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Infographic: How much of your smartphone is screen

Posted by wicked May - 27 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

We love infographics. It seems that as the years progress, people have become better and better at doing this – that is, communicate a complicated issue with visuals so much better than just mere words would. Today we have a particularly telling one from the guys over at, one that shows you just how much of your phone is screen real estate in relation to bezels and other non-screen elements.

Of course, we don’t have to tell you that the bigger the percentage, this is normally better for users. This would mean that users will have more real estate for their touchscreens, and more space for icons on the screen, and better size for HD screens as well. At this point, would you hazard a guess at which phones will be on top and which ones at the bottom? See the infographic below.


It’s no surprise that Sharp’s Aquos Crystal (2014) and Aquos Crystal 2 (2015) sit at the top of the list, they pioneered this “no bezel” trend last year – with 78.5% and 77.2% respectively. Right there at the top also is OPPO’s R7 Plus, another bezel-less device, at 76.6% screen. I smile particularly as I see the LG G2 up there (my current phone), still a winner in screen ratio at 76.1%.


At the far end of the line, we will see something that is not really a surprise – Apple’s iPhones are really not designed well when screen ration is considered. The lowly Moto G (69% screen), Motorola’s budget phone, beats the iPhone 5S (60.9%), the iPhone 6 (65.3%), and the iPhone 6 Plus (67.9%). Apple seems to be improving these days, but their phones still have too much bezel. Mind you, bezels are not necessarily bad things – for instance, they keep your display from shattering when you drop it. But given the premium price you pay for iPhones, consumers should start demanding for better screen ratios from Apple.


Dual-screen YotaPhone 2 launches in North America via Indiegogo

Posted by wicked May - 19 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

If you saw the first YotaPhone, you would probably remember it – one AMOLED screen in front and an e-Ink on the back, certainly a novel design and techy enough to win “Best of CES” awards in that particular trade show. The YotaPhone 2 shows everything better than the first iteration, already available in Europe and now ready to launch in the US and Canada via an Indiegogo campaign.

We’ll talk about the campaign in just a bit, but let’s take a look at what you will be getting in the device. First up, you will still get the 5-inch AMOLED screen up front as the standard display, while the 4.7-inch e-Ink display will be the “always on” screen. The phone is powered by a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor supported by 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage. You also get wireless charging, Qualcomm’s “fast charge” protocol, an 8MP main shooter, and 4G/LTE capability for GSM networks in North America. Everything runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop.


The Indiegogo campaign has a USD$50,000 goal to be used for all the regulatory fees and certifications the phone needs to be sold normally on the market in the US. There will be USD$500 “early backer” slots for the first 100 backers, that’s a full $100 off the retail price of USD$600. There will also be a USD$75 off period for the first 48 hours. So if this is something that you want, better get it at a discount already.


The “second screen” – which is the “always on” e-Ink one on the back – does take some getting used to. But the logic of the YotaPhone 2 is, rather than pick up your phone, turn on the display, check for notifications – and doing this routine for over a hundred times during the day, the e-Ink display provides you with all the details you need for notifications and stuff without having to turn on your main display, and therefore save on battery power. It changes the way you use your phone, but it does present a good argument. Check out the Indiegogo campaign at the source link below.

SOURCE: Indiegogo

This is a crowdfunded project, and as such may not deliver what its creators initially promise. Most crowdfunding sites, like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, have policies about what happens to your money if the project fails to deliver on its goals, but choosing to back a project is inevitably a risk. Android Community’s reporting on crowdfunded projects should in no way be seen as an endorsement, unless specifically stated, and we recommend closely examining the terms and conditions to understand your individual rights as a backer before making a pledge.

Samsung used Diamond Pixels display matrix on S6 edge’s curved display

Posted by wicked May - 7 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

No doubt the Samsung Galaxy S6‘s display is crisp and clear. Thanks to the Super AMOLED display used. But for the Galaxy S6 edge, some people are left wondering if the curved edge still features the Diamond Pixels matrix arrangement of Samsung. It’s the technology that the South Korean giant uses to make sure resolution is higher than usual. It’s the PenTile matrix that Samsung has been using to achieve super clear display.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge display was recently placed under the microscope to see if it lives up to the promise. Aside from the screen, the two cameras, LED flash, volume button, SIM card slot, and biometric sensor combo were also checked.

Looking closely at the 5.1-inch QHD S6 edge screen, you can see that Diamond Pixels arrangement was used to achieve the high pixel density. However, the light-emitting diodes are not layered on a glass substrate but on a plastic. This way, Samsung was able to bend the screen on both sides. The pixels look clear and living as ever when edges are curved.

Tech website did the test and below are images of the result:

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge display 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge display 5
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge display 4
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge display 3
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge display 2
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge display 1

Pretty impressive, right? These photos prove that Samsung has worked hard on the details on its latest flagship phone. The curved edge display is still a new technology but the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge doesn’t disappoint.

VIA: PhoneArena


Osram wants to brighten your life, starting with your display

Posted by Tom April - 17 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Osram has announced the S32 – the entertainment sector’s brightest multi-chip LED.

The S32 features closely arranged LED Chips that give an extremely high luminance of 100 cd/mm².

Its luminous flux tops at 15,000 lumen and it packs a 20,000 hour lifetime.

As it’s just been announced it’s unknown as yet where the chips will end up.

Via fareastgizmos

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 may come with highest pixel density ever

Posted by wicked April - 10 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

It will still be months until we hear whether or not there will be a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 this year (or whether there will actually be a gadget with that name) and yet the rumor mill has already started working. Previous presentations in the past few days may have confirmed that the OEM is coming up with a high pixel density device sometime this year, and now they’re speculating that this might arrive with their upcoming phablet.

In the past Analyst Days presentation, Samsung admitted that they are planning an Ultra HD 2160 x 3840 pixels Super AMOLED displays for mobile and that it might come out this 2015. They hinted at this too during the Semiconductor and Display Technology Roadmap workshop last year, saying that they were planning to release smartphones with higher-resolution UHD. Now some are saying that these UHD Super AMOLED panels will be displayed to its full capacity in the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

If this is true, then the phablet will become the highest pixel density ever put in a smartphone. The Note 5 is expected to have a 5.8 or 5.9 inch display so that would mean a pixel density of 762ppi and 748ppi. The previously hinted at display might be using a “diamond pixel” or a non-standard pixel matrix arrangement, which is little bit different from the standard RGB stripe matrix.

The display of the Note 5 is rumored to start production by this August already. That means it might be just in time for the announcement of the new device by September during the IFA 2015 expo. We’ll be bringing you even more news, speculation, leaks over the next few months.

VIA: Phone Arena

LG announces new 5.5-inch QHD LCD Panel used in the new G4

Posted by wicked April - 3 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

LG Display has recently introduced a new Quad High Definition LCD panel for smartphones. The QHD display impresses with a new color gamut, better contrast ratio, brightness, power consumption, and touch function. This is one is very thin and is currently in mass production. We’re assuming this 5.5-inch QHD LCD panel with IPS technology will be first used at the upcoming LG G4 because of the same display size and LG said it will be used on the “forthcoming flagship smartphone to be unveiled at the end of the month”. Loud and clear.

This QHD LCD panel boasts of more accurate and richer colors with 1,440 x 2,560 pixel resolution. That’s about four times better and higher than 720p resolution. For an improved touch sensitivity, there’s also the Advanced In-Cell Touch technology. AIT allows the touchscreen panel to respond to commands even when wet. Brightness has increased by 30 percent while contrast ratio by 50 percent higher. Some people may not notice the difference but such changes can make viewing under the sunlight or outdoors easier.

With the introduction of this new 5.5-inch QHD LCD panel, LG is proud to have received Intertek certification. The product safety testing and certification standard means the new display is very superior, thanks to the use of photo-alignment, high color gamut LED, and Advanced In-Cell Touch (AIT) technologies.

We’ll see how brighter, clearer, and more responsive this QHD LCD panel is when LG officially launches the new G4 this April 28.


LG G4 Display Unveiled Early

Posted by wicked April - 3 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

LG’s 2015 flagship smartphone is due to excite both critics and consumers this year, but just in case you’re not already eager to see what the Korean tech giant has up its sleeve for this year, LG has revealed something about the device to up the hype.

LG showcased a 5.5″ QHD display this weekend with a pixel count of 538, amongst other neat features. There’s a 120% color gamut and 30% increase in brightness and 50% increase in contrast as well. No names were released for any devices sporting this mysterious screen, but it seems obvious that it will be found in LG’s G4, which is due to be released on April 28th.

Source: Technobuffalo

Come comment on this article: LG G4 Display Unveiled Early

UK supermarket trials e-ink price tags

Posted by Tom February - 19 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

In another leap into the future, a London branch of Sainsbury’s has swapped its paper price labels for e-ink displays.

Sainsbury’s supermarket in trendy Shoreditch has traded paper for the displays to get headlines, save paper and to allow a quick price change.

The displays are changed automatically over a wireless connection when prices adjust or offers are introduced. Pretty snazzy.

Now they just need to make their own smash hit series of Android tablets like Tesco’s managed to.

Via engadget

Smartphone Resolution Wars: 1440p and Beyond

Posted by wicked January - 12 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off


There’s been plenty of speculation surrounding Sony’s semesterly update to their flagship Xperia Z line. Some rumors are wildly different from each other and suggest radically different hardware. The next Xperia flagship has been rumored to have a 5.5 inch screen, but then also a 5.4 inch screen–and now they seem to be settling on a more traditional 5.2 inches. There’s also inconclusive speculation on chipset, with some claiming the device will use the Snapdragon 805 SoC, while the more optimistic rumors pointing towards the flagship-caliber Snapdragon 810. Now, we see a bigger debate–one that is perhaps more relevant than the others: Will this phone feature a Full HD display, or a Quad HD display?

The debate between FHD vs QHD has been strong within mobile enthusiast communities. While many people want to get their hands on the latest and greatest of display technology, others argue that QHD is simply not worth the downsides and that FHD is more than enough. So what should we look for in our phones? Let’s find out.

Some history

The first phone announced with a QHD screen was the Oppo Find 7, that sported a resolution of 3,686,400 pixels compressed on a 5.5 inch display – which makes for a huge 538 PPI pixel density. For comparison, most 5 inch phones of 2014 featured a 1080p resolution, which gave them a total PPI of 445, and the highest PPI of the 1080p phones was that of the HTC One M7, which had an impressive 469 PPI due to it’s modest 4.7 inch screen. And while some of the 2014 phones, in particular the M8, were praised for their beautiful screens despite being 1080p, obviously OEMs feel that consumers want more out of their handsets.

The Oppo saw two variants, one with a QHD display and one, named Find 7a, with FHD. While they had different specifications other than the resolution (namely the processor inside), I personally think this is something we should see more of, but perhaps with identical processing packages. More on this later.

Does QHD look better?

On equal, standardized and ideal conditions, the answer is always going to be yes. Leaving out the other display factors, such as color reproduction, contrast, brightness, and other technical bits such as light-bleed and burn-in, having a QHD screen is better, if ever so slightly, than a FHD one. But the other factors do exist in the real world, so resolution shouldn’t be the go-to advertisement number like it is now, because a high-resolution display can have very poor calibrations, or look worse than it should due to artificial oversharpening… rings a bell?

So let’s look at it from a more practical point of view. We know that the obvious improvement is that it’ll make a screen look sharper and clearer – you are theoretically able to make out more detail, and smaller details, out of your media. It also means sharper fonts that allow you to read smaller text, and improve the readability of CJK characters that depend on precise strokes to be interpreted easily

Apple introduced the “Retina” denomination for screens, touting it as the end-all magic number that would imply the point where an increase in PPI would yield high diminishing returns not noticeable by human vision – thus obviating the absolute necessity to pursue anything much higher than the appropriate configuration. When introducing the iPhone 4, Steve Jobs stated that about 300 PPI was sufficient for a device held 10 to 12 inches from one’s eye, This unit can be expressed as “pixels per degree” (PPD), which also takes into account the distance from which the device is viewed. The formula introduced for PPD is 2dr tan(0.5*), with d being the distance and r being the resolution in pixels per unit length. With the number 300 he mentioned, Retina starts at a value of 53 PPD, with the boundary stretching to 60 PPD.

Let’s assume that what he said was not a marketing stunt (which it most probably was) – that would mean that the Oppo Find 7, or the LG G3, or any Quad HD 5.5 inch phone would feature a massive 94 PPD. Now, like all exaggerations made by these OEMs, who face the scrutiny of the millions of experts that hear these comments, we can assume Job’s “Retina” holds a certain degree of validity. After all, the iPhone 4 has a crisp screen, and every phone after that which exceeds the magic PPD does look pretty crisp to me. But you can always go crisper, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Given the linearly increasing nature of the equation for Retina, though, I’m not sure if an increase of 77.35% is really something that we should crazily strive for. But I digress, seeing that there is probably no real magic number for PPI, PPD or what-have-you that these OEMs might never truthfully and rightfully spit out at us; marketing will always have a big importance in it. LG for example, likes to say that 550 PPI  is as far as you have to go to get people to squeeze detail out of an image… that’s remarkably close to their own pioneering LG G3’s 538 PPI, isn’t it?

I do think that the Retina measurement is a step in the right direction as to figuring out a nice methodology for finding out these thresholds, though, as viewing distance is a very big factor that simple PPI as a scalar unit doesn’t take into account. This is evident when you have a very nice TV that you see from afar and the vivid image surprises you – yet the closer you get to the edge of its glass, the more the image starts diffusing into little lightbulbs.

Retina and ideal viewing distance 

The human vision acuity is measured in terms of the minimum resolvable distance between features. The unit chosen for this distance is “arc minutes”, which is a 60th of a degree, for it is independent of length units

People with 20/20 vision can discern the detail of 1 arc minute, or the sixtieth part of a degree. This would be equal to discerning the detail present in 0.00462% of a circle. That’s as good as you can get. I personally have bad vision (I blame it on being a tech enthusiast) and this number blows my mind.

PhoneArena did an analysis on this, and the results of their calculations (and I stress on this word) were the following values at which someone with perfect vision would be able to start discerning pixels:

  • Typical 480p phone (4” display like Galaxy S III Mini): eye starts to notice pixels from 14.73” (37.4cm)
  • Typical 720p phone (4.7” display like Nexus 4): eye starts to notice pixels from 11” (28cm)
  • Typical 1080p phone (5” display like Galaxy S5): eye starts to notice pixels from 7.8” (19.8cm)
  • Typical 1440p phone (5.5” display like expected LG G3): eye starts to notice pixels from 6.44” (16.4cm)

So, what is interesting about those numbers? Well due to the way they are computed (and the reasonable commensurability between the mathematical model and reality), when you factor in the PPI of the “typical phones” and the distances obtained, and put them into the Retina equation, you obtain that they all tend towards a limit. So I grabbed the values of the distances obtained by the Phone Arena report and fed them into it:

  • Nexus 4 (typical 4.7” 720p phone): 61.053 PPD
  • Nexus 5 (typical 5” 1080p phone): 60.581 PPD
  • G3 (typical 5.5” 1440p phone): 60.472 PPD

Could 60 truly be the magic number? Something is certain, though. If you give Apple any credit for Retina, you must agree that these phones seem to beat that magic number of 53 PPD, and match the upper boundary of 60,  at the distances measured by Phone Arena. And these distances, for all resolutions, are lower than the proposed 12 inch distance proposed by Apple. These measurements also mean that unless you hold the G3 this close 20150108215417136(pictured) to your face, you won’t start to see the pixels, no matter how good your vision is presumed to be. But this is on a more theoretical side.

So this 60 upper bound for Retina (300 PPI at 10-12 inches) and the values calculated by Phone Arena are seemingly based on the arc-minute measurement of detail perception on humans. But there’s more to vision than that. According to a report by the Air Force Research laboratory, humans are able to discern the separation of two lines at around a half arcminute, which translates to 120 PPD. The ideal resolution of the eye is about 0.4 arcminutes – an even bigger result at 150 PPD. But if you think that’s reasonably achievable right now, there’s one more thing: the human vision is able to determine the allignment of two lines to a resolution of two arcseconds, or… 1800 PPD… Seemingly unattainable with current technology. So all of this seems to imply that, while we might have very nice looking screens, there’s a lot more ground to cover in the PPI race than just accounting for the immediately noticeable detail.

Back to phones, please

Alright, so we can argue for both sides of the PPI race. On one side, we constantly hit milestones with this Retina PPD, or the “magazine print” PPI, and there’s still more to cover. But on another note, there are technical constraints to the use of 1440p panels in phones. In short, we do notice that there are some things left to cover when it comes to arriving to that perfect, absolute pristine realer-than-life image that OEMs would love to advertise one day. We are hitting some nice milestones, and in technology there’s never a decisive reason to stop improving, especially if that would be mere consumer conformism.

But let’s look at the market right now: I remember CES 2013, and CES 2014 even, proudly displaying the 4K TV’s that are now arriving at our homes in great numbers. This year, we saw a lot of 8K TVs being showcased by many of the big fish in the display industry. Now let’s look at phones. In 2012 we saw 720p phones, then in 2013 we were already at 1080p, and shortly after 2014 started we already had the Find 7 being touted as the next big thing. And now we are expecting the first 4K phone to come out this year – resolution higher than most people’s TV’s, in a screen under 6 inches.

Analyzing whether battery life and performance, and even things like heat (let’s remember the G3 again), can keep up with these increases is a topic we’ll reserve for another, more in-depth article, but we can safely say that there have been tangible consequences with adopting these new technologies for now. Battery technology in particular hasn’t been able to keep up with the display race, and software optimization can only get you so far. A neat case of what seems to be “1440p done right” is the Note 4, which has a really power efficient display despite all the extra LEDs it has to power up. Whether the chips that are coming out can support these new resolutions efficiently still has to be decided, we know for a fact that the stress of such leaps in pixel count can be quite taxing on mobile GPUs.

I personally think that the display is one of the most important parts of a phone, as I see it as the hardware’s interface for the software’s interface. And this also implies a degree of symbiosis between them,  as the GUI, which everyone knows is a huge part of software nowadays, is directly dependent on the possibilities offered by the fidelity of the display.  And consequentially, so is the user experience. You wouldn’t find much use for Material Design on a gameboy’s screen, after all. And when I first saw the Note 4’s display, I was in absolute awe. I do think that 1440p does make a difference, albeit a much smaller one than 1080p did to 720p. It could be the previously mentioned diminishing returns threshold in action. Despite this – do I think that we need 1440p now? Not really, not until the rest of the technology can accommodate for it efficiently. I am fine with 1080p.

I don’t need a 1440p phone, what will do?

Well, rumors are now talking about this Z4 phone again, saying that Sony will offer both a FHD and QHD version. While these are just rumors, I think it could make for a very nice trend for consumers. More choice in the mobile world isn’t a bad thing (and it’s even become Android’s slogan, so why not?). Do you want that pristine 1440p image on your phone? Or would you rather have better battery life and performance (like the Z3 and Z3 compact did by sticking with lower-than-standard* resolutions) by conforming to the already-great resolution of the previous year, model, or segment? It’s definitely an interesting proposal, and I hope it gets noticed and adopted so that OEMs can address the demand for better battery life that the newer resolutions seem to directly plot against.

*standard: These change. 1080 is fantastic, but the “standard” for flagships is now at a weird stage between 1080p and 1440p, and I suspect it’ll only rise from here. So I am definitely not saying that FHD is bad, because it is not. But as technology advances, so does what is standardly provided.

The post Smartphone Resolution Wars: 1440p and Beyond appeared first on xda-developers.

The YotaPhone 2 gives you two working touchscreens, front and back

Posted by wicked December - 3 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

If we had written this piece say in 2013, you could be forgiven for thinking that the makers of the YotaPhone had just complete lost all sanity. That is, of course, until the advent of Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge, which had manufacturers thinking out-of-the-box on what they can do with another touchscreen surface. Granted, what the YotaPhone has is completely unexpected and unorthodox – but you can’t say it isn’t worth a look in these modern times.

Modern smartphone design conventions will say the screen goes on the front, the camera on the back. But what if you utilize both front AND back spaces as active touchscreens? There definitely would be more real estate now to do more – but do what? The YotaPhone, being manufactured by Yota Devices who are mostly based in Moscow, is a smartphone that has a secondary (or another primary, however you want to view it) screen on the back of the device where the camera is. That screen is a monochrome e-ink screen that functions pretty much like a normal touchscreen does, sans the color.


The YotaPhone 2, which has turned quite a few heads at in the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona early this year, is scheduled to finally launch this month, so we’re quietly anticipating that. The specs are pretty decent – it sports a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED screen as the main display. The back display is called the “Always On” display and it is a 4.7-inch 960×540 E-ink grayscale screen with full capacitive touch functions.


Under the hood, there’s a 2.2Ghz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor backstopped by 2GB RAM and Adreno 330 graphics. The internal storage maxes out at 32GB and theres an 8MP/2.1MP camera combo with LED flash. Will this interest you? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

SIGN-UP: YotaPhone
VIA: [email protected]

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