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Droid 2.1 Update Downgraded Display to 16-bit?

There had been rumors of performance issues surfacing after everyone had upgraded their Motorola Droids to the official 2.1, but according to the test results we just received from DisplayMate, we should all really be concerned about the dumbed-down 16-bit image display they just switched us on to…

…when the Droid was upgraded to version 2.1, the Gallery (the principal image viewer for the phone) surprisingly downgraded to 16-bit color from its original full 24-bit color in version 2.0. Fortunately, version 2.1 of the Android Browser on the Droid still delivers full 24-bit color. Image Scaling for the Gallery (which adjusts images so they fit the native resolution of the display) went from Excellent in version 2.0 to Poor in version 2.1, the same as for the Browser (both versions).

They continue with a comparison to the Nexus One…

As a result the beautiful screen shots for the Droid in Figure 1 below now look exactly like those for the Google Nexus One on the left. Overall, the Droid still delivers substantially better picture quality and accuracy than the Nexus One. Presumably these errors, which affect both the Droid and the Nexus One will be fixed in a future software upgrade, so the Droid will at some point return to its original excellent 24-bit color…

I’ve got to admit that I’m not at all pleased to hear this news.  One of the selling points of the phone was the beautiful screen and to be taken back a step in some applications without a choice is somewhat alarming.  I can understand if they feel that dropping the display back a notch would increase performance, but give me a choice on that.  So much for loving the 3D gallery eh?

Thoughts anyone?  Any super-techie-gurus care to weigh in on the impact of this?

If you are not familiar with DisplayMate, feel free to check out their report of the Droid taking out the N1 and iPhone in a display battle.

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