Does display resolution affect battery life? This test finds out


For a moment in time, it felt like we were moving towards smartphones with 4K displays. That has yet to happen, save for a few handsets here and there, but it isn’t quite as ubiquitous compared to QHD or QHD+ screens. Is there a reason for that? It was previously suggested that a higher resolution display could have a negative impact on battery life.

This is something that the folks at PhoneBuff tried to find out in a smartphone battery life test, where they pit two Samsung Galaxy S10+ handsets against each other, where one model has a 1440p display and the other has a 1080p display.

If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, spoiler alert: it doesn’t make a difference.

Both phones seem to drain equally fast and in fact, the phone with the 1080p display actually died about a minute before the 1440p model. Now, while we wouldn’t call this the most scientific of tests, it’s still somewhat interesting. This suggests that while there may be some battery drain on phones with a higher resolution, they might not be enough for it to be particularly noticeable.

It is also possible that going from QHD to 4K would have a bigger impact compared to 1080p to 1440p, so maybe the difference in battery life might be greater then. Either way, it’s something to think about the next time you are considering stepping down your phone’s resolution to try and save battery life (reducing the brightness might actually help more).

Tyler Lee
A graphic novelist wannabe. Amateur chef. Mechanical keyboard enthusiast. Writer of tech with over a decade of experience. Juggles between using a Mac and Windows PC, switches between iOS and Android, believes in the best of both worlds.

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