Talking about screen definition, how defined do you want your screen to be? Be it your smartphone screen or your PC’s, you’d definitely value a refined screen with a higher number of pixels. It’s all about the clarity of the display. As for the matter of clarity, various resolution screens are equipped with FHD and QHD for the convenience and preference of the users.
What might be FHD and QHD, then? HD stands for high definition. HD contains a pixel measurement of 1280 x 720 pixels whereas Full-HD resolution measures 1920 x 1080 pixels. As for QHD, it stands for Quad HD, four times the standard HD definition. This means that you can insert the same number of pixels as four HD displays into a QHD display of the same size. The pixel measurement for QHD is 2560 x 1440 pixels. Since the difference is known to us, there’s a question now!! Which is better?
Full HD Vs Quad HD
We should be known by now that Quad HD offers sharper images and improved quality, an essential for screens with larger displays where a higher number of pixels are required to keep up the pixel density, (pixels per inch or PPI number), and thus clarity. However, more pixels refer to a more strained graphics processor, potentially lowering the frame rate and/or consuming more power. But undoubtedly, a higher display resolution becomes an aid for the games to appear smoother without rough edges.
When it comes to tolerance of the human eye to viewing distance, it comes with a variable. For a small 5-inch smartphone, an FHD resolution has you covered pretty much regardless of how close you hold your device. For larger 6-inch and 7-inch handsets, the move to FHD+ to Quad HD can make a little bit of a difference at closer viewing distances. The PPI offered by various resolutions for three unique display sizes is shown in the column plots below:
From the above chart, We can get a key takeaway that higher resolutions are only just noticeably better on the very largest phones held very close up. Whereas, most consumers probably hold their smartphones 30cm to 40cm is nearer to a typical handling distance so even FHD has you covered virtually regardless of device size at those sorts of distances.
Also, the resolution of content viewed on your smartphone, especially most of the content streamed online is still 1080p (FHD), or perhaps even 4K. Playing back at a native resolution looks best, or failing that, scaling up or down by a nice integer factor. As for example, 4K is 4 times the resolution of 1080p, so it scales nicely for good looking playback. QHD or 1440p doesn’t divide exactly into 4K or 1080p, meaning that playing back this type of video content actually looks blurrier on a QHD display than it does on an FHD panel. As a whole, the move to QHD and beyond is a case of declining returns and it definitely has its share of trade-offs too.
Battery life: Which holds better?
As already mentioned, Quad HD requires your device to work harder on graphics and display processor as the display involves more number of pixels. That makes it obvious that there’s increased power consumption. Powering a Quad HD display consumes roughly 12 percent more power than Full HD. While you play games or watch videos, your battery is to drain quicker.
Setting your phone to a lower display resolution helps improve battery life but not always by a lot. This is mostly beneficial for lowering power consumption when playing games, as the display still has to power those extra panel pixels regardless. As a whole, picking Full HD over Quad HD adds up to an extra 30 to 40 minutes of screen on time, although this varies a lot from handset to handset.
QHD Disabled by manufacturers
The Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy Note 10, and OnePlus 8 Pro are few of the list that state that they have QHD+ capable displays but then are actually set to an FHD+ resolution in software out of the box. Also, we still see very high-resolution displays on modern spec sheets but most consumers probably aren’t using their phone at that resolution, maybe the reason is increased battery consumption and lack of native content. The LG V50 and Huawei on the Mate 20 Pro included a feature to automatically switch to a higher resolution when viewing compatible content.
Quad HD is a nice feature to have if you really want your display to look it’s very best. But then, while smartphones continue to offer QHD+ hardware, many manufacturers have decided that setting their displays to FHD+ offers the best balance of visual clarity and power consumption.
What’s the minimum you should buy in 2020?
FHD+ is the best option for smaller handsets but then if spending money around and above the $1,000 mark then you deserve the very best. Large phones around the 7-inch mark, combined with a big battery and also covering the QHD+ display can help you run the panel at its full resolution for the whole day. That being said, resolution certainly isn’t the be-all and end-all of display quality. In fact, 120Hz refresh rates as well as classic metrics such as gamma accuracy, color, and white balance, have a bigger overall impact on image quality.
Full HD+ is more than clear enough in the vast majority of use cases and for all but the largest smartphones. In fact, it’s pretty close to the older QHD resolution and most flagship phones now default to FHD+ out of the box anyway. So, which would you prefer? FHD or QHD? Feel free to mark your choice in our comment section.