Sharp starts making 1080p smartphone display

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 1920×1080. 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 1136×640, 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 roomsโ€”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.

Comments closed
    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    And cellphones will stop improving in resolution and stay at this particular one for the next decade, at which point Apple will start a trend by making higher PPI displays which everyone will say is revolutionary because ‘good enough’ wasn’t so good enough after all. XD

    Seriously where are the high PPI desktop monitors? I’m not talking about the 27 and 30inch monstrosities either. If I need to move my head or my eyes to see the whole screen, it’s too big. Gamers need this in a performance package too!

      • JosiahBradley
      • 7 years ago

      This whole shift to catering only to the mobile crowd is really starting to irk me. I understand that yield goes down quadratically as you scale panels up, but that is no excuse for the lack of 20inch 2160p displays if they can make 1080p 10 inch panels. Sure it would be at a maximum of 1/4 yield, but with the cheap cost of a 10inch display, we are only looking at 500-1000$. Not bad for how nice that would be.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, I somehow think there is a chicken and a egg involved. They probably think that high ppi panels are only desirable in a large screen format because that’s the only thing available and what’s selling, when that’s simply not true. I’d personally like this in a 23″, 120hz, 16:10 package with a 2ms response time. I don’t care if it’s IPS or TN.

        If the screens around 27″ that just means I’ll have to move it back further on my desk.

    • Game_boy
    • 7 years ago

    As to the other factors Geoff mentioned: Anandtech did an amazingly in-depth article on how the iPhone 5 screen is in attributes other than resolution: [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/6334/iphone-5-screen-performance[/url<] I'd like to see that kind of testing done for more new phones, otherwise manufacturers may feel trading image quality for headline grabbing large resolutions or PPIs is OK.

    • UberGerbil
    • 7 years ago

    There’s a certain simplicity to settling on 1080p for everything; transcoding becomes something of a forgotten niche (at least until 4K arrives in force). At that screen size, though, you’re not getting much benefit from the higher resolution no matter how young your eyes (when watching video, anyway). But I’m sure the carriers will be happy to charge you for transferring all the extra media pixels you mostly don’t see.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      I just checked my mobile usage and I’m getting about 100-200MB/month on my mobile phone network. This was a LOT less than I thought. I have managed to setup WIFI access to almost all my usual haunts, and with the SIII’s ability to wake up when it detects WIFI it knows, this works wonderfully.

      This means paying for data only is a very real possibility my next device.

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    What will come first ?
    4″ 4096×2300 resolution cell phone display
    or 2560×1600 on 24″ monitors

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      4″ 4096×2300 smartphones
      or
      >1280×768 15″ laptops.

      It’s going to be a close call!

    • BIF
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this…why not bring back a clamshell design but with the current big-screen form-factor? Or maybe even a two-piece phone, where you could open it like a clam or slide it apart like a sandwich and have two separate 4″ or 5″ screens. Or maybe a mechanism that would allow a user to reveal only one of the screens for convenient phone dialing or quick Google searches?

    I really like the narrow width of the iPhone 5; it’s easier to hold in my hand, and I might like this if I’m just making a call or using a calculator app.

    But if you want a groundbreaking idea, let’s make an iPhone 5 sized form factor that could flip open to reveal twice the screen for typing, web use, or a dual-gaming space (think Nintendos but with a separate color touchscreen taking up each half of the clam). This might work even if the device had to be a little bit thicker to accomodate two screens and a bigger battery.

    It might be a good idea if it doesn’t cost a million dollars per handset… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Prion
      • 7 years ago

      Not sure they even need to go that far, except for the gadget lust that’s overtaken the market. I’d love it if there were new flip phones that weren’t total garbage right out of the box. Heck, it’s the only reason I switched to a smartphone at all, I don’t really need my phone to double as a tiny computer most of the time. If I could get something like a Motorola E815 with a modern display+radio+battery, I’d be in heaven. (Oh yeah, and not cripped by a standard carrier interface+disabled features to keep them from competing with higher margin devices. Good luck with that one I guess.)

        • Corrado
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, even a mid range flip phone would keep a lot of people happy. My father wanted a flip phone and the only one that wasn’t a total piece of garbage was a Razr V3xx. And its a 5 year old phone. People would pay $150 for a semi-modern flip phone off contract, esp if it had a decent resolution say, 2.5″-2.75″ screen on it that could be used for email and web if desired.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      are you suggesting dual 4″ screens? The screen is already the big battery hog in smart phones, having twice the screen would cut way into the battery life.

      There are already a couple phones with 2 screens in a slider format, like LG’s Doubleplay and Kyocera’s Echo. The second screen, though, is *small* on purpose.

    • KikassAssassin
    • 7 years ago

    I’m not all that excited for the idea of a 5″ 1080p smartphone, but this could be perfect for something like the Oculus Rift, which is currently stuck with a 1280×800 display.

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      ^^

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    COMPUTER MONITORS OVER 24″ NEED RESOLUTION LOVE TOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo……………………………………..

    • BIF
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]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. [/quote<] That's quite okay, I'm good without Windows on my mobile device. But thanks anyway! Edit: Go on, downthumb me! Older versions of Windows Mobile sucked wind on smartphones. I used them, so I have the right to say so. And furthermore, you who downthumb know in your hearts that I speak the truth! So there! I wear your downthumbs like a badge of honor!

      • cegras
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]The prospect of a 1080p smartphone display is still exciting because it matches the resolution of the big-screen TVs in our living roomsโ€”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 [b<]PC monitors[/b<]. Higher-density displays are only slowly trickling onto the notebook market, and good luck finding one in a desktop monitor.[/quote<]

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Windows Phone and WinMo are about as far apart as an old Blackberry and an iPhone.

        • mcnabney
        • 7 years ago

        Well, WP7 has already been abandoned by MS – so it has a lot in common with WinMo.

          • fergdog
          • 7 years ago

          Well cept WP7 apps are compatible with WP8 so its not the same kind of transition from WinMo to WP7

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      Hah! I up-thumbed you just to throw a monkey-wrench in your evil plans.
      Or maybe I just accidentally hit the up button instead of the down button, I’m really not sure.

    • Decelerate
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Sharp has begun the production of a smartphone panel with a display resolution of 1920x1080.[/quote<]The devil lies in the details: I also believe that Sharp is producing a 443ppi display. A. Single. Display. ๐Ÿ™‚ If they are seriously mass-producing this display however, who could be the potential customer?

      • DancinJack
      • 7 years ago

      HTC

      • Corrado
      • 7 years ago

      Smartphones, for the simple reason of tablets run the same OS’s and use the same resolution. Its much easier to know what performance to expect, and target performance for 1 resolution across all devices.

      Thats my guess anyway.

        • Decelerate
        • 7 years ago

        I know it’s smartphones, I wonder which one…

        I doubt Apple would foray into the 5″ so soon, and Samsung has its own plants.

        Right now there’s no real 3rd player significant enough to buy Sharp out of its financial problems.

          • Corrado
          • 7 years ago

          HTC and Motorola are the only 2 that make high end phones that don’t use their own screens other than apple, maybe Nokia too.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    Ok, mobile device makers:

    They are thin enough.
    The resolution density is good enough.

    Now, can we work on battery life?

      • DancinJack
      • 7 years ago

      x9000

      • StashTheVampede
      • 7 years ago

      Battery life and better camera’s (higher MP != better) on both sides are really what I’m looking for in my next smartphone.

        • Prion
        • 7 years ago

        Then they’ll start going overboard with that too, I can see it now:
        SAMSUNG GALAXY S6 NOW WITH 24MP APS SENSOR AND TELESCOPING LENS
        “Did you accidentally turn on the camera on the smartphone in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?”

        • ChronoReverse
        • 7 years ago

        I’d say that for the thin form-factor, the Nokia 920’s camera is pretty close to the physical limits of what’s possible. You simply need larger lenses and sensors to get much more. Perhaps two cameras and digitally combining them? Hmm.

        Battery life is what I’d like to really see improve. 2-3 day batteries (under actual use instead of standby) would be nice.

        • shank15217
        • 7 years ago

        The lens and sensors are the main thing here, post processing software has become much better.

      • mph_Ragnarok
      • 7 years ago

      way to jump on the battery-life-whining band wagon.

      first of all the chips are getting more power efficient and the companies making those are shrinking their sizes as hard as they can.

      the displays don’t use much power at all, it’s the backlight, and LED backlights are near efficient as they can be,,, so stop whining seriously.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        I’m not jumping on any bandwagon, I’ve been steering the damn thing for years. ~1 day of moderate use is unacceptable, even more so in devices that have non user-replacable batteries, and I’ve always felt that way.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 7 years ago

        The panel and the backlight go hand in hand. IPS panels generally need stronger backlighting than TN. Transreflective panels need only auxillary backlighting. Mirasol panels don’t even have a backlight.

        They could also include a solar cell on any conventional phone, even a transparent one over the backlight. Or, gourd forbid, the battery could be a few ounces heavier!

        Acknowledging reality is not whining. It’s completely feasible to make the leap from phones that only last one day to phones that never have to be plugged in.

          • moose17145
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]Or, gourd forbid, the battery could be a few ounces heavier![/quote<] OMFG THIS!!! Seriously I dont understand this whole "It needs to be thinner than paper!!!!" craze. Honestly the super thin phones i actually have a HARDER time using because i have a harder time physically holding onto the darn thing. Its actually at a point where it is TOO thin to be comfortable. I own a Motorola Photon 4G and replaced the stock battery with a extended life battery that will actually hold a charge for two days. The stock one would barely last me the day with moderate use and often times couldn't make it till 10pm when I often get home and off work. My days usually consist of 8am - 4pm class then 4pm-10pm work... So you know... your average day in terms of being awake and having a phone on you. Sure the extended battery easily doubled the weight of the phone and also doubled its thickness... but honestly I find the extra weight and especially the extra thickness to actually make the thing easier and more comfortable to hold onto and use! Seriously though I miss the 5+ DAYS of battery life that my old flip phone had...

        • Flying Fox
        • 7 years ago

        On my Android system, the display does take most power. Normal operations don’t stress the CPU/GPU too much, but display will almost always drain the same high power. That is why they want to turn off your screen and try to go to Deep Sleep mode.

        The other battery hog is >2G radio, people have to go to the extreme of shutting it off when the display goes black.

        It is not really a band wagon per se, since in the past phones can last [i<]days[/i<] instead of hours. Yes, smartphones are doing a lot more, but we are still awake 16-20 hours a day. If our phones can't last that long then it is going to be an issue. Not everyone has access to a power outlet all the time. The chips are getting more efficient, but the battery tech has been lagging behind too. And with this recent madness towards thinness the situation is just getting worse. Look at that anemic 1305mAh battery on the Xperia P, and not removable too.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      This. And I’d actually be happier if the devices got smaller.. All the new high-end smartphones (with the exception of iPhone 4S/5) are [i<]huge[/i<]. 720p 443ppi display would be perfect

        • BIF
        • 7 years ago

        But not as small as an iPod chicklet. Or a micro-SD card. If I can’t fit my name on it or stick a label to it, then I’m not interested!

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        Droid Razr Maxx?

          • mcnabney
          • 7 years ago

          Great example. Huge battery, but much smaller sales than the standard size version. See, bigger batteries cost more money – and the consumer would rather pay less and bitch than pay more and have what they want.

            • khands
            • 7 years ago

            If I had known it was coming out I totally would’ve waited a couple more months for it ๐Ÿ™

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          Razr Maxx is pretty big. Bigger than iPhone5 and much bigger than iPhone 4S (or Atrix 4G).

          I’d love an Android phone in iPhone4S/Atrix size with microSD slot and Snapdragon S4 in it. Make it a bit thicker to fit in a bigger battery if you have to.

          And yes – I’d love a Razr Maxx like battery, and would be willing to pay for it, but AT&T doesn’t offer anything like that. Oh, and I don’t really trust Motorola anymore, after they decided to flipflop on the Atrix 4G ICS promise

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            I’m more and more convinced that the Atrix 4G ICS issue is more nVidia’s fault than Moto’s. It seems that an awful lot of Tegra 2 phones had serious problems getting ICS. T-Mobile’s G2X is another example (an example that I carry around with me right now, in fact). In fact, the only one I can think of that DID get ICS was the Captivate Glide and it just finally happened like last week.

            • Corrado
            • 7 years ago

            Thats what I heard too. Getting nVidia to actually make the drivers work properly in even GB was like pulling teeth, and they simply aren’t interested in supporting ICS properly, let alone JB. Those dollars are already in the bank, better to just get the Tegra4 done and out to win those designs instead.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            Hmm… this makes sense.
            So, are you saying that I should consider Atrix HD after all, since it has S4 in it, and Qualcomm is a top-notch company in driver support?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            I wouldn’t hold the Atrix 4G ICS issue against Motorola, at least.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            The first Gingerbread on the G2x was pretty awful, I know that. ๐Ÿ˜† Though it’s solid now, it’s stuck with dated software. 2.3.4 is the end of the line for me.

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      I agree. for light usage my S2 is fine, i charge it every night but it never runs really low on battery. But if i want to play a game on my phone without being plugged in it drains far faster than i would like. Yes everything is very efficient on it’s own, but when they use that efficiency to simply make the battery smaller than it otherwise could be it loses it’s bonus.

      Id take a battery that is a few mm thicker and weigh 5-10g more that boosts my game-playing time by several hours over a slightly thinner phone, all else being equal.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Yes! Please! I want 4-5 days of light usage battery life.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      I think battery life depends more on the battery manufacturers and technology, then the phone itself (they have quite a bit less direct control over it)… You could simply remove the screen and replace it with a analog LCD and it would most definitely save a lot of battery life though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      We’ll need to move away from LCD to get that.

      • TurtlePerson2
      • 7 years ago

      (Removed Comment)

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