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Apple iPhone 5s and 5c touchscreen test shows surprising inaccuracies, Samsung Galaxy S III way more accurate

Apple iPhone 5s and 5c touchscreen test shows surprising inaccuracies, Samsung Galaxy S III way more accurate
The Apple iPhone is the phone that brought high-accuracy capacitive touch screens to the mass market, but since then everyone has jumped on the bandwagon, and latest tests show that Apple devices like the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c actually have less accurate touchscreens that competitors like say the year-old Samsung Galaxy S III.

A new study by OptoFidelity for the first put smartphone touchscreens to a test by a robotic hand that touched the display at specific points and then compared what the phone actually registered. Interestingly, iPhones were most accurate in the bottom part of the screen - exactly where the keyboard is located, while in other parts of the display and even around the edges of the keyboard they do not register touch accurately at all.

In stark contrast, the accuracy of touchscreens like the one on the 2012 Samsung flagship, the Galasy S III, proved great all across the screen - top, bottom and center, and not just at the part where the keyboard is located.

Green areas show accurate touch registration, red once show deviations.

Green areas show accurate touch registration, red once show deviations.


The revealing findings are backed up by charts and seem more than reliable - after all it’s a robotic hand that OptoFidelity used and not a shaky human hand.

The moral of the story is simple. Be more careful when you type on the iPhone keyboard, especially around the edges where the Q, O and P buttons are located. Don’t be too surprised if most of the typing mistakes you make occur there! The digression might look tiny - it’s just around 1mm - but let’s not forget that those buttons are not all that large either.

Here are the areas around the edge of the iPhone keyboard that have inaccurate touch response.

Here are the areas around the edge of the iPhone keyboard that have inaccurate touch response.


Right below is a video demonstration of the equipment used to test the screen accuracy. Have you ever noticed you have trouble hitting those buttons right?



source: OptoFidelity via GSM Arena

79 Comments
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posted on 25 Oct 2013, 09:37 6

1. NexusPhan (Posts: 486; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


This goes right back to the screen "response time" article. If the effect is not noticeable to the user, it doesn't matter at all. Clearly it isn't noticeable. I've never heard of reviews or users saying the touch screen is inaccurate on any top tier phone.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 09:39 19

3. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


iPhone 5 suffers from this issue...

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 09:41 8

4. NexusPhan (Posts: 486; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Really? That kinda changes my whole comment/thought process. I admit I don't use an iPhone but, this is the first I've ever heard of it.

I also think you're a slight troll and take anything you say with a mountain of salt, so, there is that too.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 09:52 16

9. DefinitiveKid (Posts: 128; Member since: 15 May 2013)


lol I don't know about PapaSmurf, but I can confirm that the iPhone 5 and even 5S suffer from this issue. I've had both and still like Apple products overall, but I've been bothered by this quite a few times. I've always thought I was hitting wrong and therefore the issue came from me, but I haven't encountered this problem on Android or WP devices.

It's strange because on the other hand, I've always praised Apple for their touchscreen technology, being somewhat more responsive than others, but this one is pretty annoying...

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 09:57 4

11. NexusPhan (Posts: 486; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Damn. I'm seriously shocked. Apple, this is like touchscreen 101. Where you click needs to be exactly right. Fix it.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:04

14. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Still think I'm a troll? ;)

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:10 3

18. NexusPhan (Posts: 486; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Yes. Times 1000.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:14

20. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


:(

5char.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:17

22. NexusPhan (Posts: 486; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Trolling tendencies!!! Haha. At least you don't go on fanboy rampages and you always stick to the subject. I'll give you plenty of credit for bringing relevant info to the table, and for that, I thank you.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 11:03

36. donfem (Posts: 550; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


apologize to papasmurf then?

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:05 7

15. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


iPhone 5 has problems registering touches. Surely I wasn'tthe only one that experienced this issue.

+1 to you sir.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 12:04

43. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5838; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Two friends I know who own an iP5 also have problems with touch accuracy around the edges of the screen. The accuracy seems to degrade over time as more apps get opened. They are both running iOS 6.1.4. When the accuracy degrade gets too objectionable, powering down the phone (press and hold the top right side button until the red slider appears) seems to reset the accuracy once the phone is powered back up.

I wonder if powering down and back up would help accuracy in iOS 7?

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 17:10

60. JC557 (Posts: 1123; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


I can vouch for this as well experiencing this first hand using my brother's iPhone 5s and comparing it to my LG Spectrum 2, Droid RAZR M, HTC Rezound and Incredible.

What got me into comparing it was some missteps while using his iPhone. At first I thought it was due to a smudgy screen. Then I went looking for a calibrator. I'm not sure if it's due to iOS7 or just the display tech in general. It's nothing drastic but kinda noticeable. My brother on the other hand had the iPhone freeze or become unresponsive when dialing a number.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 18:31 2

64. joey_sfb (Posts: 2970; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


"Yes! You are hitting it wrong!...". voices from the far beyond.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:03 5

12. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


How am I a troll? Is it because I said something you don't agree with? Against most users on the site, I'm one of the few who are unbiased and tell it like it is. Real world scenarios are my proof. You have the right not to believe it, that's fine, but hey I'm throwing my experiences out there.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:13

19. NexusPhan (Posts: 486; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


I believe you now (but you do have trolling tendencies). I've never heard of it and never experienced it myself. Real world problems usually show up on the internet in the form of reviews and complaints, and more often with Apple too. I've just never seen a single one until today. I have no problem being proven wrong and learning something new. I'm not as obnoxiously stubborn as you :)

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:16 5

21. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Everyone trolls from time to time. It makes everything a little more interesting don't you think? I wouldn't say stubborn, just a person who loves to have discussions and debates. :)

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:17

23. NexusPhan (Posts: 486; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


I guess I can't talk seeing all of my responses today. +1

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:25 2

27. DefinitiveKid (Posts: 128; Member since: 15 May 2013)


I understand where you're coming from, it's the type of issue that, as an iPhone user, you don't expect, to the point where, when it occur, you think you missed your spot, try a couple more times before succeeding, and kinda forget about it right after... until it happens again.

The fact that I never read about it anywhere also led me to think that I was placing my finger at the wrong place. That's why I'm kinda glad to see this article, it answers some of the doubts I had...

Still, iPhones are great devices which I would easily recommend, but they have to fix this...

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:32 1

28. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


This x100.

I'll admit, my S3 isn't perfect either, as I've encountered this problem probably three times in the past year.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 15:34

54. rightcue805 (Posts: 55; Member since: 08 Jul 2013)


i loved my att sIII but that keyboard sucked. I had more issues with the key board on it then i did with my iphone 4s.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 17:17

62. JC557 (Posts: 1123; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


For my RAZR M I ended up going to Hacker's Keyboard and Google Keyboard because of slightly better action and customizations. Luckily my Spectrum 2 and Rezound do really well with their stock keyboards.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 17:15

61. JC557 (Posts: 1123; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


No phone is really perfect with their touchscreens. Hopefully it's a software fix and not a hardware fault.

Sometimes it gets compounded when you add a screen protector.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 11:25

39. jaymulli (Posts: 20; Member since: 09 Apr 2013)


When i had my iPhone 5 i went from an android phone and was typing on the keyboard and was just missing the letters on the edges i thought my handset was faulty but obviously not, you get used to it and it never became a problem again but the problem is there its a bit strange. Going to my Z1 now i am having trouble typing because im used to tapping the keys off centre like i did on my iPhone.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 12:21 1

45. SAYED-EJAZ (Posts: 224; Member since: 10 Oct 2013)


I dont know much about smurf, but what I understood about him was,
He is never a troll..but he loves samsung still if he see anything mistakes he used to agree so basically he is not a fanboi also..
It Is pretty sad you felt he is a troll.
And smurf if am wrong appologise me .

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 13:34

50. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I'm not saying I never troll, as everyone does once in awhile. I do love Samsung, and have since 2002 so that's not going to change. I'll call something out regardless of said OEM or person. I'm one of the few users on this site that isn't biased and is open to anything.

You did good. +1 for you. ;)

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 16:24

58. sgtdisturbed47 (Posts: 169; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


I haven't had any accuracy issues on my ip5, and have never heard any ip5 user complain about touch accuracy. This is news to me, and I work with smartphones all day (both as sales and as a repairman).

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:38 5

31. akki20892 (Posts: 3536; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Still touch phones can't beat keypad phones. Keypad phones are very accurate and responsive.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:43 2

33. NexusPhan (Posts: 486; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


I'm actually faster with swipe now. Almost as fast on swipe as I am on a full sized keyboard. I was one of those screaming for a slide out keyboard phone too. But, I was wrong. I'm a believer now.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:54 3

35. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I type two or three times faster on a touch screen device than I do with a phone with a physical keyboard (LG enV Touch - best keyboard I've ever used on a phone). An added bonus is auto correct. I type really really fast on my phone, and it saves me so much time and is accurate about 95% of the time. Gesture typing on Google Keyboard and Swift Key is perfect.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 15:20 1

52. Stuntman (Posts: 723; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


Keypad phones have the advantage of the user being able to feel which key he is about to press before he presses it. Fingers and thumbs cover up the keys, and make it difficult to determine if you are about to press the right key or not without tactile feedback. Touch screen keyboards offer no tactile feedback before registering the keypress.

posted on 26 Oct 2013, 02:11

70. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Who needs q o or p when your on an iPhone 5, s or c?

Even my $40 kyocera event can tell where I touch it. What a shame that apples $500+ phones cannot include the same technology. The $0.12 part cost must've been too harmful to apples $350 profit per phone.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 09:38 2

2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


This is 100% true. My cousin had a hard time opening a link from Gmail a few days ago.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 13:02

48. Finalflash (Posts: 1797; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Well F this, how am I supposed to play mobile QWOP now.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 16:13 2

55. Shatter (Posts: 2030; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Buy an android phone.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 09:41 6

5. aditya.k (Posts: 462; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


Fast response but inaccurate! LOL!

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 16:18

56. Shatter (Posts: 2030; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Same type of scenario happens on displays. One display might be 1080p 120hz and be extremely fast 1ms response time. Or you can have a 60hz 4k OLED display with 5ms response time (you can't tell the difference between 5ms and 1ms, 120hz vs 60hz is noticeable in fast paced games.) but the 60hz 4k OLED will look much better.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 09:43

6. rantao333 (Posts: 254; Member since: 21 May 2013)


so how did that explain iPhone in real world usage has a way more accurate and responsive experience?

just doesnt made sense?

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:23 17

26. Doakie (Posts: 1261; Member since: 06 May 2009)


Maybe it just proves that what people want to believe is what they convince themselves of. Like the perception that the iPhone is superior to Android... If you tell yourself that your BMW is better than all other cars every single day, eventually you'll start looking past any issues it has and you'll start to knock other cars even though they're better in some aspects. It's a natural human problem. We try to reinforce our decisions in purchases by building it up in our head and getting fired up about it.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:33 7

29. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


That was deep.

+1

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:38 2

32. NexusPhan (Posts: 486; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Holy crap. I just realized why I was so inaccurate when trying to use my girlfriends iPhone. I always assumed it was my large fingers and that tiny screen. Even after reading this article it didn't cross my mind. Doakie, you're spot on.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 16:42 1

59. _PHug_ (Posts: 380; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


I was going to post something similar to this but I was going to be far more insulting to Apple fans.

Good job

posted on 26 Oct 2013, 00:04 1

69. roscuthiii (Posts: 1828; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


Have to agree completely. As a previous BMW owner, I thought it (and by extension of Doakie's deep thought, myself) was pretty hot shi- err, stuff at the time.
It was in the shop with problems more time than it was on the road.
Never again will I buy into marketing fluff.
In retrospect, I had an old P.O.S. Reliant K car that was more dependable than the "ultimate driving machine".

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 09:45

7. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6559; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


And the point for this test because??

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:04 25

13. DaHarder (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Oct 2009)


Likely Because... The 'TOUCH SCREEN' is the primary method of interaction/input with smartphones, therefore the accuracy of said 'TOUCH SCREEN' is important.

One can't help but wonder if your position was as dismissive when it was claimed that the iPhone had the fastest touch response time... Hmmm?

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:06 2

17. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


+1 to you.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:06

16. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I'm surprised you aren't bashing Apple. That's a first.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 09:49 5

8. DefinitiveKid (Posts: 128; Member since: 15 May 2013)


Yes, that would explain a lot of typos I did when I had iPhones, and areas where I had to touch the screen several times before managing to actually press whatever I was trying to press, mostly on the upper corners... At first I thought that was me, then it occurred on other iPhones, and now this article. I knew it ! :)

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 11:23

38. stealthd (Posts: 968; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


The test showed it was just fine on the keyboard. I get the feeling you've never actually owned an iPhone. . .

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 11:29

40. jaymulli (Posts: 20; Member since: 09 Apr 2013)


He is right, i had an iPhone 5 and you have to press the edge of the letters that are on the edge of the screen, its not a major issue as you get used to it and it doesnt become an issue again as you learn to press those letters differently but the problem is there.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 09:53

10. suneeboy (Posts: 164; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


I've noticed that some areas of the screen aren't as responsive on my iPhone 5S vs my Nexus 4. There are times were I have to press an area of the screen more than once. I think its also impacted by my tempered glass screen protector and the smaller screen. Still a great phone though.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:21

24. hulkkii (Posts: 5; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)


Maybe iPhone is optimized for right hand thumb usage. Area where thumb can touch easily = green, and on other areas it shifts touch point towards sides where user wanted to touch =red. Does iPhone autocalibrate touch points according to user?

or maybe iphone touch screen just is inaccurate..

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:35

30. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8539; Member since: 14 May 2012)


You can touch anywhere on the screen with a thumb with an iPhone, which is why they kept it at the same width with the iPhone 5 and 5S. Either it's a hardware problem or Apple can push an update to calibrate the screen sensitivity.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:23

25. iluvsonynokia (Posts: 130; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)


that means my 2yr old Xperia mini is better than IP in this case

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 10:52

34. sga07 (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Oct 2013)


Haha ... the green splotches on the iPhone tests look like, well, apples.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 11:15

37. livyatan (Posts: 696; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)


Remember that horrid amateurish screen comparison you did, PA??
Where you left out the whole CONTAST category, proclaiming iPhone still the king of screen quality??

How's 741:1 figure sounds?
Have a nice read:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Apple-iPhone-5S-Smartphone.104463.0.html

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 16:21

57. Shatter (Posts: 2030; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Its also only better than the snap 800 in single threading. It loses in multithreading, most apps that need more power support 2 or 4 cores. It also helps even in single threading because android can run on one thread and the app on another with 2 more to spare.

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 11:30

41. Penywyz (banned) (Posts: 255; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)


Isn't this completely contradictory of an article PhoneArena posted like a week or two ago?

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 11:32 7

42. anonimust (Posts: 19; Member since: 12 Jan 2012)


Cue Apple response..." You're touching it wrong."

posted on 25 Oct 2013, 12:12 1

44. Sondae (Posts: 190; Member since: 02 Jan 2013)


Apple iphone 5c green areas accurate touch registration looks like a cut out droid lol.

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