Just in 2013 was when the China phone market began to explode with 1080p offerings. At the time, the MT6589 SoC with SGX544 was just barely enough to push it. Now in 2014 we’ve finally got a GPU that can handle the weight of 1080p – the Mali-450 MP4 in the MT6592. The question then becomes, do we really even need 1080p on our smartphones.

The answer – it depends on the size of the screen. Anything 5.0″ or below will be fine. In fact, most people are unable to distinguish the difference in clarity between 720p and 1080p on a 5.0″ or smaller screen.

From bigger than 5.0″, it will depend. People may be able to distinguish the difference, but for most, 720p should provide very good clarity even up into 6.5″ land. Remember, LCDs on 13″ notebooks are still coming in 720p. That’s 4x the area of a 6.5″ screen – with the same amount of pixels.

Then comes into question the matter of battery life and performance. Especially when it comes to considering 3D game performance. The CPU and GPU work harder to push more pixels. In the case of 720p vs 1080p, the amount of pixels are doubled. While the Mali-450 MP4 has plenty of juice to move the pixels with standard applications, battery life can be significantly increased by going with 720p, and depending on the complexity of graphics with 3D games and hi-res 2D games, difference in performance will be distinguished as well.

The fact of the matter though, is that people always think bigger numbers are better. Same as with megapixels and cameras, the average consumer sees ‘1080p’ and like to jump on it, as opposed to the ‘lowish sounding 720p’, not realizing that likely they would never be able to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p on a 5.0″ LCD.

We’re not saying that it’s impossible to tell the difference. What we’re saying is the average user won’t notice any difference in loss of clarity from a normal viewing distance.

Myself, I like to stick with 720p if possible on 5.5″ or smaller, but it’s seemingly more and more difficult to find decent models with 720p only and looking like things are just going to get more difficult. As we enter 2014, sadly even the mid-range 5.0″ China brands are starting to push their phones out with 1080p. It’s simply a matter of business in a very competitive market. Where bigger numbers always look better.

Do We Need 1080p LCDs? 1080p vs 720p! Damian Parsons OpinionTech
Just in 2013 was when the China phone market began to explode with 1080p offerings. At the time, the MT6589 SoC with SGX544 was just barely enough to push it. Now in 2014 we've finally got a GPU that can handle the weight of 1080p - the Mali-450 MP4...
Just in 2013 was when the China phone market began to explode with 1080p offerings. At the time, the MT6589 SoC with SGX544 was just barely enough to push it. Now in 2014 we've finally got a GPU that can handle the weight of 1080p - the Mali-450 MP4 in the MT6592. The question then becomes, do we really even need 1080p on our smartphones.<span id="more-2983"></span> The answer - it depends on the size of the screen. Anything 5.0" or below will be fine. In fact, most people are unable to distinguish the difference in clarity between 720p and 1080p on a 5.0" or smaller screen. From bigger than 5.0", it will depend. People may be able to distinguish the difference, but for most, 720p should provide very good clarity even up into 6.5" land. Remember, LCDs on 13" notebooks are still coming in 720p. That's 4x the area of a 6.5" screen - with the same amount of pixels. Then comes into question the matter of battery life and performance. Especially when it comes to considering 3D game performance. The CPU and GPU work harder to push more pixels. In the case of 720p vs 1080p, the amount of pixels are doubled. While the Mali-450 MP4 has plenty of juice to move the pixels with standard applications, battery life can be significantly increased by going with 720p, and depending on the complexity of graphics with 3D games and hi-res 2D games, difference in performance will be distinguished as well. The fact of the matter though, is that people always think bigger numbers are better. Same as with megapixels and cameras, the average consumer sees '1080p' and like to jump on it, as opposed to the 'lowish sounding 720p', not realizing that likely they would never be able to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p on a 5.0" LCD. We're not saying that it's impossible to tell the difference. What we're saying is the average user won't notice any difference in loss of clarity from a normal viewing distance. Myself, I like to stick with 720p if possible on 5.5" or smaller, but it's seemingly more and more difficult to find decent models with 720p only and looking like things are just going to get more difficult. As we enter 2014, sadly even the mid-range 5.0" China brands are starting to push their phones out with 1080p. It's simply a matter of business in a very competitive market. Where bigger numbers always look better.



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