4K Resolution For The Future, Part 3: Current Processor Chips Can’t Handle It

This series has taken off to an interesting start. First, I did my best to define 4KUHD or 4K resolution, discussing its brightness and attention to detail. Then, I began to tackle the various objections, one of them being that users can’t see the difference in image quality. Next, I discuss how even 4K resolution could have negligible impact on battery life, despite the naysayers who may say otherwise – but, it depends on software optimizations from manufacturers who are sovereign over their own devices.

With these objections out of the way, the third objection to 4K resolution displays is upon us: that is, that current processor chips (which handle graphics and tasks) can’t handle it. According to the source link below,

The Sony Xperia Z5 is rumored to come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset on board. Leaving the overheating and throttling issues aside, said chipset does support 4K displays, but we’ve hardly ever seen a device with such a display and chipset before. This makes us think: how would the Snapdragon 810 and on-board Adreno 430 GPU fare when they have to cope with such a pixel-rich display?

Now, here is where I can agree: this question about the impact of 4K resolution on current processor is a good question, and a real question that can impact user experience. And, we’ve never had a smartphone with a 4K resolution and a pixel density of 806ppi before. They’re right: we’ve never had this experience with any smartphone on the market, so we’ve never gotten to learn the answers to the questions we have about the device. At the same time, however, should 4K resolution displays scare us or make us afraid? Should we fight against them and oppose them because we’ve never had the experience before?

At the same time, however, the Snapdragon 810 processor chip is terrifying to discuss because of the manifold problems it has created for smartphone users and manufacturers. It has been a real nightmare for Qualcomm, the manufacturer response for the Snapdragon processor lineup (including the 810), and the 810 has been a disaster for smartphone users.

Overheating phones that feel “oven-baked,” camera apps crashing on even Sony’s Xperia Z3 and Z4 smartphones, not to mention random reboots and sudden screen deaths from other smartphones, and HTC’s overheating One M9 that mandated a thermal update to the device’s software are all examples of the havoc a bad processor can wreak upon the smartphone industry. The Snapdragon 810 has been the “taboo” processor in the industry in recent days, with many manufacturers such as OnePlus having to promise that its OnePlus 2 wouldn’t overheat on stage during its OnePlus 2 announcement. LG ditched it and went with the Snapdragon 808 for its G4, to avoid the overheating risks associated with the processor.

Well, if Sony decided to go with the overheating Snapdragon 810 in its Xperia Z5 Premium smartphone, the next question becomes, “Why did Sony implement the chip instead of something like the Snapdragon 808?” Well, Sony decided to go with 4K resolution in its smartphone displays, and the Snapdragon 808 could support 4K video playback and capture but couldn’t support 4K resolution content on the device display. As far as on-device display content, the Snapdragon 808 could only support Quad HD (2,560 x 1,600p) content on the smartphone display, not 4K (3,840 x 2,160p) resolution. Only the Snapdragon 810 could support it.

Snapdragon 808 processor
Snapdragon 808 processor supports 1440p resolution.
Snapdragon 810 processor
Snapdragon 810 supports true 4K resolution on the smartphone display itself, not just 4K video recording and playback.

Does that mean, then, that Sony should’ve gone with a 2K (or Quad HD) resolution and saved 4K resolution for 2016? Well, they could’ve maintained the 4K resolution display but chosen the Snapdragon 808 – which would’ve limited the resolution advantage as far as content-viewing but would’ve spared the Xperia Z5 Premium from possible danger.

And yet, Sony chose to proceed. Does the lack of processors to handle 4K resolution mean that we shouldn’t herald the arrival of 4K resolution smartphones? Not at all. In fact, the Snapdragon 820 has already been acknowledged by Qualcomm, and it will feature native 4K on-display content viewing. With the Snapdragon 820 to arrive in 2016, it only makes sense that in September 2015, we would want to get ready for the “next big thing.” You can’t prepare a feast without cooking the food in advance – and the same goes for technological progress. Certain preparations must be made for what’s coming down the line.

Thus, even if the Snapdragon 810 processor is the only 4K resolution-supported processor for display content, and the first of its kind, it won’t be the last. It is the beginning of a series of 4K resolution processors to come.

Do you have any question about the Snapdragon 810 processor, or 4K resolution in general? Visit the source link below to check out the claim about processors and the new resolution. Check out the Snapdragon 810 processor link below to learn more about the current processor and the technology it supports.


Snapdragon 808 processor

Snapdragon 810 processor

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