Sharp starts making 1080p smartphone display


— 11:19 AM on October 1, 2012

If you thought modern smartphones had high-density displays, get ready for even more pixels. Sharp has begun the production of a smartphone panel with a display resolution of 1920x1080. This 5" display boasts a pixel density of 443 PPI, an increase of nearly 36% over the iPhone 5. Unfortunately, the Japanese press release is short on other details, like whether the panel is of the IPS variety. The display will be, er, on display at the CEATEC Japan trade show this week, though.

Right now, most of the super-sized smartphones on the market offer display resolutions around 720p range. The smaller iPhone 5 has a resolution of 1136x640, making Sharp's new panel a big step up. Of course, just because there are more pixels doesn't mean the display looks better than what's out there right now. There are important factors other than pixel density, and the PPI scale offers diminishing returns the higher you climb.

The prospect of a 1080p smartphone display is still exciting because it matches the resolution of the big-screen TVs in our living rooms—and the content designed to play on them. To be honest, though, I wish display makers would bring more pixels to the larger panels that go into notebooks and PC monitors. Higher-density displays are only slowly trickling onto the notebook market, and good luck finding one in a desktop monitor.

Then again, Windows doesn't always play nicely with high-PPI panels. Perhaps, if there were more of them on the market, they'd be better-supported by Microsoft and other software developers. Thanks to The Verge for the tip.

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