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Sharp delivers displays for 4K smartphones

by Jacob Kleinman | April 13, 2015April 13, 2015 7:00 am PST

We’re still getting used to Quad HD quality smartphones, but it may not be long before even that high resolution becomes obsolete. Japanese phone-maker Sharp recently promised to launch a 3840 × 2160-pixel display in 2016, making it the first company to officially confirm plans for a 4K smartphone.

Sharp apparently broke the news earlier this month speaking during a small panel, but the story didn’t pick up until a few slides from the presentation were published by Greek site Techblog. The leaked images reveal plans for a 5.5-inch IGZO display with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. That’s an almost ludicrous 801 pixels per inch.

The company added that the first 4K displays will roll out in 2016, though not necessarily in a Sharp-branded smartphone. Instead, Chinese manufactures will help launch the new high-resolution screens. That could include popular phone-makers like Xiaomi and Huawei, though we’re guessing Sharp will likely save some 4K displays for itself. Apple has also used IGZO displays in previous products such as iPads.

Sharp may be the first to announce plans for a 4K smartphone, but it won’t necessarily be the first to market. Rumor has it Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 5 will pack an equally high pixel count, giving it a clear selling point once it launches later this year. The new technology could also be paired with an updated Gear VR to take advantage of the phablet’s extremely high resolution.

For now 4K may be reserved for our high-end TVs, but it may not be too long before it shows up in our flagship phones as well.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...