We've read rumors about the upcoming fifth generation Galaxy Note from Samsung featuring a 4K (3840 x 2160) display. But most manufacturers have thus far been non-committal on the feature, even though the technology itself is feasible, albeit expensive. The reason why most OEMs are staying away from 4K panels is mostly, a serious concern for battery life. Having to light up so many pixels takes its toll on the already overstretched batteries in modern generation smartphones, and a lot of manufacturers have actually deliberately stayed away from even QHD (2560 x 1440) panels for this exact same reason. But not so ZTE apparently. A new report coming out of China now seems to indicate, the company's upcoming ZTE Star 3 smartphone will sport a 4K display. The phone is also said to come with a 5.5-inch TFT panel, which will give the handset an eye-popping 806 ppi display resolution. The report also claims the display panel will use a new technology, which promises to lower the power consumption. Previous rumors have claimed the phone will feature a dual camera set-up on the back and will come with a curved battery.
With Android smartphone manufacturers battling each other in an ultra-competitive international market, hardware specifications and software features are increasingly becoming ways for brands to differentiate and distinguish their products from competitors. Towards that end, most OEMs are releasing their own customized versions of Android, laden with features they believe will help catch the attention of the smartphone buying consumers. Some customized features are useful - indeed, most of them are - yet others are mostly glorified gimmicks. But the gimmickry isn't limited to software features alone. The odd hardware gimmick here or there does manage to pique consumer interest even though they're mostly redundant and often have adverse effects on usability. Only time will tell if 4K panels will bring any real-world, tangible benefits, or if its only contribution to smartphones will be a reduced battery life and not much else.
Talking about 4K displays, Chinese display-panel manufacturer BOE has already shown-off 4K panels for smartphones and tablets in multiple screen sizes ranging from as low as 4.7 inches, right up to 12.5-inch ones. There's also a 5.5-inch panel which comes with the aforementioned resolution, but measures only 0.55 mm in thickness. BOE claims it is the thinnest 4K display panel going round. Interestingly, BOE has also shown off an 82-inch television, which comes with a 21:9 aspect ratio, and features an unheard-of 10K (10240 — 4320) resolution.