These days, people are in awe of their smartphone’s display. Companies are using this fact to plan their marketing skills. With the introduction of 4K display in smartphones, things are pretty much straight. If the PPI is high, the display is going to be better. Right? Hell no! Welcome to the new worthless stat, which you love to love: PPI
According to researchers, if you are an average human being, your eyes can’t enumerate the granular detail beyond 300 PPI. Retina display kick-in when a 300 PPI display is held 16-18 inches away from your eyes. And as I was referring to the average human beings, if you belong to the same category, you must be holding your phone 16 or more inches away from your eyes. Now you see where we are going. Right?
When Steve Jobs introduced the Retina display in iPhones, he stated that they call it Retina display because they have stuffed as many pixels in their display that an average human eye can’t observe it, from a normal viewing distance. The Retina display became one of the selling factors in the iPhones and people started getting obsessed with the PPI, soon after.
The enigma of is – far from a certain point, the usefulness of most of the specs fades away.
If you are reading this article, you might be big enough to recall that when cameras in phones first appeared, there was ample of room for improvement. Realizing this, companies started stuffing the sensor in the cameras of their phones with a huge number of pixels, as much that – it needed the prefix ‘Mega’ to keep the number small. This was done for the simple fact that – “getting a better detail, involved increasing the measurement of the image itself. But sooner, the expansion in the number of Megapixels no longer meant that it was a full proof sign of improvement.
Sometimes, you might notice that the 5MP camera in your phone takes better image than a 10MP shooter. If you are planning to embrace the pictures of the size of a wall in your home or garage, a camera with high Megapixel is your thing to go with, otherwise, after a certain point, even the Megapixels just doesn’t matter.
The same thoughts bloomed up when the contrast ratio became specs for LCD and Plasma displays. The simple fact is – “If you can’t see it, it just doesn’t really matter, as far as the display is concerned”.
Pixels density has become a selling point for these kinds of products and companies are using this fact to plan the marketing strategy by introducing the specs that are way beyond the observation power of an average human being.
What these extra, useless features do is – “they eat out the power that was supposed to keep your phone alive for long”. Can you see any point in packing a 500 PPI display in a 5-inch screen? Well, I can’t see any.
Here is the question that everyone is tempted to ask – Does increased smartphone resolution help for watching HD movies? To your disappointment, the answer is “NO”. If you want to harness the awesomeness of 1080p video, you need a display larger than 40 inches.
In theory, if you want to harness the awesomeness of a 1080p video, you got to be holding your phone 6-8 inches away from your eyes. Do you hold your phone 6-8 inches away from your eyes? If yes (seriously?), then this article is not for you.
Sure, there are added benefits of a 1080p smartphone display, but there is a risk of making everything too small to be viewed, easily.
So does this mean that we have reached a point that the quality of smartphone displays cannot be evolved further? Does this mean that we should stop trying to make a better smartphone display? There are plenty of other ways by which the quality of displays can be improved. But we have reached the point where a higher pixel density doesn’t qualify to make your display, a better one.