Difference between 4K and 1080p

Both 4K and 1080p are the two screen resolutions. The fundamental difference between these two screen resolutions is that the displays with 1080p screen resolution have 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 vertical pixels, whereas the displays with 4K screen resolution have 3840 horizontal pixels and 2160 vertical pixels.

In this article, we will discuss all the important differences between 4K and 1080p. But before that let us first have a look into the basics of 4K and 1080p individually.

What is 1080p Resolution?

1080p is a screen resolution which has 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 vertical pixels. Therefore, in the 1080p resolution, the total number of pixels are more than 2 million. The 1080p resolution is written as 1920 × 1080. Its marketing name is Full HD or FHD because it is mainly used for displaying high definition video content.

In the 1080p, the “p” represents the progressive scan. That means, all the lines of the picture are displayed in each frame to provide more smooth and detailed picture. 1080p screen resolution is very commonly used in smart TVs, computer monitors, smartphone screens, laptop screens, etc.

What is 4K Resolution?

4K is also a screen resolution used in modern display screens that has 3840 horizontal pixels and 2160 vertical pixels. It is called 4K resolution because it has a screen resolution of around 4000 pixels across the horizontal axis that is approximately 4 times of the 1080p resolution. However, it seems that the 4K resolution has four times of the vertical pixels of the 1080p resolution, but actually, the number of horizontal and vertical pixels in the 4K resolution are double of the 1080p resolution.

The 4K resolution is represented as 3840 × 2160 pixels. Thus, it has the total number of pixels more than 8 million. The marketing names have given to the 4K resolution are Ultra HD or UHD or 2160p.

Since the 4K resolution has more number of pixels than 1080p resolution, therefore, it displays images of better quality, i.e. more sharp and detailed images. The 4K resolution is widely used in modern smart TVs, computer monitors, gaming platforms, graphics projectors, etc.

After getting an overview of 1080p resolution and 4K resolution, let us now discuss the important differences between them.

Difference between 4K and 1080p

The following table highlights all the major differences between 4K and 1080p screen resolutions −


4K Resolution

1080p Resolution


4K is a screen resolution standard which has 3840 horizontal pixels and 2160 vertical pixels.

1080p is a screen resolution standard which has 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 vertical pixels.


4K has a screen resolution of 3480 × 2160 pixels.

1080p has a screen resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels.

Picture quality

4K resolution offers better picture quality. Hence, it displays more sharp and detailed images on the screen.

1080p resolution has comparatively poorer picture quality than 4K.

Horizontal pixels

4K has 3840 horizontal pixels.

1080p resolution has 1920 horizontal pixels.

Vertical pixels

4K resolution has 2160 vertical pixels.

1080p resolution has 1080 vertical pixels.

Total pixels

4K resolution has more than 8 million total pixels.

1080p resolution has more than 2 million total pixels.

Marketing names

4K resolution is known as Ultra High Definition or Ultra HD or UHD resolution.

1080p resolution is known as Full High Definition or Full HD or FHD resolution.


4K resolution provides enhanced clarity. Hence, the content is more clearly visible on a 4K screen.

1080p resolution offers poor clarity than 4K resolution. Hence, the content is less clearly visible.

Color spectrum

4K resolution has a broader color spectrum. Hence, it allows to display more accurate and vibrant colors.

1080p resolution has a narrower color spectrum than 4K.

Content availability

Most streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, etc. make 4K content readily available.

Today, 1080p content is not available. 1080p was the standard resolution for blue ray disks which are less commonly used these days.

Device compatibility

4K content can be viewed on a 4K supporting device only.

1080p content can be viewed on both 1080p and 4K devices.

Streaming bandwidth

4K content requires broader bandwidth for streaming. Hence, it requires high speed internet connection.

1080p content requires relatively smaller bandwidth than 4K content to stream.

HDR support

4K screens support HDR (High Dynamic Range).

Most 1080p screens do not support HDR.

Viewing distance

4K screen requires viewer to sit closer to the display screen to experience the performance of 4K.

In the case of 1080p screens, the viewer can sit away from the screen as compared to 4K screen.

Memory consumption

4K content consume more memory space.

1080p content consume less memory space than 4K content.

Immersive viewing experience

4K content creates more immersive experience on the viewer.

1080p content is relatively less immersive due to less clarity and low picture quality.


The display devices that support 4K are more expensive.

1080p supporting devices are less expensive than 4K screen devices.


In conclusion, the most significant difference between 4K and 1080p is in their resolution, i.e. 4K has a screen resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels, while 1080p has a screen resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels. Overall, the 4K resolution is better than 1080p and is widely used in modern display devices, particularly in very large screen TVs and monitors.

Updated on: 21-Apr-2023


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