Sony being one of the top dogs in the display arena meant their desire to push the envelope on smartphones was no surprise. They were the first to bring 4KHD to a smartphone in the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, and while that stat line sounds cool on paper it didn’t exactly bring the type of value we were expecting.
Namely, Sony later revealed that the display only goes into 4K mode when viewing 4K content, and stayed at 1080p at all other times. Still, it sounds pretty nice to have 4K on a smartphone, right?
Well, Samsung and LG don’t seem to think so, if DigiTimes is correct. The publication has heard from sources that Samsung and LG might opt to skip 4KHD for their 2016 flagship smartphones, which we expect to be the Samsung Galaxy S7 and all its variants, the Samsung Galaxy Note 6, the LG G5 and the LG V10.
There’s more than one reason why they decided against it:
- The technology is too new, and there’s not enough content out to justify mass producing them yet.
- Current implementation is not yet heat or power efficient.
- Not enough other smartphone manufacturers have requested 4K displays, so mass producing it wouldn’t be cost efficient.
Those are all fine reasons that we can certainly agree with. Our biggest concern as consumers would be in the power efficiency department. It takes a lot of horsepower to constantly refresh that many pixels, and that could put an unnecessary burden on the chipset. It could potentially lead to performance issues if the display runs in 4K mode 24/7. And, well, you could say goodbye to even more of your beloved battery life.
And, really, do we even need 4K displays right now? While some may argue that the human eye can see past a certain Pixel density, 4K at these small sizes provides way more room than most people need for normal usage. Sure, it might be nice for virtual reality uses where your eyes will be as close to the display as they’ll ever be, but QHD resolution already provides quite the immersive experience.
Someday these manufacturers will feel pressured to push the bar on display technology and start offering 4K panels in their smartphones, but if it doesn’t happen in 2016 we can’t say we’ll be sad about it. Let us know if you feel otherwise.