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Handhelds Cellphones Displays Input Devices Upgrades Hardware

Overkill? LG Phone Has 2560x1440 Display, Laser Focusing 198

Posted by timothy
from the too-much-overkill-is-never-enough dept.
MojoKid (1002251) writes LG is probably getting a little tired of scraping for brand recognition versus big names like Samsung, Apple and Google. However, the company is also taking solace in the fact that their smartphone sales figures are heading for an all-time high in 2014, with an estimated 60 million units projected to be sold this year. LG's third iteration of their popular "G" line of flagship smartphones, simply dubbed the LG G3, is the culmination of all of the innovation the company has developed in previous devices to date, including its signature rear button layout, and a cutting-edge 5.5-inch QHD display that drives a resolution of 2560X1440 with a pixel density of 538 PPI. Not satisified with pixel overload, LG decide to equip their new smartphone with 'frickin' laser beams' to assist its 13MP camera in targeting subjects for auto-focus. The G3 performs well in the benchmarks with a Snapdragon 801 on board and no doubt its camera takes some great shots quickly and easily. However, it's questionable how much of that super high res 2560 display you can make use of on a 5.5-inch device.
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Overkill? LG Phone Has 2560x1440 Display, Laser Focusing

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  • I have an idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @01:49PM (#47345421)
    If I was the lead product designer, I'd take things in a new direction. I'd stop making low quality phones that freeze up constantly and break all the time. That might grab some market share.
    • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @01:57PM (#47345471)

      That'll never work.

    • Probably not (Score:5, Interesting)

      by alvinrod (889928) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:19PM (#47345567)
      Probably not, given that most reviewers tend to focus on technical specs or other flashy points after spending perhaps a week with the device before moving on to something else. A lot of consumers are going to buy whatever costs them the least, even if they still end up paying the same ridiculous amount every month for a contract. Even then, a lot of them will take whatever the sales droid pushes on them.

      When Google still owned Motorola they tried to make some quality designs that had a lot more polish than the typical Android phone, but the sales didn't follow because it didn't have the bells and whistles that attract tech geeks or the type of people who fill buy based on some shiny, new feature. Similarly, none of the sales people were pushing it for any reason (usually some kind of kickback^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hsales incentive) and so sales were poor and Google ended up dumping Motorola because they couldn't make a profit with the company.

      That and if they make a quality device that lasts for three years, they can't sell you a new phone after two. Why do you think so many of the manufacturers and carriers stop providing Android updates even though the device could easily support them or a different version of the essentially the same hardware is getting the update?
      • Re:Probably not (Score:5, Insightful)

        by whoever57 (658626) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @03:00PM (#47345773) Journal

        When Google still owned Motorola they tried to make some quality designs that had a lot more polish than the typical Android phone, but the sales didn't follow because it didn't have the bells and whistles that attract tech geeks

        Perhaps part of the problem was that (prior to Google ownership) Motorola had already put off many of the geeks by producing the most locked-down phones of any Android manufacturer.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by BillX (307153)

          Still does. I just bought, and then returned, a Moto X after discovering that Motorola's "unlock your bootloader" page is a sham. Tried it on a brand-new, retail, unlocked device and got "Your device does not qualify for bootloader unlocking" . The better part of an hour going round in circles with their tech support and they are unable (or unwilling) to even state the criteria that would, theoretically, make a device "qualify".

          (An aside: While most companies might claim unlocking or rooting a device "could

        • I doubt it. Aside from the recent towelroot, samsung phones are locked down these days on verizon and AT&T, yet there doesn't seem to be an explosion of people buying unsubsidized phones.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Motorola has actually seen a large amount of success with the Moto G (and is trying to expand further into the lower end of the market with the Moto E). http://www.phonearena.com/news/The-Moto-G-is-the-most-successful-Motorola-smartphone-of-all-time_id53190

      • Re:Probably not (Score:5, Interesting)

        by nadaou (535365) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @04:58PM (#47346229) Homepage

        The Moto G is selling like hot cakes, and rightly so.

        Just maybe not in the US, but India and friends are a bigger market, at the G's lower price. With the self-inflicted implosion of Nokia a big gap in the market opened up over there. And it's a new market not an already saturated one.

        Google got the patent portfolio, which was what they were really after. Hardware isn't their core business so of course they'd move that part of the operation on at the first opportunity.

      • Re:Probably not (Score:4, Interesting)

        by GuB-42 (2483988) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @05:59PM (#47346441)

        When Google still owned Motorola they tried to make some quality designs that had a lot more polish than the typical Android phone.

        I don't consider phones without user replaceable batteries "quality design". For real quality oriented design, the goal should be "as long as a network exists". And considering that batteries are expected to last for about 3 years, they make for an obvious planned obsolescence.
        My old Nexus One is still in use today( although not my me and with a new battery) and there is no reason to dump it as it still works as well as it did when I bought it. The 2 or even 3 year smartphone is a pure fabrication. For normal (non-geek) people, keeping a smartphone for 5-10 years should be the norm.

    • Re:I have an idea (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tough Love (215404) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @03:57PM (#47346017)

      I own an LG phone. (Nexus 4). It never froze up or broke, in fact I like it a lot.

    • Its called the Nexus 5, and its been out for 8 months now.

    • Normally poor quality isn't from the product designer, but some guy in middle management who want his bonus ships the product out before all the issues has been worked out. Then after he ships it out, factoring that they can fix the problems later on, then decides to move all the workforce onto an other project.

    • by gsslay (807818)

      Isn't that exactly what LG have done?

  • Google Cardboard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Raven (30575) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @01:56PM (#47345461) Homepage
    Google Cardboard, like the Oculus Rift, zooms in on the screen making some pixels very large. Perhaps this QHD resolution will look nicer than average when used as a Rift replacement? (note: I'm well aware that it will not actually be a good rift replacement, just that it's abnormally high pixel density could make a difference in extremely specific circumstances.)
    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      How accurate does Cardboard track head movement?
      Note that head displays have been done many times before over the past decades.
      The problem has always been motion sickness inducing head tracking, never the display technology.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        How accurate does Cardboard track head movement?

        That depends on your phone.

        It's not meant for playing games for hours. It just lets you actually experience this content that is meaningless without at least that much hardware. Well, supposedly. I frankly think that even without parallax correction, a user can get a lot out of using their phone as a window on another world, and I don't see any reason to restrict these supposedly three-dimensional experiences to people who have stereoscopic displays.

    • Turning it on its side and putting it into the Google Cardboard (or similar) stereoptic holder gives you about a 1440x1250 display per eye. Looks right to me.

      Now if (as I suggested in the Cardboard item) they installed two cameras on the phone back, separated by about eye distance, you'd have a camera that could take and display stereoptic pictures and/or do augmented reality without losing the scene's depth.

  • by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @01:58PM (#47345473) Journal

    The principle reason to put 2560x1440 pixels on a phone is to further the embarrassment of monitor manufacturers who can only manage to get 1/4 of the pixels into a 19" screen.

    • by MojoKid (1002251) *
      HA! So true! And 4K desktop displays have a long way to go still as well.
      • by ruir (2709173)
        Hey, you have got a "4K" UMC TV for 500 Euros! Pity it is only 4K interpolated pixels and the circuitry is only Full HD, but dont tell anyone ;)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:08PM (#47345509)

      With all that resolution, you could use Google to look up the difference between principle and principal.

    • Re:Embarrasment (Score:5, Insightful)

      by alvinrod (889928) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:33PM (#47345631)
      The companies that are producing these incredibly pixel-dense phone screens are the same ones that are producing a lot of the panels for monitors. I think Samsung and LG are collectively responsible for about half of the global supply of LCD panels. A quick Google search shows that the top 4 companies make up roughly 80% - 85% of the market. They're probably perfectly happy making a healthy profit and not rocking the boat too much.
    • Re:Embarrasment (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jd2112 (1535857) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:55PM (#47345757)

      The principle reason to put 2560x1440 pixels on a phone is to further the embarrassment of monitor manufacturers who can only manage to get 1/4 of the pixels into a 19" screen.

      Monitor manufacturers like, LG?

    • Re:Embarrasment (Score:4, Insightful)

      by marciot (598356) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @03:21PM (#47345861)

      The principle reason to put 2560x1440 pixels on a phone is to further the embarrassment of monitor manufacturers who can only manage to get 1/4 of the pixels into a 19" screen.

      We will soon be better off buying a smart phone and a Fresnel lens instead of desktop monitor and our computers will begin to look a lot like the ones in the movie Brazil.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      I have 2560x1600 on my desktop. Though it took me 30" to get that. If they can get 1080p (2k) in a 5.5", the 19" should be at 8k (or close to it), not less than the 5.5".
      • Re:Embarrasment (Score:4, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo (196126) * <.ten.3dlrow. .ta. .ojom.> on Monday June 30, 2014 @06:23AM (#47348797) Homepage

        Actually smaller screens are easier to produce. Larger screens need to be perfect over a much larger area. A defect will write off a much larger chunk of silicon and glass. There is more to go wrong too, since you need more track to wire up all those widely spaced pixels. Things like propagation delay start to become a major problem too, so you end up with multiple controllers for different parts of the screen.

        • 2560x1600 small screen = Occcculus!! Ok, not really (response time is important), but the potential is enticing :)

  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:08PM (#47345507) Homepage Journal

    If this were a certain other high end phone manufacturer, the media would be falling over itself to explain how these improvements mark a new era in phone technology.

    The improvements seem reasonable and unless they add excessively to the cost there's no reason to criticize them.

    • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ultranova (717540) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:26PM (#47345601)

      The improvements seem reasonable and unless they add excessively to the cost there's no reason to criticize them.

      As long as they don't shorten battery life, of course. That is still the Achilles heel of mobile devices, after all, and all those pixels likely increase the amount of processing needed to control them.

  • by clickety6 (141178) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:09PM (#47345513)
    Galaxy, iPhone, Nexus and....G3.

    If you want recognition, give it a name - preferably a cool name, but at the very least something people can pronounce without sounding like they're playing Battleships.
  • by GGardner (97375) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:09PM (#47345517)
    I don't know how accurate the laser would be for general purpose rangefinding, but if this device were available to apps in general, not just the camera, I could imagine all kind of interesting new apps one could develop.
    • very acurate actually.

      There are all kinds of LRFs on the market, and tanks and other military equipment use them.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=laser+range+finder&client=firefox-a&hs=lCg&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=np&prmd=ivnsp&source=lnms&tbm=shop&sa=X&ei=71mwU_3NG6fJsQS1woGQBA&ved=0CAgQ_AU
    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:33PM (#47345633) Journal

      Indeed. I do architectural work, including taking measurements of existing buildings. If I could use this to get a point cloud of a room it would be amazing. I'd be willing to start programming again if it meant being able to access even rudimentary data. While high accuracy is probably not in this, even +/-3" would be good for small places (up to, say 20-25 feet).

    • by Ksevio (865461)
      Yeah when I point my phone at something I want it to tell me how far away it is and the surface temperature and all sorts of good things!
  • by Scot Seese (137975) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:10PM (#47345523)

    This is simply a stats arms race.

    Seeing how Android flagship makers are using someone else's OS and app ecosystem, the only two places they can differentiate their products are through custom OS skinning (horrible) and product tech specs.

    Considering how many Android users tend to be the "build your own PC" crowd who are hardcore gadget people, the specs bloat appeals to them.

    Meanwhile, Apple is selling a smartphone with a tiny less-than-HD screen, a processor that toddles along at a whisker over 1 GHz and a tiny 1400 MaH battery, and they're doing quite nicely for themselves.

    "Purpose Built" vs. "Specs in a Box" ?

    • by rmstar (114746)

      This is simply a stats arms race.

      one that seems overheating, too. You can buy quite well speced smart phones (way better than an iPhone, as you have correctly noted) for a very decent prize. Manufacturers seem to be running out of ideas on how to get traction in this market, so this is what they come up with: over-the-top-specs.

      A market full of smartphones that can't find a way to differentiate themselves from each other seems to me like a market ready for collapse.

    • by jareth-0205 (525594) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @04:21PM (#47346115) Homepage

      Considering how many Android users tend to be the "build your own PC" crowd who are hardcore gadget people, the specs bloat appeals to them.

      Oh... bullshit. There were almost 6 times as many Android devices sold last quarter than iOS. How are we still propagating the "Android is for geeks" line?

      Meanwhile, Apple is selling a smartphone with a tiny less-than-HD screen, a processor that toddles along at a whisker over 1 GHz and a tiny 1400 MaH battery, and they're doing quite nicely for themselves.

      Depends on how you look at it, in the States yes, but worldwide no, and Apple are rather in danger of getting left behind when horesepower does matter. Android isn't standing still, optimisations like ART may well give another speed bump. Apple make nice devices, but they're not immune to performance, and that'll get acknowledged eventually in the same way that we were told for years how the Power architecture was just as good as x86... until they switched.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      534 ppi is getting close to the 600 dpi used for print. There is a good reason for using 600 dpi in print. At normal reading distances text looks nice and crisp. We are still have a little way to go before resolution increases become meaningless.

      As for the iPhone, the CPU simply takes a different approach to the ones used in other phones. It is rather complex and gets more done per cycle. Other designs are simpler which allows for a higher clock rate, so performance ends up being broadly similar. The latter

    • The "Apple ships and underpowered processed" gets an ehhh from me.

      It's clocked low, but it's a 64 but processor with many branching features from desktops.

      It may be slower clocked but it punches well above it's weight class. Which is usually missed because most PC kiddies only look at clock instead of benchmarks, and think 64 bit is only something that let's you use a lot of RAM, and don't really understand things like processor features.

    • Considering how many Android users tend to be the "build your own PC" crowd who are hardcore gadget people, the specs bloat appeals to them.

      I'm a PC builder, and have been for over 20+ years. My current rig is tuned and tweaked as needed or desired to maximize as much performance as I can without sacrificing stability. That said, I leave all that to the PC. For my cell, I stick with iPhone. First and foremost, I want a phone to be a phone with the smart function secondary. I don't want to trace battery usag

  • ...they'll say something to the effect:

    "I don't care, Retina Display is better."

    • "And a 4" screen is the optimal size... right up until this Fall when Apple releases the iPhone 6!"
    • ...they'll say something to the effect:

      "I don't care, Retina Display is better."

      Just wait until you experience Apple's new "Eustachion Tube"[tm] audio, it's better than all the things that were ever better before.

    • by Qbertino (265505)

      ...they'll say something to the effect:
      "I don't care, Retina Display is better."

      I hate to break it to you and I'm certainly not and Apple Zeolot - my phone is an HTC Desire HD which I happen to be quite happy with - but the retina display actually *is* better, compared to the G3, if not perhaps in size. It has a wider viewing angle and a higher brightness range. Both only slightly, but noticable under certain conditions. How do I know? Just saw a detailed video review on the LG G3.

      Given the choice between 4

  • by kruach aum (1934852) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:22PM (#47345581)

    I do not eat with scalpel and fork.

  • Marketed for Asia? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chowdahhead (1618447) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:36PM (#47345655)
    The best argument I've read is that the complex characters in the Korean, Japanese, and Chinese languages really benefit from higher density screens, even over what the G2 was providing last year.
  • The reason you need that sort of resolution is to get the most out of Google Cardboard.
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:40PM (#47345685) Journal

    Just once, I'd love to see some side by side comparisons of the end-to-end RF ability of these new phones. While voice calls, the kids tell me, are a thing of the past we are getting more and more dependent on data connections. And how you get data is via RF link. And yet I haven't even seen link quality mentioned in a single review for at least two generations of smart phones.

    • Just once, I'd love to see some side by side comparisons of the end-to-end RF ability of these new phones. While voice calls, the kids tell me, are a thing of the past we are getting more and more dependent on data connections. And how you get data is via RF link. And yet I haven't even seen link quality mentioned in a single review for at least two generations of smart phones.

      The truth is that there are few radio manufacturers. If you have Verizon in the US then it's almost certainly going to be a Qualcom radio. The exact same Qualcom radio that are in all the other phones of the same generation. Kind of hard to differentiate yourself if the carrier forces you to use the same thing everything else is using.

      That brings up another point. Radios are carrier and region dependent. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA, while just about everyone else in the world (except Japan) use GSM.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <.ten.3dlrow. .ta. .ojom.> on Sunday June 29, 2014 @04:53PM (#47346211) Homepage

      Testing RF capability fairly is actually really difficult. You can't just put two phones next to each other on a desk and expect a fair comparison, because even within that distance the RF field varies and you can't control which channel the cell tower allocates to each either. The cell tower and phones also negotiate the lowest possible power link and again you have no easy way of seeing if one managed to link at lower power (because it is more sensitive) than the other.

      There are ways of testing this stuff, using expensive equipment in purpose built rooms, but tech web sites don't have access to it.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      No one tests them because doing so is actually quite irrelevant for the end user. One way of gauging devices ability to receive is to unplug the antenna and inject signals. Then you get the receiver sensitivity of the device. You'll find in the mobile phone industry the sensitivity will be almost identical across the board. There are relatively few vendors of chipsets which all the devices use.

      Then you're left with the quality of the antenna. Unfortunately one antenna may not be better or worse than another

  • I don't care how many pixels you stuff in there, it doesn't matter if the monster 5.5" screen doesn't fit in my hand.
    • I don't care how many pixels you stuff in there, it doesn't matter if the monster 5.5" screen doesn't fit in my hand.

      There is a joke involved in you not being able to handle anything more than 4" ;). The dimentions of the phone are 146.3 X 74.6 X 8.95mm so its about seven and a half cm wide that is really not that big even for a young teenager.

    • That's odd, since a 7" tablet fits comfortably into my hand. Does your mommy know that you are posting personal information on the Internet?
      • A tablet is not a phone. If you can hold that 7" tablet in one hand and navigate with the thumb of the same hand, you might be Andre the Giant. Do you fit that tablet in your pants pocket too?
  • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:45PM (#47345717)

    ...I'm feeling a bit smug about this development. I can hold it six inches away from my nose, peer under my glasses, and have the equivalent FOV and resolution of a 28-inch desktop display, handheld.

    Of course, if I want to do anything with it, I have to use my fingers, which appear the size of fireplace logs...

  • Captain Blork, arm the lasers!

    (Hundreds of people end up in the emergency room blind after having their picture taken...)

  • The Linked article doesn't even mention voice or call quality. (Or are these features so well 'nailed' by now, they're taken as a given?)

    However, the article might have, but I'm not clicking through more than 1 page of fucking advertisements. (yes, there is a 'print' view, but it's still bullshit to break things into multiple pages just for ad revenue.)

  • I've been running LG's F3 for a while, and there are things I love about it, and other things that I hate.

    The good: Incredible battery life (can get two days with moderate use and still have battery to spare), slim design that can easily be operated with one hand, reasonably fast CPU, bright IPS display, good RF performance, and LTE. Also, it has a replaceable battery and a MicroSD slot.

    The bad: That MicroSD slot is needed, because there's less than 1.3 GB of internal storage, and there's only 1 GB of RAM.

  • Encourage people around you to snap photos with planes or helicopters in sight, call the feds and have them arrested, and CASH IN!!! LG has just been uncovered as another player in the prison industrial complex /conspiracytheoried.
  • I don't know if this useful for your smartphone, but the virtual reality headset makers will be very happy.

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