The Vivo Xplay 3S was recently unveiled in Beijing, China, sporting the world’s first Quad HD display (2560 x 1440 pixels), with 4 times the resolution of a normal HD display (1280 x 720 pixels). Some of you may be thinking, who on earth needs that many pixels? But before we go on further, let us travel back in time to when the world’s first 1080p smartphone was released last year – the Oppo Find 5.
Back when 720p smartphones were the norm, Oppo decided to pave the way forward in Full HD smartphone displays by releasing their 5 inch 1080p smartphone. The initial reaction from the tech arena was that of shock – who on earth needs that many pixels? However, half a year later, 1080p became the benchmark for top tier smartphones manufactured by Samsung, HTC and the like. In fact, in August, LG released a 5.5″ 1440p LCD panel at 538 pixels per inch (ppi), but sadly, did not install it on any phone. So before we shoot down Vivo and their bombastic ideas, let us examine how good (or bad) a 1440p screen really is…
The 2K display has a total of 3,686,400 pixels, all crammed into a 6″ screen, which works out to be around 490 ppi. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 1080p 5″ display (441 ppi), the HTC One has a 1080p 4.7″ display (469 ppi) and the Nokia Lumia 1520 has a 1080p 6″ display (367 ppi). This represents a 34% increase in pixel density when compared to a similarly sized 6″ display. However, under normal usage, this increase in pixel density is not too noticeable. But in the future, when 2K videos become mainstream, the Xplay 3S will definitely shine.
Some may be asking – what about the battery life? The Xplay 3S comes with a 3200 mAh battery, as compared to the 3400 mAh battery that the Lumia 1520 comes with. Does this slight decrease in battery size, coupled with the increased pixel density, result in a poorer battery life? The Lumia 1520 can manage 25 hours of talk time on 3G and will pull through the day with moderate usage. Average screen on times for 1080p screens vary between 4 to 6 hours, so can the Xplay 3S manage that too? We can’t tell for now.
One thing is for sure, the high resolution screen is not the only draw point. This phone also comes with high quality audio features, such as the ESS Technology’s ES9018 digital to audio converter, the Texas Instruments’ OPA2604 amplifier and a DTS Headphone:X feature which can create surround sound effects with normal stereo headphones. This makes the Xplay 3S a beast for audio and movie lovers.
And it doesn’t just stop there. The camera packs a punch too. It is a 13MP shooter with an aperture of f/1.8, which allows for great low light shooting and fast shutter speeds. Great for photography too. To keep the camera at the back company, stereo speakers and a fingerprint scanner are included as well, following the likes of the iPhone 5S and the HTC One Max. There is also a 5MP camera on the front.
Not only that, the phone comes with a Snapdragon S800 quad-core processor, clocked at 2.3 GHz, along with a Adreno 330 GPU, 3GB RAM, 32GB of internal storage and LTE connectivity. And this whole package weighs in at a mere 172g, which is quite light considering its size. However, the Xplay 3S will not be running stock Android, but instead will be running a custom Android version called FunTouch. Nevertheless, these flagship specs will definitely give other phablets, like the Nokia Lumia 1520 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 a run for their money.
An introductory video to the Vivo FunTouch OS
And the best part of all, the price. Tmall is taking pre-orders at a price of CNY3,498, which works out to be S$730. A great deal for all that premium features. For now, the Xplay 3S is only being sold in China. But be rest assured, Xplay has plans to ship it internationally in 2014. Other phones that are slated to come with a 1440p display include the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5, which will be announced in Q1 of 2014. Other companies, such as Oppo and Samsung, are also experimenting with 4K Ultra HD displays (3840 x 2160 pixels), which are 4 times the resolution of Full HD displays (1920 x 1080 pixels). Who knows, 4K displays might become the norm in phones by 2015. Only time will tell…
So what do you think? Is the Vivo Xplay 3S a bang for its buck, packing in flagship features at a relatively cheap price, or is it too overpowered for your taste?