As expected, Samsung isn’t taking any prisoners with its HD Super AMOLED display — the 4.65-inch 1280×720 pixel screen is simply gorgeous despite using a PenTile matrix. Fonts are crisp, colors are vibrant, blacks are deep, and viewing angles are exceptional.
Brute force pass a certain resolution threshold and once prominent visual flaws can now be hidden. The PenTile Matrix sub-pixel structure has found its minimum requirement for an optimal visual experience: mid-4.x inches and 1280×720 pixels.
The display on the Galaxy Nexus is a relatively significant feature here, as it’s one of the first devices to sport a full 720p screen. The 1280 x 720, 4.65-inch display is quite a handsome affair, utilizing Super AMOLED technology, which produces rich colors while keeping battery consumption to a minimum. While the screen is a pentile display, the crispness of text and images was far superior to most lower resolution pentile displays I’ve seen.
Update: US$299. December 15. There will probably be no lines at Verizon. John Gruber:
The biggest anti-iPhone difference in Android evolution is the ever-increasing size of the displays â€” the Galaxy Nexusâ€™s measures 4.65 inches diagonally â€” and the corresponding increase in the overall size of the hardware.
Android phones are like those big wallets that can hold lots of credit cards, cash, receipts, and has a special window for an ID card. Big is good. The iPhone is like a credit card case, used as a wallet: One perfect size.
Update 2: MG Siegler, TechCrunch:
First and foremost, the Galaxy Nexus is way too big. The 4.65-inch screen is nice when Iâ€™m sitting on my couch, but out and about it feels like Iâ€™m Zack Morris holding his Gordon Gekko phone. Iâ€™d consider myself to have average sized hands for an adult male, and the screen is so large that it killed several one-handed operations for me (especially since many Android apps use a top nav system). Iâ€™ll admit that for some apps, like Gmail, having a screen larger than the iPhoneâ€™s 3.5-inch variety is very nice. But 4.3-inch may be better. This is just too big.
I’m guessing Siegler meant to say, "4.30-inch may be better, but this is just too big."
Update 3: Tim Stevens, Engadget, on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus:
And of course we can’t end the hardware discussion without discussing that superb 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED display. Yes, there’s been a lot talk about the RGBG pentile layout here and how that results in poor color reproduction, lower effective resolution and male pattern baldness. Those things may be true, but you’ll be too busy staring at it to care. It’s bright, it’s beautiful, the viewing angles are as close to 180 degrees as you can get.
And then there’s the resolution. If you have the eyesight to match the 316ppi pixel density you will love being able to browse desktop versions of websites without having to scroll all over the place. We loaded up Distro and were able to read full magazine pages without trouble — a task some tablets struggle with. It’s simply a great display, and the subtle curve given to the glass adds an extra touch of class.
I disagree the Galaxy Nexus has a 316 ppi display; it’s 207 ppi at best.
The Galaxy Nexus screen is beautiful. When the iPhoneâ€™s Retina display came out, I definitely noticed a difference. This is the first Android phone thatâ€™s felt like it caught up in crispness.
Of course, youâ€™ll see much more simply because the screen is bigger and has more resolution, 4.65â€³ and 1280Ã—720 to the iPhone 4S screen of 3.5â€³ and 960Ã—640.
Update 5: Shawn Blanc:
The screen of Galaxy Nexus is noticeably larger than the iPhone. In fact, itâ€™s larger than any other phone Iâ€™ve held or even seen since the â€™90s. Every single person I showed the phone to, their first comment was, this thing is huge.
I continue to wonder why smart product designers continue to make smartphones bigger when our hands are pretty much as big as they were years ago.
Also, the screen does not do well with large spots of dark color. Dark-colored websites (such as this one) seemed to have textured backgrounds. So did dark apps.
Another PenTile Matrix problem: texturizing large swaths of dark colors. Blanc does “not recommend this device simply on its size alone.”
Update 6: Anand Lai Shimpi:
For me at least, the Galaxy Nexus display exceeds my visual acuity – I cannot pick out subpixels at all on the Galaxy Nexus. Quite literally, the RGBG subpixel stripe is now small enough that it is beyond visual acuity at standard viewing distance (1 foot).