Samsung: 4K phone displays could really help VR

Samsung: 4K phone displays could really help VR

When Sony launched the Xperia Z5 Premium with a 4K display, some wondered if it was simply a marketing gimmick to sell more phones.

However, Samsung believes that the technology does have a future, and could help improve a key part of its portfolio.

"I don't think it's a gimmick; eventually 4K screens will become more mainstream," said ," said Kyle Brown, head of technology, content and launch management at Samsung.

"At the moment, at the screen sizes we've got, there's not enough of a noticeable difference to make it really stand out and be worth that extra cost to user."

Even current smartphones displays are considered by many to be too high-res, with not a lot of content out there which can make use of the QHD (roughly 2K) resolutions on offer.

Alternate reality

But there could be a different angle to why packing so many pixels into a screen would help – we asked Brown if 4K displays would be of benefit to virtual reality headsets, which is an area Samsung is pushing into hard with its Gear VR products:

"Yes it would do, as the size of the pixels would be less and you wouldn't see them on the screen as closely, so it would be a benefit for VR," he confirmed.

So does that mean that someone like Samsung is looking at such technology?

"Yes. Once we believe it's the right time to move [to 4K displays], the same as the decision on USB Type-C for example, and we think it's the right point we can mass produce a 4K screen that will be enough of a consumer benefit to make it worthwhile."

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.