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 Smartphones 
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Post Re: Smartphones
Blueskies wrote:
This is why I would wait a couple months before switching to Android:

http://bgr.com/2013/12/04/samsung-galax ... ecs-rumor/

Interesting. One thing I keep wondering with the screens and increased resolution & pixel density is this: at what point can we no longer tell the difference? I think about it in terms of analogy to TV screens. Basically, with a tv screen less than 40 inches, it's pretty tough to see the difference between a 720 and 1080 resolution. If you look closely you can see it, but barely.

So on a 5 inch mobile phone screen, is it possible for the human eye to distinguish between 326 ppi vs 440 ppi vs. 560 ppi? I know that the max resolution the human eye can distinguish varies with distance, and from what I've read, it is the following at the indicated distances:

4 inches: 876 ppi
1 ft: 720 ppi
2.5 ft: 300 ppi

So if you consider that on average people probably hold their phones somewhere in the 1-2.5 ft. range from their eyes, that means the max phone screen pixel density that would be distinguishable by the human eye would be 720 ppi. So maybe that's the limit?

All I know is that from what I've seen, we're already at a point where higher resolution screens don't look THAT much better. Or at least, when holding a Galaxy S4, iPhone 5s, Nexus 5, HTC One, etc. in your hand, while there is a difference between the screens, it not as if any of them are bad screens. They all look great, especially if you don't have another phone right next to it to compare.

That's my take on it anyway. I could be way wrong though. Anyone have any knowledge/experience with this?

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December 5th, 2013, 2:48 pm
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Post Re: Smartphones
I'm not sure what the limit is. I think we can do better. It seems whenever a new resolution comes out, people act like you can't tell the difference. But after using a Chromebook Pixel for some time, 1080p monitors look like absolute garbage to me.

For phones, Apple Insider put the figure around 900ppi http://www.cultofmac.com/173702/why-ret ... h-feature/

The bigger question, though, is performance and battery life, and does that justify a marginally improved screen? The reason the Moto X performs as well as it does with dated hardware is that the screen is only 720p. Pushing more pixels requires more power and saps more juice.


December 10th, 2013, 12:58 pm
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Post Re: Smartphones
Blueskies wrote:
I'm not sure what the limit is. I think we can do better. It seems whenever a new resolution comes out, people act like you can't tell the difference. But after using a Chromebook Pixel for some time, 1080p monitors look like absolute garbage to me.

For phones, Apple Insider put the figure around 900ppi http://www.cultofmac.com/173702/why-ret ... h-feature/

The bigger question, though, is performance and battery life, and does that justify a marginally improved screen? The reason the Moto X performs as well as it does with dated hardware is that the screen is only 720p. Pushing more pixels requires more power and saps more juice.

In the end it just comes down to personal preference. To some people, higher screen resolution, or bigger screen, or more RAM, or (insert spec.) is the most important thing. For me, it just comes down to user experience. I hate when phones get laggy and slow, and a smooth, consistent user experience is my top priority. A larger screen isn't very important to me, and higher resolution only matters when comparing phones directly next to one another. In your hand, the iPhone screen looks great. So does the Nexus 5, the GS4, and so on. To me, at this point there are good options no matter which way you go. Android, iOS, and (to an extent) Windows Phone all offer a solid user experience, and you can find a great product on any of the platforms. For now, I'm happy with my iPhone 5 and I'll upgrade next year when I move back to the US.

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December 11th, 2013, 1:10 pm
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Post Re: Smartphones
When I was a kid, I thought our Sony Trinitron looked fantastic. I couldn't imagine better looking TV. Then HDTVs came out, and now, watching TV on my high-end Panasonic, I couldn't imagine going back to an old-style television. You could argue that if you're watching something like The Godfather, it doesn't matter what sort of TV you have. The general enjoyment you get out of enjoying the film is unchanged.

However, there are subtle experience changes that come with technical improvements that are not necessarily readily apparent. For instance, it's so much easier to watch hockey on an HDTV -- keeping track of the puck on a SDTV is very difficult.

I was also very much impressed when I saw the original iPhone, and then when I got the first Galaxy Epic. But now these devices are comiclly bad when compared to their modern counterparts. Same thing for cable Internet -- I was blown away by the jump from 56k to 1mpbs+, now an Internet connection that slow would make watching Netflix impossible.

The slight technical improvements from generation to generation might not seem important if you just compare them to the prior model, but taken together they, over time very much improve the user experience.


December 11th, 2013, 2:29 pm
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Post Re: Smartphones
Blueskies wrote:
When I was a kid, I thought our Sony Trinitron looked fantastic. I couldn't imagine better looking TV. Then HDTVs came out, and now, watching TV on my high-end Panasonic, I couldn't imagine going back to an old-style television. You could argue that if you're watching something like The Godfather, it doesn't matter what sort of TV you have. The general enjoyment you get out of enjoying the film is unchanged.

However, there are subtle experience changes that come with technical improvements that are not necessarily readily apparent. For instance, it's so much easier to watch hockey on an HDTV -- keeping track of the puck on a SDTV is very difficult.

I was also very much impressed when I saw the original iPhone, and then when I got the first Galaxy Epic. But now these devices are comiclly bad when compared to their modern counterparts. Same thing for cable Internet -- I was blown away by the jump from 56k to 1mpbs+, now an Internet connection that slow would make watching Netflix impossible.

The slight technical improvements from generation to generation might not seem important if you just compare them to the prior model, but taken together they, over time very much improve the user experience.

I agree completely that the difference between a tube tv and hd is vastly different. But what we're talking about with phone screens right now is more like the difference between a 720p 30 inch tv and a 1080p 40 inch tv. Can you see the difference between the two? Sure. But they're both HD (yes I know 720p isn't full HD, but as I said before under 40 inches it doesn't make much difference), and it's really only when you compare them directly next to each other do you notice the difference. The examples you're using are all extreme (original iPhone vs. current counterparts, etc.). It's not an apt comparison.

Also, I agree about the incremental improvements improving the user experience over time, and I'm not suggesting that improving the screen resolutions shouldn't happen. Rather, I'm saying that in my opinion, the user experience between a phone with 300ppi isn't functionally different than one that is 500 ppi. Can you do something on one that you can't on the other? I would argue that the resolutions are so good now that we've reached a point of diminishing returns. But again, that's probably because my main point is not the screen; it's the speed and usability of the phone.

I could be wrong about this though. Maybe there is something about a higher resolution screen that adds functionality or significantly enhances the user experience. I'd like to hear what you feel is offered by the better screens. How does a higher resolution screen enhance your experience using the phone?

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“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” - Neil deGrasse Tyson


December 11th, 2013, 2:49 pm
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