With the advent of technology and human’s nature of craving for more has lead to a revolution in smartphone industry. Every year we witness the launches of hundreds of smartphones. One of the most common term we hear and come across is Display Resolution. Most of the times this display resolution is the deciding factor when we are about to buy a smartphone. So what is this display resolution? Does it really matter? How many types of display resolutions are there ? Let’s find an answer to these questions.

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When we talk about a smartphone’s display there are two things, one is display size and other is display resolution. Display size is the diagonal measurement of display in inches. Display resolution refers to the measurement of the display in terms of Pixels.

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What is Pixel?

Pixel is a tiny illuminated area on a display. An image is formed when many pixels combine in horizontal and vertical direction.

What is Display Resolution?

Display resolution is the number of pixels in each dimension and is measured by using the formula “Width x Length” i.e. the number of pixels from ‘Left to Right’ or width of display and multiplied by number of pixels from ‘Top to Bottom or length of the display when a phone is placed horizontally in portrait mode. For example, if we say that display resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels, it simply means that there are 1280 pixels along the width of the display and 720 pixels along the length of the display.

Also See: Smartphone Display Types, Which One is Best

Importance of Display Resolution

The quality of the image we see on the display of a smartphone is determined by the number of pixels covering that area. If the number of pixels for a given display size is less, then the image will be dull, blurry, less sharper and contrast will be poor. If the number of pixels for a given display size is more, then the image will be brighter, sharper, cleat and the image is said to be of good contrast. Simply, more pixels means image of higher resolution and good quality. Likewise less pixels means image of lower resolution and low quality.

Types of Display Resolutions

In the field of video capturing, a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels is referred to as Standard Definition or VGA (Video Graphics Array.

WVGA- It refers to Wide Video Graphics Array and as the name indicates it is much wider than that of VGA with height being the same as that of VGA. It has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels and requires cropping of image in widescreen video to display it perfectly.

FWVGA- It refers to Full Wide Video Graphic Array. It has a display resolution of 854 x 480 pixels and does not require the cropping of the image in widescreen video and provides an aspect ratio of almost 16:9. It is much denser than the WVGA and hence the image quality will be much better.

HD- It refers to High Definition and has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and has an aspect ratio of 16:9. This display resolution is also referred to as 720p (‘p’ stands for progressive scan) and is widely used in smartphones today. The number of pixels in HD display is 3 times the number of pixels in VGA display. As we explained more number of pixels means sharper,better, brighter and sharper image.

FHD- It refers to Full High Definition and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It is also known as 1080p display and is widely used in smartphones. The picture quality is best in terms of sharpness, contrast, brightness and clarity. Full HD displays have a more deeper and denser look to them. It’s height is 3 times and width is 2.025 times that of a VGA display and hence offers the best image quality distinguishable by human eye.

Why High Display Resolution and When You Need It?


Display resolution and how it affects the gaming performance is a widely discussed topic. Some games look the same irrespective of the fact whether they are played on a HD (720p) display or on a Full HD (1080p) display. It totally depends on how the game is coded. Some games are coded to take advantage of higher resolution displays by rendering improved game textures and effects are more life like which provide a more rich visual experience. While some games are not coded that way and hence they look the same irrespective of the display resolution.

Video Playback

As we mentioned earlier more resolution means more sharper,  crisp, clear and good quality images so the difference exists. Same thing goes for videos. A video will look more natural with better color reproduction and better on a higher resolution display, whereas the same video will render washed up colors on a display with lower resolution and images might be cropped to fit in. Also, in some cases this difference in performance is not visible to naked eye.

Battery Life

You need not to forget that higher resolution displays drain the battery at a faster rate as compared to the displays with significantly lower resolution. But to compensate this battery drain manufacturers are packing bigger batteries in the smartphones with a lot of power saving options. So its not much of an issue anymore.


We already have seen Quad HD displays, 2K displays, 4K displays and many more to count in the recent times and with each passing year bars are being raised in terms of displays. Display resolution has become a crucial factor in deciding whether or not to buy a smartphone.

We have tried our best to explain this display resolution technology as simple as possible but if you think that there is something that can add value to the article above then let us know via your comments.