What is a Retina display afterall?



When the iPhone 4 was released in June 2010, one of it's USPs was that it had the 'Retina Display'. It turns out, many of the Android users out there already have a Retina display, it's just that it's not called by this name. Why? Read on...

    The iPhone 4, released in June 2010, received 600,000 pre-orders in the first 24 hours, the largest number of pre-orders Apple had received in a single day for any device up to that point. Amid the pile of specifications (which were deemed amazing back then), was what Apple called the 'Retina Display'.

    Almost every successor to this phone then had a Retina display. Many claimed that the display was so good, it seemed as if the icons were 'painted' onto the screen. Now, for moment, if you ignore the fact that paper doesn't glow, the icons do in fact look like they've been painted onto the screen. But what buyers don't realise is that the above statement, is just a metaphor.

    According to Apple,  if the pixel density of a screen is greater than 300 ppi (pixels per inch), then the human eye is unable to discern individual pixels from a comfortable viewing distance, which according to Apple is 10-12 inches.

    The truth is, that many of the high-end phones nowadays come with screens having pixel densities greater than 300 ppi. Like, for example, the Galaxy S3 has ~306 ppi, Sony Xperia Z has ~441 ppi, Samsung Galaxy S4 too has ~441 ppi. All of which fall well into the retina category.

   (Image credit: Digital Trends)

So why don't they advertise their products as having a retina display? Well, that's because the guys at Apple have copyrighted the name 'Retina Display', and it has become a brand name. Therefore, only an Apple product with a pixel density of  more than 300 ppi can be advertised as having a 'Retina Display'.

    And yes, it's not that Apple is hiding this. According to the Apple website,
 "It has a pixel density so high your eye can’t distinguish individual pixels"
    Heck! Now that defeats the purpose of writing this article! If Apple themselves are transparent about this stuff, then why am I writing this article?

    Here's why: Most of the people don't know about this! A couple of weeks earlier, I was having an argument (or should I say, 'debate') with someone, regarding whether iOS is better or Android, and he brought up that iPhones have a Retina display, which no Android device has. He further added that it was a completely different technology! That was when I relised that many people don't know what a retina display is, and that's why I wrote this article.

    So, the next time someone tells you that iPhones are better because of their Retina displays, you have an answer!