Samsung is no stranger to high end devices and top of the line displays. Given their track record, are they on pace to have a 4K display on the successor to the Galaxy S6? Is the pixel density of 4K too much to justify for a phone?
Why Use 4K?
For many, pixel density is the most important metric in purchasing a new device. If the display is not as crystal clear as possible with currently existing technology, it isn’t enough. Will Samsung try to appeal to this group of consumers?
As 4K displays even in full size displays such as computer monitors and television sets are still relatively new, many people expected it would be several years before phone manufacturers began including such high resolution screens in small devices. Sony, however, proved that a phone can definitely rock a 4K display and look amazing doing it. With such vivid and crisp images, videos and games look top notch on 4K screens.
If Samsung wants to show that they still have what it takes to make a beautiful display on a device, it may behoove them to make sure the Galaxy S7 has a 4K screen. Though it may not be imperative to all consumers, many people are going to look at pixel density as a selling point and this could hurt Samsung unless they elect to include it.
Why NOT Use 4K?
Though ultra high resolution 4K displays on devices such as the Sony Xperia Z5 look absolutely gorgeous, they don’t come without some serious downsides. For one, greater pixel density requires a hefty GPU to paint images on the screen. Putting my work on the graphics processor of the phone also pulls a lot more battery life.
If Samsung can improve battery life to offset the extra drain from a 4K display, it may be worth including. They could either include a larger battery in the device or improve battery optimization elsewhere to reduce overall drain. The two downsides to these solutions are that a larger battery requires a larger form factor, which some people may be unwilling to compromise with. If Samsung sticks with the 5.1” display size range of the Galaxy S6, it may be impossible to elegantly increase the size of the device enough to include a larger battery. Regarding optimization, this often entails reducing performance, which could penalize Samsung on benchmark scores tremendously.
What is More Important to Consumers?
Over the past few months since the release of the Galaxy S6, Samsung has been heavily criticized for reducing the size of the battery from the S5. As such, sales seem to have dropped significantly as opposed to the previous year. To breathe some much needed life into the sales of their main flagship, it is vital that Samsung listen to their consumers and make sure the S7 has much more crowd appeal.
The best option for a device that will stand out for all audiences is a healthy mix of both battery life and pixel density. With improvements to battery and screen technology, it should be feasible that Samsung could include both with a well-designed phone. However, if they must sacrifice one for the other, battery life seems more important to the majority of consumers. We can expect that Samsung will PROBABLY include a 4K display with standard battery life, but we could be surprised if they forego the pixel density to squeeze out a much longer screen-on time from a similar battery.
READ MORE: The Official Galaxy S7 Features and Specs