Tuesday, June 6

I’ve been wanting flat 2K screens on mobiles for years: they’re finally listening to me

There was a time when the QHD panels without curves They were protagonists in the high range. Samsung introduced them with its Galaxy Note 4 in 2014 (it has already rained since then), LG with its G3 in 2013 and even manufacturers like Google came to introduce it in phones like the Pixel XL. The joy was short lived.

With the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge came the (damn) curves, a not too functional aesthetic addition that little by little has taken over almost all high-end proposals. if you want a flagshipit will have to have a curved screen. Luckily recent launches, such as the Xiaomi Redmi K50 Pro show that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The beginning of the end in the age of curves?


OPPO Find X5 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Google Pixel 6 Pro, Xiaomi 12 Pro. It is (almost) impossible to get a high-end with a screen without curveseven more so if we want it to have QHD + resolution (a 1440p commercially called by manufacturers as 2K, although it is not really 2K).

Nobody asked for the curves, but if you want the best panel quality in the high end (Android territory) you must go through them

The industry has, for the last few years, been driving consumers to go for curved panels if they want to enjoy the highest resolution and screen quality. The screens without curves remain in the background and, at the level of implemented technologies, they are steps behind if we talk about luminosity, efficiency and final quality.

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Until this last month. With the launch of the Realme GT 2 Pro, a great precedent was set: the first AMOLED QHD+ screen of the LTPO type without curves, something that they even boasted about.

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Yes. It turns out that it is possible to have a QHD + panel, AMOLED, with a high refresh rate and flat. Xiaomi has followed the same path in its Redmi K50 and K50 Pro, which are committed to QHD + panels, AMOLED and without any curve (yes, with last year’s technology and less brightness than the panel seen, for example, in the Xiaomi 12 Pro).

The QHD +, beyond “Pro” and “Ultra” variants, has not managed to standardize on the rest of the high-end

HD, Full HD, QHD, UHD: what each resolution means and how they differ

Although on a small scale, it’s about the return of flat panels to the high end, with that ‘2K’ resolution that we missed so much. Samsung ended QHD+ in the Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21+ (despite the fact that they had been with ‘2K’ since the S6), Xiaomi has launched the Xiaomi 12 with Full HD+, while the Mi 11 had QHD+, Google is also committed to Full HD+ on its Pixel 6, even though the 2017 Pixel 2 XL, with a smaller panel, already had QHD.

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We can more or less notice it, but QHD is a clear leap forward for panel sharpness.

The good news? The aforementioned Realme and Xiaomi are an indication that the industry is manufacturing flat AMOLED panels and with this resolution. They are not designed for the highest range, but for terminals that are competitive enough to satisfy the bulk of average consumers.

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The myth of energy consumption with the QHD


To this day, the myth persists that “2K mobiles use up a lot of battery”. In its beginnings, high resolution LCD panels were less energy efficient. This was mainly due to the fact that the higher the resolution of the panel, the higher the density found in the pixel matrix. The LCD panels needed to fully backlight the matrix and, being denser, display backlight required more power. In other words, producing 500 nits on a 720p panel required less power than doing so on a 1440p panel.

No, currently a phone with an efficient AMOLED panel does not use more battery to run in 2K

Similarly, 5 or 6 years ago the processors were far behind in terms of power (especially in the main one involved in moving resolution, the GPU) compared to what we have now. So it was easier for the mobile to suffer moving higher resolution.

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S10 5G 1440p vs S10 5G 1080p. There are no differences in consumption. Image: PhoneBuff

With the democratization of the OLED, where the pixels are in charge of lighting, the tests indicate that there are no significant differences in consumption between FHD+ and QHD+. There may be occasional variations depending on the type of use we are giving the phone, but QHD is not an enemy of our battery.

I have been wanting flat 2K screens on mobiles for years, the path is beginning to open, and everything indicates that in 2022 we will see terminals closer to the front line in hardwarewith its corresponding high-resolution curveless panel.

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1 Comment

  • stamford_bridge

    Excellent article. I have been waiting for a Flat 1440p 120Hz screen for years! Finally, it seems like it’s getting some shed of light. I haven’t upgraded my phone for 4 years just because of these stupid curved screen trends. Curved screens are just irritating and annoying to use.

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