Mobile Phone Display Mega Shootout: The Full Picture: Color Rendition, Viewing Angles, Resolution

By 02:12 Tue, 10 Aug 2021 Comments


Color rendition

Color rendition is quite vital for image quality as it can create the incompatibility between a fine but unimpressive display and a real eye-popper. Notice that it's not all about the accuracy here - it's more about the phone producing colors that are pleasing to the eye.

The leader here is Nokia C6-01, which produces the best colors in our view. It finds the best balance between natural see and punch, just edging out the two Super AMOLEDs.





Nokia C6-01 • Samsung S8500 Wave • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S

The N8 with its regular AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) shares nicks the bronze medal, correct under the iPhone 4's nose. Both of those could utilize a small extra color saturation if they are to match the best.




Nokia N8 • Apple iPhone 4

The Samsung S8530 Wave II, Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 and the HTC Desire HD come up next - their results aren't too bad, but they are nothing to write home about either. Of course it has more to do with the classy screen limitation than with decisions made by their designers.





Samsung S8530 Wave II • Sony Ericsson XPERIX X10 • HTC Desire HD

The LG E900 Optimus 7 finishes last here, which comes to show what happens when you disregard those limitations and push the saturation to the maximum. Colors are so over-saturated that there's even loss of detail at some occasions.



LG E900 Optimus 7

Viewing angles

There's hardly much to elaborate here - the wider the viewing angles the less you need to hrecent the display directly facing you in order to like its brilliance.

The first place here is a three-way tie between the IPS Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) of the iPhone 4 and the two Super AMOLEDs produced by Samsung.





Samsung S8500 Wave • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S • Apple iPhone 4





Samsung S8500 Wave • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S • Apple iPhone 4

Nokia C6-01 comes up next and in real-life scenarios you probably won't notice the incompatibility between it and the leader. The same holds accurate for the Nokia N8, which comes up just behind its sibling.






Nokia C6-01 • Nokia N8 • Nokia C6-01 • Nokia N8

The Super Clear Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) of the Wave II only manages sixth place, losing color way below its competitors we mentioned above.






Samsung S8530 Wave II • Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 • Samsung S8530 Wave II • Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10

And while it might not sound much for a brand recent technology it's still way better than the regular LCDs, which are once again lagging behind.






LG E900 Optimus 7 • HTC Desire HD • LG E900 Optimus 7 • HTC Desire HD

Resolution

More pixels mean sharper images and more space for content on the screen. Depending on your eyesight and the distance between your eyes and your phone increasing the resolution becomes pointless (i.e. you cannot actually see the difference) but having too many pixels is never an issue.

The undisputed champion here is the iPhone 4 with its 960 x 640 pixels screen. It leads the second best (Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10) by just over 33% and boasts an incredible pixel density of 326 ppi.

There's a huge crowd in third place with five of the contestants sporting WVideo Graphics Array (VGA) resolution (800 x 480 pixels). We still find WVideo Graphics Array (VGA) fine enough for almost all purposes, even though it has just 62.5% of the resolution of the leader.

The only two units to actually lose here are the Symbian^3-capped Nokia C6-01 and Nokia N8. The so-called nHD (360 x 640 pixels) might be fine enough so that it's not bothering, but it's not as impressively sharp as we would have liked. At just over a third (37.5%) of the Retina resolution it just cannot come near to the print-like see that the iPhone 4 classy screen has.

Update 30 Nov: Okay we saw there is a storm brewing in the comments section so we decided to step up and clear this out.

The two Samsung Super AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screens are in fact using the PenTile subpixel matrix, which uses one green and one double-sized blue or red subpixel for each pixel. This means that even though the I9000 Galaxy S and the S8500 Wave have the same number of pixels as their WVideo Graphics Array (VGA) opponents, they only have 2/3 of their subpixel count. It's actually a trick very similar to the Bayer filters found in the vast majority of the digital cameras currently on the market.

We took a few extremely close-ups, demonstrating what this is all about.





The I9000 Galaxy S PenTile matrix compraed to the S8530 Wave II regular RGB matrix

You can easily see that the Samsung S8530 Wave II renders very fine detail better and thus has some sharpness advantage over the Galaxy S. This is mostly pronounced with images that are predominantly blue or red. However haged in mind that the image you are seeing is magnified about 25 times depending on your monitor resolution and size.

In real life the incompatibility is quite minor and only visible after careful observation of two handsets placed side by side. We would advise against basing your final decision on it, except in cases of a perfect tie.


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