Explained: Mobile Device Screen Types
With so many products in the market it can be quite confusing which mobile device screen types to choose from. This blog will cover in plain English the different types available in today’s enterprise mobility and consumer market.
Nearly all mobile devices allow touch, many can also sense a stylus or a pen. Some screens allow two touch zooming in and out, some are super bright, others have a very high resolution screen, or are rugged for impact protection.
The most common two technologies are resistive and capacitive. Resistive allows for both touch and stylus/pen contact. The screen comprises of two layers of which one has an electrical current. When the screen is pressed the layers meet and the X/Y location can be determined. Resistive screens can be damaged if sharp objects can are used, but can also be easily cleaned and resistant to liquid damage.
Resistive technology can be found on almost all enterprise handhelds where to user may require either option, using the stylus when a very accurate screen location is needed or when using gloves.
Capacitive screens allow only touch. This is found on most Android, iOS Smartphones. These screens work with the human body to act as a current. The screen has an electrical current layer, when the finger touches the screen this creates a change in the current therefore fixing the location. One problem is use in cold weather as gloves cannot be used nor a stylus. Most capacitive screens do allow for two touch zooming in and out.
The next part to consider is the screen resolution. Displays are available in QVGA, VGA, XGA, WXGA, AMOLED, Super AMOLED etc. There are lots more. They all provide different resolution figures generally with the higher being sharper and clearer. VGA stands for Video Graphics Array, The X is for Extended, W for Wide, and S for Super. HD is high definition found on most TV sets. The figures are explained:
QVGA: 320 x 240
VGA: 640 x 480
WVGA: 800 x 480
WSVGA: 1024 x 600
XGA: 1024 x 768
WXGA: 1280 x 720 – 1366 x 768
HD: 1280 x 720
Mobile application development design is also an important consideration as the layout needs to be sized to meet the resolution and text enlarged where appropriate. If you have a pool of various devices this could mean the application will look too small or large compared to the device the app was originally designed for. If you have a very basic small application a low resolution will be fine running on a PDA/Smartphone. If you have a complex large application and need more data the various mobile screen device types may lead you to a screen with a higher resolution such as found on a rugged tablet pc.
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