Huawei CEO: Quad HD displays on phones are "a stupid thing"

With all the time that we spend staring at our smartphones, a high-quality screen is perhaps its most important component. Many of the latest devices, such as Samsung's Galaxy S5, feature stunning Full HD (1920x1080px) displays, but as manufacturers scramble to find new selling points to help promote their devices in an increasingly saturated market, some OEMs are already preparing to launch handsets with even higher-resolution screens

But one manufacturer has spoken up against this trend, decrying it as pure folly. Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's Consumer Business Group, told TechRadar that, as far as his company is concerned, there simply isn't any point in putting a Quad HD (2560x1440px) display into a smartphone. 

I don't think we need QHD displays on mobiles," he said. "Your eyes totally cannot identify between Full HD and 2K on a smartphone. You can't distinguish the difference, so it's totally nonsense." 

This isn't the only reason to avoid cramming such high resolution into such small screens, as Yu explained. Such screens merely add expense to the cost of a handset with no obvious benefit to the user, he said, adding that it's also "very bad for power consumption and it doesn't offer anything in return... so why should we do that? I think it's a stupid thing." 

Given that so many flagship handsets struggle to make it through a full day of proper use - i.e. without having to limit yourself from using many of the features that make your smartphone 'smart' - without being charged, the issue of battery consumption is an important one to consider. Yu says that Huawei is developing improved battery technology, but says that there is still work to be done before users can count on being able to use their devices for days at a time without reaching for the charger. 

Interestingly, Yu also spoke against the quick-charging technology that some manufacturers have implemented on their devices, saying that it has a negative impact on the battery's performance over its lifetime. "We're in no hurry to implement quick-charging on our devices," he said. 

Source: TechRadar | image via Huawei

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While I don't really care for Huawei and their products, as they tend to be copy cats like Samsung, we finally have someone outside of Apple speaking out against these Ultra HD screens on devices as small as smartphones.

Apple has been against going to these resolutions for years for these exact reasons. The human eye can't tell the difference, and all it does it kill the battery. It's only good on the spec sheet. Even those here commenting they still want QHD screens on their smartphone, I consider, to be spec whores, as it doesn't make the SLIGHTEST difference in the real world.

I strongly agree with his comments and I would like to add that the huawei p6 is the best phone I have ever owned and IMO is literally he best looking phone on the market for half the price of most top end models (mostly with specs to match)

Sometimes you have to do unecessary and stupid things to sell because the market is full of stupid sheeps who look at specs and think bigger numbers means better phone.

these people also don't realize that their sop called 1080p Samsung phone screen have 50% less sub pixels than they should and thus aren't truly 1080p

HawkMan said,
Sometimes you have to do unecessary and stupid things to sell because the market is full of stupid sheeps who look at specs and think bigger numbers means better phone.

So you still believe phones shouldn't have multiple cores? Even on OS' with true third party multitasking?

Well firstly Nokia never said you never needed dual or quad cores. not as such.

and in general. for smart phones which generally only do one thing. it's not needed. a dual core with faster cores would be more beneficial than quad cores for most smart phone usage today. heck a single faster core would be able to handle it all. but with two cores, you can use one core for background threads and one for for the active foreground app.

But the reality is that you can , surf, play music, use GPS, track heal monitors make calls, send and receive SMS and all the other bacgkround tasks all the the same time without any of them stopping up on a single core.

a dual core makes it somewhat more practical and actually could save some power over a faster single core. but there you go. you don't need multiple cores to multitask.

I totally agree, and honestly think things like 4k, 64 bit, 8 core etc on phones are all scams. Thats all it is a marketing scam, like Monster cable. If your phone only sells by tricking customers like this then your not making a great phone. That just my personal opinion, but a phone should be able to sell it self with out serious gimmicks

He's not wrong, there are diminishing returns on increasing the resolution on such a small screen. Unfortunately the majority of the buying public seem to buy based on specs and 1440p is a more impressive spec than 1080p.

Another way of looking at it, is that the manufacturer should be using the lowest resolution with the best price per pixel that they can source (within reason of course). Mass production means that lower spec stuff costs more as demand for it drops it. Case in point, I wanted to buy a low capacity USB Flash drive, 1GB would have been fine but the smallest size that actual makes financial sense is 8GB because the price difference is negligible, and in some cases lower.

Agree with the OP but the average user doesn't know much. They think more is better regardless if they benefit from it or not.

8 cores, and 1440p phones are stupid indeed. Instead of pushing the boundaries this way, how about stay where we are and improve other aspects which are more badly needed and will offer more benefit to consumers:
1) battery life
2) sunlight readability
3) refresh frequency (go to 120hz or 240hz)
4) single thread performance (99.99999% of apps are single threaded only and capped by the single core speed)
5) color accuracy and gamut range

Personally, I think the most important thing to sort out on modern phones is the fragility of the damned screens... :(

That, and battery life, of course!

neonspark said,
3) refresh frequency (go to 120hz or 240hz)
You really won't see any difference if it is 60 and more, but it will drain battery as hell.

Agree 95%. When we will be pairing our phones with our 4tk tvs, it wouldn't need to upscale. That's the only reason I would think it would be good. Not on the phone screen itself that's for sure!!

the resolution of the phone screen needs not match the resolution of the output screen. surface pro 2 can output 4K even if it screen remains 2k.

This Mr. Yu is not very bright for a captain of industry...for the longest time i had an LG TV i assumed was 1080p. Blu-rays looked amazing, so i figured it was 1080p. Then one day out of curiosity i checked the specs on the LG site. It was a 768p panel. Bought a new TV several days later. Differences in resolution are not night and day unless you're going from 480 to 1080 or something. But if we can have higher fidelity graphics, why not? It's certainly not "nonsense".

its not about not having higher fidelity screens... it's about not making sense having higher fidelity screens above a certain threshold... and that threshold would be 1080p usually. if you do want a phone with a 70cm LCD screen dimensions, then it would make sense to have a higher resolution.

Understand your logic but have to respectfully disagree. If we can pack more pixels, why not? True, most people won't even notice, but it's there!

So you would pay a 20-25% premium on a device to have that kind of screen even though you would not be able to notice a difference? Only to have bragging rights?

neoadorable said,
Understand your logic but have to respectfully disagree. If we can pack more pixels, why not? True, most people won't even notice, but it's there!

Because packing more pixels in a tiny space is not only undetectable by the eye, but it's a massive drain on battery and requires a far more powerful CPU (and expensive) to run it. It hugely increases the costs of the device with no visible benefit whatsoever. It's stupid. 720p is more than enough for anything under 5", and for the few phones above that, 1080p is fine (and possibly overkill too).

you will not see a difference silly. that is what he is saying. your comparison is against big screens that would show it. You can make the same argument to demand a 4K screen on a 3 inch phone even when you'd need an electron microscope to see the difference. you need to stop.

Also +1, but I think the kind of growth in resolution is something the up scale market will collapse on, given the number of budget phones coming out.

I can't imagine how picky anyone would be on a 4-5" screen.

Capy said,
So are 2400 mAh batteries and the desire to make the phone thin enough to shave with.


well bigger battiers also mean more life to the device in some cases my LG G2 with its 3000mah batt last 43 to 46hrs on good use so a bigger batt would improve it more

notuptome2004 said,
my LG G2 with its 3000mah batt last 43 to 46hrs on good use so a bigger batt would improve it more

Exactly! Add a couple of millimetres to the device and bring in more juice, seems to be pretty clear and the consumers will love the phone that lasts for more than one day, but they still have an unreasonable race for ultra-thin...

Nokia's 2520 has a 1920x1080 10" display and it doesn't look pixelated. I think that you really don't need a QHD display on a phone that has a smaller screen, but it sells better to people who only stare at the numbers. Bigger is better, eh? :-)

Agree and also would make the point that in most cases its also the same for viewing 4k TV`s. There is a point where it just becomes stupid unless your sitting half a kilometer away from the TV in the first place.

Colicab said,
Agree and also would make the point that in most cases its also the same for viewing 4k TV`s. There is a point where it just becomes stupid unless your sitting half a kilometer away from the TV in the first place.

If you have ever seen a 4K TV playing 4K content next to a 1080p TV the difference is massive! you can literally shove your nose on the screen and not see a pixel, its almost like you are looking out a window. I wasn't that bothered until i had seen it in person myself.

Although at this point purchasing a 4K TV is pointless as the content does not exist, plus TV broadcast here in the UK is only 720p anyway.

"you can literally shove your nose on the screen and not see a pixel"

You've just described exactly why a 4K TV can be too much. People don't watch TV's with their nose at the screen...

the difference is massive because the effective PPI of a huge screen will show it. even with a 6 inch screen, you're not going to see anywhere near as much if any, and at the popular standard 5-4 inch market, 1080p already hit the wall of no returns.

That is true, though I still say give it a shot. If it's just used as a selling point or reason to raise prices, then no, but i'm never keen on refusing progress.

'Think different.' What if there was a device that could optically zoom a small Quad HD display up to 27"? No physical display connection needed - just lenses. The phone would become the basis for a desktop/laptop setup.

Not a stupid idea.

68k said,
'Think different.' What if there was a device that could optically zoom a small Quad HD display up to 27"? No physical display connection needed - just lenses. The phone would become the basis for a desktop/laptop setup.

Not a stupid idea.


No no no my friend, that is a very stupid idea. Are you proposing that my phone should be held in some cradle with a lens attached projecting its display to a 27 screen (which would have poor lighting and saturation obviously due to the fact that your simply taking a display and magnifying it, no new light).

That is a very very stupid idea and the epitome of spec sheet hunters reasoning syndrome.

duddit2 said,

No no no my friend, that is a very stupid idea. Are you proposing that my phone should be held in some cradle with a lens attached projecting its display to a 27 screen (which would have poor lighting and saturation obviously due to the fact that your simply taking a display and magnifying it, no new light).

That is a very very stupid idea and the epitome of spec sheet hunters reasoning syndrome.

Yeh, I forgot about the losses that would be involved. At least I thought outside the box a bit.

think different indeed. Think stuff that is needed which WILL make a difference and WILL be noticeable.

1) dynamic range
2) refresh rate
3) color accuracy
4) sunlight readability.

pixel density is stupid. it won't gain you anything other than less battery life, place harder demands on the chipset, and deliver no tangible difference, only flaws.

neonspark said,
think different indeed. Think stuff that is needed which WILL make a difference and WILL be noticeable.

1) dynamic range
2) refresh rate
3) color accuracy
4) sunlight readability.

pixel density is stupid. it won't gain you anything other than less battery life, place harder demands on the chipset, and deliver no tangible difference, only flaws.


So SuperAmoled ?

My phone has a whopping 800x480 and it's fine. I do miss the 720p screen on my broken 928 though, and still want an Icon with 1080p.

Some people confuse being able to see a difference (as in when trying to) with being able to see a difference in normal use. Spec hunters mainly subconsciously defending their latest feel good specs.

I guess if you are treating your phone as a gaming system them yes i can see the point for quad core but if you are treating your phone as a phone and email access point then yes quad core pointless!

King Joffrey said,
I dont even get it why i need 1080p on my phone. I can see perfect fine even with 720p resolution :/

I can physically see the difference between 720 to 1080 on phones. Though, i looked at my Nexus 5 with a magnifying glass and could barely see pixels.

King Joffrey said,
I dont even get it why i need 1080p on my phone. I can see perfect fine even with 720p resolution :/

Indeed same here, heck even the iPhone isn't 720p. I think 720p is fine for a phone, market a phone because it has amazing battery life, not an amazing high resolution screen to drain the battery.

InsaneNutter said,

Indeed same here, heck even the iPhone isn't 720p. I think 720p is fine for a phone, market a phone because it has amazing battery life, not an amazing high resolution screen to drain the battery.

The iPhone has a rather small screen so its resolution is perfectly fine. I imagine if they release larger ones this year they have to bump the resolution to 1080p. I think on phones with screens larger than 4.7" 1080p is a noticeable upgrade. Above that there is really no benefit.

What manufacturers really should concentrate on is making phones with smaller bezels and thus smaller physical size. Todays top Android phones are generally very large and at least for me a bit awkward to hold and operate one handed.

That resolution is Hua-wei too high for a phone. 1080p is already a bit overkill but at least that matches the resolution of what most consumers already have elsewhere.

It's really annoying that I have Full HD display on my phone yet my notebook cannot be purchased with anything better than 1366x768 pixels. Lenovo Yoga is the first hope of better things to come but until then....

Crazy companies will now try to cram 2K displays to PHONES (and try co convince customers they desperately need it) yet look how much would you have to spend to buy more than Full HD 24" standalone LCD!

ObscenePanda said,
It's really annoying that I have Full HD display on my phone yet my notebook cannot be purchased with anything better than 1366x768 pixels.

Man how I agree with this! A friend of mine had a 2010/11 era Sony Vaio that had a 1080p 16x9 screen on his laptop. Soooo nice! When I bought a new monitor for my computer I struggled to find one with a high pixel density. I do a lot of graphic & photo editing work and having those lovely crisp lines we see on phones would be amazing!

My Nexus 5 has a nice screen density, as in its high enough to be smooth as ever, but its not out of this world high.