It wasn’t all that long ago that the average household considered a clear image a static-free screen aided with the help of tinfoil antennas and a bit of percussive maintenance.
Nowadays there are so many different, superior resolutions that even the thought of the old brick televisions feels archaic. Unlike the grainy televisions of our collective past, new resolutions give stunning clarity and you don’t even have to throw your back out to get them into your home!
Of the extensive list of differing resolutions, there is a good amount of confusion when it comes to two in particular – WQHD and QHD.
Speaking of tinfoil, there are certain folks and articles on the internet that are adamant WQHD deniers and disregard the resolution as a marketing ploy by big telly.
To alleviate the confusion that seems to permeate a good portion of the digital world, I am going to explain both resolutions in detail and explain their strengths and weaknesses.
What is QHD?
It feels easier to explain this resolution first as it is the one that is universally accepted, unlike its wider stablemate.
Quad High Definition is quickly becoming one of the more common resolutions found today – which is impressive considering its visual purity. QHD has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 or more commonly known as 1440p and while it is becoming the default screen for some of the more expensive tech devices on the market today, it’s still a very clear image.
To offer some perspective, QHD is the bridge that gaps HD (720p) or FHD (1080p) to higher resolutions like UHD (4k – 10k) and feels like a happy medium for those who want solid picture quality without having to suffer from rapid battery loss due to the power-hungry nature of 4k resolutions. As image quality increases and high-definition resolutions take more of a backseat, it is reasonable to assume that more lower-end products will utilize this resolution as well.
A common misunderstanding that people have is that they assume qHD and QHD are the same things. This is not the case – QHD is significantly higher in pixels than HD while qHD is far less.
qHD means Quarter High Definition and was a pretty typical screen for a lot of smartphones and handheld consoles in the early 2010s. While it fell short of the loftier standards of high-definition, for the smaller screens at the time its limited resolution (960 x 540) looked quite crisp, actually.
What is WQHD?
Contrary to popular belief WQHD is very real and should not be used synonymously with Quad High Definition or QHD.
You can hardly be blamed for thinking they are the same thing as several companies have misused the term quite often. To make matters worse, several articles that can be found on the internet also fall victim to this misinformation (including very well-respected news websites), further confusing curious consumers.
WQHD shares vast similarities but at the end of the day, they are separate resolutions and should be treated as such. While QHD has a resolution of 2560 x 1440, Wide Quad High Definition has a more spacious 3440 x 1440.
Plainly speaking, the biggest difference between the two is 880 pixels of width – so while they are separate resolutions they have so much overlap you can start to understand the mass confusion. WQHD as the name suggests, is the wide-screen alternative to its less pixel-dense sibling.
They both share 1440p quality and are the natural step forward past high-definition. Several tech fiends have found themselves looking for these resolutions in their monitors as it is far less graphically demanding than 4k and allows for impressive visuals without a significant drop in performance.
Typically speaking, unless you have a very large screen most monitors are gonna be impossible to detect a quality difference between QHD or WQHD and 4k.
WQHD Vs. QHD
For those expecting a detailed list of key differences that paint two very different pictures, I am about to sincerely disappoint you.
While WQHD is technically better on paper, most folks won’t be able to take advantage of the resolution without a widescreen monitor. For those avid gamers looking for any advantage, the additional resolution space will offer more of the screen to you though it isn’t game-breaking to go with the more standard QHD.
So which one should you utilize? Well, it really comes down to what you want from your monitors.
If you prefer a standard resolution and likely a less cumbersome monitor, QHD might be more your style. If you are someone who enjoys widescreen films, a bit more image out of your video games, or simply enjoy ultra-wide monitors, then WQHD is great for you.
Contrary to popular opinion, some people have a disdain for widescreen videos. So while it is the golden child of most film buffs, it’s subjective at the end of the day.
QHD & WQHD Vs. 4k
While no one can argue that 4k is demonstrably clearer and has a superior resolution, it does come with a few drawbacks that should be taken into consideration.
The first is that 4k requires a lot of juice to produce that beautiful ocular experience we all mindlessly drool over. So for products that run on a charge, your battery will drain quite a bit faster.
This is also true of computers which will drag more on a 4k setup than if you were to utilize 1440p instead. For video game enthusiasts, this can be felt in frames per second.
4k increases how quickly your tower will heat up and how much strain is being put on the internals of your spiffy custom-built computer. While 4k is going to obviously look clearer (if your screen is big enough), it will be for nothing if you’re playing Minecraft on 15 frames per second.
The biggest drawback to 1440p is something that falls under the nature of all technology nowadays – it becomes obsolete quicker than we can adapt. So while 4k hasn’t been integrated into every household yet, in ten years it will likely be as common as HD is today. This can be difficult to deal with for people who don’t want to have to upgrade their PC setup or smart devices on a biennial basis.
While 1440p will eventually become a resolution as obsolete as the ones seen on those CRT televisions we discussed at the beginning – 4k has a longevity that will likely keep it around for a good while.
The upside to this is that QHD or WQHD resolutions are going to universally be cheaper and that will only increase over time. So if you don’t mind feeling like you are a bit behind the times, you will save a few bucks for it.
At the time I am writing this article, 1440p is the happy medium between the fading high-definition and the quickly approaching 4k resolutions everyone is so enamored by (myself included).
So if you want a widescreen experience, go with the slightly larger Wide Quad High Definition resolution. Otherwise, QHD still offers an exceptional visual quality that any consumer would be more than happy with.