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Up close and personal with HD SuperAMOLED

Because we know some in the Android community (and elsewhere) like to get worked up over things like the PenTile matrix used Samsung's new HD SuperAMOLED displays, we decided to snap some close-ups of the tech in all its high-def (1280x800) glory on a shiny new Galaxy Note. If you're a regular around here, you'll know that the same technology is used on the Galaxy Nexus's 720p display too.

Take a look at the pics below -- we think it's safe to say you don't have anything to worry about when it comes to image quality. HD resolutions on a hand-held SuperAMOLED device look just as gorgeous as you'd expect, even when viewed up-close. The extra pixel density more than makes up for the fact that it's PenTile, not RGB.

Hit the jump for a few more photos...

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • As awesome as I was expecting it to be. Thanks, Alex!
  • These photos are biased, IMHO. Why don't you show a web page with black background and red letters ( for example - top menu). This would show really how PenTile technology is annoying. Yes, I own Galaxy Note and I can easily see artifacts. Crap!
  • Duhhh in case you didn't notice, 5.3 (277 DPI) is bigger than 4.65 (316 DPI). A lot bigger.
  • These ARE photos of the screen of Galaxy Note, dude. What's your point?
  • The (somewhat obvious) point is that on the smaller screen, artifacts are even less of an issue as it will have a higher DPI. Also, for some reason I thought they went pentile on the smaller screen but not on the larger.
  • looks pretty good. only noticeable thing, which is more easily seen in the last photo (zoom in of '5 Nov', at top left), I'm not sure if that's a reflection of the white text on the glass, or the actual pixels seen off angle. Either way they still have room for improvement :)
  • Thanks now maybe people will quit crying about pentile. Only moto has the crappy pentile that looks like a screen door.
  • And even they're done with it, Super AMOLED Advanced from the RAZR onward... Time to let the pentile stupidity die.
  • How does Super AMOLED Advanced differ from Super AMOLED Plus? I've not seen an explanation anywhere.
  • Super AMOLED Advanced IS Super AMOLED Plus...but at qHD resolution instead of WVGA as found in the GSII. That's all.
  • Resolution is higher then ghd
  • The RAZR's screen looks pretty terrible.
  • The original Galaxy S had a screen-door pentile screen also.
  • The OG SGS had a much different pentile display than the Motorola ones. There wasn't the "screen door effect", just some text artifacting on certain color backgrounds. This display should be better.
  • No it didn't. Only moto has the screen door pentile displays.
  • That's a hell a nice screen.
  • That is no surprise but it is fun to see the wind taken out of some haters sails though. Thanks Alex.
  • Yeah...the pics even look nice on the Fascinate ; p
  • Too bad Samsung is still pushing that crappy touchwiz interface. It sure would be nice to get a top of the line phone that's purely google and not on Verizon's really high pricing structure.
  • GSM Galaxy Nexus. Done.
  • I've tried almost all the OEM and 3rd party launchers and TouchWiz 4 is the best one in my opinion. (I haven't tried ICS much so I can't speak about it.)
  • I really don't get all this bitching & moaning about the interfaces/skins... This is Android not iOS or Windows Phone 7, if you don't like the skin then change it. It's like getting mad at the cook for putting pickles in your burger...just take 'em out! And this is still just a skin, so change it!
  • yeah but you still have that pickle taste.
  • That's no reason to order a hot dog instead.
  • So stealing that metaphor.
  • Yea, you're right. You really don't get it at all. Touchwiz is not just a skin. It makes deeper changes than that.
  • Yeah but you can just install a custom rom like MIUI or CyanogenMod and it completely gets rid of all of it... no pickle taste left :D
  • Basically you've got a whole new burger which is to your liking
  • Am I the only one who finds Super AMOLED screens overrated? Have any of you actually looked at one? I see friends with Galaxy S phones and those screens are wayyy too dim. It's like something is wrong with them. I think I like the S-LCD that HTC uses best.
  • How can a Super AMOLED ever be dimmer than an HTC S-LCD? Were their phone's brightness turned all the way down? lol
  • I have a Galaxy S (Captivate) and sometimes have to turn the screen down because it hurts my eyes it's so bright. No idea what you're talking about. Unless your friends with Galaxy S' purposely have the brightness turned down to save battery. But even still, it's not THAT dim.
  • I agree I had a fascinate and never had problems with the screen being to dim. I think he just doesn't know how to use his phone or never had one and just is trolling.
  • Yep... i've got a Galaxy S (UK) and I can't keep it at full brightness as it hurts my eyes. Dno what this guy is talking about the screens being too dim
  • @ JWellington: You do know that S-LCD that HTC uses is made by Samsung. It's a JV between Samsung and Sony with Samsung having the majority shares. So, you saying Samsung giving their best screen to HTC and using the inferior screens for themselves. Sounds like a good logic, won't you say?
  • JWellington, you are alone on that one I believe. -- Alex, I am ready to import a Note. What's the best source?
  • Thanks for the info. Its nice to know that when I look at this phone under a microscope i won't be too bothered by the pixels. smh
  • Looks good to me. And I've magnified some screens in my day. Don't ask.
  • I still see screen! So, some image information might be nice just to get a relationship of the photo to actual image size.
    But the screening is not my problem it is the super saturation caused by the AMOLED technology.
    And I guess I might be the only one who agrees, partially, with JWellington, in that these screens are overrated (not in brightness but in overall quality), partially due to their heavy unnatural saturation of colors.
  • Yeah... pretty much just you. I own a Captivate, and I hate everything about it except the screen. thecolors may look unnatural, but the colors look so saturated that it looks gorgeous.
  • Guess not just me. Keep reading.... :-)
  • having had the Nexus S and Vibrant, as well as N1, G2X, HD2 (Android) - I haven't yet seen a screen that I could go away from the SAMOLED for without being "homesick"... as to the other, you're talking about seeing a "screen" from what appears to be inches away? If you gotta get that close to the screen, there might be other issues with your eyes more pressing than a poor screen perhaps. I say that as someone who would have to get that close to be able to read the screen at all
  • I kept reading. And I'm giving my opinion like you gave yours
  • Should post some comparison pics with the dreaded and feared iP4. Same page, same magnification. Not to start a flame war, its just that so many people consider the iP4 the Holy Grail of mobile displays.
  • Bet that screen scrstchs really easy. And bet it still sucks in the sun
  • Somehow I doubt that, my Nexus S performs great in the sun. It's always behind me on my walk to the train to work, and as soon as I turn the first corner and the sun is behind me the auto-brightness cranks up the display and I can read it just fine.
  • Really?!?! That looks just like the Motorola pentile display on the phantom! Look at the close ups, its horrific! Unless that camera makes a screen door effect, and in person it doesn't look ANYTHING like that, I won't be getting one. That's unfortunate, too. I was really excited about the Note and Nexus Prime (I refuse to call it the GN, terrible name...).
  • Im pretty sure it's the camera
  • that screen effect is not the camera it is the S AMOLED screen. Look very closely. But, under normal viewing the screen might not be all that bad. Most people are not going to put their nose on the screen to read it. What we really need is a comparision between this screen and the S LCD screen used on the Rezound.
  • You are aware of how zoomed in the camera is, right? Any screan of any type is going to show its pixels clearly when you're that zoomed in. The three pictures on the left hand side are what your eyes are going to be able to see. The three on the right are what a zoomed in camera can produce and what you'll give yourself a wicked migraine trying to duplicate with a naked eye. Do you remember the screen test that made the rounds the other day between the Droid X, the Droid X 2, and the Nexus S? When zoomed in, all three looked horribly pixelated, but with my eyes looking at my Droid X, it's very difficult to see individual pixels.
  • some people do put their noses to their phone...
  • I want a Note...I don't know what in God's name I'd do with one but so help me I want one.
  • The screen's not too bad. Unfortunately, you can't take the Samsung out of the galaxy nexus. That's it's biggest flaw. Hopefully next year htc or most probably motorola get the nexus. Enough of these plastic feeling phones.
  • OMG PENTILE?!?!?! Really Bionic screen looks great, and the added pixels on an HD display will smooth out any issues you'll ever have with the screen. I hope this is the way of the future (although 4.3 is the sweet spot in screen size, 4.65 may be a tad large for many...I'd just learn to live with it, I love big screens), and we continue to see this technology in more devices.
  • because a normal person looks at their phone screen that closely...if you do, you need glasses...BAD
  • I can't wait to get my hands on a Galaxy Nexus! Also, AC staff, I love the first definition here You didn't used to use that phrase back in the day, somewhere along the line you guys tried to start emulating engadget and gizmodo. Please stop. Thanks, a fan.
  • I'm on my galaxy note right now and its amazing. I would try to find pixels but if I look too close the brightness will burn my retinas.
  • ...the SCREEN is just as IMPORTANT to me as the O.S. and SAMSUNG has the best screens in the buisness...cant wait for the GALAXY S3.
  • Way to zoom in on large text numnuts. Of course text is going to look smooth when the letters are large. You must be a Sammy fan to make that mistake. This coming from a Galaxy S owner who is quite satisfied.
  • I can totally see the 'screen door' effect!! ..... Oh wait, I'm viewing this on my bionic. Sigh
  • o boy... it is pretty grainy to be honest... not amazing but o well. it is the nexus.... i will be getting it anyway.....
  • I think a lot of it is the camera. It's extremely difficult to take pictures of a screen with a digital camera, as the pattern that the pixels make interferes with the pattern of pixels on the cameras sensor. The same thing happens on certain clothing items. Most cameras have a "blurring" filter on top to help prevent this effect, but it still happens. Google moire effect if interested.
  • Wow that looks pretty crappy. Hopefully the GN looks better than that. I can't believe people are saying that it looks good.
  • lol.... yeah.. i dunno how ppl r saying that looks great. that's just crazy... i don't think GN will look any better to be honest... SIGH...................
  • Google moire effect. Taking pictures of a pixel matrix with a pixel matrix is a bad idea. Especially at web resolutions.
  • I just wish people would stop belly aching about PenTile displays! I mean come on are u gonna be viewing the screen with a microscope on a day to day basis? we are letting tech specs keep us away from an awesome device!
  • What about when viewed in sunlight/direct sunlight??
  • Do please continue to bitch & moan over a close up view of the screen. In fact I urge you folks not to get one. That means I'm sure to get one in stock when I go to my Verizon store.
  • I was actually talking with a friend of mine that wanted to buy the Note for the high def display. The only problem about it is that as long as you dont want to have a complementary bag for carrying your mobile, i would prefer to wait for the Galaxy Nexus. I added this topic on my android related content curation blog @Seacheeze. Check it out if you want!
  • This whole debate is moot simply because everyone's eyes are different. Most could give a flying frak about what's in what, but I can tell you right now I'm one of those people who can't stand the screen door effect Pen Tile displays seem to have when I look at them. I guess that's what happens when you use an iPhone 4 for six months but it drives me nuts. I was disappointed to see that on the Motorola RAZR. It looks exactly like the first Samsung Galaxy S. It's better than the Bionic, which along with the Droid 3 are probably the crappiest looking Motorola screens post-RAZR-iPhone4 for me, but it doesn't best the likes of what I've seen on the Droid Charge.
  • I agree with the many who posted here that all the moaning about pentile on SuperAmoled HD is just plain stupid, crybaby nonsense. These displays are gorgeous. You are not supposed to look at the screen up against your nose. Do you sit 6 inches from your TV?
    These people probably go to art museums and get 2 inches away from famous paintings and call them trash. Idiots. My wife has the Moto Razr and it is beautiful, crisp and detailed. Even small fonts are clear. I'm getting the Galaxy Note ASAP!! And as noted, it is ridiculous to complain about the manufacturer interface. Just change it to a different Launcher.