QHD vs. WQHD: Is WQHD Better Than QHD?

There are multiple screen resolution standards that have emerged ever since we’ve made the leap from Standard Definition or SD (the image resolution during the days of CRT and boxy TVs) to High Definition or HD (the image resolution of the “future”, involving the more rectangular HDTVs).

With that said, what’s QHD? What’s WQHD? How do they relate to HD? In terms of QHD vs WQHD: Is WQHD better than QHD?

What is QHD?

QHD refers to Quad HD or Quad High Definition resolution. This falls under 1440p resolution. WQHD (Wide QHD or Wide Quad High Definition) also falls under the 1440p resolution as well (more on this later). Take note that QHD measures 2560 x 1440 in pixels. Remember that figure for later.

1440p and QHD are also known collectively as 2K resolution (as opposed to the more popular 4K resolution for Ultra HD). Just remember that even though QHD and WQHD have been used interchangeably, they’re not the same.

They both fall under 2K and 1440p, but WQHD is a little different. The next section should help explain exactly why they differ from one another.

QHD vs WQHD

Common Display Resolutions

The most common display resolutions are as follows.

Shorthand Acronym Resolution
720p HD (High Definition) 1280 x 720 pixels
1080p FHD (Full HD) 1920 x 1080 pixels
1200p WUXGA (Wide XGA) 1920 x 1200 pixels
UW (Ultra-Wide) 1080p WFHD (Wide FHD) 2560 x 1080 pixels
1440p QHD (Quad HD) or 2K 2560 x 1440 pixels
UW 1440p WQHD (Wide QHD) 3440 x 1440 pixels
2160p 4K UHD (Ultra HD) 3840 x 2160 pixels
2880p 5K UHD 5120 x 2880 pixels
4320p 8K UHD 7680 x 4320 pixels
10240p 10K UHD 9600 x 10240 pixels

What is WQHD?

WQHD is the widescreen version of QHD.  That’s it.

As explained in the chart above, WQHD also belongs under the 1440p or 2K umbrella. However, it’s a little bigger—or rather, wider—than QHD.  WQHD and QHD represent the same resolution of 1440p, but UW 1440p is slightly wider for use in the widescreen.

Long story short, WQHD measures 3440 x 1440 pixels while QHD measures 2560 x 1440 pixels. WQHD has 3,440 horizontal pixels or 880 more pixels than QHD’s 2,560 horizontal pixels. Why the extra pixels? WQHD is for widescreen use.

Watch out for vendors advertising ultra-wide monitors as WQHD even though they lack 2,560 horizontal pixels. Some might automatically claims something is WQHD simply because it has more horizontal pixels than QHD (but only slightly) to fit the 16:9 aspect ratio.

The wider version of a resolution had been done before with UW 1080p or WFHD (Wide FHD), which is the ultra-wide (or slightly wider) version of standard Full HD or 1080p.

What’s the Difference?

The difference between QHD and WQHD is 880 pixels and use for widescreens or the 16:9 aspect ratio without stretching the image or having black bars on the side. They’re the same resolution, with WQHD created for use with widescreens.

Everything else, from benefits to drawbacks, they share together. They share the same vertical pixels or height, with WQHD being slightly wider of the two. Before 4K to 10K came along, 1440p or 2K was the only improvement to Full HD or 1080p, and many people—mostly gamers—flocked towards it.

Barely Any Difference between QHD and WQHD

Yes, the extra pixels of the WQHD matter for widescreen since every pixel counts in gaming or in 1440p video. What’s the point of going widescreen if you don’t take advantage of the extra pixels? However, functionally, WQHD is still 2K or 1440p.

It’s like the difference between you and you with a hat on. The hat and all its advantages is mostly the difference between the two. If you don’t have a widescreen or you don’t care about black bars or stretching, those 880 pixels won’t matter much to you.

However, ultimately, 4K and above offer more image clarity and future-proofing compared to the quickly obsolete 2K resolution. Ironically, 1080p is still hanging on even in 2021!

Do the Extra Pixels Make the Difference?

Kind of? Speaking from experience, 4K is kind of overkill. At that pixel density (we’re talking pixels per inch here), nothing short of blackboard-sized ultra-wide monitors worthy of conference halls will show you the difference in sharpness.

At regular monitor size or laptop screen size (anything under 50 inches), the differences between 720p, 1080p, and 1440p is more apparent. Ironically, a 4K monitor and a 1080p monitor of the same size under 15 inches look the same because the pixels of the 4K monitor requires more space to “breathe”.

Paradoxically, the differences between a 30-inch 1080p monitor and a 30-inch 1440p monitor are more apparent. If you go 15 inches though, that’s when 1080p and 1440p look alike.

The full potential of 4K can only be touched upon when we reach cinematic levels of screen sizes in the future. Otherwise, going 10K and beyond truly is excessive.

Comparison Chart

Screen Resolution Standard Pros Cons
QHD

 

QHD or 2K resolution is slightly sharper than Full HD or FHD resolution.

QHD displays might be less common and more expensive than 1080p, but it’s worth it in case 4K is too much for your budget.

It perfectly fits any screen larger than 27 inches without looking stretched or

You can’t use QHD for widescreen compared to WQHD.

Compared to an FHD display, QHD eats up more battery power or electricity.

WQHD

 

It’s slightly larger than the standard QHD resolution because it’s made for widescreen use.

You won’t get black bars or stretched images when using this resolution for UW 1440p widescreen videos.

Everything QHD offers WQHD also offers plus with 880 more pixels for widescreens or the 16:9 aspect ratio.

4K is better than either QHD versions and ultimately overtook 2K as the de facto alternative to 1080p.

It shares all the drawbacks of QHD but in widescreen.

The Final Verdict

QHD and WQHD are the same resolutions except WQHD is 880 horizontal pixels wider or “thicker” than its QHD counterpart. This makes it more ideal for widescreen use at a 16:9 aspect ratio. However, let it be known that QHD resolution won’t look boxy or stretched out at 16:9 either.

Related: 16×9 vs. 16×10 Projector Screen – What’s the Difference?

It’s just that WQHD offers enough extra real estate to fit widescreens slightly better than QHD. Aside from all that, the difference between the two is minuscule at best.

References:

  1. WQHD vs QHD“, Reddit.com, May 30, 2018
  2. Scharon Harding, “What Is 1440p? QHD/WQHD Resolution Explained“, Tom’s Hardware, January 20, 2020
  3. Spencer McBride, “A guide to 1440p resolution: What you need to know“, Epiphan.com, January 13th, 2017
James Core
I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right projector.

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