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Is this the first smartphone with a 4K display?


ZTE Blade S6 7

Straight out of the interminable rumour mill that is China comes word of a smartphone with a 4K display.

The device in question is the unannounced ZTE Star 3, a claimed 5.5-inch handset with a 2160 x 3840 pixel resolution screen.

That’s a staggering 806ppi pixel density. To put that in perspective, the 1080p display on the iPhone 6 Plus offers a 326ppi density.

Just how realistic is this though? Well Sharp recently announced it was planning a 5.5-inch smartphone display with a 806ppi density in April.

However, this panel was pencilled in for mass production in 2016, which puts it a long way off.

The ZTE Star 3’s panel will purportedly be manufactured by Chinese firm BOE, and will apparently be ready sooner than Sharp’s offering, according to the report on MyDrivers (via PhoneArena).

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Of course, the real question is whether there’s any point having a smartphone screen that has a 4K pixel resolution.

Flagship smartphones tend to waver between Full HD 1080p and 2K panels, and the difference isn’t very noticeable with the latter.

Switching from a 2K display to a 4K display would be practically impossible to gauge a difference between on such a small panel.

However, a 4K display could benefit smartphones in the realm of virtual reality, where screens are positioned much closer to the eye, thus making it easier to differentiate to between individual pixels.

This high resolution comes at a cost however, and that’s battery life. A 4K display would be a tremendous drain on a smartphone’s power supply, so the ZTE Star 3 will need to pack some serious juice.

Would you cough up cash for a 4K display on a smartphone, or are you happy with current display fare? Let us know in the comments.

Søren Fjelstrup

June 9, 2015, 7:17 pm

Is this the stupidest smartphone gimmick ?

Yan Huang

June 10, 2015, 8:55 am

Very good point about the VR, as current VR headsets are severely lacking in pixel count. The availability of cheap, consumer grade OLED displays in phones is what enabled the current generation of VR products in the first place, but is now also holding it back.

Even if 4K is rather pointless on a mobile phone display, the mass production of such displays will surely drive the availability of cheaper, higher DPI displays for VR products. After all, the Oculus Rift DK2 is built on a Galaxy Note phone screen.

And then there's Google Cardboard...

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