With lots of confusing TV and phone terms such as 'qHD' and 'Quad HD' being thrown about haphazardly, we examine what the manufacturers really mean and negotiate the display resolution minefield.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 phone looks amazing. It’s the most impressive Galaxy Note we’ve seen to date. But what really blew us away was the 5.5-inch Quad HD screen. We just weren't able to spot any pixels on the panel.
But what is ‘Quad HD’ and does it have anything to do with the similarly-named qHD? Is it, as its name implies, four times as detailed as HD and therefore on par with 4K? The short answer is no. So let us explain what Quad HD really is - and why it’s got nothing to do with qHD or 4K.
What is Quad HD?
Quad HD is a less tongue-twisty name for WQHD, which stands for 'Wide Quad High Definition'. Catchy.
In terms of the number of pixels, WQHD is equivalent to 2560x1440. This is four times the number of pixels you get on a 720p HD panel, hence the name. It is most definitely not as good as 4K.
WQHD displays have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which means that widescreen content will look great on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, and explains where the ‘W’ in WQHD comes from.
Confusingly, you might see WQHD called ‘1440p’ or QHD, dispensing with the ‘W’.
What is qHD?
qHD stands for Quarter High Definition and is a display resolution of 960x540 - one-quarter of 1080p Full HD (1920x1080). Phones like the HTC Desire 601, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the Sony Xperia M2 have qHD screens.
Because of the similarity between qHD and QHD, it would be wise not to refer to QHD as QHD - only as WQHD or Quad HD.
What is 4K?
4K, or 4K Ultra HD to give it its full title, refers to resolutions of 3840x2160. This is four times as many pixels as 1080p Full HD (1920x1080).
This is why we think ‘Quad HD’ is a slightly confusing name - it’s too easy for people to mistake it for 4K.
4K Ultra HD is everywhere at the moment because the next generation of HD TV's will be coming with 4K resolution. While there’s not much to watch on a 4K TV right now, this hasn’t stopped TV manufacturers making truckloads of TV sets.
We’re also starting to most phones - the Samsung Galaxy S7, the Sony Xperia Z5, Apple iPhone 6s and the LG G5 - capable of recording 4K video at around 30fps (frames per second). This is pretty much a common feature of premium phones.
Hope that's helped sort out any confusion!