Samsung Galaxy S III specs review
While we were writing this, Samsung USA's Philip Berre confirmed that the company went PenTile instead of RGB because it uses twice less blue subpixels, as you can see in the picture on the right, and those degrade orders of magnitude faster than greens or reds. Apparently, research showed that customers are keeping phones like the Galaxy S III for more, so it wanted the screen to be as good as new much longer. He also mentioned that the PenTile matrix used for the Galaxy S III is a new one, with shrunk subpixel distance compared to the Galaxy Nexus screen, thus increased definition.
Speaking of the front, we can’t help but wonder why our dreams for an HD AMOLED display with traditional RGB matrix made with the Laser Induced Thermal Imaging (LITI) method, didn’t materialize with the Galaxy S III. After all, we saw the reports and research from reputable OLED industry organizations and analysts that Samsung has cracked the code for high pixel density AMOLEDs that use stripe, instead of PenTile matrices.
Yet we don’t know if the sole A2 Phase 3 line in the 5.5-Gen AMOLED plant of Samsung would have been able to churn out the millions of screens needed for the Galaxy S III this year. The alleged plan was for it to produce trial runs since Q3 last year, and start mass production with 32 thousand sheets capacity in Q2 this year, which is halfway through.
And let’s not forget that Samsung shattereed a football field worth of display glass until it figured out how to produce the high-definition Super AMOLED displays of the Nexus and the Note, so it’s not because Samsung is cheap. On the contrary, the LITI production method is way cheaper than the Fine Metal Mask (FMM) that Samsung is using for the 4.8” HD Super AMOLED screen on the Galaxy S III, but the scale of the technology might just not be there yet.
Oh, well, later on, we hope. In the meantime we won’t try to dissuade screen purists that the PenTile display on the Galaxy S III won’t look grainy compared to an RGB matrix one when put under a microscope, or solid colors examined from a very close distance. We have laid out our opinion that PenTile is just different than what we are accustomed to, and that’s all there is at this HD resolution, and from a normal viewing distance. You’d have to be really looking for PenTile up close to find PenTile, and 99% of people who will buy the phone, won’t be able to spot anything but a vivid display with infinite contrast and excellent viewing angles.
Moreover, the Samsung Galaxy S III seemingly has a new antireflective coating or layer applied, as it has shown excellent result in sunlight visibility tests, despite not being brighter than the Galaxy S II, for example, with about 330 nits brightness.
The S II has only about 6% reflectance, while recently the Nokia Lumia 900 was measured to sport the astonishing 4.4% with its ClearBlack AMOLED display, so we can only imagine that the Galaxy S III might show a similar extremely low reflectance ratio when measured professionally, which is important if you are going to use it in high ambient lighting, and at the same time is a passive way to improve on sunlight visibility without draining battery with higher brightness.
In fact, we just got an update that the new Samsung Omnia M features a 4" Super AMOLED with "reduced glare [that] lets you view messaging, multimedia and Web content in brilliant color and clarity—even in daylight conditions—while saving significant battery life", so that's what the Galaxy S III most likely also has on its screen.
Moreover, Samsung has now provided not three, but four screen modes, something exclusive for its handsets - the Dynamic, Movie and Standard ones we are used to from the Galaxy S II, as well as the new Normal mode, which addresses the complaints of screen purists that the standard AMOLED colors exceed the color gamut by a large margin, making them too “gaudy” for a calibration specialist, let’s say.
For us regular folks, the AMOLED feels like a candy store, but it’s great that a more toned down and calibrated mode is offered for people who are annoyed by oversaturated colors. We’d have to examine the new mode closer, though, before we deduce that’s what it is, but these color modes are something offered only on the Galaxy S III.
Whether this new Natural mode means that Samsung has experimented with different LED materials, like adding phosphorescent green, will probably become clear once the screen is really dissected by professionals. Red phosphorescent dye has been used in mobile phone screens since 2003, but green just started commercialization last year, and blue phosphorescence with the needed efficiency is such a recent phenomenon, that Samsung hasn’t probably been able to apply it yet.
The main advantage of phosphorescent dyes is their efficiency, which at normal brightness will mean power consumption of OLEDs comparable to LCD screens when displaying white, something that LCDs had an edge in. We’ll test this performance with the Galaxy S III and let you know.