Everybody likes higher pixel density, just like everybody likes higher resolution camera sensors. But as we showed with the megapixel count on smartphone cameras recently, there's a limit to what is actually useful. Well now we can add pixel count on smartphone displays to the approaching-overkill category as LG announce a Quad-HD display for 5.5-inch smartphones.
Quad-HD simply means there's four times as many pixels as found on a HD screen. So that's basically four HD panels (1,280x720p) stacked on top and beside one each other. Except they're squeezed into the same physical display size, so you're actually getting four times the pixels in the same space as you were previously. But can the human eye even measure that kind of resolution?
Yes and no – the science of optics is far beyond my comprehension and relates to the ratio of rods and cones in your eyes, your visual acuity, receptor density, focal points, arcs and angles, viewing distance and so on. Suffice to say, it's over my head. But that sexy number of 538 pixels per inch (ppi) sure sounds great, right? It's basically Blu-Ray quality visuals on your smartphone and who wouldn't want that? Added to that, the display is just 1.21 mm thin with a 1.2 mm bezel, making it the thinnest, slimmest display in the world.
A few weeks ago we saw the 2013 Nexus 7 arrive with the highest pixel count of any tablet display out there, at 323 ppi. The upcoming LG G2 display will be 5.2-inches at Full-HD (1,920x1,080p) resolution packing in 424 ppi. But the new Quad-HD display LG has announced has 27% more pixel density than the G2 (which is a little smaller), 66% more than the Nexus 7 (which is significantly larger), and 76% more pixels than the Samsung Galaxy S3 which has just 306 ppi (but again, is a fair bit smaller than the new display).
You may be saying the more the merrier, but keep in mind that Quad-HD resolution is normally the domain of 27-inch displays, not 5.5-inch displays. I did a little looking around on the web, and found that a 1,440p display at 10-inches has an optimal viewing distance of 1 foot. That means the new LG display is still basically double the pixel count of what could possibly be considered optimal, considering few of us use our smartphones closer than a foot from our eyes (my conclusion is based on an extrapolation, so please don't attack my maths). My point is simply do we really need super-dense pixel counts when we can't really perceive the difference and all it's going to do is cost more money and drain the battery even faster?
Do you think this is just overkill? Or do you think this new display resolution will become the standard?