The display on the Galaxy S4 is a Super AMOLED one with a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution. The panel used in that phone, a 4.99in model, was actually on display at CES earlier this year, is slightly bigger than the S3 and uses a modified fine metal mask production technology to reach a pixel density of 440ppi.
Other competing full HD smartphones run either LCD, Super LCD or IPS display and until we get hold of all them (LG Optimus G Pro, ZTE Grand S, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z) for a head-to-head comparison, IPS remains our preferred display technology because it produces more natural and realistic colours than Super AMOLED. As for Pentile technology, it looks likely that Samsung will continue to use it.
According to Mr. Joel Pollack, EVP of Strategic Sales and Marketing for PenTile technology (one developed by Clairvoyante, which was then acquired by Samsung Electronics and spun off as Nouvoyance), “there is no technical solution for replacing PenTile in OLED smartphone displays on the horizon. The highest pitch that has been recently demonstrated is ~260PPI which will go into the Galaxy Note II. Beyond that, the OLED display industry must use PenTile to maintain a reasonble lifetime and brightness for the blue subpixels.”
Pollack also quoted Dr. Ching W. Tang, the co-inventor of OLED technology, who said that “the energetics involved in blue quantum excitation was at just the right level to break the bonds in the OLED materials which means that [….] there’s no solution in the forseeable future.”
Arguably, Samsung could adopt other technologies like IGZO or LTPS but given the level of investment the company made in the technology (around $6 billion), this seems very unlikely. It’s worth also noting that the company invested $112 million in Sharp Electronics, who pioneered IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) displays.
Check out our ongoing coverage of the Samsung Galaxy S4, from the very beginning until the launch (and beyond), including the rumours, the rehashed reports, the disappointments and the expectations. You can also read our hands-on of the Galaxy S4 here.
Why not read the rest of our articles dedicated to the hardware within the Samsung Galaxy S4