The Verge posted a report today about “HTC preparing a 5-inch phone with 1080p display for September”. Yes, it’s a rumour, but I think even if this phone isn’t real and it isn’t released we will start seeing 1080p (1920×1080, but probably 1794×1080 on Android smartphones because of the onscreen navigation buttons introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich) screens on smartphones soon. But it isn’t needed, in my opinion. Why? Because with 720p screens (usually 1280×720 or 1280×800) on even large phones like the 4.8inch Samsung Galaxy S III and the 5.3inch Samsung Galaxy Note you usually can’t see the individual pixels. And since a 1080p screen wouldn’t actually make any more content appear on screen (it would be scaled), there really is no point except for marketing hype.
Sure, a 1080p screen on a phone would be great for adverts, but if people got the phone in question and a similar sized phone with “just” a 720p screen, they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. People would pay more for an unnoticeable feature.
Maybe I’m wrong, and the higher res. screen would make a world of difference. But usually once a screen gets past a certain dpi, and the human eye can’t see individual pixels, more pixels added won’t make a difference… unless we all start seeing the world with microscopes. Which, I suppose, could happen.