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Samsung Says No to 4K (at least until 5G)



In the competitive world of mobile technology, new and improved almost always trumps old and efficient. Phones got smaller, and then the screens got bigger—it’s not always about change in a particular direction, just that change is good for business, and typically better for the end user. But when it comes to screen size and resolution, could there be an end in sight? 

When Sony introduced the Xperia Z5 Premium smartphone, the crown jewel of the device was the exclusive use of 4K—about double the resolution of most popular 2K resolution phones currently on the market. Sony is the first major manufacturer to include 4K on its device and many critics assumed other brands would follow suit in the coming year. This, however, may not be the case. 

A 4K smartphone uses the same advanced tech we see on many high-end, HD televisions—and those, as you know, don’t come cheap. But the economic side of this coin isn’t what may have turned off two of the largest smartphone manufactures in the game: Korean-based Samsung and LG. 

Rumor has it both Samsung and LG will forego 4K on all its new models in 2016. The source of this information is inconclusive, particularly because tech writers are scrambling to translate this Hangul news source—which doesn’t exactly translate word-for-word.  

But the gist of it goes something like this: Samsung and LG see no reason to move prematurely forward with 4K despite their Japanese competitor’s latest gadget. They fear the extra resolution may actual hinder other aspects of the phone they have been working to press forward on—specifically the battery life. 

Another reason Samsung and LG may steer clear of 4K is because presumably most content for 4K won’t be deliverable until the 5G network comes to pass. Also, some argue the boost in resolution from 4K wouldn’t even be visible to the naked eye, let alone on a 5x5-inch smartphone screen. 

The bottom line, Samsung and LG are playing it safe by not jumping on the upgrade bandwagon, and following what may have been an over-zealous attempt by Sony to get noticed in the smartphone arena. 

Some consumers will nab the Xperia Z5 just on tech principle, but others won’t be missing much—at least, not anything they can see. 

So don’t get down that your next Samsung or LG phone might not have the latest and greatest screen resolution next year. What you can’t see, in this case, surely can’t hurt you. 


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