Print 34 comment(s) - last by Alexvrb.. on Dec 19 at 12:46 AM

Low-resolution screen support scraps HTC project

Rumors are circulating that HTC has scrapped a project that would produce a 5” or larger smartphone using the new Windows Phone 8 operating system. Apparently, HTC couldn’t justify going with the larger screen due to Microsoft’s strict screen resolution requirements.

While there are Android smartphones in that pipeline that support resolutions as high as 1080p, Microsoft has limited Windows Phone 8 to a maximum of 720p (for now).
According to Bloomberg’s source, HTC was looking to pick a fight with Samsung’s Galaxy Note II smartphone, which features a 720p display. By offering a 1080p competitor, HTC would have some bragging rights against Samsung’s offering. However, display parity wouldn’t do much for HTC, which has been battered in recent months in the smartphone market.

Bloomberg reports that HTC's decision will deliver a blow to Microsoft and its efforts to compete with Android in the smartphone market. Consumers wanting a large-screen smartphone will have no choice but to go with Android offerings if they are shopping from HTC. 

Source: Bloomberg

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First of all...
By Motoman on 12/17/2012 10:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
...why would MS enforce a screen resolution limit? I don't see how that makes any sense for them.

Secondly...720p on a 5" screen is more than plenty anyway. The mad obsession with resolution on tiny screens just boggles my mind. I have a couple 32" TVs that are only 720p...and for their screen size, it works just fine. Yes, I know that I'm not watching those TVs 12" from my nose...but the point stands. 1080p on a 5" screen does nothing but ramp up the cost of the device. It's not going to make any subjective difference in your normal usage of the device.

RE: First of all...
By piroroadkill on 12/17/2012 10:53:21 AM , Rating: 2
I agree.
Even on my Desire HD, 4.3", 800x480 - I find it fine. I browse the web a lot, and I really have no complaints about this so called "old" and "low-res" screen. Really, it's still great, and boosting to 1280x720 - I can't imagine you'd need more on a phone.

RE: First of all...
By Sazabi19 on 12/17/2012 12:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
But... then it would have 1000 and 80 of the FULL Hdees. I want more hdees!

RE: First of all...
By zephyrprime on 12/17/2012 1:00:54 PM , Rating: 3
Man, you gotta switch to a 720 screen on your phone if you browse the web a lot. I went from 800x480 like yourself to 1280x720 and it is far superior for web browsing. For other purposes, it doesn't matter but for web browsing, it does.

RE: First of all...
By Rukkian on 12/17/2012 3:15:16 PM , Rating: 2
I agree on the web browsing. While some say you cannot tell the difference, and it not needed (I used to be in that camp) when I use somebody's phone with a lower res, I can tell now that I am used to my gnex, which doesn't even have the best screen and is 12 months old.

Having everything be crystal clear, even when I zoom in is awesome.

RE: First of all...
By nafhan on 12/17/2012 11:09:29 AM , Rating: 4
Some speculation here: the screen resolution limit probably has to do with scaling and asset resolution.

Google has put a LOT of work into getting Android to scale across multiple resolutions and still look nice. I think that MS has not, and instead they are supporting a limited number of fixed resolutions. There are advantages to both approaches.
1080p on a 5" screen does nothing but ramp up the cost of the device.
The only 1080p phone I know of, the Droid DNA, is the same price as most other high end phones ($200 on contract), and the image quality is noticeably better. Not a big difference, but it's easy to see when you look at it side by side with other phones.

RE: First of all...
By Labotomizer on 12/17/2012 11:13:10 AM , Rating: 2
Next to my 8X I can't really tell the difference, other than the .7" larger. Both are incredibly sharp. Not sure how you could notice the pixels on either one. Magnifying glass?

RE: First of all...
By RufusM on 12/17/2012 12:44:53 PM , Rating: 5
This is just spec-war between the OEM phone makers. HTC wants to be the first to market to give them some differentiation and an advantage.

If Joe Schmo walks into a store it can be sold on quantitative specs: screen size, 1080p, quad-core, etc. Knowing the specs can produce placebo effects for qualitative differences when the customer knows one has inherently "more" or "better".

It can also give phone nerds something more to brag about.

RE: First of all...
By nafhan on 12/17/2012 2:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
Specifically, I was looking at a DNA next to an S3, and I could see a difference. No magnification needed. Definitely cannot see the pixels on the DNA, but depending on what I'm looking at they are sometimes clearly visible on the S3. It's not bad enough to actually bother me.

Also: 8X = 342dpi Super LCD vs. S3 = 306dpi PenTile. So, I would expect the difference between the 8X and the DNA to be less noticeable.

RE: First of all...
By Alexvrb on 12/18/2012 12:51:55 AM , Rating: 2
Of course pixel density is just one factor in how good a display is. What's funny though is that the article says 720p is the limit, but you can get a Lumia 920 with a slightly-higher 768 x 1280 resolution. I think the Ativ Odyssey will use the same resolution. I'm thinking that's the real limit, until they introduce an update and a new Chassis spec.

RE: First of all...
By Alexvrb on 12/19/2012 12:46:47 AM , Rating: 2
But let's not let facts get in the way of a good article. Right Shane? 768? Search engine?

RE: First of all...
By Labotomizer on 12/17/2012 11:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
It's to help ease development for apps. By maintaining a consistent resolution it's easier for developers to target the HD devices.

And 720p is more than adequate for a 5" screen. I can see the desire to support 1080p output to a larger external display. But it's mostly a pissing contest I think. I have a 1080p screen sounds cooler, I guess. Not sure it will impact my email all that much.

1080p on a 10" tablet? Awesome. On a 5" phone? I just don't see the big deal. But it is to some I suppose.

RE: First of all...
By FITCamaro on 12/17/2012 11:54:17 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah anything bigger than 720p is just ridiculous on a 5" screen. I want good scaling for HD playback on my phone so 720p is fine. But trying to say we need 1920x1080 pixels on that form factor is dumb. Just means you need more powerful hardware to drive it and bigger batteries.

RE: First of all...
By FITCamaro on 12/17/2012 11:52:43 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is following Apple's model of only supporting specific resolutions to avoid the fragmentation that exists on Android.

RE: First of all...
By BugblatterIII on 12/17/2012 2:13:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, going above 720p for that screen size is a marketing decision pure and simple.

It'll also reduce performance and battery life.

My gf has a Note II and I really can't see how adding more pixels would make it look any sharper.

RE: First of all...
By CyCl0n3 on 12/17/2012 5:01:49 PM , Rating: 2

RE: First of all...
By Visual on 12/18/2012 3:55:43 AM , Rating: 1
You are really clueless... what you say may be right for movies and television, but plug in a PC, and then post again if you still think 720p is "just fine". It simply is not.
Likewise with phones, you may think it is "just fine" until you get to see the difference. Only then you will understand how foolish you were before.
More details is more details. Any way you put it, it is still better.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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