DigitalFriend Blog

January 2013

The Multitude of SmartPhone and Tablet Screen Resolutions

Wed, 23 Jan 2013 08:15:21 +1000

By: gosh'at' (Steve Goschnick)

The list below is not a comprehensive one but does include most of the devices (made) widely available in the last year or two, listed here from 'highest resolution' to 'lowest', within sub-headings consisting of each platform (Apple; Android; BlackBerry; Windows; Bada; HDMI devices). Note: model names often vary across countries.

The range of high-resolution, good quality devices has never been this diverse nor this affordable! It's a techno feast for someone like me who 'really likes' their personal computing technology. I started a Masters by Research (Computer Science) degree in 1998, initially with a view (i.e. 'The Topic') to putting elastic/self-configuring user interfaces on high-resolution, all-screen phones, that were just becoming available ... or so I thought!

At the time Ericsson (then a standalone maker of mobile phones, well before they teamed up with Sony) was touting a research-only, all-screen phone in The Press - and I wanted to get my hands on one for the Masters. I got as far as getting Ericsson onboard as a sponsor of the research, but the phone never materialized. Between you and me I don't think that phone ever really existed beyond a shell for the press shots.

However, in Japan, by early 1999 the i-Mode phones - some were all-screen phones (some with separate keypads) with Internet/service access - were already available in the marketplace in quantity. And very popular they were too, as the domestic PC /'www' version of the Internet, was not as widely embraced in Japan in the late 1990's as it was elsewhere in the West (not counting France, which was also slow/hesitant to embrace the www 'on the PC'). While PCs were then commonplace in Japan within the corporate world, they were less prevalent in the home. Instead, that domestic PC/www void wasn't really a void at all - it was already occupied with other advanced devices such as the iMode phones, and gaming consoles from Nintendo, Sony and Sega.

Outside of Japan, all-screen phones really started to cook with the high-resolution touch-screen iPhone from Apple in 2007 - well after my Masters was finished. I had changed my research topic (to one within the Intelligent Software Agents domain), but my long-term interest in high-res, all-screen mobile devices, and what one might do with them, continued.

The screen on the original iPhone3 was a modest (by todays standards) 480x320 pixels - offering just half the visual footprint of the old standard PC VGA screen (i.e. 640x480) - but nonetheless, that represented a magnificent graphics field for programmers to practice their art upon. Along came Android in 2008/9, and there the deluge began and shows little sign of slowing down ... although some say 1920x1080 'Full HD' may well be a plateau of sorts:


(PixelsxPixels (pixels-per-inch), aspect:ratio, screen-size diagonally, company, model, then a variable 'etc.' )





Touch Monitor

Note: HDMI 1080p - also known as 'Full HD' - is (at least) 1080 horizontal lines.(progressive scan i.e. not interlaced), at 16:9 ratio therefore a ratio of at least 1920x1080 native pixels. 1080p24 means 24 frames per second, which is a standard embraced by digital filmmakers.

Raspberry Pi

Via HDMI port, can do: 640x350 EGA; 640x480 VGA; 800x600 SVGA; 1024x768 XGA; 1280x720 720p HDTV; 1280x768 WXGA Variant; 1280x800 WXGA Variant; 1280x1024 SXGA; 1366x768 WXGA Variant; 1400x1050SXGA+; 1600x1200 UXGA; 1680x1050 WXGA+; 1920x1080 1080p HDTV; 1920x1200 WUXGA.

OUYA Video Game Console/Controller

1920x1080 and 1280x720, both via your existing HDMI monitor/TV, based on Android 4.1, sporting a custom designed game controller (with similar widgets to the XBox 360 Controller), due 2013-03-xx.



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