What You Should Know About Your Smartphone Screen

The iPhone 3GS is priced about Rs 20,000 but the iPhone 4S costs a cool Rs 40,000. Though the latest phone boasts of a much better processor and its voice assistant Siri, the big price difference comes because of the display technology Apple has put in.

Many phones have similar hardware configurations, but their price difference comes mostly on account of the display technology used.

Here is a comparison of some of the display technologies used by different mobile phone brands.

(1) Apple’s Retina Display
Apple has always been concerned with how their products “feel” . They were game-changers with the first iPhone in terms of graphics and with the latest iteration of the iPhone they’ve kept that banner up. The new iPhone 4S introduced the Retina Display, Apple’s very best in mobile display tech.

Apple has managed to stuff over 300 pixels per inch on their screens now, but what that translates into is that images on the phone will not pixelate when you zoom on the phone’s screen. The feature really comes into play when you zoom in on text.

Most cell phones tend to pixelate, but Apple’s Retina display does not and gives you a clear sharp image of the text. It’s really helpful on the new iPads and especially if you like reading ebooks or reading news on mobile devices.

But the display system does have a few drawbacks. To compensate for the loss of brightness, Apple has added an array of white LED lights. This makes the screen brighter in the sun, but does drain the battery a bit. Reports also suggested that the overheating problem on the new iPads was partially due to the Retina Display.

The Retina Display also has another feature, the IPS panel (inplane switching). The problem with LCD and LED screens is that they cannot be viewed at all angles. The IPS panel increases the viewing angles on your mobile devices.

(2) Samsung’s Super AMOLED HD plus
Almost every major device in the market runs on parts made by Samsung, including Apple. Apple, ironically, is one of Samsung’s biggest customers for display panels.

It’s a fact that Samsung has developed some of the best display tech available, the Retina Display is only a marketing trademark used by Apple. AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) refers to a specially arranged array of organic LEDs that when subjected to current emits light.

Now the thing that makes AMOLED special is the arrangement of pixels that can give much richer colours and wider colour spectrum than other technologies. Super AMOLED is an iteration of the AMOLED tech and there are variations of it used on different mobile devices depending on form and size.

The Super AMOLED has a pixel density of more than 200 pixels per inch. It does pixelate a bit when you zoom in, but the images on Samsung displays are smoother than most other displays and give a more “natural” feel to images. The colours are more vivid and some would even say oversaturated, but no getting away from the range of colours that Samsung’s tech offers.

The drawback with AMOLED technology is that they are not bright enough to work in sunlight.

(3) Super LCD
Super LCD was developed jointly by Samsung Electronics and Sony Corp. With the coming of LED tech, people said that LCD ( liquid crystal display) would fall out of favour. But that’s not the case. The Super LCD does have a few tricks up its sleeve. For starters, it is more energy efficient and does have a pretty good viewing angle — of 160 degrees.
Super LCD tech greatly reduced the surface reflectance on their displays by reducing the air gap between the LCD module and the glass. You can’t really remove all the surface reflectance in display tech but they are working on it. The Super LCD displays have found favour in some models and devices of HTC and LG electronics.

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