When it comes to screen technologies, the words "definition" and "resolution" are often confused. Yet there are many differences between these two overused terms. This short dossier explains what characterizes each concept and, incidentally, will help you to shine in society.

The importance of new technologies in our daily lives sometimes requires us to acquire new technical knowledge. It's hard to keep up with all the brand marketing terms. When it comes to screens (smartphones, tablets, TVs), we regularly see manufacturers use the terms "definition" and "resolution" to highlight the quality of their equipment.
Don't know the difference between the two? Don't worry, the manufacturers themselves sometimes confuse the two terms. To make matters worse, presentation conferences are held in English. And yet, in Shakespeare's language, the two notions are translated as "resolution.
While some people are making increasing use of "display resolution (definition) and "pixel density (resolution) to separate the two concepts, making it difficult for consumers to distinguish between them. To find out more, we have prepared a small explanatory file which, we promise, won't put a knot in your brain.
What do HD, Full HD, QHD and 4K have in common? Good question, and we thank you for asking. All these terms refer to one and the same thing: screen definition. Definition is the number of pixels present in a panel. To find out the definition of a screen, multiply the number of pixels in the width by the number of pixels in the height. The result is the screen definition.

For example, a 16:9 QHD panel is 2560 pixels wide and 1440 pixels high, for a total of 3,686,400 pixels. A 4K panel, on the other hand, displays 8,294,400 pixels (3840 x 2160 pixels).
Manufacturers have recently been talking about Full HD+ or QHD+ definitions. This little "+" appeared as smartphones are gradually integrating new screen formats (18:9, 19,5:9, 20:9, 16:10). In these particular cases, the number of pixels present in the width and height change.
A QHD+ screen in 18:9 format is 2880 pixels wide and 1440 pixels high. If you're confused, remember that a QHD definition has 1.6 times more pixels than Full HD definition4K/UHD four times more. To make things clearer, we've put together a quick summary table.

A beautiful screen is all well and good, but you still need to be able to power it. You'll no doubt have noticed that smartphones with QHD screens feature the latest-generation processors and GPUs.

This can be explained quite simply by the resource requirements of these slabs. The higher the definition, the more power and energy the screen needs. For example a QHD panel requires 1.5 times more power than a Full HD panel. And we're only talking about screens with a 60 Hz refresh rate. 90 Hz and 120 Hz screens are even more demanding.
This means that manufacturers have to optimize all these parameters, while maintaining an acceptable level of autonomy. To design their Galaxy S20 Samsung has chosen to limit the 120 Hz refresh rate to Full HD definition. Combining QHD and 120 Hz would have had a significant impact on autonomy already average.
Resolution is the ratio between the panel's definition (number of pixels) and its size (in inches). In France, it is expressed in pixels per point (PPP). pixels per inch (literally pixels per inch). The higher the ratio, the better the resolution.

You can have fun using your calculator to calculate the resolution. But you're likely to get bored with the conversion game. We recommend you use free online tools, which are much more practical, as PPI Calculator. Enter the definition, the screen size and you'll get the resolution.
For example, we compared the resolution of a 6.9" smartphone and a 12.9" tablet, both with QHD definition (2560 x 1440 pixels). We obtained a resolution of 425 dpi for the smartphone and 227 dpi for the tablet.
What do these scores mean? Quite simply, that for the same definition, the smartphone screen is more comfortable than that of the tablet. As the pixel density is lower, the human eye can distinguish them more easily. This difference is particularly noticeable with texts and games. This is not to say that the race for the best resolution makes sense. Because the human eye also has its limits.
Contrary to popular belief, the human eye can no longer tell the difference between two resolutions beyond a certain threshold. Apple, whose Retina technology sets resolution at 300 dpi, believes that the human eye can no longer see pixels beyond this limit. In reality, it's not all that simple.

It all depends on each user's eyesight and the distance from which he or she consults the screen. Experts estimate that a correct resolution is between 300 and 400 dpiThis is far lower than the screens of some smartphones, not just the top-of-the-range ones. Below 300 dpi, the average user is able to distinguish pixels by moving closer to the screen. Going beyond 400 dpi is pointless, as the screen will consume more resources and energy, without providing any additional comfort.
However, there are two exceptions. Some superheroes are able to distinguish pixels up to 600 dpi by sticking their eye to the screen, without using a magnifying glass. More importantly, virtual reality enthusiasts will see the pixelsThe helmet lens magnifies the image. But these cases don't really reflect general public use.
Now you know the difference between screen definition and resolution. Not only will you no longer be confused by marketing pitches, but you'll also be able to shine at the next family dinner.
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