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Samsung Sticks with PenTile on the Galaxy SIII to Increase Life Span of Display

Our frustrations with the Pentile matrix on mobile phone screens have been well documented here at DL. When we heard that the Galaxy SIII was not getting the bump up to the Super AMOLED Plus screen, and they chose to instead stick to the screen that used Pentile we were a little confused. Samsung has spoken on the issue however and said it was because the Pentile increases the life of your display’s screen.

Even though the Galaxy SII and the Galaxy Note have AMOLED Plus (whoops!) different AMOLED screens, Samsung explained that the blue subpixels in those matrices degrade faster than their red and green brethren. This doesn’t happen in the Pentile this doesn’t happen as quickly, and Samsung wants to keep your screen bright and vibrant for at least 18 months. You shouldn’t notice much of a difference between a Galaxy Nexus’ screen and the new SIII. Is the longevity of your screen a good trade-off for the quality?

Via: Engadget | Mobile Burn


    the htc one x screen is amazing i have always loved super amoled but compared to the lcd2 used on the one x they just dont look as good i really wish the s3 would have came with the non pentile display and done without the gimmicky “s voice” that is just a themed vlingo app and the pop up player is in the play store for .99 cents its called ” stickit”

  • Taglogical

    OLED is BUILT/DESIGNED to decay. Like intentionally building $&#%*@ roads to keep raking in the cash to repair them.

    It’s an ugly display incapable (presently) of reproducing colors as accurately as LCD. They are trying to shovel this down your throats because they want DESPERATELY to put this tech into TVs (so that you have to buy more TVs in your life; again, because OLED is ENGINEERED to have a short lifespan.)

    Open your eyes everyone; Super LCD ftw!

  • in a year when the AMOLED degrades it will still look frostier than the pentile fresh out of the box. cheap move, not consumer move, samsung.

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  • agent_xlvii

    Am I the only person who thinks that if some type of pixels is going bad quickly, than we need to add MORE of this pixels, not less??

  • I really don’t see what the big issue is anymore..
    Pentile use to be an issue before we started getting screens with a larger ppi. Going back to
    http://www.droid-life.com/2011/11/29/screen-comparison-galaxy-nexus-vs-droid-razr-vs-htc-rezound/#more-54303 “your blind eye probably won’t be able to tell a difference.” After looking at the sample pictures, the pentile screens looked better(imo as far as the text goes.) The screen on my Gnex is gorgeous and it’s been reported that the screen in the GS3 is even better by producing cleaner whites.

    So if I can get a screen that looks amazing plus the added benefit of longevity, I’ll take it.

  • Master O’Disaster

    Sounds like total Malarky to me, and Samsung is just trying to cover their butt on the criticism onslaught that they are receiving for not using a better display technology (Especially on their top-of-the-line phone!). Just pinchin’ pennies, like on using the cheaper plastic back. Well, there is an easy test to see if Samsung is telling the truth here: We should never see any more Super AMOLED phones coming from the belly of Samsung – just Pentile displays … if they are so superior.

    • Tyler Cameron

      What other material are they supposed to use?
      – unibody aluminum: Forget about extended/removable batteries.
      – Aluminum body: aluminum is a pretty bad material to use for a cell phone, because cell phones have antennas. And unless you want worse signal, you don’t use aluminum bodies.
      – Glass: So it can be as fragile as an iPhone? EVERYONE I know with an iPhone has had the front or back shattered, on the front AND back would make for very poor build quality.
      – Ceramic(?) – Less durable than glass…
      – plastic: Durable, doesn’t shatter, works good with antennas… WE HAVE A WINNER!

      • Master O’Disaster

        There were rumors of a ceramic back a few weeks before the official Samsung announcement. That would have been my choice. Ceramics can be far more durable than glass – it depends on the type of ceramic materials/manufacturing processes used, and what characteristics they design for. Remember how the Space Shuttle uses ceramic tiles as the heat shield during re-entry? Those tiles were designed for a near-infinite thermal resistance. Here’s an amusing video that shows how ceramics can be designed to maximize a characteristic: http://youtu.be/UJN0U-QBoyc . Durability isn’t a problem with ceramics.

  • theberk

    For me the problem with Pentile is not the resolution (though that was annoying on the Droid X2) but the color. I was considering the Galaxy but I went to the Verizon store and I couldn’t live with the color reproduction. I could be a little picky as I had some some photography in the past.

  • bose301s

    hat people don’t realize is that the Pentile matrix used in an AMOLED screen and the Pentile matrix used in an LCD screen are 2 completely different things. Pentile in AMOLED uses a RGBG pixel configuration. The Bionic, D3 etc. use a RGBW configuration. AMOLED Pentile looks better than LCD Pentile even at lower resolutions and at the resolution of the GNex I honestly can’t tell, the screen is sharper and crisper than the OG and the OG had a damn good screen.

  • Droidlynn

    Also everyone makes mistakes while spelling, so there should be no reason to get angry at DROID Life for it. This isn’t English class , cuz if it was I would fail at spelling, due to my being disabled . I have trouble reading and writing sometimes, but I can read better than I can write . Have a Droidtastic day!

  • Droidlynn

    I don’t see an issue with pentile displays. My favorite phone of all is the DROIDX, which I’m Swyping on right now, and it has a pentile display, but I don’t have an issue with it. I can’t imagine having any other phone besides the DROIDX.,

  • Sven Enterlein

    As long as the colors don’t look too greenish like on the SII I wouldn’t care. But playing with the HTC ONE X today made me drool over the screen

  • r0lct

    I just want to know what they are going to tell the Note owners now…

  • eric815

    The probable reason GSIII will get a penile screen is cause Apple reserved stock on superamold glass. Wait did I say penile? Heh thats why nobody wants it. Yeh, gimmie the super unleaded. I mean super amoled. Its all subliminal marketing guys!!

  • bionicchimp

    This phone just keeps getting worse for me.


      still better than what you are using now. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • Paradisimo

    I didn’t even know my Gnex had a pentile display until I started reading about the SIII. I owned the Droid 3 for a few short months and will admit that the pentile on that phone looked like crap but never would have known my Gnex had a pentile display if not for these blogs. The screen on my Gnex is easily the nicest screen I have ever had on a phone.

    • Stephen D

      Hey, I had a D3 before the GNex too. The Droid 3’s display was indeed awful.

  • ben

    Use a droid x2 and you’ll see why pentile got a bad name. My Galaxy Nexus though, no complaints.. I am picky when it comes to my screens and the pentile display isn’t one of my complaints on my phone! So no big deal.

  • nklenchik

    I wish it was SAmoled Plus…who keeps their phone for more than 18 months nowadays?

    • r0lct

      Most people?

  • Austin

    I want high quality, just make it last 1 year then i upgrade to another phone

    • paul_cus

      Couldn’t agree more.

      • Ranball

        This statement also gets my vote. I pay for quality not quantity. I’m pretty much done with a phone by a years time anyways.

  • paul_cus

    Samsung sticks with plastic because they’re Samsung.

  • TimXer

    An absolute sorry excuse – who keeps their phone the amount of time for the quality to diminish – I’m guessing that’s a power user who keeps it 3+ years. Give us the best on your “best”!! BUT, how much holds true on the “…you really won’t notice the difference on this high quality display”? Now if I am looking at a Droid Bionic – that screen is horrible and there’s a clear difference between that and the Nexus. Will there be that much difference noticeable difference on the SGSIII vs. the next best thing?

  • RGiskard

    Wait a second… Samsung wants the display to be as good as new for 18 months, even though virtually every device sold for use with a US carrier is locked into a 2-year contract? Awesome…

    • Jason Frasier

      don’t most carriers offer an upgrade at 18 months anyway so they can get you locked into a new contract before the current one runs out? That way you don’t shop around after your contract expires and go elsewhere.

      • QQpayne

        20 months on Verizon.

    • Taglogical

      That’s OLED display Technology for you: Designed/Engineered/Manufactured/purposed to fail in very short order relative to all other display techs.

  • Butters619

    This is one of the reasons I don’t see OLED TVs taking over anytime soon.

    • taglogical

      Nah, the idiots who believe that they like OLED displays will eat ’em up… year after year after year…

  • Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a high dpi pentile hater (I do HATE low dpi pentile though), but this is just an excuse. The real reason the SGSIII uses pentile is because they still don’t have the capability to produce pixels that small on a Super AMOLED screen.

  • MrSteve920

    Honestly the screen on the Galaxy Nexus looks fantastic to me even if it is a Pentile Matrix. If I were getting the SGIII then it wouldn’t matter to me.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    BS… 100% total unmitigated BS.

    Any screen they use will last long enough for any users. It’s not like these things disintegrate over time and somehow the average person can notice and see the longevity difference. Most get rid of their phones LONG before shizz breaks.

    And what’s worse, when they go to the HD AMOLED Plus they will talk that all up and leave the Pentile in the dust.

    So so phoney.. Samsung F you

  • Destroythanet

    Anyone think the real reason is because it’s less expensive?

    • Butters619

      Or because they don’t quite have pixel density there yet.

      218 ppi to 316 ppi is a pretty fat jump

    • Austin

      I agree

    • Stephen D

      There is some truth to it. Blue OLEDs decay much faster than red and green OLEDs. But the real reason probably has to do with the manufacturing process. I can’t recall the technical terms, but Samsung is unable to make pixels that small with their current manufacturing process. They plan to move to a laser manufacturing process, and that will allow them to produce higher res RGB displays.

  • Towelie420

    A snifter…. Yuppie 😛

  • TMac

    If it was motor everyone would be shifting there pants.

    • snowblind64

      Haha… You got autocorrected

    • Tyler Cameron

      that’s because Motorola not only uses it on LCD screens, where PenTile has NO benefits, whatsoever, but they also use a different form of PenTile that uses 4 sub-pixels, the end result looks similar to most camera screens.

      • 4n1m4L

        argubly, rgbw on lcd screens makes it so the backlight doesn’t have to be as bright, saving battery.. But i don’t think its worth it.

  • Kevin

    Holy cow, guys. Proofread before you hit publish, would ya? “This doesn’t happen in the Pentile this doesn’t happen as quickly”? I know what you MEANT to say, but it’s still botched all to hell. Also, it’s “faster than their” (not “there”).

    • Stephen D

      Yeah, this article was very poorly written. And it still has errors even after the multitude of edits.

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    • crimsonthane

      “faster than their red and gren brethren” is correct spelling

  • Stewie

    I don’t buy it at all. Were talking a min of 18 months, and I haven’t noticed degradation of any of the types of screens out there.
    Has someone, even DL taken some older phones, say the OG and something pentile and compared them at the later, older state?

  • presb4

    I am a quality control inspector and use my eyes on a daily basis to find very small welding flaws and I have never understood the complaints about the pentile display in the Nexus. I own a Galaxy Nexus and have to say it is the best phone display I have ever owned. And I doubt that you could show it to any geek and not tell them it was a pentile screen and they would think it was a great looking display too.
    Do pentile displays at lower resolutions on other phones other than the Nexus look like crap, yes they do, but the pentile display on the current nexus looks freeking awesome.

    • StormbladeX69

      I have to agree. Pentile was horrible on Droid X2, Droid 2, and Bionic… I honestly can’t tell on my GNex, and love the diplay on it. I think there is really zero issue here.

      • MrSteve920

        I agree as well. Those other phones with Pentile were absolute garbage, but the G-Nex is different.

      • Tyler Cameron

        Motorola uses different PenTile in all phones except the RAZR. They use this f’d up form of PenTil (ON NON-AMOLED SCREENS!!!!!!) that uses 4 subpixels. The end-result is everything looks jagged and unbearable. PenTile in ANY form is completely unacceptable on anything except an AMOLED.

        • 4n1m4L

          the definition of pentile is 4 subpixels… not sure what you were trying to say. I hated motorola phones for their poor implementation. rgbw.. makes everything washed out. rbgb doesn’t look bad at all though.

      • Raven

        Actually, I have the Droid 2 and it has a rather nice looking plain old LCD screen. Pentile started with the Droid 3. My wife now has the Droid 4 and I must say that it is only glaringly obvious on green edged graphics such as the battery indicator. Pictures/photographs actually look pretty decent and she is very happy with the phone.

  • rockstar323

    I don’t know if it’s where I came from a Bionic or messed with the Color tuning in AOKP but I don’t see what is so bad about the screen on my Gnex, I think it looks pretty good. I know it’s definitely not my vision, I have 20/10 in both eyes, unless my vision got horrible since my last eye exam a year ago.

    • Jeff Tycz

      there is nothing wrong with that display you can hardly tell its pentile with the high density of the display

  • Jeff Tycz

    with the pixel density so high on this display you cant even notice it, people just want to complain because the word pentile is in-front of the word display

    • Jeff Tycz

      and if you think any different you have not looked at the galaxy nexus

    • stubb

      we only complain because of the potential of a 720p Super Amoled+ display using rgb stripe/ super amoled HD is amazing but imagine 3x the sub-pixel density, 3x the detail.

  • RoadsterHD1

    Is This the same screen as the Bionic?

    • Q

      lol no

      • RoadsterHD1

        Well, you don’t have to laugh…. 🙂
        We need a chart to clarify this and the different screens and which phones have them….

        • presb4

          They are both pentile displays but the display on the SIII has a resolution and pixel density that is much greater than the Bionic. Thus where you can see the edges of the pixels on the bionics display it is dame near impossible to see them on the SIII or GN which both basically have the same displays. Hope this helps.

          • RoadsterHD1

            It does thanks for that. Much appreciated,

  • Liderc

    This has to be a joke lol, who would compromise screen quality for the chance that your blue sub pixel MAY degrade before your next upgrade.

    Think Samsung may have just said the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

    • paul_cus


  • Haha good one Samsung…

  • Dima Aryeh

    Galaxy Note has Pentile, not a SAMOLED+ HD

    • EricRees

      True, and that’s been fixed. HD SAMOLED looks almost as good though!

  • MrEnglish

    Quality dammit. That’s why insurance and warranties were made. Need……to…..get…..rid…..of pentile. Honestly if the SIII doesn’t look much different (or any) than my Gnex, it may be a deal breaker for me and force a wait.

  • “Quick… the media outlets are starting to revolt against Pentile. Someone come up with a new excuse.”

    That’s all there is to it.

    I know they haven’t gotten the technology down to where they can achieve that high of a resolution with SAMOLED+, but frankly, the lower resolution SAMOLED+ screens look nicer than the higher resolution SAMOLEDs with Pentile.

    • Colin Zack

      No way. Galaxy SII screen is better than GSII and Nexus screen? I just don’t see how you could believe that.

  • lolercopter

    as long as it doesn’t suck as hard as the Bionic screen then its fine. Although i do love the screen on my Charge

    • The bionic screen was fine at everything except Green…holy pixelation

  • Edwin M

    Super LCD HD on my Rezound FTW!