Apple’s Retina Display Claims Disputed by Doctor

June 11, 2010 - Written By Chris Yackulic

Well once again nothing changes. If one phone manufacturer isn’t exaggerating their specs then another is. This time Apple is the one to get the fire lit under them and their claim that their new display produces more pixels per inch than the human eye can process giving you a “perfect” picture. Granted this display trounces the displays on the latest Android handsets with the closest comparison being a 480 x 854 to the iPhone 4’s 640 x 960. The number of pixels per inch (PPI) is 326. The manufacturer claims that this is well beyond the 300 PPI that the human eye can process. However it seems that this is not true according to Dr Raymond Soneira. He says that Apple has exaggerated the claims about the display.

Dr Soneira has a company that makes software that is used to test displays, DisplayMate Technologies. The doctor wrote an email to PC World describing why the claims were an exaggeration. Here is what he said, “Steve Jobs claimed that the iPhone 4 has a resolution higher than the retina – that’s not right: The resolution of the retina is in angular measure – it’s 50 Cycles Per Degree. A cycle is a line pair, which is two pixels, so the angular resolution of the eye is 0.6 arc minutes per pixel; So if you hold an iPhone at the typical 12 inches from your eyes, that works out to 477 pixels per inch. At 8 inches it’s 716 ppi. You have to hold it out 18 inches before it falls to 318 ppi.”

So if you want to even approximately have the resolution above what your eye can see then the phone must be at leas 1.5 feet from your face, and even then you would be way too close and have a resolution well below the minimum for the “perfect” picture. So in other words your eye is still much higher resolution than the iPhone’s display just in case you were wondering. He does however concede, “It’s a great display, most likely the best mobile display in production (and I can’t wait to test it) but this is another example of spec exaggeration.” And Samsung still claims that their Super AMOLED display used in the Galaxy S is superior. What do you think?