The first 4K (2160 x 3840) smartphone, the ZTE Star 3, is reportedly on the way, and thus perhaps 4K will become the new standard for mobile device screen resolution. However, lower resolutions are currently the most popular in the smartphone world. Check out the most recent statistics on top smartphone screen resolutions in 2015 based on browser hits.
The number of dots on the screen
Screen resolution provided by the device manufacturer defines the number of pixels (the tiniest addressable points) available on the screen, and it is usually quoted as width × height. Generally speaking, more dots allow designers to fit more content on the screen, such as GUI elements, apps, and websites. Bigger resolution doesn’t necessarily mean better quality though, as there are other important factors, such as pixel density, diagonal screen size, and many more.
Physical vs. virtual pixels
It is also worth mentioning that for many graphic designers CSS pixels are a more important factor than physical pixels listed by device manufacturers. CSS pixels, or virtual pixels, are the dots defined in the CSS standard, which may be different from the physical ones, even though the CSS dimension is named ‘px.’
A CSS pixel (px) equals 1/96th of 1in. Its relation to physical pixels depends on the viewing device. For a low-dpi phone, 1px is one device pixel (dot) of the display, while for printers and high resolution screens 1px can mean multiple device pixels.
The DeviceAtlas team dug a little deeper to provide you with the most recent statistics on the most popular physical screen resolutions, and CSS pixel resolutions across some selected local markets. The following stats are based on the traffic to thousands of DeviceAtlas-powered websites.
Most popular screen resolutions – physical pixels (specified by manufacturers)
Most popular screen resolutions – virtual (CSS) pixels
More pixels in the latest releases
We expect the most popular screen resolution to grow in the future although it's unsure whether 4K in a smartphone makes sense. Some argue that 4K resolution opens new doors for smartphone-powered VR devices offering a more sophisticated virtual reality experience.
For comparison, have a look at some of the latest smartphone releases and their physical screen resolutions specified by the manufacturers.
|Samsung Galaxy S6 (5.1in)||1440 x 2560 pixels (Quad HD)|
|LG G4 (5.5in)||1440 x 2560 pixels (Quad HD)|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (5.7in)||1440 x 2560 pixels (Quad HD)|
|Sony Xperia Z3+ (5.2in)||1080 x 1920 pixels (Full HD)|
|HTC One M9 (5in)||1080 x 1920 pixels (Full HD)|
|iPhone 6 Plus (5.5in)||1080 x 1920 pixels (Full HD)|
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All statistics represent the share of web traffic in selected countries based on mobile visits tracked by DeviceAtlas.