Samsung, Samsung… Do you know how to kick yourself in the shin or what… For those that don’t already know why I’m so disappointed in Samsung (and it’s not for any of the generic reasons) right now, prepare for this one. Samsung just spoke badly of itself. Purposefully, knowingly, explicitly Samsung criticizes 1080p smartphone screens. Know how the Samsung Galaxy S5 came out in April with a 1080p screen? And also recall how the Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A was released ONLY in Korea, with a QHD (1560 by 1440 pixel) display. Both are Super AMOLED panels, so the colors are rich and saturated and the blacks are truly black, having no pixels lit in that space. But why is that a terrible thing to do for Samsung?
Because there is a section of the blog post by Samsung Tomorrow, Samsung’s official global blog, titled “WQHD: Don’t be satisfied with what you’re used to”. What screen resolution are we used to? At this point, that would be 1080p. Why? Because there are now three devices (LG G3, Galaxy S5 LTE-A, and Oppo Find 7) with QHD displays. One isn’t released yet, and the other two are ridiculously expensive to get your hands on, being sold mainly in and to Asian markets. Samsung says that you shouldn’t be happy with the 1080p, the 400-and-whatever pixels per inch (ppi) of your smartphone, but instead demand more.
Samsung’s choice of photos is a beautiful yellow bird shown on the Galaxy S5 (the white phone) and the Galaxy S5 LTE-A (the black phone). Obviously, with both screens being AMOLED, the yellow really springs off the screen, and the picture is altogether amazing and detailed. But what does Samsung point out as ‘better’ on the QHD panel? The bird’s ‘hair (feathers) are a little more defined on the neck under the wing. They continue to point out how the yellow is less harsh and ‘softer and natural’ in QHD. Not only do they call out that you can see clearer hairs and wrinkles, but they continue to compare ppi for some of their top-tier devices across various form factors.
Samsung provides us with a chart comparing the specifications of the Galaxy S5, S5 LTE-A, Galaxy Tab S (1560 by 1600 pixels) and the U9000 curved television (UHD meaning 3840 by 2160 pixels) and their ppi in particular. The S5 LTE-A has an outrageous 577 ppi, as a reference. The S5 has 432, which is extremely sharp, giving great reproduction of detail and features, followed by the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and 10.5, having 359 and 288 ppi respectively. Both are amazing, especially given that they are tablets. Both are more than acceptable for an excellent viewing experience. And the U9000, the curved, 4K television? It’s 78 inches, so it’s got 56. Yeah, 4K resolution put to 56 ppi. It’s only slightly overkill don’t you think?
Why are these further shots in the feet and face for Samsung? Because they are commenting on how the QHD display is perfect for a smartphone, and, since we’re accustomed to the others they aren’t as good comparably and we should expect more of them. Now to be fair, Samsung does say that each of these other form factors are meant for different viewing experiences and they are. 56 ppi sounds pitiful, but it’s a huge screen with 8.3 million pixels. Even on the 10.5 inch tablet, there are 4.1 million pixels. Does that sound low resolution now?
Compared to the last technology (1080p), QHD sounds like it should be standard, and it’s working its way to get to that point. Samsung mentions how the new resolution will become standard, and will evolve into flexible and transparent QHD panels and technologies. But still, Samsung disrespecting their own latest flagship is not a good technique, especially since their QHD phone isn’t available to hardly anyone. Stick to praising yourself, it suits you better. But hopefully, the Galaxy Note 4 will have a QHD panel and they won’t be looked at like this until 4K hits the pocket-space in a year or two. Regardless, love your screen. It’s got a higher ppi than your television. Just remember that.