Sony's new flagship, the Xperia XZ Premium, has a 4K HDR screen that's made by the same Bravia team that creates the displays for Sony's TVs, which means that a Bravia team member is well-suited to post an explanatory interview about the screen on Sony's website. In the interview, a Sony employee sits down with a Bravia team member to talk about the Xperia XZ Premium's display, a nigh-unmatched panel in the current smartphone market. The particular employee chosen to be interviewed and give a primer on the tech behind the new phone's screen is Gavin McCarron, part of Sony Europe's product planning team for Bravia.
According to McCarron, the best way to explain what a 4K HDR screen means for consumers is to look at what each of those terms means. 4K means 3840 x 2160 resolution, or about twice what some mid-range phones these days use, which is 1920 x 1080. This means incredibly sharp and detailed images, and powerfully fluid movement. Adding to that, HDR technology allows the screen to show a far wider color spectrum, and improves lighting simulation. HDR content has to be specially created, with the creator choosing how the new color spectrum should be applied. The end result is a far more realistic, deep, and immersive picture. Combine the two, and you have a perfect recipe for super immersive content on the screen.
The benefits of a 4K HDR screen for a TV are incredibly clear, but for a phone, things get a bit more ambiguous. In most use cases, the naked eye won't be able to tell the difference between 1440p and 4K, or even 1080p and 4K, depending on the screen size and what type of content is being looked at. When high-definition media is being watched, however, 4K can show its stuff; more pixels means more room to move, which helps with higher framerate content. Blended with HDR, this means more movement, and a wider color spectrum can be shown on screen at once. This means more realistic color and lighting. The same can be said of gaming, and older titles on emulators can be upscaled and pushed even further than ever before. Virtual reality, meanwhile, benefits immensely, with pixellation all but eliminated through having what is basically a 1440p display for each eye. To finish out the interview, McCarron said that 8K is next on the roadmap, but did not say exactly when we would start seeing it.