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Should you set the Galaxy S9's screen resolution to FHD or WQHD?

Just like the Galaxy S8 series before it, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ allow users to hop into the settings and change the resolution of their gorgeous Infinity Displays. Both phones ship with the screen set to FHD+ (2220 x 1080), but you can easily crank things up to WQHD+ (2960 x 1440) for a better-looking image.

WQHD+ is certainly sharper compared to the FHD+ mode that's used by default, but is this increase in resolution worth the extra battery capacity and processing power that it requires?

Some of our forum users recently got to talking about which resolution is their personal favorite, and this is what they had to say.

Why buy the best display available then turn down the resolution. Once you use WQHD for a few days you can't go back difference is to noticeable especially with text. I have used WQHD for a year on my S8 Plus and since day one with my S9 Plus and a few times checked the battery usage and there is no difference you can actually be 100% certain is associate with resolution.

D.P.G.

I can t really see a real world difference in use ability in gaming or text with HD+ over WQHD so is stick with HD+ On my s9. There is also the argument of having more processor power to speed thing up going lower res as well. But for me I’d rather save the 5 or 10 percent battery than the extra resolution I don’t notice.

Nodnerb

I switched to WQHD last night and had to recharge early this evening. That hasn't happened before. I haven't noticed a big difference in screen quality either. I'll keep it for another couple days so I can get a better idea on battery life.

jneusch

Yes. Spend a day with FHD then a day with WQHD and see how your battery compares. That's the best way to test as your mileage will be vastly different to controlled testing. I've tried both settings and noticed a slight battery improvement with FHD so kept with that as I couldn't notice enough difference between the 2 visually to make it worth keeping on but that's just me

dov1978

Now, we want to hear from you – Do you have your Galaxy S9/S9+ set to FHD+ or WQHD+?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

27 Comments
  • More phones should have this option.
  • Android Q might introduce the option..
  • Marshmallow , Nougat and Oreo have this option, otherwise Samsung couldn't do it. Some of you seem to think Samsung doesn't run code supplied by Google.
  • Resolution scaling has existed basically ever since we started using bitmap. There's a difference between having something built into the OS for the developers and having it front facing for users.
  • Samsung enabled split screen and "picture in picture" apps before Google added it to Oreo. Sure, Samsung uses the base OS made by Google, but they can do more than what Google has added. That's the benefit of an open OS.
  • More phones should have better battery! But it begs the question: If you are after the best sharpness, why not go LCD which is sharper than AMOLED by nature?
  • Because AMOLED looks better, thinner, and consume less battery. The "better looking" screen is very subjective. I say go with what looks the best to you.
  • I keep mine on the highest resolution possible for maximum effect. Why have it & not enjoy it's capabilities. Especially viewing video's!
  • S8+... I use mine on WQHD+ all the time and can clearly see the difference. Especially, as mentioned, with text. I use the GearVR pretty often, it requires the WQHD setting, so I just left it on. I've only noticed a little drop in battery life. I'd say no more than 10%, which is fine with me.
  • Text is where the differences in sharpness stands out the most, but it's also helpful when zooming in to review photos. If I was in your situation, I'd do the same thing.
  • Does this switch off the excessive pixels of the screen, or just lowers the rendering resolution? If it's the latter, I don't think it's worth it. I manually upped the rendering resolution of my Xperia Z5 Premium to 1440p, and it takes some 3%/h more. S9 shouldn't be too different. It's not rendering that takes up most power, but lighting up each pixel of the screen. But if it's the former, that should lead to significant changes, and that would be really great...
  • Hey Android Central, why not run some tests and see if battery life is affected by resolution? Most people want better battery life.
  • I agree.
  • Don't buy a qhd phone and only use fhd. That's like slapping Samsung in the face for producing the best displays on the planet.
  • That's like buying a Bugatti Chiron and driving it at the speed limit being a slap to the Bugatti engineers face. If you don't have to v-max the damn thing, why should you?
  • I'd love to use WQHD+ but unfortunately SwiftKey doesn't feel inclined to update their app to allow me to use that resolution without my keyboard taking up the whole screen. Unfortunate.
  • You know you can resize the keyboard right?
  • I use WQHD+ with SwiftKey all the time.—even when I had the S8+. The nice thing about SwiftKey is that you can choose the size.
  • Neither. Set it to HD. The lower the better battery life. I can't tell the difference.
  • I keep mine on HD also. I can't tell any difference among the three.
  • Specs obsession. 1080p is plenty enough on any phone.
  • Agree, but the exception would be VR headsets. It's basically like looking at the screen though magnifying glasses, so you need above 500 DPI to eliminate the screen door effect.
  • I don't mind 1080p or WQHD but that's me, battery life is more important to me and I'd choose that if I had the choice being a former iPhone user who was used to having a 1080p display but with most Android Flagships, you get the best of both worlds, great QHD displays (although not as good as Samsung's displays) and great battery life.
  • Why would I turn my Ferrari into a Honda Civic to save fuel?
  • Maybe because your trip is twice as long as your fuel range?
  • Use what works best for you. I can tell the difference between the settings, but I keep it on FHD because I want that extra battery life. Cell service around my work isn't great, so I'll take all I can get.
  • There's a night and day difference between FHD/QHD at the screen size of the S8+/S9+/Note 8. I wish my daily driver were QHD.