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2K smartphone displays will soon be commonplace

Quad-high definition 2K displays will be commonplace in the smartphones of the near future, according to chipmaker Qualcomm.

2K displays, which have a resolution in the order of 2,000 pixels, are currently only used in a small number of handsets, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

Read more: Netflix to bring 4K to PlayStation 4 and Xbox, if they keep their ‘promises’

Qualcomm’s vice president of marketing, Tim McDonough, told Trusted Reviews that the ubiquity of 2K handsets is inevitably going to increase.

“You will see more 2K displays on handsets soon,” he said. “China as a market tends to be very specs driven so there are tonnes of 2K phones available there already and of course the LG G3 is 2K. We think you’re going to see a lot more 2K displays.”

Despite rumours that Samsung is already preparing a 4K smartphone for release, McDonough doesn’t believe ultra high-definition handsets will become commonplace until the technology behind them falls in price.

“We still have to figure out the form factor where there is a true user benefit [for 4K]. That’s probably a starting point,” he added. “I think it is more around does the benefit match the cost, that’s why we see the move to 4K screens moving much more quickly on tablets. Phones are probably more in the future.”

In fact, the high cost of ever-sharper mobile displays is a criticism that has already been levelled at 2K screens. The increased drain to battery life has also seen some smartphone manufacturers adopt lower-resolution displays for increased functionality.

Huawei’s president of handset production Kevin Ho recently reiterated that 4K screens should only be implemented if they provide a noticeable improvement in the user experience.

Read more: Samsung rumoured to be testing first 4K smartphone

“The power consumption would be so huge that your phone would last just half a day,” he said. “Maybe we have to compromise. For huge screens 4K is very good but for the smartphone it is 5-inch or 6-inch at the very most. Maybe our eyes can’t tell the difference.”

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.