I think at this point we can all agree that Quad-HD, heck, even 1080p displays on smartphones provide enough detail for anyone. Anything more than that is just overkill, however Samsung has another opinion. They think 4K smartphone screens will actually become something in everyone’s smartphone in the future, and the reason why is actually pretty reasonable.
While Sony’s Xperia Z5 Premium, the first smartphone with a 4K display, uses the technology for no reason of than to basically say they were the first, Samsung believes displays with this resolution could be useful for virtual reality. Even with today’s Quad-HD display, magnifying the display through the use of a VR headset shows off the pixels clearly. With 4K however, the pixel density would make up for the magnification.
Once we believe it’s the right time to move [to 4K displays], the same as the decision on USB Type-C for example, and we think it’s the right point we can mass produce a 4K screen that will be enough of a consumer benefit to make it worthwhile.
It does make sense that Samsung would want to wait until users actually want 4K to include it, just as with USB C. Since USB C is also not in the mainstream right now, it makes sense that the company would want to wait.
As VR grows in popularity, it’s entirely possible that Samsung’s next round of flagships could include 4K displays. How that will affect battery life, performance, etc remains to be seen however.