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Why your next smartphone may have a larger HD screen

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Samsung is reportedly shrinking down the size of full high-definition screens and will create them for large smartphones and small tablets. The company’s Super AMOLED Plus technology, which arrived earlier this year, will support 1280×720 resolution displays on mobile devices, exceeding Apple’s Retina Display which currently provides a 960×640 resolution. According to Ron Mertens on the OLED Info site, Samsung will bring the new screens to smartphones over 5 inches in size, as well as 7-inch tablets:

I just had an interesting talk with two industry insiders (one of them is a Samsung supplier) – about Samsung’s upcoming Super AMOLED HD display. It turns out that these displays are indeed real – and will be unveiled soon. We can expect 5″ to 6″ smartphones in fall 2011 (the first will probably be the GT-I9220 with a 5.3″ display) and 7″ tablets by the end of 2011.

Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus technology is better seen than described; the display colors are extremely vivid when compared to any other screens. Here in the U.S., one of the first smartphones to use it was the Samsung Infuse 4G on AT&T’s(s t) network. I was blown away by the colors on the 4.5-inch display and attempted to share the experience near the end of this video demonstration.

It’s noteworthy that Samsung may boost the size of the displays because many consider 4-inch smartphones to be the largest acceptable size. I tend to disagree, mainly because carrying the Infuse with 4.5-inch screen wasn’t a problem for my hands or my pockets. And Samsung’s fastest selling phone, the Galaxy S II with 5 million sales in 85 days, uses a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display; clearly the larger size isn’t hurting sales any. For these reasons, I’ve long suggested that Apple might want to consider bumping the display size of its iPhone(s aapl).

Regardless of the size of smartphones or tablets that end up with Samsung’s screen technology, the company is also cutting production costs. Merten’s sources suggest that the Super-AMOLED price premium is now around 20 percent when compared to a Super LCD screen with the same size and resolution. That means Samsung could reap more profit per phone, even as smartphone sales are close to rivaling those of Apple.

18 Responses to “Why your next smartphone may have a larger HD screen”

  1. griz8791

    IMO you won’t be seeing this on Verizon. They didn’t get the Streak, they joined with the other carriers in killing the phone features in the US release of the Galaxy Tab, and they don’t have the Samsung Infuse. Verizon wants to make everyone buy a phone AND a tablet with a separate data plan for each device. Phones with screens big enough to get work done on threaten this business model.

  2. Smartphones aside, a 5″ 1280×720 display would be something Viliv should be using for their S5 handheld. Add some Oaktrail/SSD hardware and you have a nice Windows 7 device in your pocket.

  3. I think a larger phone makes a lot of sense. Dell was ahead of their time with this. This is especially true after the iPad rage. Gone will be the days of using the phone up at our ears, but instead over Bluetooth devices. This will usher in the age of millions of people ceasing to buy desktop machines, and instead having a super-phone that can double as a laptop when connected to inputs and a monitor. Gotta have vision to see this coming! Sell your Dell and HP stock! Unless they effectively make these devices, that is.

  4. 5-inch phones are one of the most idiotic ideas I’ve ever heard. If we are talking a product for 2-5% of the market, fine. If we are talking mainstream products, the screens are going to max at the 4.3-4.5″ level. Fortunately, Samsung already understands this, despite some gibbering about their obsession with 5-6″ screens (for markets that barely/don’t exist) and 7″ screens (for the dwarf tablet market that barely exists).

  5. 5″ is just perfect. Really looking forward to it.
    I am so excited about it that I even started blogging just about that topic few days ago. Lets see how it goes ;) You can follow the link on my name.

  6. Tony Camilli

    Several years ago I did some research on 4-6″ devices. In one focus group, a participant compared a phone over 4″ to holding a ham sandwich up to your head. I still think of that visual every time I see one these devices like the 4.5″ in the video.

  7. Laqduill

    these are the same things people said when Android decided to go beyond iPhone 3.5″ screen into the realm of 4″. it’s too big!!! you cant go any bigger!! I predict it will fail!! so what happened? 4″+ is now the defacto standard.

    battery density & screen size are not a 1:1 pathway on the way up. in fact battery density excels at a faster rate than screen size. that is the primary reason tablets have much better battery life than phones. 5″ screens will mean bigger phones which will mean more room for higher density batteries. the extra screen size drain is not as significant.

    Dell Streak was a terrible example of a 5″ phone because it was designed as a landscape tablet device. if you want to see 5″ design done right then look at the Samsung Galaxy Player 5″.

  8. SanityKills

    Finally! I’ve been holding out on the successor to my EVO 4G in hopes that SOMEONE will produce a 7″ tablet with phone capabilities. This eliminates the urge to carry my iPad AND my phone with me on short trips.

    • NadieSan

      this is 1 of the reasons you will never see a mid-sized Apple device as they are scared to death of cannibalizing either the phone or tablet products. why sale 1 product when you can sale 2?

      I think putting the phone to your ear is outdated, most people I know use headsets or speaker phone. so looking ridiculous isn’t an issue anymore.

  9. Well definitely bigger screens mean more battery requirements. But the Infuse 4.5 inches display was definitely comfortable. Infact, Dell Streak looked more like a tabled than a phone.

    I guess 4.5 is the max. Thats what they should stick too and work upon improving the display quality.

  10. I get why it could seem like this would be a good trend, but smartphones/tablets at this size need accessories such as the Bluetooth headsets which do voice commands and have screens, or the more useful adoption of docks, connected wearable tech (watches, glasses, etc.), and better software interfaces for large screen activities (versus mobile activities).

    It’s a good hope, but given all of those, and the unsolved issue of battery power density requirements, I don’t think that trends or mainstream use will willingly go beyond 4.3in screens. For those not looking for all of those accessories, 5in is just too large and won’t be an option, no matter how functional or what carriers/manufacturers push. It will be a niche, and like Dell’s effort, probably one meant to push other component and device prices down rather than being a main-mover itself.

  11. Lindsworth Horatio Deer

    This is a phone. never mind the word “smart”, why is it so big?

    Looks like a shrunken Apple iPad. Maybe AMOLED tech is getting cheaper, but a trending towards a larger screen (actually true by the way!) is taxing on battery life. Which means slightly larger and bulkier batteries or other tech to trickle charge batteries. Lovely article from the Americans, I dare say!!

  12. When I think of 5 inch smartphones I think of the dell streak. Too big to be a smartphone and too small to be a tablet. I can’t see it being more than a niche size. Plus, Samsung has be reserving SuperAmoled Plus for itself. If they can reduce the size below 5 inches they might have something for smartphones and not for tablets.