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Not long after LG posts an official teaser for its upcoming QHD G3 smartphone, leaked press renders hit the web

Late yesterday, LG posted a teaser video of its upcoming G3 smartphone which gave some fleeting glances at the phone including close-ups of its image stabilized rear camera. You can see the video here:
 

Not long after, however, Phone Arena gave us the full goods by posting leaked renders of the actual device. The G3 will be available in three colors: Gold, Titan Grey, and Silver. The close-up shots also show what appears to be a brushed metal backplate, but Phone Arena states that this could very well be a traditional polycarbonate shell textured to look like brushed metal.

 
The phone’s most talked about feature, however, is its 5.5”, 2560x1440 (QHD) display with 538 pixels per inch (PPI). We’ve already heard from Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu that QHD screens are “nonsense” and “a stupid thing,” but Toshiba obviously sees some benefit in this display "arms race."
 
Other reported features included a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera, and of course the latest version of Android 4.4.x KitKat.

 
To get complete details on the LG G3, we’ll have to wait for its May 27 official reveal.

Sources: LG Electronics [YouTube], Phone Arena



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RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2014 6:23:21 PM , Rating: 1
It's almost hopeless trying to educate people on this stuff. Pushing a few extra pixels around has no practical impact on battery life.

People don't seem to realize how overpowered the GPU's in smartphones already are.

Having said that, I really don't understand why more and more manufacturers are picking LCD displays over OLED. OLED technology is FAR more energy efficient, especially at this large size. There's no need for a power-hog back light (the pixels ARE the light source), and unlike LCD individual pixels can be turned on or off.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By Nortel on 5/14/2014 7:42:49 PM , Rating: 1
We finally agree on something. Why is everyone holding onto 1080p like its their first born son? There ARE other aspect ratios, resolutions and screen sizes. Why constrain yourself to 5.5", 1080p and 16:9? I actually find it funny how everyone harps on Apple for never doing anything original but yet comes out with an odd resolution and everyone complains. Similarly here, LG comes out (breaking the mold) with a great 1600p and people still complain.

People, 1080p is a horizontal pixel count, there is no reason why devices can't have other amounts of pixels.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By artemicion on 5/14/2014 8:05:09 PM , Rating: 2
Higher resolution may not have a significant direct impact on battery life, but if you're actually taking advantage of those extra pixels (i.e., using additional GPU power to render those additional pixels) you are.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By inighthawki on 5/14/2014 9:32:33 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
It's almost hopeless trying to educate people on this stuff. Pushing a few extra pixels around has no practical impact on battery life.


First of all, what is "a few more pixels"? 720p->1080p? 1080p->1600p? That's a ratio of 1:2.25:1.97. That is, 1080p is 2.25x as many pixels as 720p, and 1600p is 1.97x as many as 1080p. Those are far from "a few pixels". That's *literally* twice as much GPU work.

Screen composition can be a lot more complex than you think. It typically involves a lot of texture sampling and a lot of overdraw as well. A good compositor will obviously reduce the workload by only rendering dirty rectangles, but there's a lot more to it than that. You'd be surprised how expensive it is just to render the screen on a modern OS. In some cases it's actually far more complex than a 3D game. So yeah, the Windows phone's start screen won't be too complex with some solid colored squares, but it can get more complex with many layers, transformations, and effects. iOS now has translucency using a guassian blur - not really a cheap effect.

Which brings us to the next point: Power states. A typical mobile chip races to sleep. The phone game is all about staying idle, or being in as low of a power state as possible. Most GPUs will tweak their hardware to stay in the lowest power state possible to achieve 60Hz. For mobile devices, it's not uncommon to see a mobile chip take 15ms to render a single composited frame because it's at its lowest power state. If you double the pixels, it will absolutely keep up, but it will require bumping the GPU up one power state. The power draw goes up significantly.

On top of that, higher pixel density means that the backlight needs to be brighter to provide the same amount of luminance showing through. OLED is one area I can agree with you on, but there are plenty of people who swear up and down that LCDs are better quality than OLEDs and they'll never use them. To each their own.

It's funny you throw around things like "It's almost hopeless trying to educate people on this" yet it doesn't sound like you have any actual experience in the field at all.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 5/15/2014 8:15:39 AM , Rating: 2
It's funny you write all this, yet completely ignore LG's brilliant solution where the display is stored in video RAM as to prevent pointless refreshing.

There will be no noticeable impact on battery life because of this resolution.

Your post would be correct if the technologies were static. But every gain in resolution, comes with corresponding gains in efficiency as well.

quote:
It's funny you throw around things like "It's almost hopeless trying to educate people on this" yet it doesn't sound like you have any actual experience in the field at all.


The "field"?

No, I never claimed I design or manufacture smartphone displays!

But I know enough to bust the myth that more pixels = horrible battery life.

Seems you're more interested in impressing people with a bunch of unnecessary techno-jargon than addressing the crux of the issue.

And to claim QHD represents a 50% increase in GPU "work" is, frankly, completely baseless hyperbole.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By retrospooty on 5/15/2014 8:37:31 AM , Rating: 2
Yup... The G2 went from 1280x768 (an odd res) to 1920x1080 and not only improved battery life, it was the battery life champ of all 2013 models from all makers. Other makers all had the same improved battery life experience last year.

The GRAM helped LG to the top, but other things helped as well... Like chip and LCD efficiencies not having to do with res. People keep saying it takes too much power but there is zero evidence to support that statement. There is a load of evidence to support the opposite. - check every benchmark of every 2013 model that went from 720 to 1080


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 5/15/2014 10:40:18 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I just don't get where these arguments come from. Whenever a new resolution is announced, people instantly start with the "OMG MY BATTRIES LIFEZORSSSS!"


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By inighthawki on 5/15/2014 11:43:03 AM , Rating: 2
Because it's possible to take a hit in battery life from the resolution increase but improve battery life in other areas. The screen and GPU are obviously not the only things on the system. Improvements in device drivers can improve battery life far more than even having newer hardware. It's absolutely possible to have a higher resolution display but also have a net gain in battery life. But it is logically flawed to use the argument "Battery life improved, and the resolution is higher, therefore resolution isn't relevant"

The way you and Reclaimer talk, it's as if you believe you could just slap an 16000x10000 panel on a phone and you'd lose like a minute of battery life because "GPUs are teh so powerfulz" and the difference is negligible. GPUs are not as magical as you guys think they are.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By inighthawki on 5/15/2014 11:35:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's funny you write all this, yet completely ignore LG's brilliant solution where the display is stored in video RAM as to prevent pointless refreshing.

Firstly, it's not ignoring if you didn't know about the tech (sorry if I don't spend my time knowing every feature in every phone model). Secondly, this is a concept *completely* orthogonal to everything I talked about. You will still lose battery life from all the points I made above. You simply save some power on something else. This technology can be made available on any phone and see benefits from it.

I obviously don't know how much power that feature saves, so maybe there is no "net" loss of battery life because of it, but you're ignorant to believe that the higher resolution panel is not draining more battery.

quote:
The "field"?

No, I never claimed I design or manufacture smartphone displays!

No, I didn't mean design or manufacturering of smartphone displays. I was speaking more along the line sof knowing anything at all about the inner workings of GPUs. Graphics and driver programming, OS kernel development that uses that hardware and how things are optimized. Power state management, workload balancing and scheduling, etc.

quote:
Seems you're more interested in impressing people with a bunch of unnecessary techno-jargon than addressing the crux of the issue.

No, I'm mostly interested in pointing out that you have no clue what you're talking about. It's clear you have no low level understanding of how many of these components work, and the underlying cost of the resolution increases.

quote:
And to claim QHD represents a 50% increase in GPU "work" is, frankly, completely baseless hyperbole.

Firstly, a 50% increase is not double. You may want to check your math.
Secondly, do you just think you get all that for free? At the end of the day, the cost of rendering is going to be how long it takes to shade pixels. If every operation of every workload contains 2x the pixels, you're looking at 2x the work. There is no fancy magic or wizardry there.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 5/15/14, Rating: -1
RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By inighthawki on 5/15/2014 12:20:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh that's fine, but it's okay to browbeat me and claim I'm ignorant and that I know "nothing".

No, the difference is that it's unrelated and orthogonal concept. It's like claiming they implemented a new antennae that reduces power consumption from 4G use. That's great, but not knowing about it doesn't change the facts I told you about relating to resolution and GPU utilization. You on the other hand are going around claiming with certain knowledge that X and Y are true, but they're really not. If you don't see the difference then I can't help you.

quote:
Go f*ck yourself.

Sure, but it's entirely fair for me to point that out. You think you're going around "educating people" but you're not. You're just making claims that you thought were true, but in reality isn't how stuff works.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 5/15/2014 12:30:57 PM , Rating: 1
I said "pushing a few extra pixels around has no practical impact on battery life".

Key word: practical.

Also unlike you, I'm using layman's terms for the benefit of the reader. Throwing around technojargon on a forum may make you feel superior, but it doesn't mean you're right.

However despite all this, you've been unable to refute my claim because it's based on fact. There will be no PRACTICAL penalty in battery life on the G3 by going with a QHD screen.

I'm arguing practical, and you're pulling out the spec's sheet. See what I'm saying?


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By inighthawki on 5/15/2014 12:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I said "pushing a few extra pixels around has no practical impact on battery life".

Key word: practical.

So what are you looking for as a counter example? Raw numbers? Number of minutes and seconds shave doff from using a higher res display? Unfortunately I don't work at Samsung, or LG, or anyone who makes phones so I can't just go take a reference model design and plug in a new display and measure the difference. The best I can do is provide real world technical facts about how a higher resolution has an impact on things. I don't have numbers in a spreadsheet anywhere, but I can tell you from personal experience that these things do matter. Raising the PState on a GPU can easily shave an hour off battery life alone.

quote:
Also unlike you, I'm using layman's terms for the benefit of the reader. Throwing around technojargon on a forum may make you feel superior, but it doesn't mean you're right.

Wow. That is low. So basically, you don't actually provide any facts yourself, just "trust me, there's no 'practical' difference." You're then presented with a number of factual statements about how higher resolution displays can impact battery life, and then you spin things on me and make ME the bad guy because I'm trying to "act superior" and make you feel bad or something?

quote:
However despite all this, you've been unable to refute my claim because it's based on fact. There will be no PRACTICAL penalty in battery life on the G3 by going with a QHD screen.

NO. You haven't provided ANY facts. Your statements are literally the opposite of based on fact. You cannot just say you're arguing "practically" and use that as an excuse to not backup your argument. If you want facts, go show me the same phone with two different resolutions (all other specs, including software on the device) identical, with a negligible practical difference in battery life).


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 5/15/2014 1:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unfortunately I don't work at Samsung, or LG, or anyone who makes phones so I can't just go take a reference model design and plug in a new display and measure the difference.


Well you could have fooled me! Didn't you just disparage me for not being "in the field"?

quote:
Wow. That is low. So basically, you don't actually provide any facts yourself, just "trust me, there's no 'practical' difference." You're then presented with a number of factual statements about how higher resolution displays can impact battery life


But battery life HAS improved as resolution has increased. I'm not saying "trust me", I'm saying go look at the facts!

And yes, I know that is due to a variety of variables. Like I said, PRACTICAL differences. The end user doesn't know, or care, that if their phone was lower res they might get a few minutes more of on-screen time. Who cares!?

There's no PRACTICAL penalty, today, of going with HD or QHD. That was my whole point!

quote:
You're then presented with a number of factual statements about how higher resolution displays can impact battery life, and then you spin things on me and make ME the bad guy because I'm trying to "act superior"


Yeah, sometimes I even impress myself. You have to admit, that was a pretty good reversal move :)

quote:
NO. You haven't provided ANY facts. Your statements are literally the opposite of based on fact. You cannot just say you're arguing "practically" and use that as an excuse to not backup your argument.


Well I think I pulled it off pretty good, lol. :)


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By inighthawki on 5/15/2014 1:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well you could have fooled me! Didn't you just disparage me for not being "in the field"?

I simply meant I don't work at an OEM building phones. I do, however, work in the field of graphics processing. I work with OS kernels and GPU drivers all day long.

quote:
But battery life HAS improved as resolution has increased. I'm not saying "trust me", I'm saying go look at the facts!

And I'm not saying that's not true, it's just that it's anecdotal evidence. If one component causes more power drain, but then two other components improve it, you can get a net gain. Correlation does not prove causation.

But higher res screens can end up shaving more than a few minutes. It could be 30-60 minutes easy if you have to bump up the GPU's power state just to compose the display.

The feature you mentioned earlier is a good example of a component that can save a massive amount of power draw while remaining orthogonal to the power draw relating to resolution. Panel self-refresh technology has been used a couple other places (a lot of Intel's devices have it already, including laptops and tablets). The huge advantage is that it can completely disable vsync interrupts on the CPU, which allows the CPU to remain idle. The compositor will not have to wake up on vsync. Keeping the CPU at an idle state is very advantageous. I've seen similar technologies save an hour or more of battery life.

quote:
Yeah, sometimes I even impress myself. You have to admit, that was a pretty good reversal move :)

Yes, it was a pretty good move actually. A little low, but good :)


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By retrospooty on 5/15/2014 1:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
inighthawki, I dont think you are quite getting what is being said. It's not that there isnt a bit of a penalty for going higher res, there has to be... It's that the small penalty is more than compensated for by adding other efficiencies.

As proof of that, over the past few years as screens went from 800x480 to 1280x720 to 1920x1080 battery life has improved with each generation. Even on hte iPhone side... Was the retina4 that literally quadrupled the pixels worse than the 3GS it replaced? Of course not... It is fully expected that the G3 will will have even better battery life than the G2 (which was easily the battery life champ of 2013 smartphones from ALL makers). That is all that is being said here.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By inighthawki on 5/15/2014 1:28:06 PM , Rating: 2
I understand that actually. The overall point I'm actually trying to make is that when you understand that, you realize that you can make the phones even MORE efficient by not upgrading the resolution. You may not be losing (net loss) battery life with each new model, but it's not as good as it can be. In many cases, it could be way better.

I'm not arguing that we should all go back to 640x480 so we can have extra battery life, just that the tradeoff for going to 1080p->1440p isn't necessarily worth it for what little gain you have in visual quality.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By retrospooty on 5/15/2014 2:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
OK, granted... But everything you mention is pure theory as we have no data to show what the penalty is. Real data isnt out there, becasue you would have to test the same exact phone on 2 differnet res's and that isnt testable outside of an OEM's lab as you mentioned...

Based on how every generation increases the res and gets more efficient at the same time it must be a very small penalty.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 5/15/2014 3:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm this has me curious. How DO we figure this out? Outside of the debate with inighthawk, I'm now genuinely curious how much more does rendering higher res truly impact efficiency?

My gut feeling is, not much. But he does have more experience than me in this field.

I HAVE pulled up how much actual power the individual smartphone displays pull, that was easy. It's VERY low.

However that tells us nothing of the actual GPU consumption of one res vs. another.

http://www.displaymate.com/Smartphone_ShootOut_3.h...

Also this is only LCD's, no OLED's :(


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By inighthawki on 5/15/2014 4:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure it would be possible to do (test accurately) without having different panels. I would normally suggest using a tablet and setting the resolution to a lower setting, but you will still run into inaccuracies since there may be hidden work associated with non-native resolutions behind the scenes.

Windows has a feature called ETW which allows you to take a trace of the system as it runs and collect performance information through various events. You can then open the traces in various tools to visualize the data. There is a tool called WPA (Windows Performance Analyzer) which can break down some stuff such as GPU utilization and power state info, and another tool that ships with it called GPUView, which can visualize the actual workloads submitted to the GPU itself (every packet of work sent to the GPU). You can view how long a particular workload actually takes.

The biggest problem is that you are unlikely to get super accurate results, since the tracing itself can interfere with the system and provide results that aren't necessarily what would be real-world results. It may wake up the CPU more often and/or do additional work, or may make the display driver behave differently just by enabling it. It may still provide a semi accurate view, but I still wouldn't use the results as much of a baseline.

The alternative might be to get a tool that measures power usage and use the same scenario of lowering the resolution on a tablet. I think that would be more accurate, but then there's no way of knowing if the resolution change impacted anything else.

The other thing to consider is the workload itself. You'd have to choose your workload carefully to ensure it simulates real world usage, and do it long enough to matter. Rendering the windows start screen, for example, is going to be a whole lot simpler than random apps from the store. Other random apps may also put more drain on other components such as wifi. But I don't think this is stuff I need to point out, you seem smart enough to realize you're not going to get an accurate test by letting the device idle :)


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By retrospooty on 5/15/2014 5:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
Basically we cant... Just buy the phone you want with the features you want... If you don't want over 1080p, and there is a phone that suits your needs with 1080p, I would say buy that phone. If you don't want over 1080p and the phone that that meets your needs has a 1440p screen, buy it anyhow.

I am 95% sure on getting a G3 regardless of the res. (unless something better comes out between now and its release) I dont personally care if the 5.5 inch screen is 1080 or 1440, I am getting it for everything else it has, and I am 99% sure the battery life will be even better than the 2013 pack leading G2.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By Chaser on 5/15/2014 1:18:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
OLED technology is FAR more energy efficient, especially at this large size. There's no need for a power-hog back light (the pixels ARE the light source), and unlike LCD individual pixels can be turned on or off.
Anandtech 9/7/2013 LG G2 review:

"In addition the G2 has a few unique power saving features of its own, including display GRAM (Graphics RAM) which enables the equivalent of panel self refresh for the display. When the display is static, the G2 can run parts of the display subsystem and AP off and save power, which they purport increases the mixed use battery life case by 10 percent overall, and 26 percent compared to the actively refreshing display equivalent. In addition the G2 has a fairly sizable 3000 mAh 3.8V (11.4 watt-hour) battery which is stacked to get the most out of the rounded shape of the device, and utilizes LG's new SiO+ anode for increased energy density compared to the conventional graphite anode."

"Overall LG's G2 is surprisingly good. It's built on a great platform, with great battery life and includes a number of design decisions that show honest to goodness innovative thinking on LG's part."
quote:
It's almost hopeless trying to educate people on this stuff
You think?

You know nothing about the G2/G3's power usage and battery design to comment on it.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 5/15/2014 1:30:43 PM , Rating: 2
I just spoke of LG's GRAM trick, I'm very familiar with it, however I don't think you quite understand the difference between LCD and OLED.

LG's GRAM saves battery life by stopping the GPU from doing pointless refreshes when it doesn't need to. However the pixels are still being lit by the backlight.

OLED displays have no backlight. When you see black on an OLED screen, there's NO light source behind it. It's simply not using ANY power.

So I'm not sure exactly what point you're trying to make. But you have utterly failed in refuting my claim that OLED displays are inherently more efficient.

They are. LG came up with a cool trick, but that doesn't change the fact of the matter.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By Chaser on 5/15/2014 1:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
Not everyone needs to be educated. I understand how they work. Your comment was on battery life. Regardless of your view on displays the measurable outcome is usable battery life regardless of how it's achieved. I have owned AMOLED phones before. S3/S4. They don't come close to the G2's superlative battery life, LCD or AMOLED.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By inighthawki on 5/15/2014 1:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
But you quoted him about the OLED vs LCD stuff. You implied that it was relevant to what you said. I'm a bit confused...


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 5/15/2014 2:59:41 PM , Rating: 2
It's been a confusing day here for sure lol.


RE: stop making gold phones!!!
By inighthawki on 5/15/2014 1:31:48 PM , Rating: 2
In his defense, he actually specifically mentioned this (or at least did in the context of my back and forth with him). But all of this is sort of irrelevant since the feature is unrelated to screen resolution. It's just an unrelated improvement in batter life that can be applied to high and low resolution devices alike.


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