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SAMOLED vs. SLCD vs. qHD vs Retina Display

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Roze, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery
    Thread Starter

    So I'm looking into the Atrix with its qHD screen, which before now, I have never heard of before. I've tried googling on what qHD is, but all I get is well technical jumbo that I don't understand and reads more like generic screen resolution than anything else. So for those that are tech savy, can someone explain qHD and compare it to the screens that are on the market today (SAMOLED, SLCD and Retina Display).

    From my reading the order of best to last:
    1)Retina Display
    5) TFT LCD

    I have NO idea where qHD goes into the rating.


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  2. czechplastik

    czechplastik Android Enthusiast

    Going by the resolution (same as retina display 960x640) and the other figures I located I would order your list thus...

    2)Retina display
    6)TFT LCD

    I might be completely wrong on this but that's how I'm reading it...
  3. rubiconjp

    rubiconjp Android Enthusiast

    qHD only specifies the resolution, and not the display type. qHD = quarter of full HD.

    Full HD is 1920x1080 so a quarter of that is 960x540.

    However going by CNet, they love the display, very bright and vibrant, with good color saturation.

    CNET review
  4. czechplastik

    czechplastik Android Enthusiast

    So which is better?
  5. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery
    Thread Starter

    Yeah that's what I've been reading...which is like...so? lol So the screen can be an LCD? A SLCD and it's qHD? :thinking: I don't understand why Moto didn't say that, instead of just qHD. They make it as a feature, which I thought was the type of screen being used, not its demension :mad:
  6. zerocool79346

    zerocool79346 Android Expert

    It is a feature. They are the first phone on the market to have that resolution. I would bet that Moto continues to use Sony's SLCD. BTW, the Retina Display again only refers to a resolution, the Iphone uses a generic SLCD too.
    Roze likes this.
  7. rubiconjp

    rubiconjp Android Enthusiast

    Yep leave it to the marketing types to muddle the water. I'd also bet that qHD display on the Atrix is SLCD. It is still lower res than Apple Retina, and being larger than Retina, the display is probably a lot less sharp than Retina. And if it's SLCD, it probably won't match the SAMOLED in term of color vibrancy.
  8. rubiconjp

    rubiconjp Android Enthusiast

    Yep the Retina refers to the resolution and the size of the display. Its resolution is 960x640 and its size is 3.5".

    Obviously 960x640 on a larger display size such as EVO's 4.3" won't be "Retina" anymore, based on Steve's standard. :rolleyes:
  9. Shocky

    Shocky Android Expert

    Retina isnt even a type of a display, it's just a display with a high dot pitch/pixels per inch, doesnt matter what type of display it is, it's just a marketing gimmick. :p

    This is how it should look.

    1)SAMOLED Plus
    5)TFT LCD
  10. aztooh

    aztooh Well-Known Member

    The Atix's resolution is 960x540, not 640.

    "Retina" display refers to the pixel density, not just resolution. So to the poster that said "based on Steve's standards'...it's not "his standards", its simple math. A larger screen with the same resolution has less PPI, making it not as sharp. Job's did say its called a retina display because the human eye can't distinguish pixel @300PPI and up...which I did read may not be entirely true.

    iPhone 4's Retina Display Explained - PCWorld

    I'm in the same boat as the OP, as in trying to find info on qHD when it was announced the Atrix touted it, but to no avail. It won't have the PPI of the iPhone 4, but should still be great. As far as picking LCD, SLCD, Amoled and SAamoled....going to be more of a personal preference whether you want vibrant or more realistic. Pros and cons on the viewing angles of each as well.

    Screen wars! AMOLED vs. S-LCD vs. LCD vs. Super AMOLED | Android Central
    jroc likes this.
  11. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery
    Thread Starter

    Wow, thanks for that! That just clears the misunderstanding.
    I consider both LCD and AMOLED 'old technology' and not really interested in them, lol. Since both SLCD and SAMOLED replaced both of those.

    What phone has SAMOLED+? I thought Samsung weren't going to be producing them until later this year? So basically the comparison of the 'best' screens on the market is really this:

    qHD SLCD vs Retina Display SLCD vs SAMOLED

    And I guess what is best is objective?

    If you had to pick your phone, what screen would you pick?
  12. MarcMaiden

    MarcMaiden Android Enthusiast

    I cant decide actually....

    I loved colors on the SAMOLED,

    but the SLCD was good (not amazing) at everything.

    it really is personal though....some people do not care much for SAMOLED, and some people swear by it
  13. Jammy

    Jammy Android Expert

    Does anyone actually know the difference between LCD and SLCD?

    From what I can gather, SLCD is a brand of LCD displays?
  14. rubiconjp

    rubiconjp Android Enthusiast

    That's exactly why I said "Steve's standard". Steve's "Retina" standard is 300 PPI, which Apple Retina display exceeds at 326 PPI. But the real standard is around 477 PPI, where the pixels are truly invisible to a healthy human eye.

    So the Retina display isn't truly "Retina" until the eye is about 1.5 feet away from the Apple Retina LCD.

    I have 20/20 vision and I can see the pixelation in my brother IP4.
  15. Shocky

    Shocky Android Expert

    They will be available very soon so it's worth bringing them up, I wouldn't buy now, I'd wait for SAMOLED+ devices.

    Yes I'm dodging the question but it's the truth. :p

    The SAMOLED screens also have much higher contrast, better viewing angles and they are brighter.
  16. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    SLCD is a Sony LCD with 18-bit color depth (actually - could be Samsung or Sony and could be full 24-bit color, but right now, it's Sony that's supplying them for mobile phones and as typically the 18-bit flavor).

    LCDs are simply like having little valves or apertures at each subpixel that open or close to allow more or less light to pass through a colored lens or polarized plates scheme.

    There are over a half-dozen actual LCD technologies - this wiki wrapup is old and outdated, but substantiates the idea - TFT LCD - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Each technology is quite different in its response time, off-axis viewing, tendency to look washed out, tendency to black crush and so forth.

    Saying LCD is like saying "Italian food" - it doesn't say much by itself and saying that all LCDs have Problem X is like saying all pizza is difficult to eat with a spoon. ;)

    Your eyes exceed the norm by far, and resolution in cycles isn't measured by 20/20.

    As far as PPI - you're on the right track, but it's not a single number - as you mention - it's a relative number with respect to distance from the viewer.

    Apple's original 480x320 was too coarse. They doubled both dimensions to ease software updates - that's the real reason for the retinal display.

    Taking TV content from SD to the various HD schemes requires a piece of software called a scalar.

    Betcha dollars to donuts that the whole qHD thing is to simplify math and try to increase quality for converted HD material.

    How you'd care about those things on a phone-sized display depends on the user's eyes and type of use.

    I find the less saturated colors on my LCD more appealing to me - but remember, my phone has had no less than 3 different displays in its production lifetime, so you can't even take my statement as model-based.

    Until Android phones come with necessary adjustments beyond brightness - and that means at minimum contrast and gamma, the color comparisons between any technologies are anecdotal.

    Look at enough SAMOLED phones side by side - ditto for LCD - and you'll start to see the unit-to-unit variations until you're unsure of the type-to-type variations.

    In my opinion. ;)
  17. Guamguy

    Guamguy Android Expert

    The iPhone 4 uses the same display that you will see on LG smartphones like the Optimus 2X. Just higher resolution. Apple sources the displays from LG.

    I say if you can read pixels on an 800x480 display resolution, you are holding the phone too closely in a manner unhealthy for your eyes. Near focusing is caused by stretching the eyeball which may not completely stretch all the way back.
  18. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    Sharp's had a way-good Android phone available only in Japan since last year that's 960x640 and the same exact screen size as the iP4.

    Because all of this is being cast in terms of Apple, how about a little game-changer? We like to talk about media - how would THX or the SMPTE rate screen sizes and distances?

    Here's a handy calculator for their principle criteria:
    Viewing Distance Calculator
    Maybe also note: Angular_Resolution in HDTV viewing distances

    And the one thing that all of the makers like to keep secret - the eye's maximum resolution of a static field is way different than it is for moving pictures.

    It's not just the dots, or dots per inch - even a full galaxy of stars is but a single pixel when viewed from sufficient distance.

    My comfort distance when viewing my 4.3" Evo is about .75' - when viewing my wife's Shift or buddies' iPhones - I bring it in closer. I tend to instinctively adjust for a comfortable viewing angle for the whole screen. That's me.

    Fun home experiment especially if you have a high-res laptop: sit at your laptop where you usually do - I'll bet you see no pixels, just lines. Hold your phone up between you and your laptop at your comfortable, normal, phone-viewing distance.

    Now - what is the percentage or fraction of your phone's _apparent_ display size with respect to the _apparent_ size of your laptop.

    Finally - take into account the resolution of the phone vs. the resolution of the final area that the phone _apparently_ occupies on the laptop.

    In my personal case, my 800x480@4.3" phone has same or better resolution than my 1440x900@15" laptop.

    I've yet to complain about pixelation on my laptop.

    And for a real eye-opener - do the same thing from your normal seating distance if you have a larger HDTV.


    I'm very intrigued by the extra brightness of the new LG NOVA display - I've no idea what that technology is - much higher brightness at much lower power consumption.

    I'm very intrigued by the new US$1 billion Mirasol fab being built in Taiwan right now - Mirasol is a kinda hybrid-transreflective display tech from QualComm.

    I'm very intrigued by the Pixel Qi hybrid LCD-transreflective display on the Notion Ink Adam Android tablet.

    My biggest problems with S/AMOLED or LCD isn't dots right now - it's color purity - and the ability to maintain full readability in the desert's direct outdoor sunlight, when I'm using my device as a phone.
  19. Shocky

    Shocky Android Expert

    I don
  20. rubiconjp

    rubiconjp Android Enthusiast

    Yep I brought 20/20 up only to say that these days I have good but not extraordinary vision. I used to have 20/13 vision coming out of college.

    At 477 PPI, the pixels are truly invisible to the human eyes, no matter the distance. At 326 PPI (Apple Retina), the pixels only become invisible at the distance of 1.5 ft. Closer than that and the pixels can be seen, and I can attest to that fact.
  21. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    Reset. I stupidly read your sentence backwards, rubinconjp, my bad.

    For myself, it's a lower number - I can no longer focus as closely as I could when I was younger.

    For the numbers tho - you're well above average.

    That's the only real argument for higher-res displays - to have single products that can please _nearly_ everybody.
  22. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    jroc likes this.
  23. kb58

    kb58 Well-Known Member

    ^this. The OP equates dots-per-inch to quality, but that's only part of the story. As was said, brightness, color accuracy, how's it work in sunlight, all these are at least as important.
  24. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    For media - CNET Quick Guide: HDTV Resolution Explained - CNET Reviews

    For a phone - I really hope we start to see transreflective (think: color e-ink) soon.

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