Can't have Retina on 4" Display

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Sedrick, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Sedrick macrumors 68030

    Sedrick

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    #1
    From what I can figure, Apple can't give us a 4" screen and keep 960 x 640 resolution. So what does this mean for the next iPhone?

    A 4" display @ 960 x 640 would drop the 'Retina' ppi (pixels per inch) to 285. Well below the 300 limit where Apple can still call it 'Retina'.

    Apple will have to keep the resolution at 960 x 640 because they are not going to make developers do a third version of everything. We're stuck with 960 x 640 and that means no 4" screen.

    A 3.8" screen, however, just barely falls within the 'Retina' range at 300.26 ppi (or there abouts), so Apple can very well bump the screen up to 3.8", keep the same 960 x 640 and everyone wins because the human eye isn't supposed to be able to distinguish anything above 300 ppi.

    So, unless Apple comes up with an entirely new concept (and they might), 3.8" is all we're gonna get, but they should, at least, be able to fit a 3.8" in the same form factor without too much trouble.

    That would be a good compromise between the "I can't use a phone the size of Utah!" crowd and the rest of us who want more screen on our multimedia device.
     
  2. fraggot macrumors 6502

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    #2
    I honestly don't think it would make that big of a difference. Yes the people(me included) with good eyesight would probably be able to notice if I were to really look for it but it really doesn't matter.

    I also hate the term Retina Display, it just crawls under my skin like when people say iTouch.

    And they could easily solve this problem if developers just had to switch to Vector graphics so they'd be scalable and work on lower and higher resolution devices.
     
  3. wikoogle, Jan 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011

    wikoogle macrumors 6502a

    wikoogle

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    #3
    There is no magical 300 ppi limit as you claim. Retina display is a completely made up marketing term. It has no clear definition, and will be used by Apple to market any device they release in the future that they feel has a high enough resolution.

    Apple is about to release an iPad 2 with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 which calculates to a ppi of 260, and they have every intention of marketing the device as having a Retina display.

    If a display with a ppi of 260 can be considered Retina just because the device has a larger screen, why can't a device with a ppi of 285 be called Retina since the device will likewise have a larger screen?

    The iPad won't be the last time you see the term either. I fully expect to see Macbook Pros, iMacs, and Cinema Displays with substantially higher resolutions in the future, and these devices will also likewise be marketed with a term Retina display, even though most of them will not have a ppi above 300 either, despite the substantial upgrade in resolution. The vast majority of laptops, monitors, hdtvs have a dpi of around a 130 or so. I fully support Apple in them marketing any display that atleast doubles that number as a Retina Display, because that in itself is a mind blowingly impressive achievement.

    And if you think the average consumer gives two craps about whether the display is 300 ppi vs. 285 ppi, you are wrong. If you're being reasonable, you shouldn't care about the 15 ppi difference either. If the screen looks sufficiently high res and the pixels sufficiently difficult to see, it doesn't actually matter the precise ppi number.

    So again I repeat. Retina display is a completely made up marketing term. It has no clear definition, and it can be used to mean whatever Apple wants it to mean.
     
  4. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I've been waiting for high DPI, high resolution monitors to stop costing thousands of dollars.

    If apple can make this happen by selling more retina displays then more power to them
     
  5. wikoogle macrumors 6502a

    wikoogle

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    #5
    Me too. And I have no doubt that Apple will be doing just that. Macbook Pros, iMacs, Cinema Displays, they are all going to show up with higher resolutions than they do now. They will be marketing those displays as Retina displays as well.

    And it's downright unreasonable of us to demand that each and every one of them have a dpi above 300. Few people realize just how high 300 is, and how piss poor the dpi on most devices is.

    The vast majority of laptops, monitors, hdtvs have a dpi of around a 130 or so. Apple has every right to market any display that atleast doubles that number as a Retina Display, because that in itself is a mind blowingly impressive achievement.
     
  6. kre62 macrumors 68000

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    #6

    A+ and exactly right. I wish more people would read this and stop claiming the 300ppi number.
     
  7. Sedrick thread starter macrumors 68030

    Sedrick

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    #7
    Oh, I don't give a damn. Give me a 4" screen and stretch the 960 x 640 out to fit. I'd be happy as a clam, and I think most people would too.

    But, Apple painted themselves in a corner here with the iPhone 4 display and they won't back down from it (unless they come up with some new snow-job marketing term to explain it all).
     
  8. Apple..., Jan 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011

    Apple... macrumors 68020

    Apple...

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    #8
    That's what I'm talking about! Retina Cinema Display, please? ;)
     
  9. mpossoff macrumors 68020

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    #9
    I sort of agree. With the dimensions of the device the only way to have a larger screen is a longer screen. And with a linfer screen with the same with the screen would look out of proportion.
     
  10. gks macrumors 6502

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    #10
    "Retina" display is actually quite accurate.

    Two factors are involved here and why 260 could be considered Retina and so could 330 or whatever else.

    1) The limit to what the eye can see
    2) With respect to that limit, how far away will the device be held?

    Since the ipad has a larger screen it is likely to be held further from your eyes. Thus, it sees less detail (there can be fewer pixels per inch to give the same perceived quality as 330 at a shorter distance from your eyes)

    I don't recall what that limit is, nor with respect to the distance. But the same logic holds true on televisions.
     
  11. macsrcool1234 macrumors 65816

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    #11
    I think most people can live with the slightly reduced ppi with a bigger screen.

    The world wont stop turning because we lost 15 ppi.
     
  12. wikoogle macrumors 6502a

    wikoogle

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    #12
    Well then so can the 4" iPhone. :rolleyes:

    If the iPad is likely held farther away because of it's bigger screen, wouldn't that mean that the 4" iPhone is likely to be held farther away than a 3.5" iPhone because of it's bigger screen.

    Whatever justification you want to use, the 300 number is meaningless. For a 3.5" screen, Apple may have set 300 for themselves as the number they are aiming for. But for the iPad's 9.7" screen, they aimed for 260. And for a 4" screen, they may set 285 as the goal.
     
  13. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #13
    All that "retina" refers to is the inability of an average eye to see individual pixels at a certain distance. It's a made up marketing term, but it's based on well known knowledge of what angular amount the average eye can differentiate.

    The 326PPI "retina distance" is 11". (iPhone 4) (Note: 18" for great eyes.)

    The 300PPI "retina distance" is 12". This is also very well known as the so-called "print quality" resolution, which is no doubt where Apple got the idea.

    The 285PPI "retina distance" is 12.5". That's so close to 12" it's ridiculous.

    They can use the term for almost anything, from a high resolution display to a giant stadium TV with pixels 1" square. ("Retina distance" for that? 100 yards.)
     
  14. ssdeg7 macrumors 6502a

    ssdeg7

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    #14
    I don't hate the term Retina just because it's an easy way to refer to Apple's "hi-def" and there's not other easy way to refer to it, but I hate it when people say iTouch!!
     
  15. 11colmil macrumors member

    11colmil

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    #15
    I hate the Retina Display. I had an iPhone 3G before i got the iPhone 4. After a while, the retina display looks normal, but then if you look at any other iPhone/iPod Touch, their displays look like crap. Kinda like looking at the first color cell phone screens. It sucks because I can't look at anyone's pre-iPhone 4 screen without making the remark "Wow, this looks like crap!"

    Even if Apple did drop below 300 dpi, It would still look remarkably better than the around 160 dpi in the previous iPhones.
     
  16. Apple... macrumors 68020

    Apple...

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    #16
    It's how I feel as well. The iPad 2 would look awfully good with Retina... :D
     
  17. 11colmil macrumors member

    11colmil

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    #17
    Especially if you remote view a Mac with it. Retina Mac! W00T!!!

    I wouldn't even be able to look at my Mac's screen again.
     
  18. gks macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I don't think a 4" display is going to happen. Not due to limitations of PPI but simply due to form factor.

    3.5" is a good solid number for a medium sized phone. Any smaller and it's too small. Any larger than say 3.7" is probably getting too big to be considered pocketable and "forgettable" in your pocket.

    If you're a larger person, maybe I can see your point, but the average human being 3.5" is a good number. They've shown that for 4 different iPhone releases. It's a good number for them and I don't see a larger screen happening. I obviously have no inside info, but it just seems to make sense at this stage of the game.
     
  19. mikelegacy macrumors 65816

    mikelegacy

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    #19
    Do you realize that printers use 200 ppi because the human eye cant tell the difference between 200 and 300. So your 285 not being retina is nonsense.
     
  20. Eso macrumors 68000

    Eso

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    #20
    You don't believe that, do you?
     
  21. robotphood macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I disagree. 4" phones like the Galaxy S variants are not much bigger than the iPhone 4. It's enough to be noticeable but it seems quite possible for Apple to squeeze the dimensions down a bit. In fact, a 3GS feels bigger in my hand than a Galaxy.

    Galaxy S: 4.82 x 2.53 x 0.39
    iPhone 4: 4.5 x 2.31 x 0.37
    iPhone 3GS: 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.48

    3.7/8" always seemed like the sweet spot to me. I loved how the Nexus One felt in my hand (more so than my iPhone 4's square edges) and the screen size and overall phone size seemed perfect back then. But with all the Roids coming out lately, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a 4" screen in a smaller package sooner rather than later. However, any bump to screen size on the next iPhone would be much appreciated.
     
  22. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

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    #22
    There is no magical 300 ppi limit as you say, but this isn't completely marketing BS. For the majority of people—especially given most people won't try to discern a pixel which isn't apparent—it is truly a 'retina' display. If they stretch it to a 4" screen the pixels will become discernible for folks with good eyesight—graphics will be less crisp.

    And just in case this confuses people (though I'm sure this has been pointed out in this thread) the reason why Apple wouldn't want to release a 4" with a 'Retina Display' is because it would introduce a new resolution to the iDevice app market creating additional fragmentation. Not worth it. It would be better to release a 4" device which isn't 300 ppi.

    But I don't really see it happening. Most folks don't want anything to do with such a large electronic device masquerading as their 'phone' in their pocket, and Apple isn't going to make it unless they think there is an appropriate addressable market. It should be telling enough that they chose to shrink the device for the iPhone 4.
     
  23. Sedrick, Jan 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011

    Sedrick thread starter macrumors 68030

    Sedrick

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    #23
    What you'll notice about the two dimensions above (in red) is that Apple narrowed the iPhone 4. They did this for one reason: When they squared off the whole phone, they had to make it narrower to fit in all existing iPhone docks.

    If you look at the engineering drawings, the iPhone 4 fits exactly inside the outline of the iPhone 3Gs (with it's rounded corners).

    This is why the iPhone will not go even a millimeter wider than it is now. This alone tells us they will not go wider than a 3.8" screen because it would require they bump the width out to 3Gs dimensions (but squared) and that would mean that it no longer fits into the hundreds of existing iPhone docks.

    So... I still think Apple could surprise us and move to a 3.8" screen, but that's as big as it's gonna get.

    We're not talking about a 4.5" screen here, just 4" and it's very pocket-able and barely larger than the existing iPhone (and don't assume 'most folks' don't want a larger screen). Also, read above for why Apple made the iPhone 4 narrower. If Apple was concerned about making the iPhone smaller, they would have made it shorter as well.
     
  24. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

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    #24
    Most folks don't want a bigger screen on their iPhone. Really. I'm talking about the general consumers—the sort that don't frequent the online tech world. The only ones among them who are going to care about this, or think about this, are those who have discussions with people who are passionate about this, or those who have trouble seeing what is on their screen (a legitimate concern). But they will notice the size of an item in their pocket, or in their hand.
     
  25. Sedrick thread starter macrumors 68030

    Sedrick

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    #25
    Ok, cool. I guess the people that I work with aren't most people, because they've seen the new 4" Android screens and want a larger screen very badly.
     

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