Apple claims that it has managed to pack four times more pixels in the display as compared to previous iPhone models. The pixel density of iPhone 4’s display is 336 pixels as compared to 163 pixels in iPhone 3GS thus making it the smartphone with the highest-resolution screen currently.
Apple is calling iPhone 4's display as the "Retina Display".
However, according to Dr. Raymond Soneira from DisplayMate Technologies – a firm that specializes in developing software to test display quality, Apple's claims may not be entirely true. In a lengthy email to PCWorld, Dr. Soneira has elaborated on why Steve Jobs' claims that the iPhone 4 has a higher resolution than the human retina may not be right. Here is an excerpt from his email:
"1. The resolution of the retina is in angular measure – it's 50 Cycles Per Degree. A cycle is a line pair, which is two pixels, so the angular resolution of the eye is 0.6 arc minutes per pixel.
2. So if you hold an iPhone at the typical 12 inches from your eyes, that works out to 477 pixels per inch. At 8 inches it's 716 ppi. You have to hold it out 18 inches before it falls to 318 ppi.
So the iPhone has significantly lower resolution than the retina. It actually needs a resolution significantly higher than the retina in order to deliver an image that appears perfect to the retina."
Dr.Soneira is not the only person to have questioned Steve Jobs' claims. A Samsung spokesperson concedes that while the images rendered by the retina display on iPhone 4 are 3%-5% sharper than those rendered by the Super AMOLED screen on Samsung Galaxy S, they consume close to 30% more battery. Samsung representative claims that their screens have better viewing angles and contrasts and points out that "structurally, IPS LCD technology cannot catch up with AM-OLED display technology".
Samsung and Dr. Soneira have however implicitly agreed to the fact that the display resolution on iPhone 4 may be the best in the industry today. To put this fact into perspective, you may check out the following close-up shot compiled by PCWorld. The improvement in display quality over the two generations of iPhone is pretty evident.
What do you think?