LG Display pushes mobile resolution goalposts
Lays down gauntlet to Samsung and Sharp with a 5-inch LCD panel sporting full HD resolutions
Published: 28 May, 2012
LG Display is one of the manufacturers of Apple's RetinaDisplay screens, but it also aims to launch a superior offering for other smartphone customers. It has introduced a 5-inch full HD LCD panel, the highest resolution handset display to date, it claimed.
The widescreen panel uses AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching) technology and boasts resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels or 440 pixels per inch (ppi), according to LG. That compares to Apple's RetinaDisplay, which has 264ppi on the new iPad and 326ppi on the iPhone 4S.
High density smartphone screens are an important differentiator for smartphone makers, and Samsung and LG lead the field in tempting these OEMs with new advances (as well as strengthening their own handset sister companies). LG is moving the goalposts from the current default resolution for top end smartphones, 1280 x 720 or 329ppi on a 4.5-inch screen (as seen on the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III and LG Optimus 4X HD). Samsung will also debut its next generation AMOLED technology soon, and has promised massive resolution of 2560 x 1600 - usually associated with very large displays - for 10-inch tablets in future.
Both Korean vendors make panels for Apple, but aim to reduce reliance on that customer, which has been investing considerable resource into its partnership with Sharp. This could enhance the Japanese player's ability to challenge the two Koreans in the mobile market and make it a serious AMOLED player as well as strengthening it in high resolution LCDs.
As well as pointing to the next phase in smartphone resolution, LG is also betting on handsets continuing to get bigger by choosing the 5-inch size. That was once the preserve of the somewhat odd 'phablet' niche as pioneered by the failed Dell Streak, but now many OEMs have a 5-inch model, the most successful being Samsung's Galaxy Note. LG has its own 5-incher, the Optimus Vu. None of these offerings yet has such a hi-res screen though (Vu has 1024 x 768 and Note has 1280 x 800 on a 5.3-inch panel).