Samsung Galaxy S3 to feature a 4.8in Full HD display? No chance

Samsung Galaxy S3 to feature a 4.8in Full HD display? No chanceMaybe it's just the weight of numbers that's been getting to us, but we have to say the number of impressive new smartphones we've seen launched at MWC 2012 this year haven't left us too much time to pine after the one launch that isn't happening in Barcelona this year: that of the Samsung Galaxy S3.

But that hasn't stopped a pretty feisty piece of speculation from breaking up our MWC love-in and reminding us all who's the Android daddy: are you ready for a smartphone with a 1080p Full HD screen?

We still don't know when the Galaxy S III will actually be announced – consensus is that it was originally set for a Mobile World Congress unveiling (as with the Galaxy S II last year), but Samsung either wanted to cut the time between announcement and availability, or figured the handset had become high-profile enough to deserve its own launch event (or quite possibly both).

But while we're still waiting for confirmation of... well, pretty much anything at all, really... in has stepped Boy Genius Report with a fairly elaborate set of Galaxy S3 specs it says have come from the time-honoured “trusted source”.

A few of the claims are either fairly logical, or repeat what we've already heard: the processor will be a quad-core Samsung Exynos chip, there'll be an 8-megapixel camera around the back and a 2-megapixel effort on the front, 4G LTE networking will be supported and – naturally – the operating system will be Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

We're also told that the device will launch internationally in 50 countries or cities simultaneously, which sounds like a bit of cost-saving efficiency wrapped up in a piece of clever marketing.

Things get more interesting with the notion that the Galaxy S III will have a ceramic back. The quoted source doesn't mention any functional reasoning behind it, and we haven't seen one since ourselves, so it may simply be a decision based on look and feel. Still, it's a rumour we can accept as distinctly possible – even if it's a bit unusual.

But then there's the claim – the one that's attracted by far the most attention and which BGR has repeated this morning – that the Galaxy S III will feature a 4.8in Full HD (in other words, 1920 x 1080) display at a 16:9 aspect ratio, a display that's loosely referred to as a “Blu-ray screen”.

Sorry, but no. The achievement of a Full HD display on a mobile phone is seen as a bit of a Holy Grail for smartphone makers, but the reason we haven't seen one so far is that the pixel density required as higher than the effective maximum that can currently be produced at a reasonable cost.

The Galaxy S II, for instance, has a pixel density of 217ppi. The iPhone 4S has a pixel density of 326ppi. The newly announced Huawei Ascend D1 Quad, about as high-end as you get in terms of specification, comes with a claimed pixel density of 330ppi.

The Samsung Galaxy S III? For these rumours to be true, we'd be talking 459ppi – a massive leap forward in an area of technology where even incremental increases require huge amounts of work. To make a jump like that is like making a year's worth of progress in a single day.

That's not to say the Galaxy S III won't be an amazing smartphone – quite conceivably the best around. But regardless of what else it does have, it won't have a 1080p display.

Read more about: AndroidSamsung Galaxy S3

Add a comment
63 comments

Treab  Feb. 27, 2012 at 17:39

thank you... finally an article i agree with ;)

MOD EDIT: Off topic link removed.

blizzard7  Feb. 27, 2012 at 17:42

Uhhh... I thought the whole point of Apple calling their display a "Retina" display was that no-ones eyes could resolve any pixels when the phone is 20cm or so from your face (or hell even closer than that). So basically to see that extra 100ppi we'd need to upgrade our eyeballs first :p

Sorry, not interested.

P.S. On the ceramic side, the new HTC One S has a ceramic finish to its body and there's been a lot of praise on how it feels, so this sounds quite likely.

matt101101 / MOD  Feb. 27, 2012 at 17:47

Ceramic is great for heat dissipation too, hence top end cars having ceramic brakes.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 27, 2012 at 17:53

Yep, ceramic is actually a smart choice.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 27, 2012 at 17:55

As to the HD screen - if someone had said yesterday Nokia have a 41MP camphone ready, they would have been laughed out of the webz

matt101101 / MOD  Feb. 27, 2012 at 17:57

When mixed with carbon fibre it's also very, very strong. If the same material can bring a Bugatti Veyron doing 250mph to a standstill without breaking, overheating or melting (ceramic doesn't melt), I think it's more than enough for the battery cover on a phone.

matt101101 / MOD  Feb. 27, 2012 at 17:58

Jan, fair point. Even a rumour of a 41mp dedicated compact camera would have been met with great doubt; yesterday...

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 27, 2012 at 18:02

Jan, fair point. Even a rumour of a 41mp dedicated compact camera would have been met with great doubt; yesterday...

Full HD HAST mobile screen demoed in 2010 ;)
Hyper Amorphous Silicone TFT (HAST) => (note: this article is a year old ;) ) http://tabletcomputer.org/apple-ipad/ortustechs-hast-screen-apples-retina-screens/

matt101101 / MOD  Feb. 27, 2012 at 18:06

Tech. being demoed in 2010 is likely to be just about ready for the very high end (aka iPhone 5 and S3) by mid-2012. Maybe this 1080p rumour does actually hold some water. Also, look at the screen size and PPI quoted in the demo unit, look familiar ;)?

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 27, 2012 at 18:14

Tech. being demoed in 2010 is likely to be just about ready for the very high end (aka iPhone 5 and S3) by mid-2012. Maybe this 1080p rumour does actually hold some water. Also, look at the screen size and PPI quoted in the demo unit, look familiar ;)?

I find it odd that people were more open to the idea that the SGS3 might come with a bendy screen LOL

And, antennagate aside: countless experts said an external antenna a la iPhone 4 wouldn't work. Well, all it took was Apple and some duct tape :p

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 27, 2012 at 18:19

Oh, lastly - not long ago the concept HTC Cemile hit HTC's FB page. So, the idea is obviously firmly set in devs minds...

martinjjames / MOD  Feb. 27, 2012 at 18:44

Tech. being demoed in 2010 is likely to be just about ready for the very high end (aka iPhone 5 and S3) by mid-2012. Maybe this 1080p rumour does actually hold some water. Also, look at the screen size and PPI quoted in the demo unit, look familiar ;)?

This I think is the key point. It's not about whether it's technically possible. It's about whether it's possible AND can be scaled up to production levels running into the tens of millions without adding significantly to the price consumers are being asked to pay.

If Samsung has achieved that, it's done so pretty quietly - I mean, surely DigiTimes' seemingly endless army of "supply line sources" would have picked up on it by now? ;)

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 27, 2012 at 19:05

Tech. being demoed in 2010 is likely to be just about ready for the very high end (aka iPhone 5 and S3) by mid-2012. Maybe this 1080p rumour does actually hold some water. Also, look at the screen size and PPI quoted in the demo unit, look familiar ;)?

This I think is the key point. It's not about whether it's technically possible. It's about whether it's possible AND can be scaled up to production levels running into the tens of millions without adding significantly to the price consumers are being asked to pay.

If Samsung has achieved that, it's done so pretty quietly - I mean, surely DigiTimes' seemingly endless army of "supply line sources" would have picked up on it by now? ;)


Again, you have a point. But until this morning the rumoured N8 successor had what? 14MP? 16? The product page is ready, the demo shots made, test units build, and not a single 41MP cam unit rumour prior to the presentation. And while you quote DigiTimes' "supply line sources" - for every ten rumours, there's a biggie the usual "sources" miss.
Maybe Samsung have pulled it of? But maybe not.
Come to think of it, I don't really care on a personal level...

krogothnx  Feb. 27, 2012 at 20:11

the Fujitsu quad core phone they're demoing at mwc /apparently/ has a 1080p screen. and the icon sizes seem to support that.

Jim988  Feb. 27, 2012 at 20:13

At the present point its not possible, the laser technique samsung uses to create their screens won't allow for it. yet.

I can imagine a year from now a Pentile Full HD screen being released. The Galaxy S3 is clearly going to have a HD Super AMOLED Plus display. (720P res)

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 27, 2012 at 23:42

Just read the comments on BGR LOL
Oddly, no one over there questioned the feasibility of a full HD screen. But: a few voices aired concern about the ceramic casing hahaha apparently "it's nuts, cause mugs break when you drop them"...

Nevermind that Glock make handguns from ceramics(<== oops, me stupidly fell for a myth), and knives are made from the stuff, and cars' break parts etc etc... No, the mug-giness.

Treab  Feb. 27, 2012 at 23:50

well. we know who have the smarter readers ;) we are the niche ;)

also jan... theirs no GLOCK in the world with a ceramic body...

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 28, 2012 at 00:00

well. we know who have the smarter readers ;) we are the niche ;)

also jan... theirs no GLOCK in the world with a ceramic body...


Yeah, my bad - urban myth. Spank me.
But some combat vests utilise ceramics. There... We need more life-saving phones.

Treab  Feb. 28, 2012 at 00:02

well. we know who have the smarter readers ;) we are the niche ;)

also jan... theirs no GLOCK in the world with a ceramic body...


Yeah, my bad - urban myth. Spank me.


kinky... possibly chinese guns made of ceramic and some are part ceramic but no gun is fully ceramic couldnt manage the forces.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 28, 2012 at 00:04

So, anyway: Martin, are you willing to bet? :p

Treab  Feb. 28, 2012 at 00:05

im willing to bet a ceramic gun.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 28, 2012 at 00:09

im willing to bet a ceramic gun.
:p

I admit - I'm slightly embarrassed. Yes, Treab: you did it :p

Thanks, actually. Now I know!

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 28, 2012 at 00:13

... come to think of it - I did wonder how an even just partly ceramic barrel could work. Obviously, there's need to be a metal lining, and the 2 materials would obviously not deal with heat in the same way.

But hey, my 12 gauge makes for a good club even if the barrel breaks :p

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 28, 2012 at 00:14

And now back on topic please - that is: Nokia bashing if I remember correctly ;)

Treab  Feb. 28, 2012 at 00:15

jan the irish drunken gun wielder... jebus... its the whole firing mechanism apparently. so thats the trigger firing pin etc...

Email:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.

Comment: