Keeping up with the latest technology can be a tricky thing. Every smart gadget on the market is constantly being improved, and having extra bells and whistles built into their system. It can be tempting to upgrade your devices when new perks are being rolled out – but when it comes to 4k or Ultra HD smartphone displays, you might want to ask yourself: is this something that you really need?
Computer monitors with UHD panels have become markedly more affordable, and if you have purchased a new television recently, chances are that it has a 4K display. As engineers are constantly working to improve computer processors, camera sensors and other internal components, it’s inevitable that industry evolution would result in a 4K smartphone. Sony jumped ahead of the game by coming out with the first 4K smartphone display, the Xperia Z5 Premium, and no doubt other phone manufacturers will soon follow suit. High-end Android smartphones already boast “4K video recording” among their features. But do you really need a 4K display on your smartphone?
What Does 4K Mean?
Pixels are the blocks of light that make up your display, similar to bricks in a wall. A 4K device has a screen with four times as many pixels as 1080p resolution standard HDTV and phone screens. A 1080p wall has 1,902 bricks in each row, while a 4K display is comprised of 3,840 bricks in each row, and has twice as many rows. Even though there are much more “bricks” in a 4K wall, they are so small that most people with average 20/20 vision won’t notice the images being any sharper.
Here are some pros and cons arguments to help you decide if investing in a 4K smartphone is worth it for you.
Pro - Media Use
While it can be argued that your smartphone isn’t the best device to be watching media on, as more 4K content is gradually being made available, why wouldn't you want to access it on all your devices? Combined with the fact that smartphones seem to be trending upward in size, for folks on the move, watching an Ultra HD movie on your smartphone could be a good experience.
Pro – Virtual Reality Access
Gear VR, Google Cardboard, Merge VR, Impression Pi, and virtual reality games and apps that are accessed through smartphones mounted just inches from your eyes can benefit with the extra pixels a 4K display offers.
Con – Is There a Tangible Visual Difference?
While it may sound impressive that the Xperia Z5 handset uses the same advanced screen resolution as many high-end televisions, despite their claims, 4K resolution text, images and video on a smartphone-sized screen aren’t significantly clearer or sharper than their old 1080p counterparts.
Con – Battery Life
To light up extra pixels, your device requires more power. While battery technology continues to advance, and software such as Doze, in Android Marshmallow, can help conserve and utilize it best, the fact is that a 4K screen will gobble up your battery faster than a comparably-sized 720p, 1080p or 2K device display. Sony promises that their Xperia Z5 has the same “two-day battery life” as their previous Xperia line, but that doesn’t seem likely – more pixels generally means more demands on your processor and battery.
Con -- Affordablity
The 4K screen comes with a higher price. While this will be less of an issue when other brands jump in the ring, it’s hard to justify the investment for a Sony product. Fans of Apple may be willing to fork over the cash for a premium perk, but other consumers may find it easier to wait until emerging competitor models drive the price down. In the end, it boils down to – how much are you willing to pay to be ahead of the pack with your smartphone upgrades? If finances are no consideration, some people who are addicted to the “more is more” mantra might find it hard to resist being the first on the block to sport the technology.
No matter what your smartphone’s screen resolution is, from 720p to 4K, your phone still needs protection from scratches, bumps, drops and spills. Having an expensive HD 4K device with a cracked screen is going to ruin your viewing experience. Remember to protect your smartphone from shocks and damage with a strong tempered glass screen protector from Ultimate Shield.