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The Problem With Pentile Displays, In An Image

You've perhaps heard from your nerdier friends that Pentile displays are awful. This is why, in an image.

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The Verge reviews a pair of highly anticipated Android phones, the first seriously interesting devices from HTC in a long time: the One S and One X. They're genuinely striking.

The thing I want to highlight, though, is the screens. Chris Ziegler, who looks at more phones in a day than you probably will in your entire life, says that the flagship One X's Super LCD 1280x720 screen "is, without a hint of hyperbole, the best I've ever seen on a phone."

Its companion, the One S, uses a Pentile Matrix Super AMOLED display. That's a lot of jargon — super! LETTERS — but the important word here is Pentile. Displays that use a Pentile subpixel arrangement are cheaper, basically, and as Vlad Slavov puts it, the result is often that "you get color fringing on high contrast edges (e.g. white text on a black background), which tends to get in the way of displaying crisp edges and fine detail." Or if that's too many words, you can just look at this macro shot and see the difference. The Pentile display is on the right.

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