HTC EVO 4G LTE

David Pierce, The Verge:

More than once, I found myself just sort of staring at the Evo’s 4.7-inch display, for no particular reason. It’s the best display I’ve ever seen on a smartphone by a long shot, and one of the best screens I’ve ever looked at, period. It has nearly 180-degree viewing angles, and the most accurate color reproduction I’ve seen — many displays give off a slightly warm color temperature or are too high-contrast, but the Evo’s display is exactly right. At 720p it’s so high-res that I can’t make out individual pixels, and in general it’s far superior to the PenTile display on the Galaxy Nexus and many other smartphones.

The 4.7-inch 1280×720 LCD sports a resolution of 312.47 ppi. At normal usage distances of about 12 inches and assuming you have 20/20 vision pixels disappear at around the 300 ppi mark. Accurate color reproduction is not a subjective feature; we will need to wait for test results to assess whether or not the LCD has accurate colors. On the other hand color temperature is subjective. Folks who live in warm temperatures generally prefer colder display temperatures and vice versa. So what is exactly right depends on what you prefer. On the whole the LCD on the HTC EVO 4G LTE sounds pretty solid, but test results are needed to crown it the best.

What Google Glass Will Help People Capture

Brilliant. But knowing how imaginative kids can be… daddies will first have to convince their kids it’s safe to take their hands, that the odd-looking gizmo on their face is not a mind control device implanted by aliens.

The Ultrabook Form Factor Will Look Like The MacBook Air, That’s Just How It Is

HP VP of Industrial Design, Stacy Wolff:

The thing is that you have to design what’s right, and that is that sometimes the wedge is the right solution, silver is the right solution. I see a lot of differences as much as the similarities. I think anybody that’s close enough to the business sees that there are differences in the design. Ours is rubber-coated at the bottom. We use magnesium; they didn’t do that — they use CNC aluminum. We did a brush pattern on our product; they didn’t. We did a different kind of keyboard execution. We did audio as a component; they didn’t. So there are a lot of things I can list off that are differences; but if you want to look at a macro level, there are a lot of similarities to everything in the market that’s an Ultrabook today. It is not because those guys did it first; it’s just that’s where the form factor is leading it.

The MacBook Air defined a new category of notebooks, which was later coined ultrabook by the rest of the industry. Before the MBA ultraportable notebook PCs sported a variety of designs. After the MBA the name changed to ultrabook and according to Wolff all ultrabooks will inevitably look something like the MBA; the form factor dictates it. I agree with Wolff because what ultimately is an ultrabook? It’s just a silly name for the MBA not made by Apple.

Samsung Galaxy S III

Jason Inofuentes, AnandTech:

The 8.6 mm thick slate features a 4.8″ HD SAMOLED display pushing 1280×720 pixels, on an RGBG stripe.

RGB would have been better.

Update 2012.05.08: The First Smartphone Designed Entirely By Lawyers.

Update 2012.05.10: Maybe RGB might not have been better. Dan Seifert, MobileBurn:

Samsung’s Philip Berne explained to me that the blue subpixels on AMOLED displays actually degrade the fastest – quicker than the red or green subpixels. With a PenTile layout, the subpixels are arranged RGBG (red, green, blue, green), so they feature more green subpixels and fewer red or blue subpixels than an RGB stripe layout with the same resolution. Because of this, AMOLED displays that have the PenTile layout tend to have a longer lifespan than those with RGB layouts. Since Samsung is selling its phones to users that usually keep them for 18 months or longer, it has to be sure that the display will still offer peak performance at that time. According to the company, PenTile AMOLED displays have proven to be more reliable than those with RGB layouts.

The reason is not because there are more green sub-pixels than red or blue. Someone from Nouvoyance should explain to Berne exactly why the blue OLED phosphor lasts longer in a PenTile Matrix sub-pixel structure compared to RGB. The real reason why PenTile lasts longer is because the blue sub-pixel is much larger and therefore does not need to be driven as hard compared to the blue pixel in a RGB sub-pixel layout.

But this is the interesting part: If I’m reading the above quote correctly, Samsung is not sure its RGB OLED display, called Super AMOLED Plus, will offer peak performance for 18 months or longer. That’s it? Eighteen months? That must suck for Samsung Galaxy S II owners.

Update 2012.05.22:

Samsung’s Dong-hoon Jang took issue with blasphemy floating around accusing the world’s largest mobile phone company of redesigning the Samsung Galaxy S III to make it look as little as possible as the iPhone due to ongoing litigation. Sam Oliver, AppleInsider:

The curved shape of the new Galaxy S III is a design that has gone through hundreds of iterations, he said, adding that Samsung is a market leader in design.

The new Galaxy S III design is the result of a five year plan according to Jang. Let’s see… Five years ago would make it May of 2007. That actually makes a lot of sense: Samsung drew out a five-year design plan for its smartphones four months after Apple unveiled the original iPhone. A market leader in design? Why yes, of course.

Update 2012.05.26: Vlad Savov, The Verge:

This 4.8-inch display can be held up proudly alongside most other AMOLED panels. Sadly, while that may have been a great compliment a year or two ago, the quality and viewing angles of AMOLED have recently been bypassed by refinements in LCD technology. HTC’s One X is the standout demonstration of that — offering unrivalled clarity, color balance, and viewing angles. In all of those respects, the Galaxy S III is one or two tiers below the One X […]

LCD > OLED.

Sharp’s IGZO-based Retina Display was Plan A for the New iPad

Raymond Soneira:

The plan was to use this new technology called IGZO from Sharp—a lot higher electron mobility that allows them to make the transistors a lot smaller and the circuit elements a lot smaller. There’s no question that the iPad 3 is Plan B. They pushed amorphous silicon to a higher [pixels per inch] than anybody else. But the light throughput is not good. So it has roughly twice as many LEDs, and they had to get a 70 percent larger battery.

I’m curious as to what Apple will do once Sharp volume manufactures IGZO-based 9.7-inch Retina displays. Will Apple equip the new iPad with the improved display mid-cycle? That could happen. The iPad 2,4 with a 32nm Samsung-built A5 is reported to have better battery life, by a significant margin. If Apple decides to implement “Plan A” later this year we might either see the new iPad’s battery life improve quite a bit or have the same battery life with less weight. Either would be good.

Sony’s Stacked, RGBW CMOS Image Sensor for Smartphones

DL Cade, PetPixel: The Sony LT29i codenamed Hayabusa will sport a 13 megapixel CMOS image sensor with stacked RGBW pixels and HDR movie capture. By stacking pixels you get larger pixels without making the sensor bigger—a good thing when space is a premium. RGBW adds a white pixel for better low light performance, but getting accurate colors might be tricky.