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BBX Smartphones to Have Same Pixel Density as BlackBerry PlayBook?


I was going through my notes from DevCon last week and I remembered something that Alec Saunders, RIM’s new head of Developer Relations, said in a response to a question I asked. I asked the panel at this press only session how easy it would be to run current BlackBerry PlayBook Flash, Native, or Android apps on future BBX phones. He responded that RIM is doing everything they can to ensure that the BBX platform phones have the same Pixel Density as the BlackBerry PlayBook. I tried pushing further but all he would say was that they should run just fine or would take a few simple tweaks.

Keep in mind pixel density does not mean the same thing as having the same 1024px x 600px resolution as the PlayBook from what I understand. Trying to simplify it (Thanks Wikipedia), pixel density is a measurement related by the size of the display in inches and the total number of pixels in the horizontal and vertical directions. From my calculations the pixel density of the PlayBook is about 170 which is not bad compared to the iPad which has about a 130px density due to the larger screen.

Still it would be a huge boon for BBX phones if apps and games designed for the PlayBook could just as easily run on BBX phones without any changes. What do you think?

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  1. That would be great and very easy for devs. But that also makes me think that if the pixel density is the same whether the resolution is the same or not, the screen is going to be a very nice screen. And that is very exciting. Thanks for the update.

  2. So let me get this straight, pixel density would be another word to combine screen resolution (1024×600) and dpi (dots per inch)
    I don’t know the formula but I think that means the new phones will have a miniature playbook screen (same ratio) with possibly the same screen resolution/dpi or, lower resolution (as current) but much higher dpi like the Bold 9900.

  3. hmm… someone please tell me whats the density for iphone?

    • Good point should have mentioned that. The iPhone 4 and 4S have a pixel density of ~320ppi and the Bold 9900 has a pixel density of 286ppi. The Torch 9810 has 253ppi and the Torch 9850/9860 is about 252ppi.

      As I said I am no engineer but I think what Alec meant is they will be keeping the same aspect ratio and relative pixel count.

  4. 170ppi pixel density is way to low for a current generation smartphone. Assuming the display width of a Bold 9700 or 9900 is roughly 2 inches that would make for a 340px horizontal resolution.

    Even for a portrait device this would mean at most something like 340x480px (similar to Torch 1).

    Having the same pixel density helps with keeping things the same perceived size on different devices (a button would be half an inch wide on all displays), but it does not solve the layout problem for different resolutions (how many buttons you can fit on the screen).

  5. Yeah I am sure he said the same pixel density but I have this feeling he meant to say aspect ratio… What do you guys think? I sort of put him on the spot. 🙂

    • i think the aspect ratio might change a tad bit to mayb 16:9 like the new android phones or could be unchanged. but what he meant to say was it will have similar resolution 1024×600 if you make that 16:9 1024x 576 mayb this way lot of the home screen UI don’t need to be tweaked too much before going to phone.

  6. I fully expect the aspect ratio to be the same. There is no compelling reason to change it.

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