iPhone 3GS Screen Weirdness (involving polarization)

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by j-a-x, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. j-a-x macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #1
    I got an iPhone 3GS last week from the Apple screen and the next day I looked at my screen and it had a big scratch through it. I thought this was impossible since I only carried it in a pocket (no keys) and although I didn't have a screen protector I didn't think it was a big deal (my old phone didn't scratch and I had it for a year and carried it the same way).

    So I took the phone back today and the manager of the Apple store was nice enough to exchange it for a brand new 3GS. Now here's the weird part:

    When I looked at my first 3GS screen through polarized sunglass lenses, the image on the screen would disappear when viewed at certain angles. This isn't unexpected, I've noticed that behavior with many laptop screens - it has to do with the way laptop screens work (google LCDs and polarization). However, my new iPhone screen is viewable at ALL ANGLES through a polarized sunglass lens. There's a small amount of color distortion due to the lens but the image on the screen never disappears.

    This tells me that there is something fundamentally different about my new iPhone 3GS screen compared to the first 3GS that I bought last week.

    Does anybody have any ideas what this could signify?
     
  2. vinay427 macrumors 6502a

    vinay427

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #2
    This won't really help, but BMW A/V info screens do that. It completely disappears with polarized lenses and car reviewers always complain about it. They're the only manufacturer who still hasn't fixed the issue.
     
  3. serialtoon macrumors 6502a

    serialtoon

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    Location:
    Long Beach
    #3
    You must read car and driver. I remember laughing at that comment. They also liked to make fun of the "leatherette" cause they cheaped out on leather on one of the BMW models.
     
  4. TLewis macrumors 65816

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    Sep 19, 2007
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    left coast, US
    #4
    Interesting. Mine does show polarization; the brightness drops by, oh, 50% when I rotate it, but it doesn't disappear completely. I have a date code of 923 (23rd week of 2009). What's yours?
     
  5. ScottFitz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    #5
    Maybe it signifies you need to get out more, fresh air, friends, add a hobby... ;)


    J/k
    :cool:
     
  6. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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  7. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #7
    My old one didn't completely disappear but it got dark enough that it was not usable, maybe 75% or more. The new one doesn't really change brightness when I rotate it.

    Where do I find the date code?
     
  8. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #8
  9. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

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    Oct 18, 2007
    #9
    I thought the polarization on my 3G was a little odd. It blanks at 45 degrees so it's neither vertical nor horizontal when it happens.
     
  10. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

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    Aug 18, 2005
    #10
    That's not odd. That's good design so that you can still use the iPhone with polarized sunglasses in either orientation.
     
  11. mavis macrumors 68040

    mavis

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #11
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 3GS (White, 32GB): Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7C97d Safari/528.16)

    Mine's a 924, it dims about 50% at 45 degrees. I'll check my wife's tomorrow.

    My old 3G blacked out completely at 45 degrees, which is still better than my iMac - mid-2007 24" iMac, blacks out 100% at 0 degrees, which means if I happen to put on my glasses on the way out the door and need to check something on the computer real quick, I either have to do a granny peek (over the glasses) or take them off. Or tilt my head about 45 degrees left/right. :rolleyes:
     
  12. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #12
    My manufacturing code is 926 which means it was made in 2009 on the 26th week. Your week is 24 which is a bit older. I wonder if all of the newer ones have the different screen.

    Also mine was made in factory #87 (first two digits of serial).
     
  13. cdesigns macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    #13
    I had in hand my old 3G and the new 3GS also one polarized lens from my old SLR camera.

    Here is a video I recorded testing them, the 3GS looks brighter with polarized lens, but it also produces a rainbow effect on the screen

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAnH7TGClYU
     
  14. TLewis macrumors 65816

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    #14
  15. TLewis macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Same here, factory #87, date code 923 (noticeable polarization, dims to maybe 50%).
     
  16. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #16

    That's what my phone looks like. As you rotate the polarized lens, the brightness doesn't change but you see some minor distortion. But with the older 3GS that I returned with I am guessing an earlier manufacturing date, the screen became really dark with a certain polarization angle.
     
  17. cdesigns macrumors 6502

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    Aug 28, 2008
    #17
    I did another test this time ROTATING THE POLARIZED LENS.

    The 3G goes completed dark and the 3GS is still visible.

    My code date is fatory#85 date 921

    Here is the VIDEO FOR THE SECOND TEST

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4MDA2BBRZY
     
  18. vinay427 macrumors 6502a

    vinay427

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    Sep 18, 2008
    #18
    You're good! They said something like "BMW calls it leatherette." I remember reading that part because I looked it up later and leatherette is a common term, not something BMW made up. I'm pretty sure it was the 328i against the G37, A4, and something else that I can't remember right now.
     
  19. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
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    Houston, Texas
    #19
    Thanks for the 2nd video.

    Yeah some 3GSs will stay visible and some will go completely dark like your 3G did. That's why it seems that Apple is manufacturing phones with two different screens.
     
  20. TLewis macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Of course, a screen that doesn't dim is certainly a plus, since we all do rotate the iPhone at times ...
     
  21. j-a-x thread starter macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    #21
    Yeah, I guess I just got lucky with my replacement phone...
     
  22. darkgoob macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #22
    I got mine at release and it works with polarized glasses.

    But overall the screen quality ain't as good as the iPod Touch, in terms of clarity.

    And tbh, the Palm Pre's screen beats the pants off of both of them. That thing has an AWESOME screen. It looks awesome, even in direct sunlight.

    If only Apple would make a webOS phone with a Pre-type screen but the size of the iPhone's screen...

    I hate the iPhone OS compared to webOS. It's so clunky and backwards, after using the Pre awhile. Can't even merge contacts in-phone! QQQQ
     
  23. germanjulian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #23
    ahhh so geeky.

    need to go home and find my polarized oakleys and do some testing now :cool:
     

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