Considering that several popular smartphones currently offer barrel-chested 4.3-inch screens, would you carry a phone that ups the ante to an even 5 inches? What if said display offered a high-definition, 1280 x 720 pixel resolution?
Rumor has it that Samsung plans to release new displays that will push the company's existing Super AMOLED Plus screens boldly into the 5-inch zone. While they're there, those phones, said to arrive later this fall, will also offer 720p resolutions, a high-mark in smartphone displays that remains unconquered by existing broad-faced phones.
In addition to a new Samsung smartphone, the manufacturer will release tablets with the new screen technology. According to the site OLED-Info, the first products to house the display will be a 5.3-inch smartphone and 7-inch tablets, all said to reach official status by the close of 2011.
Samsung isn't the only manufacturer running a race that ends at 720p either. According to GSMArena, the still-unofficial Motorola Droid HD smartphone is also rumored to tout a 720p resolution on its 4.5-inch display.
Despite all this momentum toward HD-in-your-hand, whether or not the market desires a 5-plus-inch smartphone remains a question. Earlier this year Samsung released the Samsung Infuse 4G, a 4.5-inch smartphone that weighed just ounces more than other contemporary devices but carried an awkward width of 2.8 inches that made it difficult to hold and interact with the device one-handed. Don't get us started on another 5-inch phone that debuted last summer and was discontinued just last week, the Dell Streak, a device which we—and smartphone users—could not grasp well.
On the other hand (which you just might need for a 5-inch phone), 4.5 or higher-inch devices offer plenty of screen real estate. In our review of the Dell Streak, we couldn't help but note that the "display is bright and colorful, and held up well in direct sunlight". That goes double for the Infuse 4G which packs Samsung's AMOLED screen, ensuring that "everything looks a little sharper and brighter."
In the realm of tablets, at least one product exceeds the 720p marker. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 offers a 1280 x 800-pixel resolution that fostered " bright, popping colors and great contrast, plus wide viewing angles".
Will the 1280 x 720-pixel resolution be the sugar that makes 5-inch smart phones go down easier? Given that Samsung's AMOLED technology offers some of the most brilliant and crystalline displays in the industry, we'd wager true 720p video on a 5-inch smartphone is something worth watching.