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Qualcomm predicts 4K phones are the next big thing

Chipset manufacturer Qualcomm has suggested that 4K phones will be the industry’s next big area of progression, a move that is closer than you might expect.

With handsets having progressed through having 720p HD and 1080p Full HD displays in less than 18 months, Qualcomm has predicted that it won’t be long until 4K phones are the dominant force of the high-end mobile scene.

I think 4K is one of the primary things you are seeing from us,” Tim McDonough, Qualcomm’s Vice President of Marketing said speaking with TrustedReviews on the future of smartphones.

“4K is pretty cool because it means that not only can you do 4K video, but once you can push that number of pixels and the chip has the ability to do 4K video, anything that is multimedia related – think about gaming – that gets better too.”

With chipsets set to be at the heart of the introduction of true 4K phones, McDonough has teased that the first 4K handsets might not be too far off, despite 4K TVs still being in their infancy.

“In November we announced Snapdragon 805, the next-generation of 800. Our shorthand for that is that it is the Ultra HD mobile processor and it runs Ultra HD. It will shoot it with video, it will play it back, it will play it back with surround sound and it will run an Ultra HD UI,” he said.

“It has already sampled and we said the first half of 2014 [for devices to launch].”

Detailing the move to 4K he added: “When you think of how many pixels it is running on screen, it is an incredibly competent processor. If you can put Ultra HD in a phone, you can basically put it in anything as this is the most challenging environment to design a chip for.”

While recent Samsung Galaxy S5 rumours have claimed the phone will land with a 2K resolution display in tow, last year the Korean manufacturer bestowed its latest phablet with the ability to shoot 4K video.

Discussing this breakthrough moment towards truly 4K phones, McDonough stated: “The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 today has a Snapdragon in it and shoots in 4K because of that Snapdragon. That is the first toe in the water and I think you will see a lot more of it.”

Highlighting the rapid progression the smartphone industry has made to 4K, the Qualcomm VP added: “As soon as you think it is going to slow down, you are generally proven wrong.

“I once said that ‘now we’ve got 720p on our smartphone screens isn’t that good enough?’ I was so wrong. 720p was the standard for what, six, nine months.

“If they can do 4K you kind of get to the point where it is ‘what can’t they do’. What I think will be interesting is will your phone go from 4K to 8K.”

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