It’s trade show season in Hong Kong and the Taiwanese display manufacturer AU Optronics has trumped its rivals, principally Samsung, by producing the highest resolution phone display yet.
The AMOLED 5.7-inch display has 2560 x 1440 resolution – which gives you 513ppi (pixels per inch). This compares with the iPhone’s retina display resolution 326 ppi, and the Galaxy S5’s 432.
This display resolution is well within the capabilities of the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 and 808 which are designed to handle 4096-by-2160 and 2560-by-1600 respectively. How useful this is depends on how close you hold the device to your face.
According to Michael Tusch, CTO of Apical, you'd need to be nearer than 18cm (7 inches) away and would need very good eyesight to see 513 pixels per inch. Tusch said that tablets are typically held 38cm (15 inches) away from the eye.
At full arm's length, those pixels are probably going to be far too small to make a difference, but up close, as in a virtual reality headset, it will make a noticeable difference.
Tush argues that rather than increasing the number of pixels, it's more useful to improve the brightness, colour quality and contrast of the pixels you have.
The pressure is always on handset manufacturers to make phones thinner, so AU Optronics' 5-inch in-cell touch AMOLED panel HD720 will be targeted at them. It is just 0.57mm thick and has a special driver design to increase touch sensitivity. As a result, it can support 10 touch points (all eight fingers and both thumbs – so you can play that virtual piano).
The Taiwanese LCD manufacturer also showed a number of significantly larger curved screens: 42- to 65-inch UHD 4K displays aimed at televisions and 27-inch and 32-inch monitor displays designed for professional graphics, image processing, medical, gaming and industrial use. ®