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Samsung GALAXY Nexus to have PenTile panel

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Samsung GALAXY Nexus to have PenTile panel
For those of you who have been daydreaming about holding the Samsung GALAXY Nexus in the palm of your hand, there might be one little deal breaker that is being made known. Instead of each pixel on the display having its own red, green and blue pixel like you see on a Super AMOLED Plus screen, the Super AMOLED display on the GALAXY Nexus will feature an RGBG PenTile screen. This has been the case with every Nexus device launched.

Even though PenTile displays have had a bad reputation due to lower sub-pixel density, color resolution and sharpness, the good news according to AnandTech is that if you liked the pixel density on the Samsung Galaxy S II, you will probably be happy with the display on the Samsung GALAXY Nexus. On the other hand, because the handset isn't being made available yet, FlatPanelsHD is using the Samsung GALAXY Note as a stand-in for comparison reasons since its display will basically offer similar displays. In its report, FlatPanelsHD says that if you look straight into the screen, there should be no problems, Turn you phone to either side however, and the display gets washed out in a sea of blue and greens.

Turning the display on the Samsung GALAXY Nexus to either side will wash out the display in a sea of blues and greens, similar to what you see here with the Samsung GALAXY Note

Turning the display on the Samsung GALAXY Nexus to either side will wash out the display in a sea of blues and greens, similar to what you see here with the Samsung GALAXY Note



According to the report from FlatPanelsHD, the Samsung GALAXY Nexus has a PPI of about 200 and they calculate that a PenTile panel would require a PPI of 420 to qualify as a Retina Display. They say that the display on the phone is not anywhere near as awesome as everyone expected. Is this a deal breaker for anyone?

The Apple iPhone 4S leads the way in pixels per inch and in sub-pixels per inch
The Apple iPhone 4S leads the way in pixels per inch and in sub-pixels per inch

The Apple iPhone 4S leads the way in pixels per inch and in sub-pixels per inch



source: FlatPanelsHD, AnandTech via AndroidandMe

Note the blue tint on the right side of the Super AMOLED display; look how clear Super AMOLED Plus is on the right compared to Super AMOLED
Note the blue tint on the right side of the Super AMOLED display; look how clear Super AMOLED Plus is on the right compared to Super AMOLED

Note the blue tint on the right side of the Super AMOLED display; look how clear Super AMOLED Plus is on the right compared to Super AMOLED


79 Comments
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posted on 21 Oct 2011, 08:54 2

1. mclifford81 (Posts: 68; Member since: 26 Jan 2010)


Yes it is a deal breaker, granted ICS will be nice to have but the display on the SGSII I think is nicer and also the display on the new Moto Razr granted its a lower resolution will probably be more crisp as long as its not another pen tile. If it is then blah I'll stick with the SGSII.. The camera however seems interesting on the Nexus so I am going to have to wait and see..

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:22 5

6. terabyteRouser (Posts: 433; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


The RAZR is not PenTile, it's full RGB.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:29 3

11. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Where are you getting that information from? As far as I know, qHD isn't possible yet on a 4.3" Super AMOLED+ panel.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:39 4

15. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


the razr doesnt use super amo+ it use a reglar super amo qHD screen

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:41

17. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


The presentation called it "Super AMOLED Advanced". I think "Advanced" just means qHD, whereas Super AMOLED is WVGA.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:44 1

20. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


more than likely your correct

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:02

28. remixfa (Posts: 13925; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


as far as i know samsung has not liscenced out the RGB screen that it uses on the galaxy2. it tends to save the best for in house stuff.

As far as pentile goes, its not that big of a deal. My pentile display on my vibrant is much lower PPI than that and i barely ever notice.

On a screen that size, your not going to have much need of sticking your nose on the screen to see things.. at which point you would notice the pentile. At normal ranges u cant tell the difference.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 23:40 1

71. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


eh i have to disagree... after coming from an iphone 4 to a pentile screen i was very dissapointed... and yes, when i was reading things on the browser and especially looking at at anything with a straight line, it was quite noticeable...

personally, i would not buy the nexus or any verizon phone at the moment because someone will have a better one in a little while, and the nexus just doesnt have the android specs to do it...

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:56 1

46. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Samsung have only been giving away there super amoled and no amoled+ which they only keep for themselves...razr screen is pentile but no one has yet complained...with smiled pentile is not as bad as on regular LCD pentile displays.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:01 1

49. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Aww pentile made you smile! See, it's not so bad.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 12:26 1

62. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


lol stupid auto correction

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 18:11 1

68. cheetah2k (Posts: 836; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


It just means we're better off waiting for the SGS III

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 08:59 12

2. mozes316 (Posts: 142; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)


Good thing I don't look at my phones from the side...

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:06 4

4. Alantef (Posts: 286; Member since: 14 Sep 2011)


and boom goes the dynamite

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:23 2

7. terabyteRouser (Posts: 433; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Above, one of the best rap albums ever made.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:22

57. tedkord (Posts: 4922; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


That's sorta like being one of the best Yugos ever rolled off the assembly line...

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 13:18 1

65. mozes316 (Posts: 142; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)


Indeed, a solid classic.

posted on 22 Oct 2011, 02:10 1

72. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


It's just PA blowing things out of proportions again. If this site didn't have cellphone news, I would've stopped coming a long time ago.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 08:59 3

3. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


Crapsung suxx. Would've been better if it's HTC made.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:34 2

13. Synack (Posts: 666; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


LOL you're funny. It's not Samsung's fault. Nexus phones have always used Pentile. Don't forget the first Nexus was a pentile with HTC.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:49

24. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


And HTC buys their S-LCD panels from Sony. Like Apple, HTC doesn't make their own parts, they just assemble them into an attractive package with nice software.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:53

26. Synack (Posts: 666; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


Yeah I was just stating that the first Nexus had a pentile display and HTC was the brand.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:59

27. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Should have been a reply to arcq12's post. Just saying we should give credit where credit's due. HTC doesn't make their displays, and I think they would have kept using Samsung's screens if they hadn't been burned by the AMOLED shortage during the Incredible launch.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:52

44. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


I know HTC dont make their own parts such as the displays but can't they get a license of some sort from samsung to use super amoled just like what moto did for the RAZR?

HTC could've made the nexus better than what it is right now..

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:05

51. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Moto isn't licensing Samsung's SAMOLED tech, they're buying screens from Samsung's display arm. Not a bad move if you ask me. I don't think HTC will use Samsung displays since they got screwed by display shortages on the Incredible. Besides, the S-LCD displays they've been getting from Sony are better in some areas than SAMOLED.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 20:20

70. choybrwn22 (Posts: 10; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


s-lcd is a joint venture between samsung and sony case u didnt kno

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:50

42. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


so what you're saying is if the nexus has been using pentile it will not be subjective for a change?

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:51 1

25. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


This thing is completely overrated, the camera is only 5MP, the CPU is one of the weakest dual-cores and the display isn't super-high-res, couple that with the $399 on-contract then The only good thing about this is ICS.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:04 1

29. remixfa (Posts: 13925; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


megapixel means absolutely nothing.

OMAP is the 2nd strongest dual core to only the Exynos

what other phone has a higher rez than 720p? oh.. none does.

no one has announced pricing yet, and no phone has ever been 400 in the US on contract.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:14

34. Firedrops (Posts: 215; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)


He has a bit of a point there about the CPU.
It's rather shocking to find out that Samsung did not go with the 1.5GHz dual-core which it has used on some of the SGSII variants with certain carriers.
If they did, they would've beaten out Moto's Razr hands down.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:58

47. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


theres this what we call competition, samsung won't use all of its luxuries on a nexus coz they are saving it for their own product.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:09 1

52. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


That doesn't make much sense. Samsung's name is on the Galaxy Nexus, so it would only be competing with itself. Google chose the OMAP 4460 for the Nexus, not Samsung.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:40

60. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


you're true that it has samsung on it but not all the profits goes to samsung. everyone competes to be the best. if google knows that the exynos is the best around they will get it. there is a reason they didnt use the exynos.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:25 1

58. remixfa (Posts: 13925; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


GHZ MEANS NOTHING.. lol

the 1.2ghz OMAP is stronger than the 1.5ghz snapdragon found in the SGS2 on Tmobile.

The snapdragon is the weakest dual core availible.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:31

59. Snapdude (Posts: 128; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)


order of relative cpu processing power ... snapdragon > tegra > omap > exynos (the big 4, there are a bunch of misc cpu's like marvell that dont need to be mentioned) in some cases omap outperforms exynos in certain areas

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:21

35. chuckyoo (Posts: 34; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Galaxy note has higher resolution than the galaxy nexus according to the display. I don't know if has anything to do with the screen size.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:26

37. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Higher resolution in that it's 1280x800 compared to the Nexus' 1280x720. But since the screen is significantly larger, the pixel density is lower:

1280x800=>1509/5.3 = 285 ppi
1280x720=>1469/4.65 = 316 ppi

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 15:10

67. Jasonhunterx (Posts: 110; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


Yea an Galaxy Note screen looks amazing Nexus i gonna be best android phone ever made

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:11

32. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Leaked Verizon MAP shows the Nexus will launch at $299 just like their other high-end LTEs.

http://www.droid-life.com/2011/10/14/new-verizon-map-released-both-galaxy-nexus-and-htc-rezound-appear-at-299/

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:22 1

5. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


sadness :O

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:24 2

8. Anti-Fanboy (Posts: 38; Member since: 28 Sep 2011)


ive never really understood why viewing angles matter. Im not going to be browsing a website like that or anything

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:27

9. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)


This makes me wonder if the RAZR screen is any better since it's also a S-AMOLED screen

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:42

19. Synack (Posts: 666; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


It's not, read roldefol's post below. Also the RAZR's screen is not SAMOLED HD in 720p. It is a very good screen, just not the best. Probably the same one on a Droid Charge.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:26

38. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


it isnt the droid charge used a super amo wvga screen while the droid razr uses a super amo qHD screen

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:44 1

39. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


qHD Super AMOLED will look better than the Galaxy S, but not nearly as good as the Nexus. The perceived resolution (accounting for PenTile) will be similar to the Charge even though the listed resolution is higher.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:48

41. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


i havent seen or used the charge so ill prob test the 2 at a verizon store :p

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:59 1

48. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Hopefully the Rezound will be out and we can compare side by side by side.

Expecting screens to be Rezound > Nexus >> Razr.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:28 2

10. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


There's a lot of misinformation going around about AMOLED PenTile. A pixel is a pixel, whether it has 3 subpixels (RGB) or 2 (RG and BG). When the pixel density is high enough, the eye doesn't discern subpixels. It's only when the pixel density drops to around 250 ppi that the subpixel arrangement becomes noticeable. (The Galaxy S screens are 233 ppi, and the Razr will be 256 ppi.) No, a PenTile display will never be as crisp as an RGB display at the same resolution, but there's a point where the difference becomes negligible. The pixel density of the Nexus will be 316 ppi, which should be above that threshold.

I speak from experience, being a Samsung Rogue owner. That phone has a 3.1" AMOLED display at 800x480 (301 ppi), and to my eyes it's comparable to the 3.7" RGB LCDs on the Droid and Droid Incredible. I practically need a magnifying glass to see the PenTile arrangement. It looks much much finer than the 3.2" 480x320 LCD display on the LG Optimus line, even though the subpixel density is similar.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:33

12. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


thank God :D thank you for reincarnating my hopes of the magical HD screen with great quality

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:42 1

18. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Disagree, but then again, we all have different eyes...some can see 20/15. So your "ppi threshold" is going to be different than mine.

After owning an iPhone 4 (330 ppi) for six months, I saw the Atrix 4G screen for the first time, and I could tell the Atrix 4G's browser text was less clear. Its pixel density is 275 ppi. I believe the Atrix 4G is the closest density to the Retina (for smart phones).

Once again, we all have different eyes, but I could tell a difference...so the perceived ppi of 258 for the Nexus will definitely be noticeable. Noticeable enough to write it off? Probably not...that screen is huge!

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:08 1

30. remixfa (Posts: 13925; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


lol, the atrix is nowhere near the top of the pixel density heap. its a pentile qhd screen that is notoriously bad.

the highest pixel densities belong to LG and the Nova display. Its not a coincidence that LG also makes the "retina" display for apple. Thats not apple tech, thats LG tech.

I have good eyesite and unless im close to the screen or trying to read small red print, i cant really tell the difference on my SGS1. Concidering how much higher the pixel density and resolution is on the Nexus, something tells me this is more of a over reaction than a problem.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:13

33. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Holy bananas Batman. Just looked it up to confirm. Very good call remixfa, I had no idea the Atrix 4G and Droid 3 were pentile arrangements! No wonder my eyes were not fooled from their marketed resolution. Thanks for pointing that out!

+1 for you

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:47 1

22. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Also note that I'm only talking about PenTile RGBG. The PenTile RGBW arrangement on the Droid X2, Droid 3, Atrix and Bionic is to my eyes more noticeable even at a respectable 250-275 ppi. The subpixels are all the same size, whereas AMOLED displays combine wide red/blue subpixels with narrow green subpixels. That tricks the brain into seeing smaller pixels.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:34

14. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Not necessarily a deal-breaker, it's just tech marketing at its finest. Everyone will rave that they have a "720p HD" display, but that is just the MARKETED resolution. The PERCEIVED resolution is somewhere on the order of 1280x480 (1/3rd less than marketed). And the perceived ppi drops from 316 to 258. Still good, but not what's marketed.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:09

31. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Not sure why the thumbs down, these are facts here people.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:23

36. roldefol (Posts: 2971; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


That's pretty close to my calculation. Perceived pixel density of a PenTile screen is in between the stated and subpixel-based (defining 1 pixel as three RGB pixels) figures:

For the Nexus:

Stated: 1280x720 =(Pythagorian theorem)= 1469 diagonal / 4.65 = 316 ppi
Subpixel-based: 1469*(2/3) / 4.65 = 211 ppi
Perceived: (316 + 211)/2 = 264 ppi

...which is comparable to the OG Droid.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:41

16. jimmybond (Posts: 5; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


The reason I like PA so much is because they act as a hub for news stories. Instead of going to multiple websites like Endgadget, Androidcentral, Androidcommunity, Androidpolice, Droid-life, etc. I just come here because I know PA rips-off other "featured stories" and re-writes them as their own. Also, with all due respect (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af-Id_fuXFA), adding source at the end does not make it acceptable journalism, even if this is just a blog of sorts.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:44

21. IEatApples (Posts: 66; Member since: 06 Jul 2011)


Samsung gs2 ftw!!!!!!!

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:47 1

23. McLTE (Posts: 711; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


On the Bionic, I could fairly easily see the pixels.. though I wonder had I not knows about the pentile issues if I really would have noticed. Being a geek is not always good! :P

I am hopeful that the 1280 resolution of the PRIME will make it hard to see the pixels, at least without really looking for them. If that's the case.. then it's good enough for this round of upgrades!

I think it WILL look better than if the phone had been 840x480 RGB.

One of the biggest selling points for me is that it will be a pure Google phone, and comes with ICS. The form factor looks pretty sexy too!!

While I'm a little disappointed that it's Pentile.. it's not a deal breaker for me.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:44 1

40. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Jesus, Alan, for this article you might as well have written "DON'T BUY THE GALAXY NEXUS! WE DON'T WANT YOU TO BUY IT!!!"

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