The new Samsung Galaxy Nexus sports a 720p HD display, its 4.65-inch screen is said to be held back by cheaper technology that gives it a lower pixel density and poorer color accuracy than Apple’s Retina Display found on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4.
According to FlatPanelsHD, the Galaxy Nexus features a display branded “Super AMOLED” by Samsung, which is less than the “Super AMOLED Plus” screen featured on the already-available Galaxy S II smartphone. The removal of “Plus” from the name references that the screen uses a cheaper PenTile OLED, despite the fact that it has more pixels per inch, .
The less expensive panel on the Galaxy Nexus means that individual pixels must share subpixels on the screen, which undercuts the 315 pixel-per-inch density of the Galaxy Nexus display.
“A PenTile OLED panel was recently introduced with the Samsung Galaxy Note, and we were not impressed. In real world PenTile means loss of details and sharpness, as well as a bluish/greenish tint around letters (depending on the background color)”
By calculating the “real” pixel density of the display with the PenTile subpixel sharing, the Galaxy Nexus is said to have a pixel-per-inch number of about 200, which is just slightly higher than the Super AMOLED Plus screen on the Galaxy S II.
“So, the HD Super AMOLED display in the new Galaxy Nexus is not as awesome as it sounds — unfortunately,” author Rasmus Larsen wrote. “And the reason that people do not call it a Retina display should seem much more obvious to you now that you know the underlying technical architecture.”
The pixel density numbers of the Galaxy Nexus are also affected by the fact that the new flagship Android device has a large 4.65-inch screen to fill. For comparison, the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 feature a display more than an inch smaller diagonally, at 3.5 inches.
Samsung/Google states that Galaxy Nexus has a slightly curved screen but the same was said for the Nexus S where it was later revealed that only the front glass was curved
Apple made the term “Retina Display” part of its marketing with the launch of the iPhone 4 in 2010. The name was chosen because Apple says the individual pixels are so small and densely packed that they cannot be seen by the human eye. The iPhone 4 and its follow-up, the newly released iPhone 4S, feature a pixel-per-inch density of 326.