in some regions today, the consumption of online video on mobile phones is higher than on PCs and laptops!
Apple Will Follow Suit
The smart money seems to be on Apple finally working to boost its iPhone display from 3.5 inches to at least 4 inches. This won’t be aimed at cramming new technology or sensors into the handset, although the greater space will offer the ability to do so, or even alarger battery (though this would be desirable), but instead to further improve the user’s experience.
Essentially most people know that, yes, they enjoy using their smartphone’s Wi-Fi radio, speaker and camera, but the real user experience is intrinsically tied to the screen. The display is expected to conform to a certain standard of excellence; it is the part of the phone that is viewed and touched more than any other. Likewise, devices must be built to last, so bigger, brighter displays tendto be complemented by tougher screens.
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This reality, alongside an improved delivery of mobile video, means that it’s natural for LG and other phone providers to push the limits of phone displays. Just try watching a HD video on a new wave HD screen such as the Galaxy Network and you’ll be convinced!