Mobile

Acer calls ‘first!’ on a smartphone feature no one wants: 4K Ultra HD video recording

For smartphone makers,  innovation often means trying something and seeing if it sticks — even if no one was clamoring for that innovation in the first place.

The latest example comes from Acer, which is announcing the Liquid S2, a 6-inch smartphone with a notable, if slightly dubious new addition: a 4K Ultra HD video camera.

“4K Ultra HD” refers to video with resolution of  3,840 pixels x 2,160  pixels — roughly twice the resolution of 1080p HD. Consumer electronics companies have been in a frenzy to push the 4K format in their televisions this year, largely because people are fed up of hearing about 3D.

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Above: 4K? No way.

But while it’s impressive that Acer squeezed such a sensor into a smartphone, the feature isn’t going to be particularly useful for most people today. For one, 4K video files are huge. When Sony announced that it was working on a 4K video service for the Playstation 4, the company also confirmed that the 4K video files will often top 100GB — roughly 25 times the size of current HD video.

For smartphones, this presents a problem not only for internal storage, but file transfer as well. Just imagine how long it will take to upload your massive 4K wedding videos to Dropbox or a video sharing service with current broadband speeds. (All of this assumes that people even have televisions able to take advantage of 4K video.) Current technology just isn’t ready for it.

Acer, however, is not alone in its newfound love for 4K. Samsung is also expected to offer 4K recording with its Galaxy Note III, which should be announced this week.

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