Let’s say you walk into a car dealership because you’re interested in a new Ford Focus. You’re a city guy/gal, and you need a vehicle that’s not too cheap, not too expensive, you need it to save you a couple of bucks in gas, and you also want it to be easy to drive in the city. Then imagine the sales guy going crazy on you because he feels you should buy a Ford F150 instead. Don’t get me wrong, the F150 is a gorgeous truck, I actually owned one years ago and loved it to death, but one of the main reasons why I sold it, was because I was a city guy with different priorities.
Let’s focus on that, Priorities. What are your priorities when it comes to buying a mobile phone? Some people are business oriented, and they need a tool that’s not too bulky to carry around, and that can get them through the day with ease and reliability. Others would prefer a great multimedia experience, and don’t really care about the size since hey, the bigger, the better it is to consume content.
If I would ask you to name one smartphone that can provide you with a great experience in both turfs, which would it be? Sadly, in my opinion, that device doesn’t exist yet, and that’s rather unfortunate. One of the main reasons why I carry two smartphones is because one gives me a better multi media experience, but is too big, and the other is a great workhorse, which does feel smart at times.
So my next question would be: Why aren’t companies focused on building a device that’s great for everything in one package? The answer is rather complicated, but sometimes I feel that this is mainly a focus problem, and not really a technology problem. One of my favorite books would make this analogy of people going crazy trying to climb the ladder to success, but without noticing that they had laid it on the wrong wall.
Lately the rumors for 2014 are that smartphones are making the leap to 2K displays. I know some of us are exited for this, but others are still skeptical over the leap. Let us go through the reasons why we would love to get 2k displays, and the reasons why we’re concerned.
Good – 2K is the future
To say that we don’t want to move to 2K or even 4K displays on smartphones is like saying that we’d rather drive through dirt roads than pavement. As digital entertainment is all making the leap towards higher-resolution, the last thing we want is for our mobile devices to have to down-sample the content. If the technology already exists, there is no point in not enjoying it.
Probably one of the biggest reasons I’m exited about the move to 2K is mainly because this would make HD and FHD displays a standard among entry-level devices. Naturally 2K and 4K displays will be more expensive to produce, but their demand and quick adoption would instantly make 720p or 1080p panels less expensive, and therefore push innovation forward.
Bad – 2K is literally “the future”, not the present
One of the biggest ironies I found with buying an iPad with Retina Display two years ago was that even though the display was amazing, the content wasn’t ready for it. It took the Internet months to enhance the resolution of some of their website imagery, and therefore, even though the tablet wasn’t designed to show you pixels, the content was. I experience the same frustration even today when I use my Retina Display MacBook Pro. It’s pointless to have so much resolution on my device if it’ll only bloat the content as we wait for a better Internet.
When it comes to multi-media, how many of you can currently afford a 4K television? I won’t for the next couple of years, and that’s the reality of most middle-class families. The creation and ubiquity of 2K or 4K content will largely depend on your living room, more than your mobile device. Can you imagine watching a 1080p movie on a 2K display? I’m honestly already dreading it. If YouTube still struggles with video buffering today, can you imagine the move to 2K?
Priorities aren’t straight
Let’s go back to the beginning of this editorial, and let’s talk priorities. Do you really see pixels on a 1080p display? I don’t, and as much as I want higher resolution on my next display, I think OEMs have bigger fish to fry. Smartphones today still struggle with basic things like battery life. To make matters worse, if we can barely make ends meet with 16GB of storage today, can you imagine how big apps will become with the 2K-display adoption?
In all honesty, I would rather draw the line in 2014. I’d prefer if OEMs would save themselves the cost of investing in 2K, and would focus more on giving us more storage, and better battery life for the same price tag. I’m tired of Apple’s theoretically fake 10 hours of battery life on an iPhone just to keep it thin and light. It’s really pointless if I’ll end-up having to use a Mophie Juice Pack anyways.
The bottom line
We need better phones, and a higher resolution display isn’t really going to make my phone better in today’s market. You could argue with me that having a 2014 full of 2K smartphones will force the market to enhance their content, but we’ve been using high-resolution tablets for more than two years already, and the Internet is still where it was. I don’t blame the Internet either, as they clearly do have their priorities straight, and I’d rather have a website load faster, than load at half the speed just to look prettier.
I honestly think that if OEMs would focus on settling down in 2014 to give us a better smartphone that’s capable of solving the needs of business and multi-media consumers at the same time, we’d have a smarter win.
What about you? Would you prefer to wait another year for 2K like I would, or would you prefer to continue with battery issues just to get a better display? I still feel that it’s pointless to have a better display that my battery won’t allow me to enjoy, but leave us a comment and share your thoughts.