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Not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but what is the smallest touch (in terms of height and width) that can be detected on most smartphone screens (capacitive touchscreens found in typical high-end phones)?

In other words, what is the touch resolution of these screens?

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Depends on the phone. Touch screen specs may be given by suppliers. –  Russell McMahon Feb 29 '12 at 1:07
    
@Russell McMahon: What is the technical term for this? Is it actually touch resolution? I don't have any electronics education or training, so it's difficult for me to form a question or search query to find this information. –  Jayraj Feb 29 '12 at 1:23
    
Google: Touch screen resolution | for a start. TThis may be useful –  Russell McMahon Feb 29 '12 at 8:22
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1 Answer 1

There are actually two different questions here.

  1. Reported touch resolution - which is when the controller reports x = 123 vs x = 124 and how large is the distance delta x. Generally this is around one screen pixel since there isn't much value visually in reporting sub-pixel changes.
  2. Smallest finger/object capture - this is actually related to the size and strength of capacitance of the object. Generally 5-7mm is the normal diameter of object that panels are tuned for (some are starting to look lower for stylus). But don't confuse that size with minimum resolution. Most (probably all but algorithms are generally proprietary) solutions actually generate some form of centroid and report the center as the touch position so a giant thumb and a tiny pinky can have the same reported resolution because both report a position based on a calculated center of mass.

The difference is the capacitive response of the different sizes may create issues with successful detection under all conditions.

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