iPhone 4 polarization

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by brandonzar, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. brandonzar macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2008
    I've had the iPhone 3G and 3GS and both had typical LCD screens that were polarized (if you wear polarized glasses and rotate the device the screen will go from light to dark depending on the angle). With the iPhone 4 the screen appears to be tinted blue when viewed in portrait and red in landscape when viewed through polarized lenses. It also turns all sorts of colors if the device is tilted.

    It is nice that the screen is visible in both portrait and landscape but it is going to take some time to adjust to the color anomalies.

    Has anyone else noticed that the phone is like a stick of greased butter?
  2. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    I hadn't noticed the color changes at first, but now I certainly do. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the iPhone 4 screen did not at first appear to be polarized.

    I only have past experience with the iPhone 3G and iPad 3G.

    My iPhone 3G has no polarization issues.

    The iPad 3G is completely black in one orientation when viewed through polarized glasses. (Don't remember which orientation...) This was inadvertently remedied by installed a Power Support non-glare screen protector.

    And, FWIW, my old Samsung Syncmaster IPS displays go black in portrait orientation, but are fine in landscape. This does appear to be an IPS issue, but there is something different about the iPhone 4 IPS technology

    The iPhone 4 looks "normal" to me in portrait orientation. With polarized glasses, in landscape, it is definitely quite blue, or blue-green.

    Caveat: I had a screen-protector installed at the mall. (don't know what brand - your basic no-name mall kiosk screen protector...) But I did take a look at the bare screen through polarized glasses before having it installed, and noted that the screen did NOT black-out in one orientation like the iPad does.

    Edit: by tilting you head/the phone, you can get normal coloration in landscape orientation. But it's a very narrow "sweet spot".

    I guess I'll be ordering a Power Support screen protector for the front, in hopes that it will correct the color shift.
  3. speed12 macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2008
    I noticed this also today, and although there is some definite colour tinting, that is infinitely better than the usual blackout you get with polarised sunglasses. I might now finally be able to run co-pilot in my car in landscape whilst wearing sunnies!
  4. gceo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I noticed this and posted something in another thread.

    As one that wears polarized sunglasses almost all the time, I think this is great on the iPhone 4 to be able to read the screen in landscape mode.

  5. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    It's an LCD issue. The whole technology is built on using polarized light and filtering it based on its polarization to get the different color levels in each pixel.

    If there are LCD displays that are better than others, it's because something is depolarizing the light as it passes through it. There are a few changes to the glass and how it is mounted on the iPhone 4, which are probably responsible for the depolarizing effect.
  6. brandonzar thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2008
    I always wear polarized sunglasses as well and I wish other tech companies would start doing whatever Apple did with the iPhone 4. The GPS unit in my car is polarized and I can barely see it with my head straight so I have to tilt my head to the left to get a decent view.

    Or I guess I could try to hunt down a pair of sunglasses with circularly polarized lenses, but I really like my Smiths.

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