Phone Resolution meaning, Mobile phone screen resolution explained
What is Mobile phone screen resolution? To explain what mobile phone screen resolution is, we will start first by knowing exactly how a picture is formed on a mobile phone screen. The screen of a mobile phone is made up of thousands of tiny dots known as Pixels as shown in the picture here.
A pixel is the short form of ‘Picture Element’. A Pixel on a mobile phone screen is the smallest element which goes to make the picture. Pixels appear as small squares as shown in the picture here. The more the number of pixels to make a mobile phone picture or wording, the sharper it becomes and makes the smartphone screen more easily readable.
Mobile phone screen size in pixels
The size of a mobile phone screen is either given as an inch measurement or as a pixel measurement. The inch measurement is the diagonal screen size as explained on our page about phone screen size.
Mobile phone screen size in pixels is known as the 'Resolution" and is the pixel measurement of a phone screen. So Resolution of a phone screen is a measure of so many pixels from left to right and from bottom to top of the phone screen. The left to right is the 'x' axis and bottom to top is the 'y' axis. Let us say a smartphone screen size in pixels is 720 pixels from left to right and 1080 pixels from bottom to top, then we say the pixel resolution of this smartphone is 720x1080 pixels. It is common practice to write the left to right 'x' axis figure first.
Most common smartphone screen resolutions, mobile phone screen sizes in pixels
The most common smartphone screen resolution are usually according to the following standards. For smartphones when it is held upright, the X-axis or the horizontal measurement is usually smaller than the vertical Y-axis or the height of the screen. Thus in the following, the 'X' and 'Y' axis are based on computer screen measurements where the width is more than the height, like when a smartphone being held horizontally.
Thus for an HD smartphone held horizontally the resolution is 1920x1080 (the X-axis is wider when the phone is held horizontally) and when held vertically the resolution will be 1080x1920.
Standard mobile phone screen resolutions
These are the Standard mobile Phone Resolutions:
- VGA (640×480)
- VGA stands for Video Graphics Array (VGA) and has become the universal basic standard for measurement of Screen Resolutions. VGA resolution is 640pixels on X-axis and 480 pixels on Y-axis or 640x480. This was the resolution of the first Computer screen for the IBM PS/2 computer in 1987.
- QVGA (320×240)
- QVGA stands for Quarter Video Graphics Array. The actual screen width and height are half the VGA screen size, but when multiplied the value of the QVGA becomes quarter of the number of total pixels in a VGA screen. That is why it is called Quarter Video Graphics Array or QVGA
- WQVGA (xxx×240)
- WQVGA is short form of 'Wide QVGA' and is any display resolution having the same height of 240 pixels as QVGA, but the X-axis width is wider, for example 360x240 (3:2 aspect ratio), or 427x2400 (almost 16:9 aspect ratio)
- HVGA (480×320)
- HVGA Stands for Half VGA or 480×320 pixels. The half value is in the number of pixels and not the physical size of the screen. VGA screen with 640x480 pixels has307,200 pixels and HVGAwith 480x320 pixels has exactly half the quantity of 153,600 pixels
- WVGA (xxx×480)
- WVGA stands for Wide VGA where the height is the same as VGA at 480 pixels but the width is wider, for example 720x480 (3:2 aspect ratio), or 854x480 (almost 16:9 aspect ratio)
- SVGA (800x600)
- SVGA stands for 'Super Video Graphics Array' also called Ultra Video Graphics Array or Ultra VGA or UVGA is mostly used in computer screen standards.
- Quarter HD or qHD (960×540)
- QHD stands for Quarter HD where the sides are half the HD measurements of 1920x1080, that is 960x540 pixels.
- XGA (1024x768)
- XGA, is the short form of 'Extended Graphics Array' with a display size of 1024x768 pixels and was an IBM display standard of 1990.
- WXGA (1366x768)
- WXGA is 'Wide Extended Graphics Array' is a modification of XGA with wider screen for example 1366x768 which has an aspect ratio of 16:9.
HD Phone Screen Resolutions
The following are the different types of High Density HD resolutions that are now becoming common in high end smart phones.
- Full HD (1920x1080 pixels)
- HD stands for High Definition with a resolution of 1920x1080 and in the wide angle ratio of 16:9.
- Hd ready (720x1280)
- HD ready is an older standard of High Density screens.
- Quad HD (1440x2560)
- Quad HD has four times the total number of pixels than 'HD Ready'(720x1280). The sides are double, but when you multiply the two side pixel counts you get 4 times the number of pixels.
- Ultra HD 4K (3840x2160 pixels)
- Ultra HD stands for Ultra High Definition with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Since 3840 pixels horizontally is almost 4000 pixels, it has been named a 4K resolution where 'K' represents 1000. The aspect ratio is 16:9. 4K phones have not yet hit the market, but expect them soon.
Best screen resolution for Phones
The best screen resolution for phone is when the relation between phone screen size and resolution gives a pixel density of about 300 pixels per inch or 300 PPi. Even though the more the value of the PPi the clearer and sharper the phone screen becomes, there is an upper limit for PPi above which the human eye cannot distinguish higher PPis.
Sometimes mobile smartphone resolutions are given as the X and Y axis values like 1500x800 pixels. Without knowing the screen size we cannot have a relation between screen size and resolution to calculate the pixel density or the Pixels Per inch PPi. It is the density of the pixels in a smart phone screen that determines the sharpness and quality of the picture. The same number of pixels in a smaller screen gives much sharper pictures. Thus the highest phone resolution pixel numbers alone does not give you an idea of how good the mobile phone display is, you also need to know the screen size.
The human eye cannot distinguish the difference in PPi when the figure reaches a saturation point of about 300 PPi. So having a PPi of much more than 300ppi will not make the screen that much clearer but there is a penalty for having high PPi, there will be faster battery drain of the phone because more power is required to light up more pixels. .....More on this from our page on PPi