The race for screen clarity continues. Apple started it with a 326 pixel per inch Retina display on its iPhone. Now the latest flagship phones from Samsung, HTC and LG have full high-definition displays: These devices cram a 1920 x 1080 resolution into their screens with around 400 pixels per inch. Too bad all of these just got spanked by the competition, even if it is just a prototype.
At the SID Display Week event currently in progress, Qualcomm is showing off its latest smartphone screen tech that tops and eye-popping 577 pixels per inch.
Higher resolution isn’t the only benefit here, however. Mirasol uses reflective light and microscopic MEMS (Microelectromechanical systems) to create small airgaps in the display; as the airgap size changes, the light color passing through it is manipulated. As a result, the screens are very power efficient, up to six times more than today’s LCD and OLED screens.
Aside from the time to market then, is there a downside? Because the displays primarily use reflective light — although they can be front-lit — colors often appear washed out as compared to traditional screens. I’m not sure if there’s a solution for that challenge, but my money is on Qualcomm to find one if it exists.