Honestly, the world of screen resolutions can get confusing. Even once you’ve got your head around aspect ratios and all sorts of other specs, the number of pixels isn’t always that clear or intuitive. There are so many terms chucked around, and they often sound very technical. We’re going to demystify “QHD” for you, explaining exactly what it means and how it compares to other common resolutions. Let’s begin!
What Is QHD?
QHD is an acronym, which stands for “Quad-HD.” This is a resolution that comes in at 2560 x 1440 pixels, which is why it can also be referred to as 1440p. Since the standard high-definition resolution is 720p (or 1280 x 720 pixels), this is why QHD has the name it does: the total number of pixels is quadruple 720p. As far as aspect ratio is concerned, 16:9 is the most common for QHD monitors.
When looking at resolutions, you may also come across “WQHD” or “Wide Quad-HD.” This distinction is more of a marketing ploy than anything else. The W highlights the 16:9 aspect ratio, but this is a fundamental feature of all QHD displays. There is a difference, however, with ultrawide QHD screens that boast a 3440 x 1440 pixel resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio.
For clarity’s sake, QHD is also different from qHD. Yes, the change in capitalization alters the entire meaning of the acronym! The lower-case q refers to a resolution of 960 x 540, which is typical for smaller devices and is a quarter of 1080p full HD.
Examples of Electronics That Use QHD
As QHD is intended for wide screens, it’s natural that electronics that use this resolution tend toward the larger end of the spectrum. Think laptops, tablets, and computer monitors. You may find this resolution on smartphones, but it is less common.
QHD vs. HD vs. 4K: What’s the Difference?
As previously mentioned, you can think of QHD as having a 2.5K resolution since the horizontal resolution is roughly equivalent to 2500 pixels. It makes sense, then, that 4K would have a horizontal resolution of roughly 4000 pixels. Most of the time, 4K refers to 3840 x 2160 pixels. But in the cinema industry, you see 4096 x 2160 more often. We’ve given common resolutions and their pixel numbers in the table below.
Technically, terms like 2K and 4K aren’t completely interchangeable with 1080p or 2160p. This is because they refer to the horizontal and vertical resolutions, respectively. Therefore, it’s perfectly possible to have a 2160p screen that isn’t 4000 pixels wide.
|960 x 540
|1280 x 720
|1080p HD (2K)
|2048 x 1080
|2560 x 1440, or 3440 x 1440 for ultrawide
|2160p UHD (4K)
|4096 x 2160
If we add 720p and 1080p HD into the mix, you can see that QHD and 4K surpass these. As such, you’d expect to see clearer and more detailed images with a QHD monitor than you would with 720 or 1080p. The same is true with 4K. You’re getting quadruple the pixels of 720p with QHD and 2.4 times the pixels as you go up to 4K.
This is no small difference, but neither is the increase in power consumption. Aside from the energy cost, this will impact your portable device’s battery life. You should consider this when purchasing. In reality, you won’t see much difference between full HD and QHD on a phone screen. But the distinction is more noticeable on laptop and TV screens. If you can afford it, investing in QHD or even 4K is a good idea to make your larger devices last longer.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Mr.Mikla/Shutterstock.com.