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  • Competitors, Experts Weigh in on Retina Display


    Apple announced the Retina Display on the new iPhone 4 with much fanfare, calling it "the sharpest, most vibrant, highest-resolution phone screen ever." The bold claims have led to pushback, with a competing manufacturer saying that the Retina Display is a battery hog and can't touch OLED displays. An analyst, meanwhile, contradicted Steve Jobs's claim that the human eye can't detect individual picture elements at a density below 300 pixels per inch.

    Steve Jobs bragged that the new iPhone's LCD screen, reportedly made by LG Innotek, outperforms active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) displays such as those on the Samsung Galaxy S. Samsung hit back against Jobs's claim that the Retina Display has “much more accurate color, and much higher resolution," with a spokesperson telling the Korea Herald newspaper that their AMOLED screens beat the Retina Displays contrast ratio, color reproduction, and response time. “Structurally," the spokesman said "IPS LCD technology cannot catch up with AM-OLED display technology." The Samsung spokesman claimed that the "visible" difference between the 960x640 Retina Display and Samsung's 800x480 Super AMOLED was only "3 to 5 percent," but that the added resolution cut battery life by 30%.

    The claim that the human eye can only discern jagged edges at a density above 300 pixels per inch was disputed by an expert. In an email sent out to numerous media outlets, including Gizmodo and PC World, Dr. Raymond Soneira asserted that the retina can identify individual points at an angular measurement of 50 cycles per degree, or 0.6 arcseconds. He translated this to explain that "if you hold an iPhone at the typical 12 inches from your eyes that works out to 477 pixels per inch. At 8 inches it's 716 ppi. You have to hold it out 18 inches before it falls to 318 ppi." Nevertheless, Dr. Soneira said, the Retina Display is "most likely the best mobile display in production (and I can't wait to test it)." However, he added, this is another example of spec exaggeration."

    Other experts noted that, while people with perfect, 20/20 vision might be able to see pixels from a foot away, for most of us the display will look smooth. So there's a little wiggle room left for Steve Jobs, and his general drift is still solid: this is a wicked sharp screen.

    image via Apple
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Competitors, Experts Weigh in on Retina Display started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 61 Comments
    1. Faxmonkey's Avatar
      Faxmonkey -
      Quote Originally Posted by rkswat View Post
      Wow what an arrogant post. Of course your opinion is yours and I won't discount that but what makes you make blanket statements that don't apply to every one? I love my IS, had no problem putting it on, and managed not to be a spaz and kept the phone nice and dry. My original iPhone's screen scratched in my backpack with my keys.
      Well technically its the plastic-screened devices that you really need to keep your keys away from. An object should only be scratched by something harder than itself. This is what hardness represents. Glass is *harder* than iron -- but obviously far more brittle and prone to breaking.

      Glass is somewhere between 6 and 7 on the Mohs scale (which measures hardness) and most metals are 5 or below. Good steel, however, is harder than glass -- and in fact will be harder than the new glass as well. The new glass should be around a 7, while hardened steel is maybe an 8.

      At any rate, it's possible that your keys scratched your screen if one of them is made of steel, it's more likely that something else was the cause. There are plenty of 'key tests' on the original iPhone screen and it does indeed hold up fairly well. One thing that will scratch the crap out of your screen is a loose grain of sand or two -- so keeping your screen scratch free can be a regional thing.

      Quote Originally Posted by nautical79 View Post
      Theres no doubt that amoled displays are better than the retina display, what you havent consider its that iphone is using glass and samsung use some type of clear plastic.

      everything hangs in the eye of the beholder
      I wouldn't even go that far. I'd just say that it's debatable. With an AMOLED you get lower power consumption, true blacks, and very good contrast ratios. The screen Apple is going with, however, has a higher resolution than any AMOLED on the market. Resolution does matter. While it might be possible to make an OLED or AMOLED screen at the same resolution, I don't think there's anyone capable of cranking out the 4-5 million of them per month Apple needs to keep up with iPhone demand (at least for the first few months). So Apple didn't really have a *choice*, I'm guessing.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      Typically I would jump all over how Jobs is the Devil, and how I want Apple to crash and burn. But I'm actually kind of excited to see such a huge change in the iPhone/ iPod line. Apple finally seems to be making the device I always wanted it to be! I hope the iPod line has the same beautiful screen, and I hope that this pushes other smart-device manufacturers to increase their screens' pixel density. Let's mass produce these things, let's make high-resolution screens super cheap! I can't wait until I live in a world where even the cheapest phone at Verizon and AT&T has an incredibly high-resolution screen.
    1. sekazi's Avatar
      sekazi -
      @Jahooba
      I also like the change but what really get me annoyed is Apple ignoring the current software flaws unless they are fixed in iOS 4 which I am still in doubt about. Ever since some update around the v1 and v2 of the iPhone OS the iPod function has been destroyed. Smart Playlists are useless since they show everything but the correct information and the Artist section no longer combines to the Sort Artist but instead shows them all and the same goes for everything else. What really pisses me off on this is if I use the Remote app and view my iTunes it is 100% correct and how my iPhone or iPod touch should show it.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      Quote Originally Posted by sekazi View Post
      @Jahooba
      I also like the change but what really get me annoyed is Apple ignoring the current software flaws unless they are fixed in iOS 4 which I am still in doubt about. Ever since some update around the v1 and v2 of the iPhone OS the iPod function has been destroyed. Smart Playlists are useless since they show everything but the correct information and the Artist section no longer combines to the Sort Artist but instead shows them all and the same goes for everything else. What really pisses me off on this is if I use the Remote app and view my iTunes it is 100% correct and how my iPhone or iPod touch should show it.
      Weird. Never heard of that problem. I hear there are "thousands" of changes in iOS4, maybe that will be one of them?

      I hate the way iTunes and iPhones/ iPods interact with each other. I have a Palm Pre now and it's as easy as plugging in the Pre, and then dragging the music you want on your device into the window -- the Pre will sort it automatically when you open it in the Music App. It's super easy to manage and best of all there's no extra software to install on my PC; the Pre acts like a USB thumb drive.
    1. eternalza's Avatar
      eternalza -
      Quote Originally Posted by jabregousmc View Post
      btw, there are a few reasons that apple isnt going with AMOLED screens yet.

      1) they're expensive because nobody is mass producing them yet.
      2) there's still problems with them because they are so new.

      and they're not all that much better on battery than what apple has currently. look at any review and ask anyone w/ a droid, evo, or incredible...they're battery life is GARBAGE too! w/ the bigger battery in the iphone 4 i'm sure the screen that apple used will be just fine and we all know that they usually make a pretty good product so i dont think we'll be all that disappointed. i for one cant wait to see it in action!
      From the android devices you listed, only the incredible has an amoled screen. lol
    1. eballesq's Avatar
      eballesq -
      I'll jump in on the screen protector debate. Haven't used one on my 3GS and it's a year old -- no scratches whatsoever, and the coating on the glass makes it easy to remove smudges. I don't plan on covering the 4 either.

      I believe the "screen protector" industry is a bit of a scam; I say "a bit" because for people who are careless with their phones, they do provide some protection. I'd guess that at least 75-80% of the population who own an iPhone take a little better care of it and don't need a screen protector, however.

      Remember, the screen is not designed to be covered -- does Apple recommend a protector?
    1. porshh951's Avatar
      porshh951 -
      Quote Originally Posted by eballesq View Post
      I'll jump in on the screen protector debate. Haven't used one on my 3GS and it's a year old -- no scratches whatsoever, and the coating on the glass makes it easy to remove smudges. I don't plan on covering the 4 either.

      I believe the "screen protector" industry is a bit of a scam; I say "a bit" because for people who are careless with their phones, they do provide some protection. I'd guess that at least 75-80% of the population who own an iPhone take a little better care of it and don't need a screen protector, however.

      Remember, the screen is not designed to be covered -- does Apple recommend a protector?
      Agreed. I doubt the screen protector is needed for 90% of the iphone population. I know my screen is fine and scratch free. The new screen is supposed to be even more durable so I just can't see me using a protector. Most of the damage that does occur comes from people who are careless.
    1. juggz143's Avatar
      juggz143 -
      What I wanna kno is... How the hell did crazyarab quote hisself in the second post???
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Maybe he clicked the quote button?

      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Maybe he clicked the quote button?
      Like that.
    1. swifty7's Avatar
      swifty7 -
      my 2g is 3 years old and the screen looks as good as the day I bought it.
    1. morphinapg's Avatar
      morphinapg -
      I've printed text, rendered to a 300dpi image on paper and have been unable to see the pixels, no matter how close I got.
    1. roshansri's Avatar
      roshansri -
      Wow hold up all you guys are looking at this the wrong way, and P.S samsung has no problem mass producing the oled screen. You guys dont see the apple's big picture here. When apple signs on with someone weather it be for hardware part for a unit or an application part they tend to have the upper share and its not even 50/50 so you can see the predicament when they say the retinal display and all the B.S...u saw at the introduction of the Iphone 4G. Now the big picture, apple has set the standard for touchscreen phones when it frist introduced the iphone 2g, but have you noticed how many phones are leagues ahead of Iphone technials point. 5mpx? Come on We have phones that are 12 megapixel cameras with not led flash but actual xenon flashes. Now only apple started to increase its megapixel as well as a front view camera, come on this is all old new's so why is apple so slow in the technical part of things. Here it is, PROFIT!!!. If they were to bundle all the new techy stuff into this iphone what would they do for the years to come. Eventually they would have to halt cause they need new to implement technology to keep up with the yearly release. Most companies rely on several models of the phones to make sales in the market where as apple only has one class of a phone it being the iphone but make sales on the different generations they produce each year. Same thing with ipod touch come on ...ipod nano has a video camera on it now...i dont see the point in it but look for later this year when they decide to recycle the ipod touch and stick on a camera on it and call it there newest generation ipod touch. LIKE I SAID STEVE IS SMART BUT LET ME REASSURE ALL YOU APPLE FAN BOYS...HE WILL EVENTUALLY OPEN THE GATES TO OLED AND OTHER NEW TECH HARDWARE BUT THAT WONT BE SEEN FOR ANOTHER 2-3 YEARS...LOL RETINAL DISPLAY MY A**. Just my two cents on how the apple empire works .
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by roshansri View Post
      P.S samsung has no problem mass producing the oled screen.
      What on earth makes you say that? Samsung can not manufacture OLED displays in the quantity (and quality) needed by Apple.

      On what basis do you say they could?
    1. roshansri's Avatar
      roshansri -
      Samsung still makes screens for Blackberry's, HTC and well there own phone. What makes you think that samsung does not have the capability to makes these screens in mass order? Let alone other phones in china that we have never herd of. Come on guys you really think samsung cant produce the order that apple requires?
    1. drprince89's Avatar
      drprince89 -
      as good as i think the new display will be, a lot of you need to stop being so ignorant, this isnt hating, its just other companies setting the facts straight, im still getting an iphone 4, but Correcting a factual error is not "hating".

      Quote Originally Posted by roshansri View Post
      Samsung still makes screens for Blackberry's, HTC and well there own phone. What makes you think that samsung does not have the capability to makes these screens in mass order? Let alone other phones in china that we have never herd of. Come on guys you really think samsung cant produce the order that apple requires?
      i think what makes people say that is probably the fact that most people had a 20+ day wait for the incredible due to screen shortages. If you throw in the need for an additional 10 million units, there might be some issues.
    1. Nickaroni22's Avatar
      Nickaroni22 -
      This is a no win situation, you build it the haters will come!
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by roshansri View Post
      Samsung still makes screens for Blackberry's, HTC and well there own phone. What makes you think that samsung does not have the capability to makes these screens in mass order? Let alone other phones in china that we have never herd of. Come on guys you really think samsung cant produce the order that apple requires?
      How many of them are AMOLED?
      The technology is still new and they can't produce them - despite your assertions.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jahooba View Post
      I can't wait until I live in a world where even the cheapest phone at Verizon and AT&T has an incredibly high-resolution screen.
      I remember saying this about color screen about a dozen years ago. By the time all of the cheap phones have an ultra high resolution screen, that feature will no longer matter to us.
    1. eballesq's Avatar
      eballesq -
      Quote Originally Posted by porshh951 View Post
      Agreed. I doubt the screen protector is needed for 90% of the iphone population. I know my screen is fine and scratch free. The new screen is supposed to be even more durable so I just can't see me using a protector. Most of the damage that does occur comes from people who are careless.
      Yes -- and when Apple specifically manufactures the darn thing with an oleophobic coating, you know it wasn't intended to be covered.

      Some people must just throw the things around, though -- or live on the beach.
    1. wolverinemarky's Avatar
      wolverinemarky -
      Quote Originally Posted by eballesq View Post
      Yes -- and when Apple specifically manufactures the darn thing with an oleophobic coating, you know it wasn't intended to be covered.

      Some people must just throw the things around, though -- or live on the beach.
      i use screen protectors just so my screen doesnt get smudge, and i use a privacy protection screen to keep people who are around me from seeing my screen. I probably wont get a privacy screen this time around it might take away from awesomeness of the retina display so i will just get a regular protection screen so i dont have fingerprint smudges all over the place.