Back in mid-2014, Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu lobbed quite a few grenades at the nascent market for QHD smartphone displays. At the time, 1080p displays were quite common on flagship smartphones, so Yu stated, “I don't think we need QHD displays on mobiles. Your eyes totally cannot identify between full HD and 2K on a smartphone. You can't distinguish the difference, so it's totally nonsense.”
Yu went on to add that the power demand for QHD were immense, and added, “[Your] eyes cannot see the difference, so why should we do that? I think it's a stupid thing."
If that is how Yu felt about QHD (2560x1440) displays on smartphones, imagine what he would say about Sony’s Xperia Z5 Premium, which sports a 5.5-inch 4K (3840x2160) display. Today, we’ve finding out a bit more about that display courtesy of some commentary from Sony. When Sony first announced the Xperia Z5 Premium, the company touted two-day battery life which seemed to fly in the face of a device with a 4K display and a relatively small battery. Well, there’s a reason that Sony is able to make such lofty battery claims: the Xperia Z5 Premium doesn’t always display content at 4K.
Instead, the smartphone displays most content at 1080p, a resolution that Sony has been comfortable with sticking with for years on its flagship smartphones. However, when the need arises to display content that can actually take advantage of the increase in pixels, the smartphone will dynamically adjust its resolution to 4K.
“Xperia Z5 Premium features a 4K display with a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels based on SID Standard and enables all video and image content to be enjoyed in 4K resolution,” said Sony in a statement to Phone Arena. All other content is displayed at 1080P or lower resolution in order to optimize the performance and battery stamina for this device, ensuring you can enjoy the 4K resolution when you need it most.”
The folks over at XDA Developers hypothesized that Sony implemented such a feature in the Xperia Z5 Premium, but it’s nice to hear confirmation coming straight from the horse’s mouth.
While some may call it bait-and-switch (as they did when Sony reneged on its Xperia waterproofing claims), it’s actually a pretty smart solution and fair compromise to the resolution war that is occurring with Android flagships.