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With the launch of new iPhone 6 Plus with a resolution of 1920x1080 px, it got me thinking how is this resolution different from the screen widths we UI developers define in our CSS in media-query tags?

For example, common breakpoints are 480, 768, 992, and so on but if a phone as a 1080p screen, how do you show your mobile site on this device. Technically, it should display the widest version of your desktop site but I know it'll display the mobile site. So how does "below 768" media query apply to a device of 1080px width (in portrait)?

My phone has a 4.7" screen and a resolution of 540x960px (pathetic, i know) and I tested some of my own websites on the device. The layout is similar to what you'd get if you use device mode in chrome on a computer and decrease the width to about 380px. That means, during testing the display that I get on 380px on computer will be identical to a phone with a device resolution of 540px, getting me?

So the question is, as a UI developer how do you predict at what resolution will your website be displayed? Hope I made the question clear enough. Thanks

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There is a difference between the physical pixels that iPhone 6 plus can display and the screen size. Screen size is the pixel size that affects your CSS media query.

IPhone 6 plus has screen size of 414 x 736 Pixel and browser window size a bit different due to menu space.

Good explanation can be found here: http://www.kylejlarson.com/blog/2015/iphone-6-screen-size-web-design-tips/

Basically it means you are good to go with breakpoints 480 pixel for portrait and 768 pixel for landscape for iPhone 6 plus.

  • So the CSS pixels are equal to screen size in points? You get points from advertised resolution number by dividing the resolution with a multiplier (3, in case of retina display), is that right? – VeeK Oct 27 '15 at 11:18
  • Basically yes, as far as I understood 1 point here means an equivalent of 1 pixel on a non-retina display. iPhone 6 Plus has retina factor 3, but previous retina display had factor 2. Also on iPhone 6 Plus there is a gap between the rendered pixels (1242 x 2208 Pixel, Retina 3x) and the physical pixel (1920 x 1080 Pixel), So here you cannot calculate from the advertised size with retina factor directly to Screen size, while for previous iPhone this worked (Retina factor 2). – Stefan Korn Oct 27 '15 at 12:14

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