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Sep 02, 2009

OLED is an emissive display technology - it means that the OLED materials emit light. This is in contrast to a reflective display - which uses an external light source - an ePaper display for example, or a 'real' paper. OLEDs are bright, and provide great image quality, but because they are emissive, when viewed under direct sunlight (or any strong light source) they have a readability problem.

The best display technology for direct sunlight (besides ePaper) is said to be transflective LCDs, which uses a reflective layer under the LCD's filter. However this reduces the transmissive capabilities of the LCD, and the contrast is compromised as well. With OLEDs, unfortunately, it's not possible to use a reflective layer as the OLEDs themselves emit light.

We have received some word from Nokia N85 users saying that the display is not readable in sunlight - it behaves very poorly. It seems this issue is widespread. Check out this photo for example, showing a prototype N85 outside:

Nokia N85 prototype in direct sunlight photo

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You're not doing the tests correctly, the phone screen should be facing the camera, also, the Samsung Galaxy's screen appeared to fare pretty well on this kind of test.

These are not 'my' tests - I don't have these phones available for review so I had to use reviews already posted in the internet.

If you have videos that show the Galaxy or other OLEDs in sunlight - I'll be happy to post them!


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