4K smartphones are something you’d better get ready for according to Qualcomm
by Stephan Jukic – November 20, 2014
So far, the 2K –or Quad HD as they’re also known- displays of some smartphones are the latest and greatest in mobile device resolution (Retina screens on Apple phones are basically the same thing). However, if Qualcomm is to be believed, we haven’t yet really seen the best that’s still on the way, in the form of 4K mobile screen resolution.
Given that Qualcomm is one of the premier manufacturers of high-powered processing chips for these very same cutting edge smartphones (and tablets) that we already have, their word on the matter carries a lot of weight.
According to the people at Qualcomm, 4K screens are indeed just around the corner and as absurd as cramming 8 million pixels into a 5 inch screen may seem to some people, 4K mobile resolution represents the future of smartphone and tablet screens. Why? Because it can be done and soon enough it will become cheap and easy to do it.
Since customers love the best possible technology even if they can’t notice how much it improves things, they’ll get what they would like to have.
Some of the initial leaders in the area of ultra HD display in phones were the people at Apple. Their iPhone 4, which was released in 2010, was the first ever phone from the company to have what they call “Retina” display technology.
Retina is in essence 2K resolution and since the advent of that pioneering iPhone, other manufacturers have also scrambled to go beyond HD in some of their most expensive and high-end smartphones. These include models such as the LG G3 and the latest phone from Samsung, the Galaxy S5 among others from numerous manufacturers.
Given that 2K resolution itself is so finely detailed that pixels completely disappear at all but the closest of viewing distances, the sheer perfection of 4K in such small screens can be imagined. After all, it offers more than twice the pixel count of 2K.
So far however, the standard in better smartphone screens remains Full HD 1080p. Even though the above mentioned top-shelf phones offer Quad HD 2K resolutions of 2560 x 1440p, most devices still go with 1080p HD or even 720p HD on their displays.
This is, again, where Qualcomm’s predictions come back into the picture.
According to the company, by mid to late 2015, there will be a large number of new phones on sale with full 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.
Furthermore, the company claims that the dawn of 4K phone technology is just the beginning. For Qualcomm, the real trick isn’t simply packing in the pixels, instead it’s about also creating a supporting technological infrastructure in which 4K is the easily usable standard for everything digital. This ranges from video content, to compression during transmission to the chips that process such resolutions and the batteries that allow it to play on a mobile device without killing the phone in just a couple of hours.
Qualcomm’s biggest argument is that 4K will only truly take off once it’s become part of an entire distributed ecosystem of supporting technologies that make it easy to manage. This isn’t the case quite yet and those first 4K phones that do arrive will almost certainly cause some problems for their owners.
Story by 4k.com