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News18 » Tech
3-min read

Do You Really Need 18:9 Displays on the Samsung Galaxy S8 Or The LG G6?

The answer might be no for now at least for us, but in future, as these screen sizes are explored more by other companies, developers as well as users, it might just be the new norm for smartphones.

Siddhartha Sharma | News18.comSidnChips

Updated:May 1, 2017, 2:27 PM IST
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Remember the time when smartphones exceeded their 4.7-inch display size and 5-inch display became almost a standard screen size? Remember the problems that Android users faced in app-scaling? And it took us good 5 years to adapt to bigger screen sizes.

Now in 2017, companies like Samsung and LG are all set to make us adjust again to our screens. Honestly, we love the display's on both the Samsung Galaxy S8 as well as the LG G6. They are beautiful, bezel-less and need the user to be now extra careful about their phones.

The clarity is amazing on the displays of both the Samsung Galaxy S8 as well as the LG G6. But what's kind of annoying if you use the phone for a longer duration like in our case is App scaling as well as video watching.

The new displays come with an aspect Ratio of 18:9. Samsung for some reason also say it's 18:5:9, accounting for the curve on the infinity display of the Galaxy S8. Normal standard for HD videos and many gaming as well as utility apps is 16:9 on a landscape mode.

With these new phones, sadly most of what we all see is still scaled to 16:9 aspect ratio on the landscape mode. That leaves blank space on the sides of the phone and often you tend to forget that they have thin bezels. You end up accidently touching that portion and many times end up opening the notification bar or exiting the app or the video that you were watching.

The companies that made these phones were aware of this problem and they did address it. You can fit an app or a video to the full potential of these displays, i.e; scale it to 18:9. You can do that with just one tap.

But what happens after you do that?

Well as expected you get a stretched image on the display. This makes the video look a bit odd and zoomed in. Also if you are streaming a video on Netflix or Amazon video, you do notice a bit of a distortion. So what's the point?

Also, many apps are still not supporting that aspect ratio. You have to make them go full screen with a tap and then the experience you get is stretched. If you don't plan to go full screen, then you are left with black bands on either side of the device. That also looks bad enough.

Watch: Samsung Galaxy S8 Review

Another interesting thing here is that Samsung Galaxy S8 comes with a 12-Megapixel rear camera that's amazing. But the firepower it offers you in 4:3 aspect ratio is 12-megapixels, when you want to click a 16:9 aspect ratio image it gives you only 9.7-megapixel on offer. And if you plan to click an image in the revolutionary 18:5:9 aspect ratio you only get 7.9-megapixel of the camera's capabilities.

Though the images that come out are still brilliant, but still a bit of a disappointment for people who love to flaunt the specifications of their phones.

On the LG G6, the story is the same. 18:9 images only offered with a maximum of 8.7-megapixel firepower, 16:9 images with 9.7 -megapixels and 4:3 images can be shot with the full potential of its dual-camera which is at 13-megapixels.

So the question, do you really need an 18:9 aspect ratio on the display of your smartphone?

The answer might be no for now at least for us, but in future, as these screen sizes are explored more by other companies, developers as well as users, it might just be the new norm for smartphones.

For now, the 18:9 aspect ratio is a young technology that's still at its infant stage. Google has urged developers to work with newer 18:9 aspect ratios for their apps, but that will take time to get fully implemented for all the apps on the play store and till then you will be seeing black bars on the top and bottom of your screens if you don't want a stretched experience.

The 18:9 aspect ratio display has potential and of course a lot of real display estate. Both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 are brilliantly designed smartphones, but what's a design if there is no real need or utility to it.

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| Edited by: Siddhartha Sharma
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