LG introduced a new 4.5-inch smartphone display on Monday that rivals the resolution of a high-definition television set. The True HD IPS screen packs a 1280×720 resolution (720p) and LG’s Mobile HD Graphics Engine, which “offers advanced resolution, brightness and clarity and shows colors in their most natural tones.”
Such a screen rivals that of Apple’s(s aapl) Retina Display, which is used on the current iPod touch and iPhone models. These boast 960×640 resolution in a 3.5-inch screen, which works out to 329.65 pixels per inch. At that level, the human eye can’t detect individual pixels when the phone is held at normal usage distance, making for an extremely crisp viewing experience. LG’s True HD IPS provides 326.36 pixels per inch, which is essentially identical.
Last week, LG introduced its Optimus LTE; the company’s first phone that will use a True HD IPS screen. The handset, debuting in Korea, is launching with Android 2.3(s goog). I’d hope that any phones that use a 1280×720 display would see an upgrade to the next version of Android — Ice Cream Sandwich — so high-resolution Android tablet applications could easily run on the handsets.
Android 3.2 introduced new screen-density APIs to help developers code a single application for multiple screen sizes, but that version is intended for tablet applications. Ice Cream Sandwich is expected to unify the Android smartphone and tablet platforms. An upcoming Google Nexus phone, dubbed the Nexus Prime, is expected to showcase Ice Cream Sandwich on a rumored 4.65-inch, 1280×720 screen.
Regardless of the current and future version of Android supported by phones with this display, the end-user benefit will remain the same in terms of visuals. User-created content such as high-definition video and still images will look much better, for starters. High definition video purchases or rentals will also shine and won’t require any conversion to a lower-quality format, while gaming too could be vastly improved.