When typically looking at pictures on a cell phone, whether taken with the phone or downloaded from your home computer, the resolution often leaves much to be desired.
Technically, it’s because of the number of pixels that manufacturers squeezed into the small phone screens. When compared to the iPhone 3G, which has a display screen of 163 pixels per inch, with a resolution of 480 by 320, iPhone 4 has come a long way.
Everything Looks Amazingly Sharper
With iPhone 4, Apple presented its Retina Display, which is basically an LCD that offers a super high pixel density. They accomplished this by squeezing a 960 by 640 resolution into 3.5 inch screen resulting in 326 pixels per inch.
Result? There won’t be any jagged edges and with the high definition camera capabilities, the images will be displayed in the best display possible.
However, it is not only pictures and movies that will benefit from Apple’s new screen technology, as everything that is viewed on the screen, such as web sites and documents, will appear crisp and clean, leaving little to the imagination.
In comparison, when CRT computer screens were first developed they had a dot pitch of somewhere between .41 mm and .51 mm (It is the distance in millimeters between two same color phosphorous dots measured diagonally).
In theory, the smaller the dot pitch the better the quality of the image on the screen. Higher quality monitors were developed to have a dot pitch of .28 millimeter, providing what was then an exceptionally sharp image on the screen.
With the use of LCD displays the images became much clearer, especially on larger monitors, but the screens in cell phones remained small with such a small area into which the resolution pixels can be jammed together. Another issue with many of the older cell phone LCD screens is the visibility of the screen image when held at a slight angle.
Retina Display Solves It All
Apple is pointing to its new Retina viewing technology as having solved many of the issues associated with iPhone video viewing. The iPhone 4 offers a contrast ratio of nearly four times that of previous iPhone models and the back lit LCD screen provides better viewing when the phone is held at an angle from the viewer, much like the image on most LCD televisions with larger screens.
It also enhances color display and makes better use of the high definition camera recording capabilities.
Putting it simply, Apple packed more pixels into a really small viewing screen resulting in clearer images and colors that virtually seem to pop off the screen, but in the end it is still a screen.
Consider the Apple iPad that has a larger screen and can hold many more pixels than a 3-1/3-inch screen. The iPhone 4 packs about 80 percent of the pixels that fit into an iPad into the much smaller screen.
This makes the iPhone 4’s screen one of the tightest packed displays on the market. Although previous manufacturers had an 800 X 480 resolution, sub-pixel arrangements presented so many issues that it never really advanced.
The new Retina Display introduced by Apple with the iPhone 4 launch is considered to be the sharpest and brightest displays on a small screen.