Wouldn’t it be great if you can change the screen resolution of your Android device? Just like me, if you’re unhappy with the default screen resolution set by the device manufacturers, and you think that the icons/widgets are too big, and occupying more than enough space, or you feel the web browsing area is too small to view a webpage properly (especially for small screen devices), you’re in for a treat. You’d be amazed to know how easy it is to change your device resolution, provided that you already have Root access on your Android device.
The screen density on Android devices is measured in terms of DPI (Dots Per Inch), and we’re planning to change that value. Lowering the DPI value would increase screen density, thus allowing more space for icons and widgets to occupy. Also, the web-browsing would improve significantly.
For the sake of this tutorial, I’m going to use Samsung Galaxy S (GT-I9000), which has a default DPI value of 240. Not all devices have same DPI, but the purpose here is to decrease the value from it’s default one. You may even have to try a few values to find the one suitable for your device. Here, I’m going to decrease the DPI from 240 to 182, which I found to suit best on my device.
Here’s how the Home-screen currently looks on my device (DPI = 240).
To change the screen density, follow the steps below:
- Download the build.prop Editor app from Play Store. Make sure you have a rooted device, otherwise this trick won’t work.
- Open build.prop Editor from your device, and look for the ro.sf.lcd_density key. Tap on that key, and change the DPI value to the one you want to set, for example, I’ve set ro.sf.lcd_density to 182 on my device.
- After modifying the value above, save changes to your build.prop file using the app, and Reboot your device.
That’s it! You’ve successfully changed the Screen Density on your device. This is how the Homescreen looks on my device now (DPI = 182).
As you may notice, the icons, widgets, and statusbar look smaller in size. Some launcher applications also allow you to change the grid-size (number of rows and columns on your homescreens and app-drawer). Hence, you could also add more icons or widgets on your homescreen by increasing the grid-size.
Play Store Compatibility Issues
Some users experience Play Store compatibility issues after changing their device DPI i.e. some apps which you were able to install/update on your device before, shows as incompatible with your device after changing the DPI value. This is a big headache, and I spent a lot of time trying to find a solution to fix it, when I experienced these issues.
Some clever developers on XDA Forums found a fix to this problem. The concept behind the solution is to modify the Play Store, and Google Service Framework files, to fool them into believing that the DPI of the device is still the default one, set by the manufacturers. The fix isn’t that easy, but if you’re comfortable playing around with your device, you would feel right at home.
There’s another (much simpler) way to fix this, but that requires installing LCD Density Modder Pro from the Play Store, which is a PAID app, but very handy if you’re uncomfortable with the above solution. The app would allow you to change the DPI and fix compatibility issues with the Play Store.
Even though the above fix would work on almost every device, there’s no guarantee it would work on your device as well. A minority of users even reported “bricking” issues with their devices, so it’s always recommended to create a complete backup of your ROM, before proceeding.