Nokia Lumia 900 rumor

Another day goes by and another rumor is sees the light of the day. This time it’s the return of the mythical Nokia Ace now dubbed the Nokia Lumia 900 which is said to be nothing more than a Lumia 800 with a 4.3″ screen (CBD AMOLED) instead of 3.7″ and only US bound (early 2012) and will be running Windows Phone Tango. Chances of this being true ? I don’t know but let’s thinker a bit here… a 4.3″ WVGA AMOLED display would look like crap unless it’s has an RGB matrix which is currently exclusive to Samsung in the form of the Super AMOLED Plus panel used on the Samsung Galaxy S II and Samsung Focus S. Now, given that Samsung is also the manufacturer of the AMOLED panels on Nokia’s devices it’s safe to assume that this rumored Nokia Lumia 900 sports a PenTile Matrix panel. But why wouldn’t it have an RGB panel you say? Well like I said; Samsung is keeping it to themselves for now on (it’s one of the main selling feature for their SII and Focus S phones) and even Motorola got handed a crappy 4.3″ QHD PenTile panel for their top of the line Razr handset.

More surprising things have happened before so maybe this Nokia Lumia 900 is indeed coming soon with a super amazing AMOLED panel or maybe not. Where’s my salt?

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Samsung Galaxy S II reviews: The best Android smartphone ever ?

The first Samsung Galaxy S II reviews just popped-up today courtesy of Samsung UK who seems to have handled review samples to UK editors this week. The verdict seems to be really positive especially Vlad’s review. According to Engadget’s editor the Galaxy S II is simply the best Android smartphone ever created.

The handset’s biggest sell point is obviously its 4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus display which I hand the opportunity to check out in Barcelona in February during the MWC11. Gone is the annoying PenTile Matrix subpixel arrangements which is no replace by a normal RGB matrix. This essentially means that the WVGA Super AMOLED Plus screen has 1,152,000 sub-pixels compared to 768,000 if it was a regular Super AMOLED panel (see my Super AMOLED vs Super AMOLED Plus hands on comparison here).  Interestingly Samsung is also allowing the user to tweak the screen’s color saturation via a setting called “Background Effect”.This is definitely a good thing given that AMOLED panels are highly color saturated most of the time.

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Samsung Galaxy S II to be available on May 1st in the UK

Samsung has just announced that the mighty Samsung Galaxy II super-phone will be available on May 1st across all carriers in the UK. This will be the i9100 version with the new 1.2Ghz Exynos 4210 SoC and Super AMOLED Plus display. You can check out my hands on video here and here and a close up of the Super AMOLED Plus screen here.  Now I just hope that the software has been improved since February (it was choppy most of the time) and that the device won’t melt after a few hours of use (the prototypes I played with were all burning hot). Full press release after the break:

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Samsung Galaxy S II gets a processor speed bump to 1.2Ghz

The Exynos 4210 powered version of the Samsung Galaxy S II (not to be confused with the Tegra 2 version) is apparently receiving a processor speed bum to 1.2ghz according to Samsung Estonia’s Facebook page. The device was initially announced with a 1Ghz Dual core CPU back in February in Barcelona and is now expected to hit the streets at the end of May or June.

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One more Samsung Galaxy S II hands on video

You may have noticed that it’s a relatively slow news weekend here (yeah I’m not feeling like posting every single bit of WP7 related rumor / chatter lately..) so I decided to dig into my Mobile World Congress stash and post a second Samsung Galaxy S II hands on video for your viewing pleasure. There’s definitely nothing amazing in there ‘just all everything that came out of MWC this year unfortunately) but if you are still craving for some Exynos 4210 action just hit the break to check it out.

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Super AMOLED vs Super AMOLED Plus

Here’s a small non-scientific comparison of the new Super AMOLED Plusdisplay found on the recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy S II versus the regular Super AMOLED found on the Samsung Galaxy Sand Samsung Omnia 7. I unfortunately can’t upload the full resolution images where the difference between two is more clearly visible because my server bandwidth would take a serious hit so I re-sized them a bit and did some cropping. Check them out after the break:

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Samsung Galaxy S II Preview, hardware specifications and hands on video

Let’s just start by saying that Samsung’s Unpacked Keynote was one of the most boring a useless keynote I have ever attended. Thankfully for the company the products being unveiled vast overshadowed the lackluster presentation: not a single live demo, tons and tons of useless PR talk and even more PR talk (to make things worst the whole thing start one hour late and nobody ever told the audience what was going on). But let’s forget about this and concentrated on one of the most powerful handled device ever created: The Samsung Galaxy S II. So what’s so specially about it? Well, to put it simply: the hardware hardware specifications are just insane:

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Samsung Infuse 4G with new Super AMOLED Plus 4.5 inch display unveiled

Did Samsung finally find a way around the PenTile Sub-Pixel Matrix arrangement for its AMOLED And Super AMOLED displays? Only time will tell but according to hardware specification of the newly unveiled Samsung Infuse 4G the new Super AMOLED Plus panel has 50%more sub-pixel compared to the regular Super AMOLED displays. The device sports a gigantic 4.5 inch screen and a higher clocked 1.2Ghz Hummingbird SOC (so no dual-core as seen in the rumors ).The Infuse 4G which is headed to AT&T also has an 8MP camera on the back and a front facing 1.3Mpix for video chat, runs Android 2.2 and an HSPA+ radio (no LTE in sight). More picture after the break:

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Super AMOLED color banding issue: Microsoft could partially fix it

I just did some more testing and am fairly sure now that everything is rendered at 16bit throughout the OS in Windows Phone 7 (similar to WM5/6). The picture you see above shows the image found in this news posted rendered in the Android browser on the Galaxy S (left) and IE Mobile on the Samsung Omnia 7 (right). Keep in mind that both devices have exactly the same Super AMOLED panel. What is evident here is that dithering is applied to the pictures on Android. All you have to do is move the page around on the Galaxy S to see that it’s activated (the color dithering) when the page is standing still but when you scroll or pan the images will look identical to the ones rendered on the Omnia 7 in IE Mobile. So what I did next is save this particular image and then open it in the picture’s browser where I know that dithering is applied once you start zooming in:

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LCD vs Super AMOLED on the Samsung Omnia 7 vs HTC 7 Trophy and LG Optimus 7

I’ve just shot another video of color banding issue on the Samsung Omnia 7′s Super AMOLED versus the HTC 7 Trophy and LG Optimus 7. Unfortunately videos or pictures can’t really reproduce the real experience, but believe when I tell you that the HTC 7 Trophy LCD screen has some pretty good colors compared to the other two devices (btw, they where all set to high brightness). I’m not 100% sure but the Trophy’s screen seems to be a regular TFT LCD panel and not an SLCD like previously announced (we have already seen HTC shipping both, and that sucks big time IMO. Sending reviewers like me devices with inferior screens is kinda stupid too…). Anyway, check out the video after the break:

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Super AMOLED vs LCD outdoors visibility comparison: Omnia 7 vs Optimus 7 vs HTC HD2 vs Galaxy S

Here’s  a follow up to my previous Super AMOLED vs LCD comparison (and here) this time comparing the outdoors visibility of both screen technologies on the Samsung Omnia 7 and Galaxy S for the Super AMOLED and the LG Optimus 7 and HTC HD2 for the TFT LCD. There are lots of pictures (after the break) and all where shot with the brightness set to the same settings on all devices (some are  shot with it set to auto and others to full brightness) so it’s a really an apple to apple comparison. As you will see the Super AMOLED is just a tiny bit better that the LCD on the Optimus 7 (the difference is more noticeable in real life thought) but the HD2 is just a giant mirror compare to the other devices (the HTC HD7 has exactly the same screen btw):

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Super AMOLED vs LCD on the Samsung Omnia 7 and LG Optimus 7

Here’s short video update to my previous post about the color banding issue on Super AMOLED screens. Nothing really new here but I just wanted to show you how it looks like in “motion” just in case somebody thought that I doctored the pictures I posted two days ago. The issue here is the RGBG (Red Green Blue Green) PenTile Sub-Pixel arrangement coupled with the insanely high contrast on the Samsung Super-AMOLED panel. To be perfectly clear: according to Samsung’s specs the Super-AMOLED screens are 24bit panels (don’t know about the RGB TFT LCD on the LG but I guess that’s it’s just a 18bit panel that does 24bit with dithering) but I don’t know if Windows Phone 7is being rendered in 16bit or 32bit. If it’s the former, then moving to 32bit could partially fix the problem but Samsung can also do some adjustments to diminish the issue too. video after the break:

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The problem with Super AMOLED screens: Nasty color banding

Samsung’s Super AMOLED screen panel is gorgeous, especially when displaying  Windows Phone 7′s Metro UI (with the drak theme) unfortunately there are several ugly drawbacks. First, you have to live with fuzzy text because of the PenTile Matrix Sub-pixel arrangement. Secondly, you will witness sever color banding, thanks in parts to the same PenTile Matrix (it is RGBG compared to a regular RGB lcd…) and also to the extremely vibrant and high color contrast of the screen. I took two photos to show you how ugly it can look like on the Samsung Omnia 7 vs the regular TFT LCD screen of the LG Optimus 7. This is really a problem especially for developers who now have to pay close attention to the assets they are using when building their applications. I’m not entirely sure if the OS is currently running at 32bit color depth but if I had to guess I would say that it is probably set at 16bit (could be wrong thought). Moving up to 32bit could potentially diminish the problem a bit on Samsung’s AMOLED screens. Samsung can also tweak the amplitude of the modulation of the sub-pixels to reduce the problem. One more picture after the break:

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HTC HD7 vs Samsung Omnia 7 vs HTC 7 Mozart screen comparison

The lucky gals at Engadget have just posted a three way screen comparison of the HTC HD7 vs Samsung Omnia 7 vs HTC 7 Mozart. The first thing you will notice is the perfect blacks on the Omnia 7′s Super-AMOLED compared to the HTC 7 Mozart’s SLCD panel and the Regular TFT-LCD screen of the HTC HD7. No surprise here but you will have to live with the sucky Pentile Matrix sub-pixel arrangement if you what the brightest Windows phone 7 device on the market. And just to be clear, the HTC HD7 uses exactly the same screen has on the original HTC HD2 so the colors feel kinda washed out even compared to other TFT-screens and the viewing angles are the worst of all the WP7 devices that are going on sale this week. More pictures and videos after the break:

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HTC Desire: SLCD VS AMOLED comparison

Engadget has just wrapped up an SLCD vs AMOLED screen comparison featuring the HTC Desire handset. As we have already seen earlier the difference between both screen isn’t really noticeable in regular use and the vast majority of users won’t even notice the two handsets have different panels. The AMOLED obviously “features” the famous PenTile Matrix that tends to render text in a fuzzy way but the perfect blacks tend to make up for this shortcoming in the long run. The SLCD is sharper (thanks to the regular RGB panel) but unfortunately drains the battery faster than the AMOLED. But all this stuff is kinda moot because “issue” with the HTC Desire is the damn Glass and air gap between the panel/digitizer and glass used by HTC. This renders the handset hard to use in the daylight and totaly nukes the screen’s brightness and colors.  Video and pictures after the break:

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SLCD vs Super-AMOLED and IPS LCD video comparison and specifications

Here’s the first Sony SLCD vs AMOLED and Super AMOLED video comparison following the officially announcement made by HTC this morning. You will see and HTC Desire equipped with the new SLCD panel against a regular Nexus One sporting an AMOLED display , a Motorola Droid with an IPS panel and a Samsung Wave with a Super-AMOLED display. The first thing you will notice is that the screen is still super reflective but this is mainly due to HTC’s design (and huge gap between the glass and the pane on the Desire ) an not the panel technology. Viewing angles are still not as good as the Super AMOLED (or regular AMOLED when looked sideways) but definitely better than the regular TFT. Now when it comes to contrast the Super-AMOLED tech still has the upper hand but the SLCD is really good IMO (and keep in mind that AMOLED have overblown and unnatural color so the SLCD is better in the long run). Check out the video below:

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HTC officially introduces SLCD displays to its portfolio

HTC has finally made it official: SLCD displays are going to replace AMOLED panels on their 3.7″ offerings (Desire, Nexus One, Incredible and the mysterious Windows Phone 7 handset). This is good news if you don’t like the overblown contrast and annoying PenTile Matrix found on Samsung’s AMOLED panels (Super-AMOLED is still amazing if those little things don’t bother you). It is not know yet if HTC will use Sony’s VSPEC III tech on anything other than 3.7″ screens . Check out the full press release after the break:

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Samsung Galaxy S vs iPhone 4 display video comparison

Here’s a pretty good display comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S and the iPhone 4. Contrary to  Engadget’s stuff this one isn’t insanely zoom-in so you can see how both handsets look like fom a normal viewing distance. The colors are definitely richer on the Super AMOLED and the aspect ratio of the screen makes up for the slightly lower PPI and PenTile Matrix. Check it out after the break and make sure to watch it in 1080p:

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HTC switching from AMOLED to S-LCD panels due to supply shortage?

Take this with a heavy grain of salt because it doesn’t make much sense at all to me. According to the Korean Herald HTC is about to start manufacturing the Google Nexus One, HTC Desire and HTC Incredible (why not the Legend too?) with S-LCD screens / panels instead of AMOLED because of Samsung’s inability to supply enough AMOLED panels. There are lot of holes in this story: first off AMOLED and LCD have major differences in terms of power consumption so I don’t see how HTC is going to simply swap between the too without changing the battery or the Power Management controls on the devices. Secondly S-LCD is not a new type of LCD panel but a joint venture between Samsung and Sony formed back in 2004 to build LCD TV panels(not for smartphones..) and the last news is that Sony is out of it and has formed a new joint venture with Sharp. The other shady claim in the Korean Herald piece is an analyst who’s expecting sales of the Samsung Galaxy S to reach around 10-15 million units in the latter half of this year..sure..I have a bridge to sell you if Samsung manages to sell that much in 6 months…

Update: Android Community claims to have heard from HTC that:

HTC has plans to keep using the AMOLED technology from Samsung, but they are also going to use Sony’s Super TFT LCD displays as well. According to HTC, there is no discernible difference between the displays from Sony and Samsung, and they are expecting the differences to slide under the radar. [..]As of right now, HTC says that they’ve got a working demo of the screen in progress.

Lets say that I still remain highly skeptical about this supposedly new S-LCD panel from Sony that nobody has ever heard about before….but if this indeed turns out to be true and HTC is going to use a new and improved LCD panel on its devices it can only be good news IMO. Especially for those who aren’t fond of the PenTile Matrix sub-pixels arrangement on the AMOLED displays.

Source: Korean Herald , S-LCD