back to article Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER

It’s trade show season in Hong Kong and the Taiwanese display manufacturer AU Optronics has trumped its rivals, principally Samsung, by producing the highest resolution phone display yet. The AMOLED 5.7-inch display has 2560 x 1440 resolution – which gives you 513ppi (pixels per inch). This compares with the iPhone’s retina …

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  1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Highest?

    5.5" 2560x1440 phones have already been "launched". They're not available for another month, but I'd guess they're closer to market than a screen exhibited at a trade show.

    This has surely got to be close to the end. Even pentile is almost imperceptible at 1920x1080 in smartphone screen sizes, let alone RGB stripe.

    1. FartingHippo
      Boffin

      Re: Highest?

      You underestimate the power of marketing over common sense!

      As has been mentioned on El Reg before, time and effort would be much better spent improving video compression to handle movement better.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: My two-year old camera has a better screen

      That's 1.23 million "dots", not pixels, in the parlance of camera manufacturers. They refer to the subpixels individually, and it's an RGBW screen, so realistically you're looking at half that resolution.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: My two-year old camera has a better screen

        Original post withdrawn as I stand heavily corrected; +1 to "Sorry that handle..." for correcting my simple-minded equation of a camera's "1,230,000 dot display" with a 1.23 megapixel display.

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Pixel wars

    People will buy this simply because the numbers are bigger than on competing phones.

    They do it with phone camera resolutions (and PnS cameras, too) - bigger is better - even though no phone has a lens that makes multi-megapixel cameras worthwhile (nor do they have screens that are capable of displayng such images).

    However none of that matters in the uncritical, see-want-have, mine's more expensive bigger than yours, specification and useless feature-driven world of mobile phone marketing.

    If a manufacturer wanted to really revolutionise the world of tablet and mobile phone screens, they'd make non-reflective ones. Ones that could actually be read on anything approaching a sunny day.

    1. Lusty

      Re: Pixel wars

      Unfortunately this is the only way Samsung and the Android ecosystem compete. Apple and its fans are far less prone to the numbers (other than iPhone generations, where bigger is better!). Apple tend to only increase things when there is a genuine need or strong demand. An example is how long they held off increasing the screen sizes and memory. They worked out what you can store in 16GB or 32GB and decided it was generally unnecessary to go bigger, so instead put in proper Bluetooth 4 support on the iPhone 4S - something only 2-3 Android phones can do to this day despite their having bigger/better/more of the numbers people look at. As a consequence, there are loads of devices unsupported by most Android phone such as fitness sensors or home scales and people moaning on other vendors forums about lack of Android support.

      Another good example is the camera - Apple ignored the megapixels and added a better flash, a better non scratch lens etc.

      I agree that Apple should also be increasing the other numbers in what is a premium phone but if it's a choice between genuine enhancements and simple number boasts I'll take the functionality every time.

      1. james 68

        Re: Pixel wars

        you sir, made me giggle, bravo.

        you realize it was apple that started the whole pixels per inch thing right? "retina" displays?

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

          Re: Pixel wars

          Yes and no - they did start the pixel wars - but arguably they haven't encouraged them as much as the high end android manufacturers competing with each other. There have been 2 iphone retina displays resolutions and 1 ipad retina resolution. The android gang have pretty much brought out a changed resolution every year and within a year have had multiple retina class resolutions.

          The rest of the OP's slightly odd post not withstanding - I think on this he has a point.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pixel wars

            Yes but a lot of that is due to IOS v Android. Retina is an exact multiple of their earlier resolutions so Apps could scale properly. Android was designed from the beginning to support all ranges of screen sizes so there is much more flexibility.

            If Apple thought that the numbers didn't matter and that their customers didn't want 'bigger' numbers then they wouldn't have increased the display size, the megapixel size etc as they had it correct to start with. The difference is the competition in the Android market drives innovation faster that in smaller markets.

            Doesn't mean bigger *is* better but a lousy review of a rubbish camera can put a big halt on sales so the manufacturers need to ensure that if they increase the 'numbers' they also keep the quality of the image produced reasonably high.

            At the end of the day if Apple made two iPhone 5, one with a camera with a 5MP sensor (with arguably better noise control) and one with an 8MP sensor and the first having a 'retina' display and the latter having a retina x2 display and there was a a $40 price increase for the second one, I can guarantee that the first version would get very few sales.

          2. YorksinOaks

            Re: Pixel wars

            You sound like my wife. Start an argument and then as soon as you realise that you are losing the argument, say that the topic is not important. Ooh high resolution, very important....but not over 326ppi.

            I'm now waiting for iP to come up with an excuse for why they discovered 2 years ago that a thumb could magically stretch 4" across a screen rather than 3.5" and now they realise that people's thumbs can stretch 4.7/8 or even 5.5".

            I know that Darwin had a point, but I think that a 2 year evolution on opposable thumbs is beyond his theory's limits.

        2. Lusty

          Re: Pixel wars

          "you realize it was apple that started the whole pixels per inch thing right? "retina" displays?"

          Yes I do realise that. My point though, was that Apple changed to Retina because there was a need to change from the blocky old resolutions to something smoother, they then left it alone albeit with screen size increasing a little. Contrast that with the other manufacturers who made the change and are now needlessly increasing the numbers again and again. As another poster said, camera sensors over 5MP don't offer anything in terms of image quality yet compact camera makers and phone manufacturers have been increasing those too. Apple in their defence held off the camera sensor until they had a lens able to make a difference and instead added genuinely useful things like Bluetooth 4 support.

          1. james 68

            Re: Pixel wars

            the view could also be taken that they simply rebadged the same tired old crap every year safe in the knowledge that their adoring zealots would fork out the cash for it anyway, because its "new".

            that or they felt a bit guilty about asking samsung to make them even better screens what with the sueball broadside being launched and all.

            innovation > stagnation

            1. Lusty

              Re: Pixel wars

              "the view could also be taken that they simply rebadged the same tired old crap every year"

              But they didn't. Just because you are unaware of the changes doesn't mean there weren't any. As I have said twice, they added Bluetooth 4LE support which still isn't in stock Android and only Samsung support and only on 2-3 of their high end models. There are various other improvements they made such as the two tone flash and saphire lens which also fixed genuine problems and which have also not been adopted by other manufacturers. They also added the thumb scanner which is now being badly copied by others. Each of these is a minor improvement, and not necessarily original but they did make a big difference to the usability and usefulness of the phone. My point was that other manufacturers increase clock speed, memory, megapixels and pixel density but the functionality and usefulness of the device has stayed pretty much static.

              1. james 68

                Re: Pixel wars

                call me convinced, better processors and more memory are obviously useless and a natty flash is the dogs bollocks

                woe is me ive been living a lie for sooooo long now... not

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Pixel wars

                "they added Bluetooth 4LE support which still isn't in stock Android"

                Yes it is.

                And as has been said previously IOS can't handle different resolutions as well as Android that is why retina screens contained 4x the pixels of their earlier screens so existing apps could scale without reprogramming (or with nice black bars). They would need to jump to 16x the original screen resolution to do the same thing again.

                1. Lusty

                  Re: Pixel wars

                  Curious because several vendors are blaming the Bluetooth stack on Android for lack of support in their apps.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Pixel wars

                    "Curious..."

                    Just look it up developer.android.com. It was introduced in API Level 18 (Android 4.3), they're now on API level 19 (Android 4.4)

                    1. Lusty

                      Re: Pixel wars

                      And which currently shipping phone models include that software without cocking about with them? When I said support, I meant the phone, as it comes from the manufacturer. Other vendors quite rightly won't support a phone you have put different software on, and hence it appears to only be Samsung at the moment (according to the bluetooth device makers) supported for the third party hardware using Bluetooth 4.

                      As an aside, the iPhone 4S had this at launch in October 2011. Ignoring proper support for a moment, your comment about Android 4.3 puts you at the very earliest in late July 2013, probably later by the time it's tested and integrated with actual available phones. In the mean time, all of the Android handsets got larger memory, multi core CPUs, more storage, more megapixels yet didn't get noticably faster or produce better pictures. The iPhone 4S in the meantime continued to have sufficient performance and a good enough retina quality screen and camera for the user base who to this day find the phone adequate while also including support for this new useful technology. Samsung also added the shiny shiny NFC which has yet to see a real world use-case.

                      All I'm saying is that upping numbers without a good reason to do so is pointless unless you're also adding the other technology people will find useful. As I said earlier, my preference is to have the two tone flash, scratch resistant lens, Bluetooth 4 support and other tech rather than a faster processor which I would rarely notice. I don't run benchmarking software on my phone though so you should feel free to choose the bigger numbers if that's your use-case.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Pixel wars

                        Eh? You said "they added Bluetooth 4LE support which still isn't in stock Android"

                        It is. Plenty of phones have Android 4.3 or above.

                        1. Lusty

                          Re: Pixel wars

                          New phones from a shop? Perhaps it's now changed but a month or two ago several vendors specifically said only a couple of Samsung handsets were supported. Perhaps you could name a couple of phones which have full support for Bluetooth 4LE fitness profiles such as heart rate straps or cadence and speed sensors - the people making the sensors don't seem to be able to when their potential customers ask, and you'd think they would be motivated to find a solution to sell products. Perhaps when you post you could use your user name rather than AC too to show a little confidence in your assertions?

                          Edit to add a link to http://www.bluetooth.com/Pages/Bluetooth-Smart-Devices-List.aspx which shows what devices have official support. There were more than I thought but considerably fewer than you suggest.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: Pixel wars

                            There's over twenty Android phones on that list that you published (Compared to 4 IOS phones).

                            There are loads more - probably about 50, I don't need to trawl the 'net to let you know every make and model. The point was you said it wasn't in stock Android, it is, that no phones support it, they do.

                            It doesn't matter, it is BLE support, most people don't even use it. Getting fixated on it because that make the iPhone better is quite ridiculous (and then changing your mind to being fixated because it was on the iPhone first, crazy!). It was developed by Nokia in 2006!! There are loads of features and technologies that Android has that the iPhone doesn't and lots that Apple copy to catch up. Exactly the same as there are a lot of iPhone features that Android copies.

                            1. Lusty

                              Re: Pixel wars

                              There are not loads more since that's the list of approved devices. My point was that this adds functionality while increasing pixel density just to make a number larger adds very little to the user experience. If you read back you'll notice that I did point out NFC was added to Android first and is still not in the iPhone. I also pointed out that unlike Bluetooth which has a huge list of uses people are asking for, NFC has yet to deliver a useful function. I'm sure Android itself adds great new features but the device manufacturers in that ecosystem choose to compete on pointless metrics and benchmarks rather than functionality and user requirements. It's nice that the Galaxy s5 and HTC one mate are twice as fast as last years models but as a user who wasn't experiencing performance issues last year and still not it won't change anything in my life. I used Bluetooth LE as an example because using heart monitors and other sensors through a phone does change my life, as did the camera improvements other than pixel count.

              3. heyrick Silver badge

                Re: Pixel wars

                "As I have said twice, they added Bluetooth 4LE support"

                Whoo.

                How about a Bluetooth, any Bluetooth, that can send a photo to a non-Apple device? If I want to Bluetooth a file to a PC, I email it to my Android phone and send it from that because the iPad just refuses to talk to anything I have except a Bluetooth speaker...

                1. Lusty

                  Re: Pixel wars

                  " If I want to Bluetooth a file to a PC"

                  If I want to send a file to my PC I use one of the many, many better solutions than Bluetooth. iPhone was designed as a well connected device where email and cloud technologies were given priority. In fact whenever I've needed a picture from my phone I just go to iCloud.com and download a copy from there, no transfer required from the phone because it's already been done. Well done you for thinking of something the iPhone can't do, but the example I gave was one where the only alternative open to many Android phones is to replace the phone. The purpose of a designer was traditionally to determine useful features and to leave everything else out, and it seems only Apple are willing to leave things out on purpose while any feature lacking in the Android world is on the to-do list regardless of it's merit.

                  1. heyrick Silver badge

                    Re: Pixel wars

                    "In fact whenever I've needed a picture from my phone I just go to iCloud.com and download a copy from there, no transfer required from the phone because it's already been done." - oh, yippee! There goes my data allowance. Not to mention my content being punted to servers hosted in a crazy regime.

                    That said, bouncing a file off the cloud is not so different to emailing it to yourself. Neither is a real substitute for the device doing what you expect it to do.

                    "Well done you for thinking of something the iPhone can't do," - actually it was an iPad, but same difference. It is iOS. Oh, and it didn't take much effort. I'll give you another example for free. WiFi only iPad, rural location, nobody I know has an iPhone. How do I get my iPad to "recognise" my location from the MAC address of the AP so it knows where I am? The short answer is "you can't". There is some convoluted secret method that iPhones use to associate APs with GPS locations and send that information back to Apple. If you don't have a GPS enabled device, and no others to use instead, and live too far away from reality that a passing car with an iPhone won't pick up your AP... you are stuffed. Don't even bother replying on this point, I have a log of the discussion with Apple support that pretty much confirms this. Hence, I don't tend to use Siri much, it's useless asking what the weather is when she isn't even capable of associating the "home" address of the owner to a location.

                    There. That wasn't hard, was it? ;-)

                    "but the example I gave was one where the only alternative open to many Android phones is to replace the phone." - what? I'm sorry. What? Please tell me how I can add NFC and WiFi 802.11n to a first generation iPhone? Oh, you can't. You need to replace it. How about an iPhone 3? Nope? Gotta replace that? Maybe an iPhone 4? Well, that does the faster WiFi but still no NFC. iPhone 5? Um... Not there either.

                    You know, it's pretty much like my Bluetooth file send problem. The Android alternative of buying a new phone is at least an option. At the moment, there's no point looking for a new iThingy. It (any type currently available) won't send (or receive) files via Bluetooth. And it (any type currently available) doesn't do NFC. No point looking for alternatives that do. None exist.

                    "and it seems only Apple are willing to leave things out on purpose while any feature lacking in the Android world is on the to-do list regardless of it's merit." - there are numerous features lacking in Android that have not been sorted in years. Take, for instance, proper sane in-line quoting in emails. None of my phones (one Motorola and two Sony) have an email client that is up to much. One can't count how many messages are outstanding. One periodically gets confused and marks everything as unread. One gives up all attempts to fetch mail at the slightest hiccup (and out rural with patchy coverage, hiccups happen - God forbid Google think a phone might experience reception difficulties and need to retry!). By contrast, the email client in iOS is sublime. Proper quoting, in-line. Attachments that make sense. A reader that is reasonably capable and not crashy-crashy. In fact, the only bug I experience is the "On blah, blah said:" line in a reply is itself indented as a quote. Small bug, when you compare the generally shitty experience that is Android's email.

                    That said - you can extol all the virtues of Apple's bold daring epic awesome decisions not to do stuff, but if I need to find ways around these, then these are not great design decisions, they are limitations.

                    1. Lusty

                      Re: Pixel wars

                      Siri knows your home address because it's in your address book, not because of GPS. The fact that you bought a model without GPS is hardly Apples fault, they sell a device that does what you want to achieve and you chose the other one.

                      1. heyrick Silver badge

                        Re: Pixel wars

                        "The fact that you bought a model without GPS is hardly Apples fault,"

                        Bloody fanboys. I don't specifically WANT to have GPS. I'd just like a location services that I can say "I am here". It can get a location from an AP, but there is no obvious way to associate an AP with a location. Why am I repeating myself? It is this hard for you?

              4. CRConrad
                Facepalm

                Yup, as usual Apple were first with an earth-shattering innovation.

                "They also added the thumb scanner which is now being badly copied by others."

                In this case, approximately -5 years "before" Lenovo. (Yup, that's NEGATIVE five years, since Lenovo laptops have had fingerprint scanners for donkey's years already.)

                Also, you realise that "clock speed, memory, megapixels and pixel density" are where "functionality and usefulness" come from, don't you? Oh, sorry, I forgot: Only when Apple increases any of them. Silly me...

                Fanbois. Sheesh...

                1. Lusty

                  Re: Yup, as usual Apple were first with an earth-shattering innovation.

                  "Also, you realise that "clock speed, memory, megapixels and pixel density" are where "functionality and usefulness" come from, don't you? "

                  no they don't. Functionality and usefulness come from imagining a use-case for the device. Clock speed, memory etc. are enablers of these ideas, and occasionally more are necessary to implement the new use-case or to speed up poor user experience. If the user experience isn't currently crappy and slow then benchmark figures like these can be left alone and other areas improved with the exception of where new functionality requires a boost. Beyond retina type resolutions there is little benefit to more dots since almost nobody can see the difference. Beyond about 5MP a small camera sensor actually starts to produce worse pictures (for Physics reasons). Phone storage doesn't need to be large enough to hold every bit of data you have, as long as that data is easily accessible (cloud for instance). As long as functionality is improving then these other things are nice, but usually other areas are not improving and phone manufacturers are relying on benchmarks to sell new phones which are needlessly faster. Perhaps I'm wrong and more performance is required but I've not had a slow phone for a good 6 years.

                  1. heyrick Silver badge

                    Re: Yup, as usual Apple were first with an earth-shattering innovation.

                    "Functionality and usefulness come from imagining a use-case for the device." - in the immortal words of The Biscuit: Oh balls! Move on..

                    Do you remember the golden era of PC gaming where the games dictated the specs of the PC? It wasn't a use-case so much as the machines needing to adapt to support the demands put upon it.

                    Likewise mobile phones and tablets. Once upon a time it was perfectly acceptable to record video in 640x480. Now a device is not worth considering if it can't do 720P (and an inability to do that much also points at an inadequate processor giving a generally poorer experience). Soon, we will think phones are retarded if they can't cope with 1080P video recording/playback. It isn't up to the designer to pick cute little use cases. It is up to the designer to imagine a device that is capable enough to sell and cheap enough to build that the company will turn some profit on it; while "protecting" the brand image by not seeming rubbish and dated. In this respect, and looking at the dpis of some phones from Samsung and Sony, I don't really believe that Apple had any option other than to switch to Retina. A near 10" display offering only 1024x768 is going to be poor in comparison to the competition. Apple is big on making itself out to be an innovator, therefore it was essential to up the display quality.

                    Like you, I wonder why we are pushing >5mpix in a sensor the size of a lentil. Surely it is time to start considering making larger sensors? People will probably baulk at the idea of a camera lens the size of a euro coin. That's fine. Just show them the sort of photos it can take... ;-)

          2. RubberJohnny

            Re: Pixel wars

            My son's retina iPad doesn't actually do anything that my iPad 2 doesn't do.

            But numbers are extremely important to the terminally stupid. And there are a lot of them and they have credit cards.

          3. DaddyHoggy

            Re: Pixel wars

            Hasn't HTC dropped back to 4MP for both the HTC One and the latest M8 version?

      2. heyrick Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Pixel wars

        Downvote for this: "They worked out what you can store in 16GB or 32GB and decided it was generally unnecessary to go bigger,"

        Writing this on a 16GB iPad Mini. My "Other" storage allocation is around 3.5GB (using Apple GB, not anything that resembles GB as I understand them) with no obvious way to clear it out other than wipe everything off and start again.

        My various apps accumulate tens/hundreds of megabytes of rubbish that can only be cleared by removing then reinstallng the app. Several apps have a "clear cache" or "remove files" option, which would be good if it removed everything, but it doesn't.

        I get why the file system is locked down and the apps run in their own private space, but with no super user option (on the iPad or within iTunes) to allow you to go in and delete the (obviously many) unnecessary files lingering around, it is - frankly - a rubbish implementation. I will in the coming months (when it bothers me enough) have to "reinstate" my iPad from scratch. All to snatch back some storage (total? at least 25%!) that the OS steals and uses/loses.

        To my mind this is on par with Microsoft in the '90s. Windows screwed up? Just reformat and reinstall.

        No, that is not a solution. That's an ugly fix.

    2. Adam 1

      Re: Pixel wars

      >If a manufacturer wanted to really revolutionise the world of tablet and mobile phone screens, they'd make non-reflective ones.

      To be fair, Samsung have finally copied a real work useful feature from Sony in the s5 with it apparently now able to survive a drop into a kitchen sink.

      Such blatant copying hasn't been observed since they stole swipe to unlock from Sony's 1980s walkmans.

  4. ocratato

    10 touch points

    I tried to place all my fingers and thumbs on a 4.3x2.5 inch area - its possible, but you can't do much in terms of moving them - piano playing doesn't seem likely.

  5. WonkoTheSane
    Headmaster

    There is a market for this.

    I expect Zuckerberg to order a bunch of these for his newly-acquired Oculus Rift headsets.

    1. stu 4

      Re: There is a market for this.

      yeh they'd be ideal for the oculus for sure.

  6. Ossi

    Laptop resolutions...

    ...and yet there still seems to be little interest from manufacturers in increasing resolutions on laptops (even as an option), where an increased pixel count would be genuinely useful. Still, there's no point in expecting the world to be logical, I suppose.

    1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      Re: Laptop resolutions...

      Apple are doing so. Apple are also sticking with an aspect ratio that suits laptops rather than following every other manufacturer in assuming we do nothing but watch DVDs all day. If my 5 year old Acer dies before this stupidity ends I shall need a new forum handle.

    2. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: Laptop resolutions...

      Indeed. These days I think 1080p is the absolute bare minimum for a laptop display. Although personally I'd still rather have 1920 x 1200, than 1920 x 1080.

      Anything less for productivity work, and you have to plug in a second monitor, which makes a mockery of the whole idea that the laptop is portable!

      I find it crazy that my mobile phone's 5" screen is a higher resolution than my laptop!

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Laptop resolutions...

        Pixel mania ignores other important factors such as bit depth, refresh rate and contrast range. While a claim is made that a mobe's 5" screen is higher resolution than ones laptop, the laptop display probably has better overall performance. Balance Grasshopper. The same thing goes for having the fastest CPU but a motherboard and memory that throttles the rest of the system. You would be better off with a slower processor and a MB that makes full use of it's speed.

    3. WonkoTheSane

      Re: Laptop resolutions...

      MSI's recently-announced GT60 laptops have a 15.6" 2880x1620 screen.

      1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit
        Unhappy

        Re: Laptop resolutions...

        Nice res but 16:9 yet again.

    4. Benchops

      Re: Laptop resolutions...

      Agree entirely -- laptop screens are useless at affordable prices.

      However, what are you waiting for? I'm going to get one of these and see if I can set it up as a second monitor.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: Laptop resolutions...

        95% of Windows applications display incorrectly on high resolution panels: see the various Kirabook reviews for more details. Microsoft's all work perfectly and Adobe's are getting there so it's obviously something you can solve even with millions of lines of legacy code that's probably in pure win32 in places, but I guess proper scaling something that was either easy to do incorrectly or requires effort to do at all. Maybe someone with more insight can expand on that?

        In the meantime I guess it's difficult for most laptop manufacturers to make the jump,

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Adam 1

            Re: Laptop resolutions...

            One of the most popular in use versions of a IDE that is commonly used in business applications screws up anchored points for visual components when you use screen scaling. The newer versions don't but they require substantial rework to support.

            I won't mention names but I did get a chuckle out of the irony of your handle.

          2. ThomH Silver badge

            Re: Laptop resolutions... (@Pascal)

            You're disingenuously conflating density with resolution.

            Ars: "The story is different on the desktop, where Microsoft has long supported scaling but developers have rarely (if ever) taken the time to implement it properly. [...] The point is that Windows' desktop scaling, through no fault of Toshiba's, is still pretty bad. Since most Windows usage on laptops is still going to happen on the desktop, this is something you'll definitely notice as you use the Kirabook. It's not just that applications are often blurry, but that the way scaling is handled can vary so much from application to application. It's difficult to get a consistent experience, and settings that look fine in one program may look terrible in another." (http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/05/review-high-dpi-toshibas-kirabook-takes-on-the-retina-macbook-pro/2/)

            Digital Trends: "...the Ultrabook suffers from a serious problem: scaling. Most software is not designed for a high-resolution display, which can make it difficult to use. Windows tries to solve this by scaling up the size of windows, icons and other interface elements, but the process reduces sharpness and isn’t reliable. Some applications don’t scale at all, or scale poorly, which results in undersized icons and text that’s difficult to read." (http://www.digitaltrends.com/laptop-reviews/toshiba-kirabook-review/)

            Engadget: "Depending on the content, anyway: many of your favorite desktop apps won't look right at that resolution [...] Things just don't scale properly, so you could end up with tiny buttons, tiny search fields or web pages that don't gracefully scale to fill the whole screen. And when objects do fill the screen, they sometimes look blurry and stretched out." (http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/17/toshiba-kirabook-review/)

            pcmag.com: "CONS ... May have to adjust zoom or screen resolution for apps. [...] While the screen is brilliant, you may have to fiddle with zoom and screen resolution settings on older games and programs: they may not display correctly scaled up to 2,560 by 1,440." (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2418968,00.asp)

            1. foxyshadis

              Re: Laptop resolutions... (@Pascal)

              It's not disingenuous at all. Microsoft introduced scaling in XP, improved it in Vista, and apps have slowly improved ever since. All but a few that try to reach deeper into the system than they're supposed to easily support Vista-style fallback scaling, even if it is a bit blurry it's not much worse than having a monitor with that crappy physical resolution anyway. Anything that supports (or can be coerced into using) real scaling gets all the benefits.

              Games are a whole class of suck, given how many run like crap on low- and mid-range systems anyway. If driver writers stopped forcing resolution changes and let the card upscale games with extra sharpness, you wouldn't have to make the tradeoff between crappy monitor scaling and disabling features. Some work with Windows scaling and some freak out, which isn't surprising given how badly most are coded anyway. If you game heavily, you already deal with worse issues than your screen resolution.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Laptop resolutions...

          >95% of Windows applications display incorrectly on high resolution panels

          My first pro workstation running NT 3.51 18 years ago had a resolution of 2048x1536, real applications worked fine...this was the standard resolution on pro workstations for the following decade until the marketing people reprogrammed you.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Laptop resolutions...

            640x480 was the top end back then!

  7. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    At full arm's length?

    At full arms' length, those pixels are probably going to be far too small to make a difference

    Full arm's length? When was the last time you saw anybody hold a hand held device such as a mobile or tablet at full arm's length? Apart from the logistics of doing this in public, you'll soon realise just how heavy these devices are, and how heavy your arms are, when you try to hold something at full arm's length for any amount of time.

    My desktop monitor is only just a full arm's length away from me... strangely this makes it less than ideal for a touchscreen interface.

    1. WonkoTheSane

      Re: At full arm's length?

      Good point, but I would've titled your post "Should've gone to SpecSavers".

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: At full arm's length?

      Every time I watch video on my iPad it is set on a surface at arm's length (ish).

  8. poopypants

    So, that's the same resolution as the screen that's currently sitting in front of me, squeezed down to a 5.7 inch size. The mind boggles. Being AMOLED, this is definitely destined for VR.

  9. Mage Silver badge

    DIY Projector Time?

    But AMOLED, so can't have a stronger back light like LCD and be hacked as a projector. So not hackable as a Projector.

    I wonder what the life of the "blue" is?

    Unfortunately the life of AMOLED is short compared to LCD or real LEDs (they are diode characteristic Electroluminescent dots, not LEDs in the sense the backlights and indicators are).

    But life probably doesn't matter for a phone panel.

  10. lurker

    This will be a breakthrough

    In lolcat delivery technology, the principal benefit resulting from all major technical developments such as this.

    "Look at the detail on those whiskers!"

  11. Simon B
    FAIL

    Increasing battery life would be 1000 times more useful than an increased resolution -rolls eyes-

    1. hardboiledphil

      Increased res probably reduces battery life....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Increasing battery life would be 1000 times more useful than an increased resolution

      You beat me to it :).

      To address screen pixel size, I have a pre-retina MBP, but with a high resolution screen (1680 x 1050), and when I set up screen sharing with the iPad I have to use the "2x" mode of iDisplay to make it useful. The iPad's retina screen can happily take a pixel for pixel mirror of the screen with room to spare, but my eyesight isn't up to that :)

      In case you're wondering why I bother, iDisplay allows me to use the iPad as second screen so I still have dual screen when I have to work from a hotel room when traveling.

      Back to power: on my phone, I'd happily have half the resolution if it would mean the thing would actually use less power. A phone that could last a full 48h without battery, or at least a day when making lots of calls, now THAT would be useful. The rest is luxury (at least for me, YMMV). If it wasn't for the PDA functionality of a smartphone (and contact sync via my own private cloud) I'd dig up the 6310 again..

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forget pixel count/density

    What we have is good enough

    How about 300fps instead please?

    note for the persistence of vision crowd, while it has been shown that moving images work with the human eye at 24fps, it had also been measured that the eye speeds up and adjusts to much higher frame rates, increasing quality perception to well above the 200fps mark.

    I'd favour 300fps myself - makes it easy to cope with both 50Hz and 60Hz mains supply and derived frame rate formats.

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: Forget pixel count/density

      What has been shown is that most people see completely smooth movement above about 70 fps, which is why monitors are set to that. 300fps would be as much a waste as 500 DPI.

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: Forget pixel count/density

        Don't forget about the recent controversy over high frame rate films like The Hobbit. Old fashion film may be shot at 24 fps, but they show each frame twice giving 48 fps. HFR film runs at a full 48 fps, and has people complaining that it looks unnatural.

        1. Martin-73

          Re: Forget pixel count/density

          Yes, they're confusing 'unfilmlike' with unnatural, which is a shame. Inertia preventing (or hampering) improvements :(

          1. foxyshadis

            Re: Forget pixel count/density

            @ Martin-73

            Why? The film-look is what draws people into suspension of disbelief for the movies. There's a reason that US TV is moving from 60i to 24p: It gives people the impression of extra polish, of larger-than-life production, and more immersive. It may not be rational, but neither is entertainment in the first place.

            Maybe future generations that grow up entirely without film's limitations will see 120fps as most immersive, rather than highlighting the unreality of the medium. Headsets that eliminate all outside distraction might be the key. To me and most people today, it just screams FAKE FAKE FAKE like some kind of low-budget soap opera, because the eye is constantly interrupted by the borders of the TV.

  13. PixelPusher

    2000 dpi glossy mags

    I've heard that high quality glossy magazines print at 2000 dpi (CMYK printing, of course). Pixels are just one part of the mix. Let's see if "highest resolution phone" turns into "most beautiful, readable screen display" or not.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: 2000 dpi glossy mags

      2000dpi is "average" for glossy magazines..

      Back in the 97s epson ran an "interesting" ad campaign:

      http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=PzwEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA173

      A friend in the preprint industry saw it and commented that 1440 is _minimum_ for glossies and the really high quality ones run up to 5000dpi - but you have to pay careful attention to the type of paper being used and the laquer applied over the top of them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2000 dpi glossy mags

      A DPI is not a pixel, and offset printing is not equivalent to either digital displays or office printers in the way it creates colours.

      Digital displays have fixed size pixel elements each of which can display a range of brightnesses.

      Office printers usually print variable sized dots at a fixed resolution, e.g. 600 dpi. The range of sizes of dots is smaller than the range of brightnesses of a subpixel, so more than one dot is needed to create a pixel equivalent.

      Offset printers need a multiplicity of dots to give a full range of contrast, so 2000 dpi on a sheetfed press is not necessarily as good as even 600 by 1200 dpi on an inkjet or the 300 dpi or so of a phone.

    3. jubtastic1

      Re: 2000 dpi glossy mags

      Repro images at >2400dpi, but what they're imaging is a load of dots at ~200 lpi, which bearing in mind the added issue of having to image each colour at a different angle, and the wanky cmyk colourspace is on par with or inferior to a 200ppi display if you're comparing images.

      Solid colour text can go way higher, to whatever the paper can support, because you can use the whole 2400dpi to draw the outline, but if it's tinted then you're back to rendering dots at 200lpi again.

  14. Shonko Kid
    Boffin

    Wake me when we pass 1000dpi

    At that point, if you can get the light coming out of them to be coherent you can start to produce holographic displays.

  15. Badvok

    @Michael Tusch, CTO of Apical

    "you'd need to be nearer than 18cm (7 inches) away and would need very good eyesight to see 513 pixels per inch"

    The last thing I want when looking at any display is to be able to see the pixels, I want smooth sharp curves where I CAN'T see the pixels! (I think 600 dpi is probably the ideal level given our current vision capabilities.)

    1. Badvok

      Re: @Michael Tusch, CTO of Apical

      Hmm, thumbs down for that? I guess I must be the exception then and people do actually want to be able to see the individual pixels - go figure.

      1. Martin-73

        Re: @Michael Tusch, CTO of Apical

        Yeah not sure why you got a downvote... I would genuinely be interested to hear why from the 2? (might be something we missed!)

    2. CRConrad
      Big Brother

      Probably the last thing Michael Tusch wants too

      What he means by that is, "so at anything over 18 cm, you're good -- with this resolution, the image looks like smooth sharp curves where you can't see the pixels, even if you have very good eyesight", innit?

  16. Greg D
    Megaphone

    Why can't we have this DPI on desktop LCD monitors and laptops?

    I'm tired of 1920x1080 and 1366x768 displays.

    We had higher res back in the old CRT days, and DPI this high is fucking useless on such puny screens.

    For the love of god give us this DPI on desktop displays!!!!

    1. Spoonsinger

      Re: "For the love of god give us this DPI on desktop displays!!!!"

      You didn't get the memo about "everything important is now being done in a coffee shop" then?

  17. Yugguy

    Sweet.

    Even clearer porn.

    Er, that is what all this technology is for isn't it?

    1. Francis Boyle

      Porn

      cat videos, and photos of cupcakes on Pinterest. Probably in that order.

      Something for everyone, really.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    > The pressure is always on handset manufacturers to make phones thinner

    Is it? I've yet to find anyone that gives a sh*t.

  19. Vociferous

    Oculus Rift!

    That is all.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oculus Rift!

        Oculus Faceburp.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1366x768

    I was looking for laptops to replace a vintage one that is 1280 x 1024... and the only ones I can find are 1920 x 1080 that cost TRIPLE what the oldie cost back then, given the proportions. And a gaming one, with all the extra wallet-backstabbing that entails. I'm on a budget here, but I need non-crap screen.

    For cripe sakes, we abandoned 1024 x 768 that wasn't even suitable for CRTs three EONS ago, why should I bother with anything x768 now? My phone should have that resolution, not notebooks.

    2 steps backwards??

    PS. thank god piano-black finish is GONE.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    However..

    .. no display has as yet approached the density of some users..

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