Hitachi Bumps Mobile Resolutions To 800 x 480

Just what we wanted, though we'll need very good eyesight.

When I think of mobile phones I think of Hitachi… don’t you? Ok, no – neither do I.

Well perhaps we should since the company-not-normally-associated-with-handsets has come up with a blockbusting new resolution for them: 800 x 480.

This will be housed in a largish-yet-perfect-for-smartphones 2.9in panel and mass production has already begun. At 800 pixels wide it should make screens ideal for viewing web pages when in a landscape orientation. Beyond the simple res jump is also an impressive contrast ratio spec of 400:1 and a 250cd/m2 brightness. On top of this, the viewing angle is a massive 170 degrees in both horizontal and vertical directions.

Hitachi admits that in boosting the resolution there was a far greater demand placed on the backlight which should have placed a sizeable extra strain on battery life but some clever techno tickering has solved this by improving the transmittance of its light.

So we now have the resolution we all wanted, the race is on for manufacturers to incorporate them into new phones/smartphones. The race is also on to be first in line at the first shop to sell one…


An interesting letter in from one of our very knowledgeable readers on this subject. With permission, we hand the floor to widowspankie:


You may (or may not) be interested to note that Hitachi’s 2.9 inch (37mm x 62mm) screen with its 800×480 pixels has a pixel width of about 0.077mm (330 pixels per inch), making its pixels the smallest possible size for use with the naked eye:

A person with 20/20 vision can only resolve objects at 1/60th a degree, so pixels on Hitachi’s screen can only be resolved by the naked eye if it is held at most 265mm away. This is just beyond the 250mm ‘least distance of distinct vision’ (it is generally accepted that people have difficulty focusing on objects closer than 250mm).

To cut a long story short, if Hitachi’s pixels were any smaller, then they could not be differentiated, even to someone with perfect (20/20) vision.

This screen is also ideal for North American NTSC DVD’s and DVB broadcasts (720×480 pixels), but not for European PAL DVD’s and DVB broadcasts (720×576 pixels). It is also therefore the smallest possible North American DVD screen without any loss of detail.

Incidentally, a 21 inch monitor with this pixel size uses a WHSXGA (6400×4096 pixels) screen – beyond the bandwidth of both dual-link DVI-D and HDMI 1.3 for 24-bit colour.

Something else worth noting in Hitachi’s original Japanese press release appears to indicate that this is a 24-bit colour ( 16.77 million colours) IPS (in-plane switching) monitor. They also mention that mass production had already been started in December 2006:

Please remember that laser printers have a higher number of dots per inch (dpi) so that they can dither smaller dots to produce shades of gray (with black dots) or colour (with CMYK dots).



We certainly are, and many thanks. If you want to discuss/argue with this article feel free to in our forums.

Hitachi UK

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