Recently I have been looking for iPhone 4 alternatives because of the poor reception in my home. Since I am on AT&T I searched through all of its smartphone offerings and saw that the Samsung Captivate, a Galaxy S, smartphone had a lot of positive reviews. As of this writing there are 285 reviews with an average of 4.5 out of 5. Quite positive.
So I went to my local AT&T store with high expectations. I played with the Samsung Captivate and what I saw wasn’t all that positive, unfortunately.
This is my thesis: pixel density makes a huge difference. The test site was none other than DisplayBlog. The text on the 4.0-inch PenTile Matrix Super AMOLED used in the Samsung Captivate were fuzzy. So I fired up Safari on my iPhone 4’s 3.5-inch IPS LCD. Now there was no doubt that text on the AMOLED were fuzzy, really fuzzy. I looked at the text in both portrait and landscape modes to make sure: text were fuzzy. But it isn’t just the Samsung Captivate, it was difficult to get used to the fuzziness on my friend’s iPhone 3GS too after having adjusted to the pristine Retina Display on the iPhone 4.
Apple has significantly raised the bar and once you’ve seen the high-density Retina Display it really is hard to go back down the resolution scale. The PenTile Matrix Super AMOLED display on the Samsung Captivate is certainly nice, but it definitely isn’t the best mobile screen for text.