Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
23rd Dec 2014
It's time of the year, when I list out best products in different segments. Undoubtedly, mobile phones remained the most popular gadgets this year. Since this is the first article in the series, we will focus on one of the most important aspect of a smartphone, its screen. Before getting started with the nominees, let's make a few things clear.
Any screen with the pixel density of more than 300 ppi is sharp enough for a human eye. To put things in perspective, the iPhone 5S offers pixel density of around 325 ppi. You cannot find a single stray pixel on its screen in everyday use. The companies want you to believe that a screen with pixel density of 440 ppi is better than the one with 325 ppi, which isn't always true. There are other factors such as colour reproduction, contrast, brightness, viewing angles, and sunlight legibility. However, brands mostly focus on pixel density, because that's the easiest way for a non-innovative company to impress consumers. Fret not. We, at TechTree, don't fall for gimmicks. We consider all important factors to rate a screen. Based on that, here's the batch of smartphones that make it to the final list:
Samsung GALAXY Note 4
Nokia Lumia 930
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Based on the screen technology, these four phones can be split in two categories. 1. Self illuminating OLED screens: GALAXY Note 4 and Lumia 930. 2. IPS LCD panels that require backlight: iPhone 6 Plus and LG G3. Because of the backlighting, LCD screens are generally brighter than the OLEDs. However, the light makes the colours look dull. On the other hand, due to its emissive nature OLED screens deliver pure and vibrant colours. Since every pixel has its own luminance, OLED panels can selectively shut off the pixels to render blacks. This ensures stunning contrast. Earlier OLED screens were criticised for over-saturated colours, but to address that issue, Nokia (Microsoft) and Samsung let you fine-tune colours and tone of the panel. So although I agree that the iPhone 6 Plus and LG G3's screens are very good, they are no match for the Note 4 and Lumia 930.
Now to choose a winner, I have to be nit-picky. Both the phones have amazing screens. No doubt about that. We like how Nokia has implemented ClearBlack display tech to enhance sunlight legibility. At the same time, you cannot ignore Samsung's professional Photo mode that offers accurate colours. One area where Samsung trumps Nokia, is brightness. So considering all the factors, the GALAXY Note 4 takes the crown for featuring the best mobile screen of this year.
Best Of 2014: Smartphone Screen Of The Year
Samsung, Apple, Nokia, and LG make it to the final list.
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