If you’ve been following the latest in mobile technology, you’ll notice a general trend with any announcement of a new device. We keep seeing increases in specs : bigger screen sizes, faster (more efficient) processors, richer displays and many more. Our focus for this discussion would be on the displays.
Phones makers always improve on their displays with every new flagship released. Over the years (for our phone screens), we’ve seen bumps from 720p to 1080, up to the latest one which is 4k resolution. Now the big question is: Do we really need 4k resolutions on phones?
4k resolution means the display is about 3840 x 2160 pixels, all cramped into a 5 – 5.5-inch screen. Now, this means the colors are very vivid: what you see on the phone is so sharp and clear. Every detail, every chroma, is presented before you.
My final year project discussed some aspects of data compression. I did lots of research and one of my findings was that the human eye is sensitive to the color variations it takes in. In simpler terms, your eye can’t tell the difference between 1080p and anything higher, except you are a gizmo from another planet or your ancestors gave you telescopic eyes.
Similar to 4k displays is 4k video recording. The problem with 4k video is the huge size it occupies. When we had the OnePlus One, we recorded a short 30 second clip in 4k eesolution and were shocked to discover the file was about 200 MB. Look at the iPhone 6s that has 4k recording capabilities. The 16 GB model can only take in 32 minutes of 4k video, and that is excluding any app installation.
The Sony Xperia Z5 series just launched recently and it was touted to have 4k resolution. Curious people like me found something fishy with that claim, and proved it was not entirely true. In light of this, Sony released an official statement:
Xperia Z5 Premium features a 4K display with a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels based on SID Standard and enables all video and image content to be enjoyed in 4K resolution. All other content is displayed at 1080P or lower resolution in order to optimise the performance and battery stamina for this device, ensuring you can enjoy the 4K resolution when you need it most.
Looking at all the stress and palava associated with this 4k technology, we begin to wonder, “Why bother?” Even when transfered to big TV screens, 4k is still overly sharp. Can we then draw a conclusion that 4k is a mere gimmick or market strategy?
P.S: This was supposed to be our weekend rants for the past week. The spirit was willing but the body was weak 😆 Still share your thoughts though.