Why is the color depth on G1 worse than iphone?


  1. Fremen93

    Fremen93 Member

    One thing that I never saw in any review, and can't seem to find discussed on any forum is that the G1 screen, while sharing the same resolution as the iphone, doesn't have the same number of colors!
    So the result is that many photos looks much nicer on an iphone than they do on the G1 because its only 16 bit color.
    I only noticed this when I had both for a while because of a project at work where I got a free iphone to play with for a few months.

    It was kind of a let down, and it bothers me that none of the articles I'm reading about the new Android phones ever seem to mention this spec...they only talk about the resolution and screen size.

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  2. RozzaC

    RozzaC Well-Known Member

    What does iPhone have? (in terms of color bits)

    --EDIT--

    Never mind....found out....it's 18-bit....

    Is it really that big of an issue, anyway?
  3. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Well-Known Member

    Fremen, my guess is that in 9 months it hasn't been mentioned because most people haven't noticed or don't think it's a big enough deal to mention.

    It would be different if Android was 16-bit and iPhone was 32 or 64-bit. but two bits is probably not easily noticed by the average person. I've pulled all sorts of photos from my PC to use as backgrounds or contact pictures on my Android and haven't noticed that 2-bit difference in color depth. My guess is most people would be in my boat, not noticing the difference at all.
  4. RozzaC

    RozzaC Well-Known Member

    I sure didn't.....
  5. Fremen93

    Fremen93 Member

    Where are you getting this 18 bit information about the iphone? I don't see them publish their color depth anywhere. I think its more like 24bit because when I showed the same picture on the two devices to a couple of people at work everyone clearly saw the difference. The photo on the G1 was dithered so the skin of this woman in the picture looked splotchy, but on the Iphone it looked perfectly smooth. You can reduce this problem by using a decent photo editing program to reduce the colors to 16bit ahead of time.

    Anyway from what I've been reading, the restriction is in the Android OS as well, so it wouldn't be possible for new phones to support 24bit etc.

    As for saying most people wouldn't notice the difference. I'm sorry, but if you compare them side by side, you would have to notice the difference, unless you had vision problems. Its that obvious. Kind of like someone telling me HD looks no better than VHS tapes. When someone says that, I just give up.

    Whatever the bits, it was clear as day that the photos I was viewing using picasaweb were not nearly as nice looking on my G1. I thought maybe it was the browser until I realized it was the old dithering problem.
    So it could be simply a better dithering algorithm on the iphone's browser.
  6. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Well-Known Member

    Look, Fremen, you don't have to get all bent out of shape. You sound personally offended that people disagree with you.

    Here's one place that list the specs on the iPhone
    Apple iPhone 3G 8GB Detailed Specs | Technical Specifications | PDAdb.net - Comprehensive Database of PDA, PDA Phone, Smartphone, PNA & Mobile Device Specifications

    This one actually lists it at 16
    Apple iPhone 3G full specifications at Obsessable


    The fact remains that in 9-months of reading about android and discussing it with other people, and seeing friend and acquaintances' iPhones this is the first I've heard of this "issue".

    Now, how is it that 9-months have gone by since release and just now (NOW) I'm hearing about this issue?

    I offered a reasonable explanation --- nobody noticed it.


    You yourself even pointed out that you had to show people the same picture on both devices at the same time --- if the difference is so obvious, you wouldn't need to do that. It would be obvious without that sort of Highlights Magazine "Can You Spot the Difference?" game. If my arm is spurting blood, I don't have to hold up both arms next to each other to see it -- that's what an obvious difference is.

    Funny you point to HD, as I didn't notice the difference between regular DVD and HD UNTIL I was at Best Buy and they had videos running showing a short clip of something like a river and it split-screened so that one half is normal DVD quality and the other is HD. When compared side-by-side, yeah, the difference is easy to see. Seems that even Best Buy realized that the difference isn't obvious to most people until you compare the same picture side by side. Otherwise, why would they have suddenly started using that tactic?

    So, if my idea, "Nobody noticed it" isn't a reasonable theory --- what's yours, some sort of conspiracy? Crab People? What?
  7. RozzaC

    RozzaC Well-Known Member

    But....

    HD is no different from VHS...

    They really are the same...seriously...
  8. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    I have noticed the following:

    in many images that get auto resized, the blotchiness appears which likely is the engine, be it Webkit or some other engine.

    also many times in a web page if you scroll up or down the image shifts into "better" and then out of that mode. Almost like compression is changing on the fly.

    luminescence - the Android G1 is clearly brighter (stronger bulb?) than the iPhone, which in many cases will change the image's darks and lights. (though I find it makes the Android images better.) I should have noted the exact setting, but a few iPhone users have turned their phone to 100% bright and the android phone is not nearly at 50% and already brighter. Of course most users don't wish to drain their battery on either platform.
  9. argosreality

    argosreality New Member

    It could also have nothing to do with the screen as well. Were you viewing these images through the web browser, or the built in image viewer? Since the web browsers are both Webkit based they should be using the same decompression algorithms but not 100% since they're probably based on different code points.

    If its the internal image viewers I'd bet even money that they're different decompression schemes which alone could account for different image quality. Most people won't notice the difference at all in the LCD screens on a desktop display that support 18bit vs 24bit color...most cheapie LCDs are 18bit which gives 16.2million colors . I HIGHLY doubt either the G1 or the Iphone have 24bit, let alone decent dithering support on their 18bit or worse screens.
  10. paloverde88

    paloverde88 Member

    I felt watching videos on iphone is not as enjoyable as in my Magic, the htc magic screen is very sharp very bright and very precise with no evidence of shadow and just sharp. The iphone screen when watching videos seemed a little bland where colors appear washed out, not as saturated, not as brilliant and not as intense as the magic.;)
  11. Fremen93

    Fremen93 Member

    Since this post, I sold my G1 and bought an iphone 1st gen on ebay which I unlocked to use with my tmobile account.
    Anyway, to me, being "obvious" doesn't mean that you notice the difference when the two things being compared are not in the same room.
    For example, did you ever shop for a diamond ring before? The difference in color between one ring and the other might be worth several hundred dollars, yet if you don't compare them to a white card, you can't really notice the difference. yet when you do compare them to a white card the difference is "obvious" except to color blind people.

    The human brain, and the way we see things is very good at adapting to various circumstances. This is why, when I watched my wedding video in SVHS way back when it was first filmed..I thought it was pretty good quality video. But now, when I look at it, after having become used to 1080p video, I am appalled at how terrible the quality was.

    What was upsetting me the most is not that you guys can't see the difference, but what about all these so called reviewers? These reviewers have both phones don't they? I mean if they don't have an iphone to compare the new phones to then they should do something else for a living.

    by the way, I put the pictures up on picasaweb,and used the built-in browsers to browse the pictures.

    whatever the display difference...the iphone os must have a better way of dithering pictures to look good on 16bit displays. Someone can say there is no difference, and no I won't accept that. But if you want to say that you can't tell the difference...well I will accept that :) I'm not sure if I wish I was like you and also couldn't tell the difference....I mean, they say ignorance is bliss...but that's a philosophical question...still it would mean I'd be happy with the G1 and wouldn't have switched and wasted money...hmmm
  12. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    One final thought on this...apple controls the hardware and software. Hardware includes both the external case and screen but also the inside guts. They have been using standard chips up to now, but there was a rumor they were going to design their iPhone chipsets too. Either way, HTC and Google are not the same company and each have their own area of focus.

    It is possible that the care/effort/knowledge taken on the instance of iPhone engineering was not the same as the Android/HTC G1 engineering.

    I hope you enjoy your iPhone and I hope Android keeps pushing the boundary of hardware and software to make you consider switching back. Said from someone who might jump to an iPhone with a dedicated keyboard. We all have our wish lists.
  13. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Well-Known Member

    Only two real possibilities. Either you're highly sensitive to these differences, or every single person who reviewed the G1 is an overpaid, underqualified hack.
    This is where you reveal your heavy bias toward apple. Why on earth should every new phone be compared to the iPhone? It didn't even have copy & paste until recently. Mac didn't invent the phone, or the portable music player, they took existing products and did some tinkering and a whole lot of marketing. That's what they're good at. They even admit it.


    Well, I'm glad you're happy. Sounds like this is the phone you should've bought in the first place. Happy Trails.
  14. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    Punk you bring a up a good point and one I mentioned earlier, I think iPhone screen brightness up to 3G model (haven't test 3GS yet) had a weak screen brightness, again probably cause they control the hardware. But the BB and G1 rock comparitively.
  15. Scott

    Scott Active Member

    Actually, the iPhone 3G claims it's 18 bit. Many LCDs are 18-bit hardware, but Android doesn't support it. Who knows whether the iPhone OS supports 18 bit, or whether they're just claiming the hardware spec. (let's face it... memory is scarce, performance low on these devices, and addressing discrete 18-bit memory segments would be terribly inefficient).

    I read that the new 3G S is 24 bit. Excellent improvement, but I'd bet few applications process their data in 24 bit anyway (for the reasons mentioned above).

    In the end, I think two things are worthy of consideration:
    1) 16-bit can show more hues than any human can see anyway, so, properly used, it is adequate, especially on very small screens.
    2) If there were a real difference, I might not expect the Android devic makers to say so, but you can bet Apple would waste no opportunity to tout their quality.

    Have you heard Apple brag?

    Me either.

    Scott
  16. Shinigami

    Shinigami Member

    1. 16 bit = 2^16 = 65536 (65535 colors and shades and black, no, black isn't color, its a pixel with no light in OLED screens, and I don't acknowledge others :D )
    2. 18 bit = 2^16*2*2 = 65'536 * 2 * 2 = 262'144
    Its almost two hundred thousand colors more than 16 bit. So yeah, no wonder you can see a 5-times difference. If you can't... well, we're all different. Switch your monitor to 16-bit color and try to notice any difference.
    3. As I said, 18 bit = 262k colors, which is more than enough to satisfy most demanding users (except photo editing professionals and color maniacs :D like audiophiles).
    4. As long as you don't know the problem exists, you won't be bothered by it.

    I, for one, am not bothered by this 65k color limitation. I know about it and avoid current generation of both WinMo devices and Android devices. Because it does matter to me. So I stick with symbian (for smartphones) or "dumbphones", also called "feature phones".
  17. Andronix

    Andronix Well-Known Member

    Anyone heard whether Google plans to change that and implement 24bit or 32bit rendering? Windows95 supported it with 16megs of ram and 2MB graphic cards, and it was almost 15 years ago.
  18. Shinigami

    Shinigami Member

    Windows 95 will be ported to ARM CPUs sooner than that happens, I'm afraid.
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