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Issue 4827: Android unable to display high-resolution images?
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Status:  WorkingAsIntended
Owner:  ----
Closed:  Jun 2013

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Reported by, Nov 16, 2009
Device: Motorola Droid
Kernel Version: 2.6.29-omap1-g04df51f android-build@apa26 $477
Build number: ESD20

Neither Gallery, nor browser, nor any other imaging application I've tested
are able to view a large resolution PNG at true quality. All seem to
exhibit some compression/resampling and associated lossy degredation.

My test image has been this image, at 3274x2067 resolution:

As you can see, in the top right corner the word "Aragorn" is clear and
legible and the green line is clearly surrounded by the gold line. If I
take a 1x1 crop of that portion of the image, it can be viewed clearly on
screen. If I load the full image the quality is substantially degraded.

Does Android have a maximum supported file resolution? This image is just
over 1MB in size, I wouldn't think it would be difficult for the Droid to view.
Nov 16, 2009
Note: uncompressed, that's 6.7 million pixels; at 24bpp, that's nearly 20MB.

Labels: -Component-User Component-GfxMedia
Dec 20, 2009
Another example of this problem...  The moto droid browser doesn't properly display that contains a .png file.  
Looked great on an iphone though.
Dec 20, 2009
I've found that images displayed via my Android browser (both the built-in browser and 
Dolphin) are highly compressed, regardless of size.  For photos, this isn't as 
noticeable, but anytime a website uses text in an image, it's very difficult to read.  
Dec 22, 2009
While image compression is all and good and follows the example set by BlackBerry 
(rather than iPhone), there's time where you just want to open/view/download the full 
version. You can do that on BlackBerry, you should be able to on Android.

Jan 6, 2010
this is a major issue for me.  i like to keep trail maps, topo maps, etc on my phone
as high-res images stored on the sd card.  viewing them in the photo viewer has some
problems, viewing in the browser has some others.  *neither* option (nor any i've
found) supports the full image resolution, even though the complete image is stored
locally on the sd card.  this is not ok!  fyi, i'm running android 1.5 on an htc
droid eris.
Feb 9, 2010
I notice this problem in the gallery application on my Nexus One.  Pictures taken
with the 5Mp camera look terrible when zoomed in.  The same picture viewed on my PC
looks like it should.  This is particularly noticeable when taking pictures of text.  

I'm wondering if maybe the new gallery uses OpenGL for it's cool 3d effects and is
limited by a max texture resolution (1024x1024?).  Might be a tricky problem to fix.
 Perhaps images could be broken into multiple textures.
Feb 10, 2010
Done some more testing here, and it seems that whether viewed in the browser, the gallery (1.5, 2.0 and 
2.1 galleries tested), images are rendered to some dimension smaller than screen size before they're 
displayed. In the gallery for example, you can zoom in to double that size, but with visible 
interpolation - you're looking at a zoomed-in copy of an image that's previously been resized to a size 
much smaller than its original dimensions.

But... It seems that even though the rendering of the image is blurry, the full data is downloaded. So 
for example, if you view a large pic in the browser, and it looks poor - if you long-press and do 'save 
image' it saves the full original file size and quality.

What does "bitmap size exceeds VM budget" mean? Is this a memory fragmentation issue in the VM, or is 
there a hard-coded limit somewhere?

I got around this by using ACV as a workaround - not ideal, but it works. Having maps stored as images 
on the phone, and being able to zoom in to 100% and pan around, should be a given on Android, as it is 
on the competition.

Feb 10, 2010
#8 bigod26
Loads of other users noted this problem in the Nexus One help forum.

I loaded the same image on both the N1 and G1, the G1(1.6 gallery) zooms in with
little to no quality loss. The N1 however is noticeably bad. It looks like a medium
compressed level, 50% scaled copy of the image.

Model:   Nexus One
Version: 2.1-update1
Build:   ER27
Feb 11, 2010
Same issue using Android 2.1-update1, build number ERE27 on my Nexus One. I took a
picture of the meat aisle in a grocery store. When I zoom in on the phone I can't see
the prices on the labels of the meat packaging. If I email myself the same pic and
view it on my desktop computer, the prices are entirely legible.

The same image renders better in ACV and in B&B Multi-Touch Gallery.

This issue absolutely must be fixed.
Feb 26, 2010
I believe this is due to the gallery using OpenGL ES, and thus only supporting at best 
RGB565 textures whereas other smartphones using OpenGL ES 2.0 use the BGR8888 format 
via an extension. Android should really support a 32bit texture format in its GL implementation.  
Apr 18, 2010
As someone who is developing apps for hi resolution content, this issue is concerning.  I recently purchased my 
N1 and for the most part I am very happy with the product.  But the problems are in the details.  This is a detail 
that needs to be fixed.  
Apr 27, 2010
Symbian OS can view high resolution images also
Apr 27, 2010
The similar problem occurs with various application I have tested altough in gallery 
image quality seems to be lowest. It looks like this is general low-level Android OS 
related issue rather than application (Gallery) related issue. 
May 6, 2010
If you  convert and view your images as pdf that should solve high resolution viewing
but everytime it is not possible to convert to pdf and view 
May 6, 2010
Obviously any application that uses opengles is going to have an absolute limit on 
texture size. Theoretically there should be no problem writing a different gallery 
application that simply re-reads (and resamples as needed) a 480x800 window on the 
image. You'd probably need to re-implement the jpeg/png decoder to provide partial 
decoding mind you, as I don't see any support in the API, but I only glanced.
May 27, 2010
This issue still occurs in Froyo.  This issue I have is with the cooliris Gallery. As B&B Gallery shows full-res.  As 
curtis points out above, I believe this may be a preset limitation for the texture size that cooliris is using on the 
3d object.  Sucks to have to have 2 different Galleries.  Since I prefer the cooliris UI.  But as a utility to review 
detail in images, B&B Gallery is a good choice.
Jun 3, 2010
#17 rahaman.riaz
this is duplicate of Issue 6448

Observing this on Froyo as well.

Observed that all resolution images are decoded to vga size and that information is 
used when we zoom the image. Which is the reason that one will not observe a 
difference in quality between 5MP or 2MP images!!!?

Why is it that way? Is this a limitation in software jpeg decoder?
Jul 10, 2010
Look for "Large Image Viewer" in App Library.  JPG only so have to convert PNG or other format to JPG first.  But only full-resolution image viewer I found after much searching and testing.  ACV and B&B cannot get there for 5Kx5K map image scans.
Jul 11, 2010
Same issue 2.1 on the LG viewer crashes when attempting to view high res images (especially wallpaper for desktops)
Jul 11, 2010
Samsung galaxy S has same problem.
It seems every browser using webkit engine shares this issue
Jul 14, 2010
That is how I see some of the images/photos on my webkit browser on HTC Desire with 2.1 OS:

if you want to see image compression in all its glory:

if they are concerned about my data costs, then they at least should give me a choice of viewing images at full detail, when I want it. Now it is impossible to browse the forums which have some desktop screenshots or some photos. Even downloading image gives me that stupidly compressed one, not the full sized one.
As I understand there is no fix for that, or is there?
Jul 14, 2010
The image compression doesn't have anything to do with your data costs, it'd have to be compressed by the web servers for that to be the case.
Jul 14, 2010
yep, it doesn't mixed it up. anyway, annoying nonetheless ;) P.S. some of the browsers and some of the service providers do compress data ;)
Jul 21, 2010
i was attempting to set a wallpaper on my galaxy s and everytime i pick a hires image from the gallery it is compressed and jaggies are visible.

this is crap....
Jul 21, 2010
Nicholasorr9, if you scale that image to the right resolution (960x800 i think) you will get crystal clear wallpaper. in your gallery photos or images are much higher res than you home screen res, thus you get roughness. that is from image scaling. try it on pc with some ultra high res picture of forest. and look at it with 19 inch screen. you will see it is not very clear. 
Jul 21, 2010
thanks muziqaz - that worked - however the image is still cropped...

there are no jaggies now - so that's good.

image i used:
Jul 21, 2010
Nicholasorr9 I am at work at the moment, and as powerful my Android is some things should be still left for pc. So when I get back home I will have a look what's what.
Jul 21, 2010
nicholasorr9, sorry for mistake i made earlier. Home screen resolution of your phone is 980x800. That is wider than my Desire. So that is why it is still asking to crop it :)
So yes, resize your original image to that resolution(cut some stuff out if needed) and put it as your wallpaper ;)
Also keep in mind even with the right size of your image Android might ask you to select the area of the image for the wallpaper. in that case just select whole image and it should be fine ;) cheers
P.S. Here is a nice guide about wallpapers:
You will be surprised how good the photos/images look on your phone :)
Jul 22, 2010
thanks again muziqaz, having done both 960x800 & 980x800 - the 960x800 was the pick of the two. when using 980x800 the orange crop polygon has some picture on the outside.
Jul 22, 2010
NP. That's weird with that picture outside. But the main thing is, now you can take advantage of that stupidly fantastic sAMOLED display ;)
Aug 19, 2010
I think it's really stupid.. we have to find person who have wrote that crap and publicly humiliate him! hey, people, I can write the thing much better, then that highly-paid peace of meat.
Aug 19, 2010
interesting thing is, with froyo the problem is still here :( plus loads of other bugs :/
Sep 6, 2010
Issue appears to be a duplicate of this one.
Dec 31, 2010
I have the same problem on the Nexus S. If you zoom on any picture it goes blurry. It is very disappointing and unacceptable. I hoped it would be fixed in 2.3 but it is not! My old iPhone 3G displays the same images much sharper than new Nexus S :((

Dec 31, 2010
This is entirely based on your internet speed. I noticed that when I am on 3G or H or G, images on a web look catastrophic. Bet when I am back home on wi fi. Images are crystal clear. Even on Nexus S, even though it has the worst wi fi receiver I ever seen :D
Dec 31, 2010
This issue occurs even with images saved locally to the phone. Internet speed has nothing to do with this issue.
Dec 31, 2010
Images from where? from internet. You downloaded those images using internet, which has various speeds.
What do you think, that system just displays images shit, but downloads them in full size? OS compresses images reducing them in size thus they are downloaded already compressed into your microSD. Download any image on good broadband using wi fi. You will see images are almost perfect ;) Images taken with camera, look as if they were taken by camera. images copied from PC look same as on PC. If it did not have anything to do with internet speed, you wouldn't be able to put high res wallpaper on you phone as according to you system would not be able to display them properly. Google just uses either some kind of servers witch compress images to save bandwidth or OS itself does that.
Dec 31, 2010
Uh no, I've seen this with images I've directly copied to the micro-sd card, while the card was removed from the phone.
Dec 31, 2010

It's a confirmed limitation of the OS. Any app that uses the OS to decode images, re sizes them internally to a smaller resolution. There are Apps in the market that do the decoding themselves, and get around the OS by breaking the image up and decoding pieces of it then pass it to the OS as smaller tiles. I personally use "Large Image Viewer" from the market to view high res maps and comics etc.

So yes muziqaz - Android takes an image and displays shit, even after downloading the full image.
Dec 31, 2010
muziqaz, I don't think you even know how the Internet works. The Android OS does not compress images downloaded from the Internet. Ignoring that completely asinine tangent you went off on, I will tell you that I can transfer 5MB PNG images directly to my SD card via my PC, and they'll still display at much lower resolution on Android's Gallery OR Browser than they ever would on my PC. It's very, very obvious when I zoom in. You're not contributing to the discussion, and you're spreading false information. Get out.
Dec 31, 2010
Kaleb, Brian it might have something to do with OS being able to display only 16bit of colors. For me this is not really an issue, as there is not big of a difference. I was talking more about web content were difference is really visible.
Google clearly is stuck with this as 16bit/shitty web images/not being able to display huge images are issues way from at least 2.1 days and I am now sitting with 2.3 gingerbread and I still have 16bit colors and crappy web images even though my 3g/H connection can handle large images.
Contribution? internet forums and discussion boards are not for people who are trying to kick someone out, but for discussions and hearing different points of view. from that you can get bigger picture. So telling a person that he does not know something or to get out is really really not in a spirit of any discussion board, and I would suggest to calm down and drink some wine/beer/vodka and pop few fireworks ;) and take some pictures, put them on android phone, come here and share with us and show us how crappy they look ;)
Dec 31, 2010
He wanted you to leave because you obviously had no idea what the real issue is, and are taking the conversation backwards. This had nothing to do with bpp. I explained the issue, and posted a link showing that the community already fixed the bug in their own android distribution, and they fixed it without changing the bpp. It's google's turn to fix it in the official releases.
Jan 9, 2011
This really sucks!
As someone already said, the "programmer" who wrote this bug should be publicly humiliated!

Feb 1, 2011
On my Droid X, in some circumstances, I can change the "blurriness" of an image by touching it. Specifically, when viewing a 1366x768 image in my browser, the image blurs when I zoom in all the way. The image stays blurred *until* I touch the screen. Then it is sharp, as long as I continue to touch the screen (until the "Save image" popup appears.) It even stays sharp if I continually drag the image around. It blurs again as soon as I lift my finger.  

Is this related to the issue being discussed, and can someone explain why this behavior occurs? 
Feb 1, 2011
That's completely unrelated, and is definitely not a bug. It's an optimization that draws a zoomed in image with a faster image resize. It helps the responsiveness of the phone while scrolling, and is by design.
Feb 1, 2011
Thanks. I was confused by the lack of definition of the static zoomed in
Feb 14, 2011
This is fixed in Cyanogen Mod 6.1 ("Gallery3D highres patches - Petar Ĺ egina"), as noted by rasebast...:

Google - please sync (or re-implement) the fix....
Feb 14, 2011
Actually please don't pull the Gallery highres patches, while they do make the situation better (but not as good as it could be) those patches just throw memory at the problem which is a terrible solution. The v10 api finally has a "partial decode" API that will solve this problem properly (allowing you to re-load the zoomed in area at full resolution) Additionally I've made modifications myself to enable a ARGB888 canvas/textures and to disable "screennail" saving or at least switch the screennails to PNG to prevent the extra level of JPEG compression.
Mar 25, 2011
I've noticed this in the web browser - not only does it scale the image down before displaying it, but when double-tapping to zoom in, it zooms to more than the original size. This is obvious when viewing an image the exact size of the screen. It starts out displaying a scaled-down version, then double-tapping zooms in, scaling it up to now larger than the screen, though still looking terribly blurry from being downscaled earlier.
Mar 25, 2011
Someone sent me a screenshot of a forum thread today. This is how Android displayed it. Completely unreadable. Zooming in only shows the same illegible dots but bigger. The original image ( ) is large, but perfectly readable.
127 KB   View   Download
May 29, 2011
Yup definitely only occurs on high res images, the picture actually looks better when the image quality is brought down, even on the same image, crazy. 
Jun 19, 2011
The free "QuickPic" app from the Market will allow you to view your photos in High Resolution.  Unlike the "Full Res" app for iPhone, it does it quite fast as well.
Jul 3, 2011
I also get this problem when viewing images in the browser, so any "Full Res" image app isn't an option.  The user shouldn't have to download the image and open it in another app just to read some text that is on it.
Nov 25, 2011
This thread is 2 yrs old... Is no one on the develoment team at Google looking at this? It is a ridiculous limitation to have to deal with.
Nov 25, 2011
It seems to me that this has been resolved (in Android 2.3.4 and possibly sooner) for the gallery application, though the browser still doesn't let you zoom to full resolution.

I just downloaded the original xkcd test image cite above on an HTC Mytouch 4g slide: go to the url in the browser (where it can't be zoomed to the point of clear legibility), long press on the image to download it, and then in gallery go to the downloads folder and open it up.  I can zoom there all the way to nice clear text.

Nov 26, 2011
I just upgraded from 2.3.4 to 2.3.5 and started having this problem.  Images show up fine in the browser and within Large Image Viewer, but when opened in Gallery they appear overcompressed.
Dec 10, 2011
Dear all;

Your Problem Solved
Just use "Quick Pic" free application from markett.

Then go to Setting in the application
>Setting >> select below items:
(cash fullscreen preview)
(bigger fullscreen preview)
(delay load real image)

There you go...
you will have the best quality after zooming (with a little delay for cashing)

Have a nice view
Jun 23, 2013
This has to do with battery usage: if the foreground application was allowed to use too large an amount of memory, the background applications wouldn't all fit in RAM, and they'd need to start and stop continuously, which consumes a lot of battery.
Status: WorkingAsIntended
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