QVGA is short for Quarter Video Graphics Array, also referred to as qVGA or Quarter VGA.
The name Quarter VGA was derived from its maximum resolution of 320 x 240 pixels because it is a quarter or ¼ of 640 × 480 pixels. This is the maximum resolution of the original IBM machine that had the VGA display.
Usually, the displays are in a portrait layout as opposed to the landscape layout. It is known to have a 240 x 320 resolution because the length of the display is taller compared to its width.
Quarter VGA can be used in various ways. It is usually found in handheld electronic devices such as mobile phones (Samsung SGH-D600 and Pantech PH-L4000V), game consoles, still digital cameras (Fujifilm FinePix S602), and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) like palmtop computers.
It can also be seen on digital video recording equipment as a mode to efficiently save space with each frame in an image of 320 x 240 pixels. Quarter VGA video is normally 15 or 30 frames per second. The Quarter VGA mode only refers to the size of an image commonly called the resolution. It does not refer to a video file format, contrary to what may people think.
QVGA is also used in iTunes software. Prior to the introduction of Version 7 by Apple, the television programs on iTunes were spread in QVGA resolution for syncing to a fifth-generation iPod or watching on a computer. It has the capacity to play Quarter VGA-resolution videos at 30 frames per second. iTunes currently spreads movies and television programs in VGA resolution.
The resolution is also used by some high-end phones in capturing video.
It is not restricted to a portrait layout; it can also be in a landscape layout where the image has a resolution of 320 pixels horizontal by 240 pixels vertical.
At present, this format is often used by many LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screens using the Quarter VGA specification. There are also several QVGA displays with the touch screen feature.