Understanding the Galaxy S8's display resolution options

The Galaxy S8's Quad HD+ SuperAMOLED panel is one of its standout features. Indeed, that big, almost bezel-free display features heavily in Samsung's ads for the phone. By default, though, it's not set to run at its full, native resolution of 2960x1440, instead it's downsampled to "Full HD+," or 2220x1080. And if you want, you can set it to go even lower, down to "HD+" — 1480x720.

Let's take a look at the Galaxy S8's resolution options, and examine which level you might want to pick.

How to change the Galaxy S8's screen resolution

The screen resolution option is easy to find.

Screen resolution options

  1. Open the notification shade by swiping down from the top of the screen.
  2. Tap the cog icon to open the Settings app.
  3. Tap Display
  4. In the menu that appears, tap the Screen resolution option.

Screen resolution slider

From here, you can adjust the slider to choose HD+, FHD+ or WQHD+. After selecting your option, tap Apply to set it, or Cancel to go back without changing anything.

The resolution slider affects the sharpness on the screen appear — the native WQHD provides the best picture quality, however setting a lower resolution may improve battery life. The default FHD+ resolution doesn't push the display to its limits, but may provide modest battery life improvements compared to WQHD.

As you might expect, the jump from FHD+ to WQHD+ is more noticeable on the larger Galaxy S8+, thanks to its larger 6.2-inch display size. But it's worth switching and switching back to see how noticeable the change is to you. Depending on how you use the phone — and which size of S8 you own — the change may or may not be noticeable.

Note: Changing the resolution setting on the phone won't affect the picture quality when using the Samsung Gear VR.

The jump up to WQHD+ is most noticeable on the larger S8+

So you may want to switch up to WQHD+ if you have a Galaxy S8+ and getting the very best possible picture quality is more important than the slight battery hit you may take. (We haven't noticed much of a reduction in longevity when running at the higher resolution on the S8+, for what that's worth.)

On the smaller, S8, with a smaller screen and smaller battery, the increase in pixel density is harder to notice, and the dent in battery life slightly more apparent if you switch to WQHD+.

As for the lower HD+ option, most of the time you'll want to leave this alone. In a pinch, you may want to switch to the lowest resolution option as a temporary measure to improve battery life. (The Galaxy S8 also has other battery-saving options under Settings > Device maintenance > Battery, by the way.) Another reason would be if you have reduced vision to the point where there's no visible difference between the three resolution settings.

For the majority of Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners, the default FHD+ will be just fine, providing good display quality and balanced battery life.

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Standard S8 here. Swiched for a good minute a but went back to 1080. Didn't seem worth it.
  • S7 user here. WQHD on all the time, about 3.5h SOT. FHD maybe closer to 4, but picture quality drop isn't worth it. Once got 5 on HD, but that one was even worse pic quality.
  • On the S8+ I found the highest resolution messed with Swiftkey somethin' fierce. Kept resizing to different ratios almost every time I opened the keyboard, so I went back to default.
  • I see this too. I have SwiftKey set to the smallest size for full resolution on the S8+. I feel an update is needed to SwiftKey.
  • +2
  • +1 for an update!!!
  • Ditto! i keep my Swiftkey keyboard on the largest size on my S8+, and every time i change resolutions, it goes back to the 2nd smallest keyboard and looks tiny, so i have to keep changing it back...annoying!
  • I had the same problem with SwiftKey, when I switched to qhd+, just reinstall SwiftKey once and problem solved
    As far as battery drain.. There is virtually no difference between
    1080p and 1440p maybe 2% or so, In my experience
    But it does make a big difference when you use full screen to watch a movie or TV show
    4k videos looks amazing on full screen.. 2k content very hard to find... But 4k there's a lot out there...1080p definitely doesn't look as good once you use full screen
  • My S8+ is set to WQHD and the battery lasts all day. I get 5 and half hours of screen on time. That's better than all my previous Samsung phones!
  • Lowering the display resolution to 1080p doesn't improve battery life by much.
  • No, but it is easier on my eyes.
  • Yeah I honestly prefer to look at the middle setting more than the highest, I tried the highest and there is no lag or anything I just think it looks weird.
  • That's the same thing I experienced with my first 4k TV. After a couple days, you just get used to it
  • I went to WQHD. It's there I might as well use it. I have the S8+ and get through a day easily.
  • I haven't notice any difference in battery life on any screen mode. This battery just last all day no matter what
  • This is an article I would've written without ever touching an S8. There is no data to support this and I just read what the internet has been parroting from day one. You're a respected site AC, please work on your articles just a tiny bit more. I would like to know exactly what the battery life and performance hit would be going from FHD+ to WQHD+, heck even throw in the lower resolution to get an idea. If this data is present on other websites, better you link that on the very first line so that I don't have to read through the article to find out that it contains nothing of value.
  • Each person's use case is going to vary. Therefore, providing numerical data on battery life would only serve to show 1 person's comparison from one day to the next with different resolutions and would not be accurate for all the readers. Hence why battery life discussions are often vague and generic
  • It would be nice to see some data, maybe have the phones side by side so you can see picture quality differences, if any. And maybe a battery test, one with 3d gaming benchmarks too. I really think they went with 1080p for folks who game.
  • (chuckling) nothing to say about screen res; just can't get over how pretty a device it is (if a smartphone can really be called 'pretty'). Coworker just got one (I have an S7E). Think I might simply be taking Samsung's design approach for granted.
  • Just keep the resolution at wqhd+ no advantage to using fhd+ battery wise in my experience