Motorola Droid RAZR: Green Hue

Terrence O’Brien, Engadget:

Underneath the mirror-like sheet of Gorilla Glass is a 4.3-inch 960 x 540 qHD Super AMOLED Advanced panel. How exactly it differs from Super AMOLED Plus isn’t clear, but we do know that it does away with the controversial PenTile matrix. (Update: There seems to be some confusion as to whether or not the screen sports a PenTile matrix, we’re waiting on clarification from Motorola and will update when we hear back.) We didn’t have any major complaints about the display, but it didn’t quite live up to our expectations either. It was sharp, contrasty and bright enough to satisfy, but had a slight green hue that was very apparent at lower brightness settings. It also couldn’t match the brightness produced by the old-school TFT LCD on the Droid X or the IPS panel on the iPhone 4, though, its contrast levels were noticeably better.

A green hue might indicate the use of PenTile Matrix in the 4.3-inch 960×540 Super AMOLED Advanced display. The probability is high though since there are few if any RGB-stripe LCDs with a 960×540 pixel format.

I do a fair amount of reading text on my iPhone 4 so excellent text rendering is essential. Poor text rendering means a poor reading experience. The PenTile Matrix system is quite an innovation in that it separates the physical layout of the sub-pixels from the logical: different sets of sub-pixels are used to generate a logical pixel on the display. The only problem so far seems to be poor text rendering especially at the edges.

The really interesting development is the use of PenTile Matrix displays for Windows Phone 7 smartphones. You see WP7 touts beautiful typography and that’s where PenTile suffers. The Droid RAZR uses Android, which Verizon markets as more of a multimedia smartphone. So the use of PenTile might not be such a big deal for the target audience.

Update: Nilay Patel, The Verge:

Super AMOLED panels use the inferior PenTile pixel arrangement, and the RAZR’s 256dpi pixel density doesn’t hide it — in fact, it seems to make it worse. Not only are individual pixels readily apparent, but text looks jaggy, there’s red fringing around vertical lines, and images seem to de-res when scrolling in the browser.

Well, I guess I was wrong. PenTile turns out to be a big deal, in a bad way.

Patel:

According to Motorola, choosing Super AMOLED helped make the RAZR thinner — AMOLED displays don’t need external backlights like traditional LCD displays.

BS. Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus displays are just as thin. Nobody put a gun to Motorola’s head and forced it to use the minus-Plus version.