There are many things that one should take into account when deciding if a display or a screen is good or not. One of the factors no matter if we are talking about smart phones, tablets, TVs, or computer monitors is the resolution, which is directly related to the screen’s aspect ratio and pixel density. So in order to be able to make an informed choice, we need to understand exactly what those numbers (or abbreviations) mean.
Definitions Resolution The resolution is a metric that measures how many pixels there are in a particular display. This is in a direct correlation with the amount of content that can be displayed – the more pixels, the more content. The resolution doesn’t give us any information about the screen’s physical size since the same amount of pixels could be fitted both on a very small display with very small pixels or a very large display with pixels as big as a light bulb.
The most common way to denote the resolution is with two numbers in the form (A)x(B) in which the two numbers give us the number of pixels on each side of the display as illustrated on Figure 1.We can calculate the total number of pixels on a screen by multiplying the two numbers, but people rarely need to do this calculation. Additionally, there are some common resolutions that are denoted by abbreviations, not numbers like HD, VGA, 1080p and so on and we’ll discuss what they mean below.
Aspect Ratio We also mentioned that the display resolution gives us information on the way the pixels are arranged. To be more specific, it gives us information on the correlation between the width and the length (height) of the display. This correlation is called aspect ratio and is usually denoted in the form (x):(y) with x and y being prime numbers. Preserving the information about the aspect ratio is the main reason to denote the resolution with two numbers and not just with the number of pixels.
There are a few common aspect ratios and they represent how wide the display is. You can see how the two most common resolutions 4:3 and 16:9 relate to each other on Figure 2. 16:9 is wider because the difference between the sides is bigger. Pixel Density (ppi) As we mentioned before, the screen resolution doesn’t give us any information about the screen size, so we also don’t know how close tablet android the pixels of the display are to each other.
But both this pieces of information are quite important when evaluating the display quality no matter if it’s a mobile device, be it a tablet or a smartphone, or a TV or a monitor. So we have an important metric in this department to help us understand how closely packed the pixels are on a particular display – pixel density. This will also tell us a lot about the image quality, clarity, and readability. The higher the pixel density (the closer the pixels are together), the crisper the image.
Pixel density is measured in the intuitive unit pixels per inch (abbreviated ppi). So this is actually an important metric that provides information on the relation between the resolution and the display size.
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