While many expected the iPhone 4 to have an AMOLED display, it obviously doesn’t. Instead, Apple developed its own technology (based on IPS – initially developed by Hitachi) and proudly announced a new type of display, called retina display.
The iPhone 4’s retina display has 3.5 inches and 960 x 640 pixels (326 ppi) – the highest resolution you’ll get on a smartphone nowadays.
When Steve Jobs introduced the new display, he said it’s “quite a bit better than OLED displays.” Samsung, the world’s largest maker of OLED displays, disagrees. A Samsung spokesperson told to The Korea Herald that:
“Structurally, IPS LCD technology cannot catch up with AMOLED display technology.”
The Korean company’s spokesperson further said that AMOLED technology is better than IPS when it comes to color reproduction, contrast ratio, response time and viewing angle. The spokesperson forgot to mention OLED displays’ poor sunlight visibility – from this point of view, Steve Jobs’ retina display is likely better.
However, Samsung has recently developed Super AMOLED displays (included in the Samsung Wave and Samsung Galaxy S), which feature 80% less sunlight reflection when compared to standard AMOLED screens – so the sunlight visibility problem seems to be solved.
One main disadvantage of Apple’s retina display (with its super-high resolution) would be that “it increases battery consumption by 30 percent,” so in the end Super AMOLED screens might actually be better. But we won’t know for sure until someone gets an iPhone 4 and a Samsung Wave / Galaxy S together and compare their displays’ performance.
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