Smartphone screen resolutions - it's like another language. Have you got a smartphone with a 1080p screen or has it got a Quad HD (QHD) display? Now there are handsets with a 4K screen! Confused? What does it all mean?

Pixels & Resolutions

It was only early last year that most of the flagship smartphones sported a 1080p resolution screen, that translates to a screen with 1080 x 1920 pixels. In case you were wondering a pixel is - it's a tiny measurement of programmable colour on a screen and the resolution is the number of pixels within a smartphone display (horizontal x vertical).

Usually the resolution of a smartphone is explained as pixels per inch (ppi) with a higher ppi indicating a better quality screen.

QHD Screens

In the summer of 2014, we first saw smartphones with a QHD screen such as the LG G3 which features a screen resolution of 538ppi. A QHD screen, sometimes called a 2K screen as the larger pixel measurement is more than 2000 pixels, means that the display has 1440 x 2560 pixels. The higher the resolution, the more detail you can see on photos, videos and films with the images appearing to be clearer and sharper.

Sony's latest Xperia Z5 Premium smartphone comes with an incredible 4K display. To be precise, the Xperia Z5 Premium will boast a 2160 x 3840 screen which gives it an incredible 806 pixels per inch.

What's a 4K Display?

A 4K display (although it's technically 3840, but let's not argue about 160 pixels) in simple terms means that the Xperia Z5 Premium will have double the number of pixels than the average new-ish smartphone and ten times the number of pixels of a Full HD TV.

That's a lot of pixels per inch - can the human eye actually appreciate that level of detail?

Well, to give you some comparison, magazines are usually printed at 300 dpi and even fine art reproductions only reach 720.  Likely only those with 20/20 vision are going to notice the difference between a 4K and a 2K screen, unless you happen to like holding your phone very close to your face.

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