Forget 720p smartphone displays. LG has developed a 5" screen that serves up 1920x1080 pixels. Do the math, and that's 440 pixels per inch—a substantial leap over the 326 ppi offered by the iPhone 4's Retina display. The screen is based on an AH-IPS panel that LG says offers precise color reproduction and wide viewing angles. In its press release, which has been posted by Engadget, the company claims the display is "ideal for use in outdoor settings. Brighter light transmission is mentioned specifically, along with lower power consumption, suggesting LG has done more than simply crank the backlight brightness.
Although 5" screens seem a little large for smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy Note already sports a slightly larger 5.3" display. I'm seeing an increasing number of Galaxy Notes in the hands of tech enthusiasts and mainstream users alike. Smartphone screens in the mid-4" range seem to be the new normal, making the jump to 5" much less daunting than it would have been even a year ago.
LG says its mini 1080p panel will be available in the second half of this year, so there's further time to acclimatize. The screen will be shown at the Society for Information Display exhibition in Boston next week.
I used to think jumbo-sized smartphones were a bit silly, but I've become rather excited about the prospect of pocketable devices that deliver all the functionality and performance of modern tablets. This LG display looks just about perfect for the growing segment of "superphones" that seem to be shooting for that ideal.