Article last updated on: Aug 13, 2018

What's behind Nokia's ClearBlack display technology?

Nokia's ClearBlack Display technology has been announced in September 2010, and Nokia is using it in several phones (including the Lumia 900, Lumia 800 and older Symbian models such as the X7 and E7). We know that it includes polarizing filters to block incoming light. Today however Nokia finally revealed how it actually works:

A CBD filter includes both a linear polariser and retardation layers between the surface of your phone and the display. When light hits your screen, this is what happens:

Nokia's Lumia 800 now available in the UK, pre-orders have been the best ever for a Nokia phone

Nokia's Lumia 800 is now available in the UK for the Orange network. They say that pre-order demand has been great - in fact it has been the best ever for any Nokia phone. Orange currently offers a free XBOX 360 console with each upgrade - that probably helped... The Lumia 800 is Nokia's first Windows Phone - and it sports a 3.7" WVGA (854x480) ClearBlack AMOLED display. Other features include a 1.4Ghz CPU, 512MB RAM, 16GB of internal memory and a 8mp, f/2.2 aperture camera with carl zeiss optics. The Lumia 800 is made from durable polycarbonate plastic.

Nokia finally explains the technology behind ClearBlack displays

Nokia's ClearBlack Display technology has been announced in September 2010, but only now did they explained this technology fully. We knew that CBD adds a polarizing filter to a display (which can be either an LCD or an OLED) - but Nokia now tells us that the filter is placed between the touch layer and the actual display - which enables it to block incoming light and not harm the contrast or color quality. In the photo below, we can see a normal C6-01 phone with a CBD display (on the left) and the same phone without the CBD layer (on the right):

While the technology behind CBD displays is quite different to the one used in Samsung's Super AMOLED displays (which uses an on-cell touch layer) - the resulting image quality and behavior under sunlight is pretty similar in both display technologies.

Nokia shows a flexible device prototype, probably uses an OLED display

Nokia is showing a beautiful new bendable device prototype called the Kinetic. The idea is that you can bend and twist the whole device to perform certain actions: for example bending it towards you is used to select an option or zoom-in on an image.

The 2011 Nokia Kinetic demonstrator

Nokia didn't say what kind of display technology is used in this device , but it's most likely a flexible OLED. The display is 4" in size and has impressive viewing angles according to reports. In the past two years we've seen several companies present flexible/bendable OLED Prototypes: Samsung, LG and UDC, Toshiba, Sony, AUO and the FDC with UDC. Nokia is already buying AMOLED panels from Samsung and LG, so it's likely they are collaborating with one of the Korean makers.

Nokia starts shipping the N9

Nokia announced that they started shipping their N9 Meego smartphone. The 16 GB model will cost €480 (around $650) while the 64 GB model will cost €560 ($755). It will ship in several countries worldwide - but not in the US. Amazon.com does offer it unlocked - but it's listed as "unavailable" now.

The N9 is Nokia's first Meego phone - and it sports a 3.9" AMOLED display (854x480, we're not sure if it's a CBD display), 16 to 64 GB memory, 1GB RAM, Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi, compass and GPS. There's a 8mp F2.2 camera capable of 720p video. The phone is 'wrapped' in a polycarbonate shell and comes in three colors. Applications are Qt 4.7 compatible and HTML5 support in built in.

The Nokia N9 is now available unlocked for $500, will ship on September 23rd

Nokia said they will not launch the N9 in the US (it's a rather limited launch, really) - but you can actually buy it unlocked in Amazon.com for $500 (or $650 for the 64Gb model). It will be shipping on September 23rd. 

The N9 is Nokia's first Meego phone - and it sports a 3.9" AMOLED display (854x480, we're not sure if it's a CBD display), 16 to 64 GB memory, 1GB RAM, Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi, compass and GPS. There's a 8mp F2.2 camera capable of 720p video. The phone is 'wrapped' in a polycarbonate shell and comes in three colors. Applications are Qt 4.7 compatible and HTML5 support in built in.

LG Display starts to provide OLED panels to Nokia

According to reports, LG Display started to provide OLED displays to Nokia (the deal to supply OLEDs to Nokia was announced back in January 2011). Currently it's only a small amount of displays, but they say that Nokia is already shipping phones with LGD's OLEDs. The rest of Nokia's OLEDs come from Samsung Mobile Display. LG Display started producing AMOLEDs in their 4.5-Gen plant in February 2011.

The same report says that LG Electronics will release an OLED phone in the second half of 2011. LGD's "main display" will remain IPS-LCD, but they are ramping up OLED capacity in their Paju plant.