The Display in the Sun

As we mentioned earlier, the new glass is more reflective than the 3GS' screen. In direct sunlight the 4 is somewhere in between the usability of the iPhone 3GS and an AMOLED Android phone. The photos below should help convey that.

All of the screens were set to max brightness with automatic adjustments turned off. The EVO 4G came in as the worst of the bunch, while the iPhone 3GS was the most legible.


The iPhone 4 in direct sunlight


The iPhone 3GS in direct sunlight


The Google Nexus One in direct sunlight


The EVO 4G in direct sunlight

More Display Welcome to 2010, Apple Upgrades its Camera
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  • JAS - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    The build quality of the iPhone 4 is outstanding. It reminds me of Nagra (Swiss-made) professional tape recorders I have used. Very solid.

    The edges of the iPhone 4 are not as smooth as those on the iPhone 3GS; but they aren't "sharp" or prone to cutting your pants when you slide the device into your pocket.

    Still, I would want to use a rubber/silicone "skin" on the iPhone 4, not just a bumper, primarily to improve its grasp.
    Reply
  • jsbruner - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    I see the reception bar issue as well but do not experience any dropped calls because of it. However the biggest issue I have is with the proximity sensor. I have accidentally hung up numerous times because the screen lock turns off and the buttons become active. I watched myself in a mirror talking and I see the phone flickering on and off. Have you seen this issue at all? Would the bumper minimize this issue?

    Great article.
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    While in theory I'd love higher resolution displays on monitors, in practice they're already too high, and can't get any higher until somehow operating systems are able to offer true resolution independence where ANY program (even if it's written in 1988) will be flawless scaled so it's the right size at a given resolution. So far the ONLY example in the computer world of this being done right is on Palm devices, where they just quadrupled the resolution and on older programs 1 pixel = 4 real pixels. Presumably it's the same on iOS.

    But until OSes can do that that successfully on ANY content on ANY monitor at ANY resolution, raising the resolution is a TERRIBLE idea, as we're already WAY past the point of usability on a lot of displays, since stuff just keeps shrinking rather than adding detail.
    Reply
  • inperfectdarkness - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    "If there's one thing I hope the iPhone 4 display does, it's generate demand for 300 PPI level desktop displays - the era of 110 PPI displays being the norm needs to end now."

    i could not have said it better. 1080p on a 17" screen is pathetic for a laptop.
    Reply
  • minememy21 - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    I registered just for the sole purpose of saying thank you to Brian and Anand.

    I really appreciate the amount of work and objectivity you've put in this review. I don't know of any other site with the same level of dedication and thoroughness.

    Please don't pay attention to the few, vocal, and overly sensitive anti-apple crowd and just continue writing the way you do.
    Reply
  • HilbertSpace - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    "Perhaps even use diamond vapor deposition (like they did with the glass screen atop the iPhone 3GS) to insulate the stainless steel from users." -The Real Story on iPhone 4's Antenna.

    There's no way apple used physical vapor deposition (PVD) on the iPhone 3GS, way too expensive! Supposedly a Nokia Vertu phone adds a TiC coating - the cost - oh only ~$15000!
    Reply
  • gronkman - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    The word on the grapevine is that the antenna issue will be dealt with by an upcoming software update. What I am interested in is whether it will really change the antenna attenuation, or whether it will "fix" the bars just by not showing the bar degradation. I'm hoping AT will do an in-depth look at the update when/if it comes out. Reply
  • thomas.magnum - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    I am not sure what you mean when using 40% in the context of the bar. But I think you need to improve the discussion of dB. Because it runs on a log scale, changes in dB are more complex than just looking at dB1-dB2 and computing percentage. You really need to think about 10^(dB/10). I would bet that the bars are setup to be representative of a dB scale. NOT simple percentages base on dB numbers, like you're trying to do. Reply
  • The0ne - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Your comment reminds me of richter scale :) Most people will look at 6.0 and 7.0 and say oh that's nothing hahaha If only they knew they'll be completely shocked. Sorry, I had a good laugh out of this. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, July 1, 2010 - link

    Of course that is also assuming they think the Richter scale is still in use. Reply

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