Monday, September 13, 2010

Apple iPhone 4 : Retina Display

Another big feature of the Apple iPhone 4 is the new high resolution display - Steve Jobs has decided the best name for this is a 'Retina Display' by dearth of the fact it's meant to be so high-res that it's actually more than the eye can cope with.
We think Retina Displays are actually images projected directly onto the retina in a super-space age way... but we don't care enough to make a big deal about and email Steve or anything. We're sure he's busy telling people how to hold stuff.
Apple iphone 4 review
But the main point is the screen is so packed with pixels - we're talking 326 pixels per inch, and a 960x640 display, making it ridiculously high resolution for a phone with a 3.5-inch display.
This beats the Nexus One, iPad and pretty much every other phone on the market at the moment - it's immense and we can't really do it justice by describing it; essentially you have to see it to believe it.
The idea is that the days of pixellated images are over - now it's all smooth and sleek lines for everything.
This claim is certainly shown when looking at a web page on maximum zoom; sure, the old iPhone 3GS' effort looked a little ragged, but we accepted it because of the high zoom level and the fact that, well, we didn't care.

Apple iphone 4 review
But when you see things like that on the Retina Display, things just change completely. It's crisp and pure the whole way in, and while we're not saying that it's the most necessary thing out there, it's really cool and adds an element of wow-factor.
It's not just the smoothness that impresses either; it's the contrast ratios and overall image processing that comes to the fore when you see the iPhone 4's Retina Display for the first time.
Video looks simply sublime on the 3.5-inch screen, and while it's not an OLED (rather a TFT LCD with IPS backplane switching - here's a dull link to an explainer if you're into that kind of thing... and we sadly are) it still looks every bit as good as the display on the HTC Desire.
Apple iphone 4 review
We might argue that the 800:1 contrast ratio, while stunning, isn't better than an OLED version, which has the advantage of no backlight so the blacks will always be that little bit purer.
We also think that perhaps the colour reproduction isn't as saturated - but given that some people claim that OLED screens are a little too colour heavy, this may not be a bad thing.
Overall - Retina Display is a great thing, although not necessarily better than WVGA OLED screens we see in a lot of high end phones these days; but we can only hope that it's a trend that's followed by more manufacturers in the future.

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