Goodbye PenTile, hello hexagons? Samsung rumored to use new matrix for Galaxy S4 display

January 23, 2013
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pentile vs rgb

Subpixel arrangement matrices tend to be an issue people like to argue over. Some say that PenTile displays show horribly jagged graphics, while others seem to be just fine with it. First world problems? Probably. With that said, if you’re interested in the actual difference between a PenTile display and a RGB display, check out our comparison here.

The Galaxy S3 features an HD PenTile AMOLED display, but with the whole industry moving to full HD, Samsung had no choice but to put a 1920 x 1080 panel on the Galaxy S4. Achieving full HD resolution on AMOLED panels is no easy task, and Samsung even considered using LCD technology instead of OLED for the next iteration of the flagship device.

As far as we know, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will feature a full HD AMOLED display measuring 4.99-inch across. To overcome the technical difficulties associated with building a full HD panel based on AMOLED tech, Samsung is reportedly considering using a novel type of subpixels. Instead of the classic square or rectangular pixels used on most types of displays, the display on the Galaxy S4 will reportedly feature hexagonal or diamond shaped subpixels, applied on the substrate using the LITI (laser-induced thermal imaging) process.

These new types of subpixels would allow Samsung to create super dense panels, with pixels per inch ratios well above the state of the art 441ppi that phones like the Xperia Z or the Droid DNA achieve. We’ve heard chatter about the display of the upcoming M7 boasting a record-breaking 468ppi, so it will be interesting to see how the Galaxy S4 does against it.

pentile vs rgb 2

The fuziness of Pentile displays is visible in the Galaxy S3 shot.

Diamond subpixel arrangements could suffer from the same problem as PenTile – a visible fuzziness that appears around certain graphical elements (see image above). Nevertheless, at the super high resolution of a full HD display, the effect should be minimal. We’ll see for ourselves in March, says the latest rumor.

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