Why 4K Phones Aren't Such A Bad Idea

Moments ago, at a small press event, Raj Talluri, Qualcomm's VP of Product Management dropped this little nugget. "You are just starting to see 1080p display phones. I think that will go even higher." My brain instantly exploded.

If people are working on UltraHD screens for mobile phones, Raj would know about it, as Qualcomm builds chips for virtually every mobile device manufacturer you can name. 1920x1080 pixels (1080p) on five inch screens — which are popping up like crazy on new high-end phones) have 440 pixels per inch. You couldn't see those pixels if your eyeballs were pressed to the glass. So, I asked him what the point could possibly be. It's just a pointless manufacturer pissing contest, right?

Raj's answer was that sure, above 400 PPI or so, it's not really about how many pixels the screen itself can display, what's important is how many pixels the CPU and GPU can push. It's because of things like Miracast, where you can wirelessly push video and audio to your TV. If these upcoming phones with the superfast Snapdragon 800 processor can shoot 4K UHD video, wouldn't it be great if you could push that directly to your 4K UHD TV? Damn right it would. And there's certainly room to go well beyond 1080p on larger tablet screens.

We really hope that phone manufacturers don't waste their time, energy, and endless marketing dollars on pushing beyond 440 PPI displays for phones. Until we all have our eyes replaced with robotic cameras, their efforts would be better spent on making screens more efficient. If you look at your phone's battery stats, the screen is always the biggest devourer of juice, often by a factor of three or four. That said, if chip makers like Qualcomm are eager to push beyond 1080p into 4K video recording, even 8K video, bring it on.


Comments

    Battery Life: 1 hour.

      for every 1 hour you wanna use it you gotta charge for 3 years

      Although if you are pushing media to a TV then you're probably in your living room and can just plug the phone into a power source anyway.

        Kinda ruins the whole 'wireless' part of it though.

          Dock?

          You're not really gonna be using the phone when streaming, so trhowing it into a charging dock and using Miracast, would work great.

          I'm not sure it does. If you want to move room or even take a call you can undock/disconnect it.

          Maybe it's just me, but when I'm stationary at home or by my computer at work I make a habit of plugging the phone in just so it always has as much battery as possible. I find it odd when friends complain their phones battery can't get through a work day, when their work day consists of them sitting at the same desk 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Some people seem to not want to take the opportunity to charge their devices at opportune moments.

      Battery life is holding back electronics big time. Phones should last a week on a single charge while blasting full HD movies being streamed 24/7.

    my phone and my laptop can stream to my smart tv which is also connects to the web and sd and usb storage. Seriously, over capacity here. But redundancy is good design.

    And uses a mini USB to Local Power Transformer for battery charging.

      Apple will require the proprietary Lightning connector linked up to the iGenerator*.

      *Not compatible with any other device. Will be superseded every 6 months.

        Don't be ridiculous. The iGenerator S will come out in 12 months and everyone will bitch about how it is the same as the iGenerator.

    Ok, Raj has no idea what he's talking about...

    You don't need a high res screen to push high res to a different screen. His argument is void.

      He's not saying we need 4K Res on a phone. Only the ability to PROCESS 4K on the phone (and maybe shoot it with the camera)

      it’s not really about how many pixels the screen itself can display, what’s important is how many pixels the CPU and GPU can push

    why does everyone want to push movies from their phone, or use crappy smart tv features? In my opinion I wouldnt own a TV that doesnt have a full fledged PC hooked up to it. You can do it for a few hundred bucks as longs as you're not gaming on it, and considering most people nowdays spend a couple of grand at least on a smart TV why not a few extra hundred to give it a kick ass OS.

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