Smartphone screens

Just a question - why can smartphones be impossible to read in sunlight yet my Kindle is easy? I'm just an older user of both and not being a techo would be interested to know the answer

geek_2bakerz, Jun 29, 11:55 am

Depends on smart phone and or screen settings. Some have sunlight setting also.

geek_wayne416, Jun 29, 12:25 pm

They use different technologies for the screens. Kindle has something commonly known as Electronic Paper
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_paper
The vast majority of smartphones use backlit LCD touchscreens.

geek_floydbloke, Jun 29, 2:07 pm

Buy a better quality smart phone, no problem seeing my iPhone or samsung in the sun

geek_shakespeare6, Jun 29, 7:39 pm

Depends on the display type, panel quality, type of glass on the front, backlight brightness, and other such factors.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jun 29, 8:14 pm

Have a Samsung Galaxy Young and am definitely looking to replace it - preferably with another Samsung - so will just have to look and check out this sunlight setting. And. look at it outside in sunlight before I choose. Thanks for input anyway

geek_2bakerz, Jun 30, 7:38 pm

geek_mm12345, Jun 30, 9:27 pm



That is actually the coolest feature I've seen added to a phone since the touchscreen. It won't be nearly as revolutionary and game changing, but it's still pretty neat.

geek_oclaf, Jun 30, 11:44 pm



It is cool. But that's the only good thing about the phone. An extremely high end price for a not high end phone though.
But you can put your house on many many phones to follow suit with better phones and cheaper prices. That's a good thing for me because I would buy one.

geek_trevenco, Jul 1, 12:07 am

I don't think even the best OLED or LCD screens are very good in bright sunlight. The "E Ink" reflective screen will be much better, eventually - but:
Refresh rates tend to be slow, colour bit-depth is about where LCD screens were just before the turn of the century. They use (almost) no power. Combined, this makes them perfect for kindle type devices. However cellphones are a bit different:
When a cellphone screen is active, you're probably "doing something" with it, and whatever that is, it's probably chewing through battery with CPU cycles, Wifi etc. When you're using a kindle, it will use a little bit of processing power/battery to load pages, d/l something etc, but uses almost nothing most of the time you're using it.
So the potential huge power saving / long battery life from E ink display (perfect for an e-reader) isn't practically achieved with a cellphone.
My phone which has been sitting idle most of the time for almost 5 days since I charged it, has 68% remaining charge. Mobile standby (handshake with cellular network) has used 30%, Wifi 25%, and "Phone Idle" 22%. The screen has used only 6% of battery capacity. So there's not much to gain.
If you were one of those type of people who can't put their stupid phones down, and between tweets and facebook addiction waste your time playing silly games, then yes - extended battery life from E ink could be significant - but for now you probably wouldn't like the display quality.

geek_mm12345, Jul 1, 9:04 am

My Huawei has it, does make a difference in sunlight. https://trademe.tmcdn.co.nz/photoserver/full/393932201.jpg

geek_wayne416, Jul 1, 9:57 am

Thanks for that great explanation mm12345 and for your input wayne416. must admit I don't often use my ph for internet, only when 'on the road' and I tend to go inside out of sun for that, but I just find it so hard to read text messages (absolutely nothing to do with age!) Like the look of that Huawei, will look further.

geek_2bakerz, Jul 1, 3:58 pm

I've owned numerous high-end smartphones over the years and they're all difficult to read in sunlight. They have big slabs of reflective glass on the front - so it's to be expected.

Some are slightly better than others, some have "settings" to improve brightness and contrast (like sunlight mode) but at the end of the day, none will be anywhere near as good as the Kindle display. But that's just the nature of the type of display that is needed in a smartphone.

Hopefully soon something new will come out that will solve the problem.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jul 5, 3:17 am

Share this thread