Recently I decided to take a closer look at how the parallax barrier works. I grabbed an old 8x loupe from the old film camera supply box and looked through it. It was quite a neat sight. The parallax barrier is a series of vertical stripes, each one pixel wide, and from what I could tell, spaced apart one pixel wide. Underneath that is the actual display. There are 3 modes I've observed the screen in: 1) full 2D (parallax barrier off) 2) prepping for 3D (parallax barrier is present, but the background display is still the regular 2D image) 3) full 3D (parallax barrier is present, and the background is a vertically interlaced image of both left and right images.) You see #1 during normal operation of the phone as well as viewing pics in 2D mode. You see #2 when you are scrolling between 3D images in the gallery. The image appears flat but has that "low res" look caused by the parallax barrier. You see #3 when viewing a picture or video in 3D. With my loupe, I'm able to pan across the screen over a 3D image and kinda see how the parallax barrier is masking pixels. Depending on the viewing angle, I can see the barrier masking a full pixel or straddling two pixels. For the 3D effect to work, I have to be at the right distance (the sweet spot) where the barrier only masks full pixels and doesn't straddle any. Because if it straddles a pixel, I'm getting that pixel to both eyes, which breaks the stereo effect. But at the effective distance the loupe brings my eye to the screen (almost zero), the parallax barrier is useless for giving me a 3D effect. Anyway, I tried to take some pictures. It gives you an idea of what the parallax barrier looks like (the vertical black stripes), but without the panning aspect, it's hard to convey how it actually works. The following picture is one I use to show off the 3D to friends and randoms. It looks amazing in person, but obviously it will appear 2D here. Take note of the bottom two images. The first is regular 2D mode (#1 as described above), and the second one is 3D mode (#3 as described above). Note: the loupe does not uniformly focus. So only the parts that appear focused are representative of what the screen actually looks like. .