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 pixels there is 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 1080 pixels from left to right and 1920 pixels from bottom to top, then we say the pixel resolution of this smartphone is 1080x1920 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
Smartphone screen resolution standards has evolved from TV screen High Definition resolutions. In TV the standard resolutions are
- HD ready is 1280 x 720 pixels
- FHD or Full HD is 1920 x 1080 pixels
- QHD or Quad HD is 2560 x 1440 pixels
- UHD or Ultra HD or 4K is 3840 x 2160 pixels
What is Aspect Ratio in Mobile Phones?
The Aspect Ratio of a mobile phone screen is the ratio of the height of the phone screen against the screen width. The Standard Aspect Ratio in TVs are applied to phone screens. In all TV the Aspect Ratio is measured as the width of the TV to its height, and it is 16:9.
Even though mobile cell phones are held upright with the taller side being held vertically, the screen measurements are given as if the phone is held horizontally, like a TV with the longer side being horizontal. This way the resolution of the 'X' and 'Y' axis will be in the same orientation as a TV and there is some uniformity between the resolution counts.
In phones it is difficult to maintain the same aspect ratio as a TV because as the phones become bigger, the width becomes too much for single handed operation of the smartphone. So there is a steady increase in the height of the phone compared to its width. For example the Aspect Ratio of newer Smartphones went from 16:9 to 18:9 to 19.5:9 to 20:9 and the biggest change was made by SONY recently in their Xperia phones with 4K resolution where the Aspect Ratio is 21:9.
So with the new Aspect ratio of mobile phones, for example, in a FHD phone with 20:9 Aspect ratio, the pixel count will become 2400x1080 instead of the 1920x1080 of the 16:9 Aspect ratio. Similarly for a QHD phone with 20:9 Aspect Ratio the pixel count will become 3200x1440 instead of the 2560 x 1440 pixels in a 16:9 Aspect Ratio.
What is the best resolution for mobile cell phones?
There is an optimum resolution for phones beyond which human eyes cannot make out the difference in quality of the picture or text appearing on the screen. The resolution beyond which human eyes cannot perceive any improvement in the screen quality of the phone will be the optimum or best resolution to have on a mobile phone. This optimum resolution is reached by about Full HD resolution. With the biggest mobile cell phone screen size being about 6.5 inches tall and about 3 inches wide and being held only at about 10 inches or more from our eyes, we cannot make out any difference in the screen picture or text quality at higher than FHD resolution. So it is of no use having Quad HD or 4K Ultra HD phones, it will not improve our visual experience on the phone. So the best resolution phone to have is a Full HD phone.
Having a higher resolution is a drain on the phone battery. Also it requires much higher processing power to output multiple high resolution screen shots at the common frame rates of 24, 25, 30, 48, 50 and 60 frames per second. A phone processor is in a relaxed mode when displaying FHD screen shots compared to a QHD or 4K screen. This makes the phone perform better and faster. So all told, a Full HD screen phone is the best resolution for a mobile cell phone.
Standard mobile phone screen resolutions
Mobile phones evolved from very small screen size and resolutions during the early days of mobile phones to the present day. Here are all the standard screen sizes which were encountered during the evolution of the mobile phone over the last 30 years of mobile phone history.
- 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)
- FWVGA (854x480)
- FWVGA stands for Full Wide Video Graphics Array and is a display resolution of 854x480 pixels which is about an aspect ratio of 16:9.
- 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.
Compare Mobile Cell phone prices online before buying
The best way to buy a mobile cell phone is to first see all the phones that are available online. These online companies offer some great discounts on the latest models, especially for phones where new models are going to be announced soon. Once you study all the available models and prices of mobile cells online, you can safely do your shopping in the local stores. In case you cannot find better prices, you can confidently buy online from Amazon.in or Flipkart, because they are the leading online retailers in India. Both these online stores in India have reputation to keep, and they will make sure that you get the original latest versions and also have very customer friendly after sales service.
For online shopping of mobile phones, here are some links: