Handsets with full HD screens with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels used to be considered high-end smartphones. Then last year, smartphones like the LG G3 and Galaxy Note 4, fitted with Quad HD screens that support a higher resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, started arriving. Now Quad HD screens are considered sharper than the full HD displays. Can a user spot the difference between Quad HD and full HD displays? Phone Arena conducted two experiments to find out the answer.

Experiment 1

Some office colleagues at Phone Arena were asked to view photos of varied screen resolution on the display of the Galaxy S6 that comes with 5.1 Quad HD screen. Seven pairs of photos with screen resolutions versions of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 1920 x 1080 pixels were added to the image gallery of the Galaxy S6.

Thirty-three people who participated in the experiment were asked to view the pairs of photos closely, but weren't allowed to zoom in. After viewing the photos, twenty-six people were able to differentiate between Quad HD and Full HD photos. Four people claimed that they could not spot the difference and three people gave the wrong answer.

Phone Arena noted that the people who easily differentiated between the two screen resolutions were asked to view the photos very closely  -- a distance of about 6 inches. Normal viewing distance is about 12 inches.

Experiment 2

Phone Arena conducted another experiment by using two smartphones that have the same screen size but support Quad HD and Full HD resolutions. The Galaxy S5 that supports 1920 x 1080 pixels and the Galaxy S6 that supports 2560 x 1440 pixels were used for the experiment. The bezels of both the devices were covered in such a way that only the displays of the Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy S6 were visible to the participants.

On both the handsets, Quad HD photos were added in the image galleries. Since the Galaxy S5 supports only Full HD resolution, Quad HD photos were scaled down to 1080 pixels. However, the Galaxy S6 showed the Quad HD photos without any scaling.

In this experiment too, participants held the handsets close to their eyes. Out of the 26 participants, only 13 people were able to say that the display of the Galaxy S6 supported higher resolution. Four people said that they could not find out any difference. Nine people stated that the display of the Galaxy S5 appeared to show higher resolution.


Phone Arena says that Quad HD screens are more suitable for devices like large phablets and tablets. On a handset with average display size, general users with typical use will not be able to differentiate between Quad HD and Full HD resolutions.