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Why The Move To 1080p Screens On Mobile?

HTC, Sony and finally Samsung have all announced phones wearing full HD screens, but I'm struggling to see why.
There seems to be no real advantage to squeezing in those extra pixels, and at least two major disadvantages.

No one much cared about PPI until Apple launched the iPhone 4, packing a 300+ pixel per inch ratio. It was called the Retina Display, because at a normal working distance the eye cannot distinguish the elements that make the picture on screen at this resolution.

All of Apple's competition launched retina-plus displays - above the 300ppi threshold. And some incredible displays they were.

As the next generation of flagship devices arrived earlier this year each came with a display with a PPI ratio of over 400. There isn't any reason for this change. The displays don't look sharper and draw more power from the processors and consequently the battery, to move around pixels that you can't actually distinguish.

There are two reasons for having the higher resolution display, firstly to allow larger screens to maintain the 300+ ppi ratio - something that I expect to see on the Galaxy Note 3 when it arrives later in the year.
Secondly to enable full HD video out to a mirrored display. How often you do this will very much determine how much value you get out of the new One, S4 or Xperia Z.


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