Sharp Announces Retina-Searing 5.5-Inch 4K IZGO Display With 806 PPI

How many pixels can you cram on a smartphone display? A whole bunch, is our technical answer. As proof of this, Sharp announced the creation of the world's first (and of course only) 5.5-inch mobile display with an Ultra HD 4K resolution. Yes, that's 3840x2160, which works out to a mighty impressive 806 pixels per inch.

Citing a Greek-language blog that seemingly managed to obtain information and Japanese-language press images from Sharp, PhoneArena says the 4K smartphone display is scheduled to go into mass production in 2016. That means you should start to see flagship devices from various smartphone makers equipped with the 4K panel by around the middle of next year, if not sooner than that.

Sharp Display

This is pretty much a panel shrink of existing 4K displays, many of which are IGZO models. IGZO, or "indium gallium zinc oxide," is a transparent compound semiconductor material in which each pixel is controller by its own transistor. Electrons bounce around faster in IGZO, so transistors can be smaller, which in turn paves the way for smaller pixels. And for mobile devices, it has energy efficiency attributes that make it a good fit.

"IGZO contributes to the dramatic leap in the energy efficiency of digital devices, resulting in substantially longer battery life for mobile users. When displaying still images, it achieves power savings of a staggering 80 to 90 percent by pausing the driving signals to maintain the same image," Sharp says.

These are exciting times for the display category. Ultra HD is far from the end-game here -- there are rumors that LG is working on an 8K 27-inch display for Apple, and you have to think it will only be a matter of time before that trickles down into smartphones, regardless of whether or not it's needed at this point.