Can you see the pixels?
Last week the online rumour mill whispered that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 would land with a 6in 4K display. And now Sharp has chucked a can of fuel on the 4K smartphone fire.
The Japanese company has officially outed a 5.5in LCD 4K display with a pixel-packed 3840 x 2160 resolution. That's an incredible 806 pixels per inch, which would best the Note 5's reported 762ppi display, on paper at least.
Unlike the Note 5's screen, which is expected to use Samsung's own AMOLED screen technology, Sharp's screen uses it's LCD IGZO panels, which the company says will initially land in Chinese smartphones (no specific manufacturer is mentioned).
Sharp's IGZO technology offers lower power consumption as transistors don't continuously refresh when still images are on the screen. How it will match up agains Samsung's AMOLED competitor however, remains to be seen.
4K on a display this size is, to the naked eye, possibly a pointless exercise. We say possibly, because we've yet to see one in person, and we'll happily lavish it with praise if we notice any considerable differences in general use.
What does excite us however, is the use of these insanely dense screens in virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Current VR headsets (including the 2K Samsung Gear VR) still show up pixels rather clearly, given that they're so close to your eyes. 4K screens should help reduce that problem, increasing immersion and improving VR experiences even further.
This is all assuming, of course, that we'll have the mobile hardware to push all those fancy graphics at those extra pixels. Definitely watch this space...