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Picture perfection? Qualcomm says we’ll soon have phones with 6K, 8K displays

Why it matters to you

If you're a VR enthusiast, you know how frustrating low resolution can be for your experience. But soon, Qualcomm believes, you'll be experiencing 6K and 8K resolutions on your phone.

You’ll soon see the world differently. No, it won’t be a matter of perspective — it’ll be because of your phone screen. According to Qualcomm, not only are the smartphones of the future going to be running on 5G networks, but they’ll also feature displays that put even today’s 4K TVs to shame.

“We’ll see 6K, 8K and beyond” from future smartphone screen resolutions, Tim Leland, Qualcomm’s vice president of product management, told TechRadar. “It’s going to keep going.”

More: This 360 camera may not be a beauty, but it is a ‘Beast’ with 6K footage

Considering that most of today’s phones have 2K screens at best (sorry, iPhone owners, you’re doing even worse with just a 1080p display), Leland believes that will soon change. “It’s going to levels I wouldn’t have believed a few years ago,” he said. “These are all steps toward not even photo realism, but optical nerve realism. It won’t be just in terms of pixels per inch, it’ll also be the width of the color gamut, color accuracy and the brightness of the display.”

So what’s the advantage of having such a high-resolution display? Well, if the future really does lie in virtual reality, then you’ll definitely need more pixels.  VR enthusiasts often complain about the “screen door effect” in which you can actually identify individual pixels because of the relatively low resolution and the nearness of the pixels to your eyes, a 6K or 8K display could eliminate this problem altogether. And once you’ve gone high resolution, you’ll never go back, Leland said.

“Before we saw HD TVs, we thought, ‘Who needs it? C’mon, I can see my TV fine.’ Go back. Go back and try to watch some sporting event from the late 90s. It’s almost unwatchable,” he challenged.

But even with this “need,” there will definitely be obstacles to getting consumers on board. For one, phones with these kind of displays will probably have not-so-great battery life — that’s already been a problem for phones that moved on from 1080p to 2K displays. A phone with such high resolution also isn’t going to come all that cheap, which could be a pretty major concern for consumers.