Saturday, April 24, 2010

Google's Nexus 1: The Display Resolution Controversy and Fake Colors

So lately, there has been a lot of fuss about the 'true' display resolution of Google's Nexus 1 phone. One of the prime articles getting attention in this matter is by an MIT student, Luke Hutchison.

I read both his articles (the one about resolution debate, and the one about perception of pseudo-colors because of the PenTile display on Nexus 1).

I do agree Google should not claim the display resolution that they claim, *unless* they specify that it is 'not' the actual 'physical pixel resolution' but an equivalent 'perceptual resolution' wherein common images look 'almost the same' as the ones on other traditional displays. I do not know if Google refers to Human Visual System when referring to Nexus's screen resolution in 'pixels'.

Although in all fairness, Nouvoyance did not hide any of this information. It is publicly available on their webpage (, including the fact that they use a patented RGBW pattern that reduces the physical sub-pixel element count (thus reducing power requirements) and at the same time keeping up the perceived quality of a given image relative to the traditional RGB pixel array displays. And when one does that, they would have to compensate for the imbalance (asymmetry) at sub-pixel level by introducing local signal processing, hence the fringing that the author noticed with uncommon (high frequency grayscale) image patterns.

All in all, a good read. But I still think Luke took it a bit too far (these are basic imaging concepts that are being over stretched). Agreed Google should update their claim with a clause about visual perception etc., still too much fuss about the topic, some of it undeserved.

I guess sometimes fame is a stronger driving factor than the pleasure of doing genuine research, eh? ;-)

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