iPhone 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy S

I saw Engadget try to compare the screens of Apple's "Retina Display" in the iPhone 4 against Super AMOLED on the Samsung Galaxy S.  However, trying to showcase a new display technology via an old display technology is kind of silly.

I mean, looking at pictures of a Super AMOLED screen on your LCD can't convey the difference.  So I thought I would visually show the difference in terms of money.  Check out the real comparison and a detailed graph inside.

Engadget did a comparison on the displays of the iPhone 4 vs the Samsung Galaxy S.  The only thing you could take away from the article were the microscopic shots showing the differences between the screens at 10x magnification.

Otherwise, they tried to display the differences to the reader via screenshots.  Now let me ask you this?  How does that help anyone discern the difference when the end result is a person is going to be viewing them on an LCD!

I’m apart of this blog, so I thought it only right to clear the air and VISUALLY show what the difference is between the Samsung Galaxy S and the iPhone 4.

Retina Display, it’s all in the Pixels Per Inch

The iPhone 4’s display has a resolution of 960×640, which basically equals 330ppi (Apple says it’s 326ppi).  Samsung Galaxy S has a PPI of 223 but actually, if we account for the PenTile Matrix we arrive at 190PPI.  So to be fair, let’s say the Samsung Galaxy S has 190PPI.  That’s 58% of the pixel density in the iPhone 4’s screen.

To make things easier, let’s say that the iPhone 4 resolution is 2x better than the Samsung Galaxy S display.  So If Samsung Galaxy S was one penny, the iPhone 4 would be two pennies.  Much like the picture below:

This is the difference in pixel density between the iPhone 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S.  But, let’s move onto AMOLED’s strengths, shall we?  First, let’s start off with contrast ratio.  The iPhone 4’s contrast ratio is 800:1 whereas on the Samung Galaxy S, it’s technically infinite because true black can be reached.  However, let’s go by what Samsung lists: 100,000:1 50,000:1 (They’ve taken a more modest number here).  That is greater than a 50x difference.  To better visualize that, take a look at the picture below:

Here we can see that the Galaxy S is now at 50 cents compared to the iPhone 4’s penny.  Now, let’s move onto response rate.  Something all gamers should be aware of and why we hate LCD so much.  Currently the best response rate I’ve seen on an IPS LCD is 5 milliseconds.  Because AMOLED doesn’t have to switch itself on or off (black or white, respectively) and only has to illuminate if on or not, the response rate on AMOLED is 1 MICRO second.  This is THREE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE difference just to get to ONE Milli second.  However, we need to go to FIVE milliseconds.  To show you visually what that looks like, look below:

That’s right.  Look at that response rate.  The Samsung Galaxy S response rate is 5,000 times better than the iPhone 4.  Combine these features and what you get is fluid, UNMATCHED, Vivid color accuracy.  On a screen that is a half an inch larger than the iPhone 4.

Below is a link to the Engadet article and also a complete chart comparing the Samsung Galaxy S to the iPhone 4.


IPhone 4 Samsung Galaxy S
T-Mobile (Unlocked version works on T-Mobile without 3G) X
Sprint X
Verizon TBD
2G X (Class 10 GPRS) X (Class 12 GPRS)
3G X X
4G X (Sprint)
Stand-by Time 300 Hour(2G) / 300 Hour (3G) 750 Hour (2G) / 576 Hour (3G)
Talk time 14 Hour (2G) / 7 Hour (3G) 13 Hour 30 Minutes (2G) / 6 Hour 30 Minutes (3G)
Battery 1420 mAh Li-Po 1500 mAh Li-Po
User-Replaceable Battery X
Music Playback Time 40 Hour (theoretical) NA
Video Playback Time 10 Hour (theoretical) 7 Hour 25 Mins ACTUAL
Slide-out Keyboard Available on Sprint Model
Dimensions 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm 122.4 x 64.2 x 9.9 mm
Weight 137g 118g
Display IPS LCD 16m Colors Super Amoled 16m colors
Resolution 640×960 at 3.5 inches 480×800 (653×392 PenTile)
Pixels Per Inch 330 ( Apple States 326) 233(190 PenTile)
Response Rate 5 millseconds 1 microsecond
Contrast Ratio 800 to 1 100,000 to 1
Multi-touch X X
WLAN 802.11 b+g+n (2.4Ghz only, no MIMO) 802.11 b+g+n (2.4Ghz only, no MIMO)
Bluetooth 2.1 3
BT Profiles Supported 5 (HFP, PBAP, A2DP, AVRCP(Limited), PAN) 14 (GAP, SSP, SDAP, HSP, HFP1.5, A2DP, AVRCP, SPP, DUN, FTP, SAP, BPP, OPP, PBAP)
Accelerometer X X
Gyro X (available on the Captivate AT&T model)
Proximity X X
Speaker Phone X X
Radio X
3.5mm Jack X X
Storage 16/32GB 8/16GB with expandable MicroSD
Max Storage 32GB 48GB
Camera 5MP Back-side illuminated 5MP Back-side illuminated
Max Video Record 720@30FPS 720@30FPS
LED FlashLight X (X Only on Sprint model right now)
Front Facing camera X X (Not on ATT Model Possibly not on Tmo either)
VideoCalling Only over wifi Wifi/3G/4G
GPS Yes, with A-GPS Support Yes, with A-GPS Support
Navigation Cheapest Solution is $30 Free with Google Navigation
CPU Arm Cortex A8 running 700Mhz (comparison to iPad Benchmark) ARM Cortex A8 Running at 1Ghz
GPU SGX535 = 28 million tri/sec SGX 540 = 90 million tri/sec
RAM 512MB LPDDR 512MB LPDDR (256MB usable in Android 2.1)
DSP X SGX 540 decodes the video
Video Playback upto 1080p upto 1080p
Video Codec Support:
mpeg4 X X
H.264 X X
H.263 X
Sorenson Codec X
Divx HD X
Xvid X
VC-1 X
Video Format Support:
Lossless Audio:
Apple Lossless X
Other Audio:
Vorbis (ogg) X
Operating System: IOS 4.0 Android 2.1 (Android 2.2 available by end of summer?)
Number of Apps 230000 65000
Side-Load support X
Multi-Tasking Support Selective Multitasking provided developers use it Full Multitasking
App Store X X
Highest Reported SAR (Specific Absorbtion Rate)
GSM 850 Mhz Head: 1.00 W/Kg / Body: 1.11 W/Kg Head: 0.126 W/Kg / Body: 0.422 W/Kg
GSM 1900 Mhz Head: 1.17 W/Kg / Body: 0.433 W/Kg Head: 0.211 W/Kg / Body: 0.388 W/Kg
WCDMA 1900 Mhz Not available in CDMA Head: 0.325 W/Kg / Body: 0.299 W/Kg
WLAN Head: 0.871 W/Kg / Body: 0.073 W/Kg Head: 0.034 W/Kg / Body: 0.0003 W/Kg

About Phawx

Reviewer and Idea Man extraordinaire, Cary Golomb plays the role of jack-of-all-trades behind the scenes as a part of the Brain Trust and ownership of the site. At 11′ 7″, Cary is the tallest man ever to win the Boston Marathon. He is a large, predatory reptile known to attack livestock and drink their blood. Witnesses of his handiwork claim he is able to drain a cow of all of its blood and most of its internal organs in less than 30 seconds. His name literally translates to “The Goat Sucker.”