Expert Refutes Apple’s iPhone 4 “Retina” Display Claims; Samsung Says AMOLED Screen Is Better

iPhone 4 retina display claims

Apple's new iPhone 4 that was unveiled by Steve Jobs at WWDC 2010 Keynote address on Monday will be running at a resolution of 960×640. 

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. 

iPhone 4 retina display claims

What do you think?

[via PC World, Engadget]

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  • Punk_Poet

    So steve is right depending on how far away you hold your iphone.

  • Amadeus

    idk… im still buying it…!


  • shrivatsa

    so basically you have to read your iphone from the hip.

    well maybe thats an exaggeration, but seriously, for all practical purposes its fine.

  • John

    I can't wait to see the new iphone in person. From the reviews, the display looks to be awesome. I've used amoled screens before, and I can't see anything outside. It's horrible.

  • I think that the new display will have some improvement, but I think that some of these pictures over-exaggerate that improvement.

  • apple hater

    same price with 3Gs, but newer version ……… sh, i'll buy iphone 4

  • Dustin

    I have a question…. whats the RAM in the iphone 4? ive heard 256Mb and ive heard 512Mb. But no number was revealed at WWCD. Anyways, This is going to be an amazing machine. The entire stainless steel bands are antennas…. The 720P video capturing, and on phone editing iMovie for iPhone, i cant wait to see pictures, movies, FaceTime, Oh yea, thats right it also had a front facing camera too so you can see the Iphone 4 user at the other end. 2 mics for noise cancellation. 1Ghz A4 SOC processor. 32% larger battery. and you think all this AND its the thinnest smartphone on the planet???? I can say is this 15th, i will be at my local ATT store to pre order this phone. Amazing.

  • No idea, Apple doesn't reveals those details. We will find it out when iPhone 4 gets disassembled but it might have 256MB RAM similar to iPhone 3GS and iPad based on this:

  • Mozart

    Amadeus, you're NOT the first! Sorry, go to the back of the line, buddy! I'm buying the new iPhone regardless of resolution. Music to our ears.

  • derp

    good job steve, oh yeah and a gigabyte is not 1000mb.

  • Bogdan

    Who cares! the point is that its a lot sharper and better resolution, and much more pleasing to the eye. It is better than anything out there on the market. And unlike Samsung, Apple is mass producing it, and not keeping the technology in a lab for a decade or so before releasing it. C'mon I herd of OLED back 5-6 yrs ago, and there still is nothing on the market! well, maybe for several grand, but not in a cell phone! And under an affordable price.

  • ajs

    seriously this is such a joke. a so called expert tells the world steve jobs is wrong to get attention. the reality is your eye can not tell a pixel apart at 300 ppi at 12 inches because of cellular interference (biological cellular not waves). because of imperfects of nature the theoretical 477 that this so called expert is saying is the limit is not realistic because no one and I mean no one on earth has a biologically 100% ideal eyes! only people who drink haterade are having issues with this. Samsung is not happy because they are the leader in display technology and just got one upped by Apple!! Stop the wining people and just wait until the 24th and see for your self before make any conclusions!

  • I've heard 512MB but I think it was only speculation.

  • Thepartyguy

    iPhone had the first touch screen idea than all companies decides to copyright the idea ! But noone has really beat the idea with a new invention! Or has anyother company discover a new technology to beat the iPhone? To me it is all the dame just different Os. Make something new that we dont have!

  • Sum yung guy

    A gigabyte is 1000mb

    … Plus 24

  • Thepartyguy

    Sorry typed to fast! But get the point?

  • John

    Exactly. People need to see it for themselves and decide if it's a better display. Besides, Dr. Soneira oppinion/study is based on perfect human vision better than 20/20.

    So far, the pictures and reviews have been nothing but great. Just be patient people.

  • eurosnob

    no a gigabyte is 1000mB capital B little b is bits my friend!!!! hence difference in download speed of internet given in bits and your PC counting bytes……

    speaking of GB though surprised no 64G model available unless they launch that a bit later in the year… think they did that with the original iphone…. can some one remember… as would really like 64G if it was coming in 6 months or so….

  • eurosnob

    well I thought so original iphone was in september 2007 4GB & 8GB febuary 2008 16G model added (4GB ditched) so hoping in a few months we see an 64GB model…… here's hoping

  • SJ=H

    iPhone was not the first to have touchscreen, as a matter of fact iPhone has not been the first at almost anything.
    Video calls have been around commercially in europe since 2003, so are touchscreens,
    they said "ohhh the 3gs records video"… and this had been around on other phones for years before, let me think… copy and paste.. ups not either

  • Phil

    ok and columbus didnt discover america soo who cares everyone has took or stole something henry ford didn't create the first car twas in france but u know what im buying an Iphone4 u know why???? cause they freakin rule i dont want know huge EVO well i guess i could use it for a surf board or a kitchen table they are big enough for that

  • John Connor

    Jobs never said that the display had more pixels than the human eye, he said that "when you hold something around 10-12 inches from your eyes is the limit of the human retina to differentiate the pixels…". Key word…"differentiate" not more than.

  • borub

    and 1000mB = 1000 millibytes = 1 byte, what you mean is 1000MB…:P

  • Predator

    So if I understand this correctly, I should use me iPhone at 18 inches away…… HMMMmmmm, "Thats what she said"

  • Zeh

    I'm tired of this kind of argument. Apple did not invented these features and was not the first to implemment, but they do it better. Nokia phones have front face camera for years but what's the point? No one uses video calls in that phones because the Nokia OS fails in many important ways. The thing is that Apple know how to implement features and make it useful. I think the iPhone 2G is still better in many ways than some actual phones. Now, with facetime, video calls will rule. Wanna bet? The other companies simply don't get it. They still rely on hardware specs and forget about funcionality, how to use these specs useful. They simply let to Apple the chance to do something great.

  • SJ=H

    Exactly, so stop saying that they did invent this and that… all they have invented is a way to brain wash you people into not being critical about how they treat you.

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