It’s been half a year since Japan Display introduced its 543ppi smartphone screens – meaning it’s about time rival screen maker Sharp stepped in to up the ante.
Sharp’s newest innovation is a 600 pixel-per-inch 5.5-inch smartphone LCD panel, which will be followed up by 7- to 9-inch versions for tablets, according to Asian site Nikkei.
Naturally that beats Japan Display’s 5.4-inch 1440 x 2560 display like paper on a rock (and might be about as useful).
Sharp is reportedly claiming that these ultra-dense screens will enable 4K media playback, though that likely only applies to its tablets – as Android Authority points out, 4K on a 5.5-inch screen would require 800ppi, a milestone that thankfully has yet to be reached.
Screens get bigger, pixels get smaller
Whatever phones these displays find themselves in are going to look quite impressive – though some argue that at a certain point denser and denser screens don’t make much of a visible difference.
Recently Japan Display also unveiled a 10.1-inch 4K tablet screen that it said matches the battery life of less dense devices despite its ultra-dense display.
Of course for a larger-sized tablet screen "dense" means something like that display’s 438ppi – 200 pixels per inch higher than the iPad Air‘s, but still significantly lower than the best smartphone screens.
Beyond these ultra-high-density displays, Sharp is also reportedly keen to put its more efficient (but 300ppi-capped) LCD IGZO panels in more mid-resolution devices, a welcome focus for smartphone users who are OK with actually spying a pixel now and then.