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Recently, after checking which is the currently most used resolution among all devices I was surprised to find out that we have a new leader - the 360x640px resolution.

most used screen resolutions

This is obviously mobile resolution. However, after researching which devices operate at 360x640, there is not much of them. The majority of current mobile devices use 1280x720 or bigger. So:

What causes the surge of the 360x640 resolution?

Update: enter image description here The mobile resolution has already significantly passed the desktop resolution as the most used one.

  • Is there a connection between this resolution and a specific location/country? – rojcyk Sep 7 '16 at 12:29
  • @rojcyk No the report is based on all countries. – Kristiyan Lukanov Sep 7 '16 at 12:32
  • There's no unit with the number, which is suspicious. Is there any note that the numbers are in pixels? – Luaan Sep 8 '16 at 12:32
  • Could it be because of the new split screen features on Android phones? Samsung has been doing it since 2014 I think, and Android 7.0 Nougat has been available since March 2016 – the very same moment your chart started showing an increase of this resolution. – Diti Sep 8 '16 at 12:51
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    @Diti Probably no because these are new devices, and are still not ubiquitous. They represent probably 1-3% of all mobile devices used right now, so its highly unlikely that this is the case. – Kristiyan Lukanov Sep 8 '16 at 13:03
95

High-density screens can be a bit confusing, a pixel isn't just a pixel anymore: the actual pixel count is a multiple of the declared pixel count.

That particular resolution is common because it's the simplest math for HD formats:

360x640 pixels, at 200% DPI, is 720x1280 -- which is the viewport size of the HDTV standard (aka 720p).

At 300% DPI it is 1080x1920 -- which is the 1080p standard.

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    A pixel is still a pixel. You're talking about density independence. – vegatripy Sep 7 '16 at 17:35
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    You're right, that was imprecise language. – Daniel Beck Sep 7 '16 at 17:46
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    It's pixels vs. points. You have a 360x640 points screen, which can be 360x640, 720x1280, or 1080x1920 pixels. From a distance where you can't see individual pixels, all three screens would look the same and display the same items, but from close the quality would be different. – gnasher729 Sep 7 '16 at 23:10
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    @vegatripy A pixel is not a pixel is not a pixel ;) – Rhymoid Sep 7 '16 at 23:13
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    A CSS pixel is not a physical pixel. stackoverflow.com/questions/8785643/… – Anders Tornblad Sep 8 '16 at 13:46
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Switch the chart to resolution for mobile only.

enter image description here

There's your answer. Mobile Phones (whatever statcounter classes as such) are skewing the results (well, it's not really skewed as it's correct).

Mobiles are being used more and more for accessing the web. This just illustrates that.

According to this page, Samsung S3, S4 and Galaxy Note are such phones, and are the top selling android devices currently. And android market share far eclipses iOS.

An additional setting on StatCounter shows that Android is the top OS across all devices (mobile, desktop, tablet...)

Therefore:

  • Android is the most used OS for accessing the web
  • Samsung Devices are the most common Android ones being sold
  • 360 x 640 is the resolution for these Android devices

Note: There may also be some quirks with how mobiles declare themselves to the sites. Retina / HD screens may claim 640 x 460 so that it doesn't display as really small / zoomed out versions. Screen resolutions in this day and age aren't as black-and-white as they used to be a few years ago. A bit like cameras with their Megapixels - it's a stat that becomes less meaningful as technology evolves.

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    I think you misread the question -- asker knows it's mobile, he's asking why that particular low resolution is skewing so high. – Daniel Beck Sep 7 '16 at 12:48
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    @DanielBeck There may also be some quirks with how mobiles declare themselves to the sites. Retina / HD screens may claim 640 x 460 so that it doesn't display as really small / zoomed out versions. Screen resolutions in this day and age aren't as black-and-white as they used to be a few years ago. A bit like cameras with their Megapixels - it's a stat that becomes less meaningful as technology evolves. – JonW Sep 7 '16 at 13:03
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    Small note: It's the Samsung Galaxy S III and S IV (as in the Roman numerals 3 and 4), not one hundred eleven or one V. It might also be worth mentioning in the answer itself the distinction between the lower resolution that mobiles declare themselves as, and what their screens actually are, since that's the key point. (All three of those top Samsungs have at least 1280x720 screens) – 8bittree Sep 7 '16 at 14:49
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    @8bittree Fair point. It does look a bit clunky written like that. As a S4 owner myself I should have written it how I actually understand it myself! As for your comment about actual resolution; I made that point in a comment, but will copy that into the answer body itself. – JonW Sep 7 '16 at 15:29
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    You're right. All browsers identifies themselves as a 360x640 screen resolution (original iPhone resolution, as a base format) in order to get the same layout distribution regardless of their real screen resolution. i.e. You will see exactly the same web content in a original iPhone or in a iPhone 6. – vegatripy Sep 7 '16 at 17:42
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Think PPI instead perhaps. Screen resolutions are now making PIXELS the same as print DPI. (= Quality of definition)
Once upon a time* pixel size related to physical screen size as all screens were the same resolution. Now screens are higher in resolution allowing more of the pixels to fit in a square inch. DPI = Dots Per Square Inch. Screens = 72dpi(ppi), Newspaper = 150 DPI, Typical Magazines = 300 DPI

protected by Community Oct 12 '18 at 11:22

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