Nokia Lumia 900 rated high for outdoor reading use

How hard is it to check out text on a smartphone when you are outside in the sunlight? You likely know that the answer is, "Very hard" when it comes to many phones on the market. Now a new report from DisplayMate shows that Nokia's Lumia 900 beat out four other smartphones, including Apple's iPhone 4S, in a test of their displays when used in various levels of light.

The study also checked out three other older smartphones; the Samsung Galaxy S, the Motorola Droid X and the HTC Desire. The tests showed how the smartphone displays held up to eight light levels, from 0 lux (total darkness) to 40,000 lux (indirect outdoor sunlight). The final results show that the Lumia 900 beat out the other smartphones in this area, with the report stating, "This results from a combination of its high screen Brightness and low screen Reflectance, which Nokia calls ClearBlack technology."

Once more, the five smartphones were the top models that the study looked over in terms of outdoor readability. The study states, "ALL manufacturers need to pay much more attention to their display performance in high Ambient Lighting because that is frequently how they are used. The highly touted and advertised display Contrast Ratio applies only to Absolute Darkness, which makes it pretty much irrelevant for mobile devices."

The same study also looked at four tablets and concluded that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 had the best display for outdoor reading. The new iPad apparently is just behind the Galaxy Tab 10.1, even with its high resolution display.

Image via DisplayMate

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12 Comments

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Might've been just me, but the 4S's display is variable. The first one I had, it was okay under sunlight. This one's hard to read under direct sunlight.

It's a bit annoying when mobile device manufacturers, primarily laptops, use different display units in the same model.

Edited by Denis W., May 8 2012, 4:05pm :

Denis W said,
Might've been just me, but the 4S's display is variable. The first one I had, it was okay under sunlight. This one's hard to read under direct sunlight.

It's a bit annoying when mobile device manufacturers, primarily laptops, use different display units in the same model.

I agree with you there. I haven't noticed that with the iPhone (Haven't used one in ages), but I've experienced similar problems with laptops and find it VERY annoying.

I have a HTC Sensation and have to say that it's pretty poor in direct sunlight, even at maximum brightness. Manufacturers really have to improve the quality of displays when used outdoors, as currently most leave a lot to be desired.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I have a HTC Sensation and have to say that it's pretty poor in direct sunlight, even at maximum brightness. Manufacturers really have to improve the quality of displays when used outdoors, as currently most leave a lot to be desired.

Absolutely. This is one of the reasons my next phone is going to be a Nokia. I am in awe of their screen tech. It's leaps and bounds better than anything else out there.

Outside of the 4S, how about comparison to phones released closer to the 900's timeframe? I don't understand why they would bother comparing it to older phones.

tsupersonic said,
Outside of the 4S, how about comparison to phones released closer to the 900's timeframe? I don't understand why they would bother comparing it to older phones.
A lot of people have older phones? I have a Desire, for example. That makes it useful to see how much of a difference newer phones make.

Kirkburn said,
A lot of people have older phones? I have a Desire, for example. That makes it useful to see how much of a difference newer phones make.
Absolutely, but to compare a new phone to 3 older phones and the 4S, is a crapshoot. Display technologies have evolved, and are getting better for reading in the sunlight, so include new phones as well. Why bother wasting your time in researching and publishing an article? Just don't bother if all your sample size is 4 devices.

tsupersonic said,
Outside of the 4S, how about comparison to phones released closer to the 900's timeframe? I don't understand why they would bother comparing it to older phones.

Have the screens changed much? I believe the Galaxy S had an AMOLED screen, which is what is currently in use on a lot of phones, so I don't think there would be much difference. Even Super AMOLED can't hold a candle to the screens Nokia is using.

M_Lyons10 said,

Have the screens changed much? I believe the Galaxy S had an AMOLED screen, which is what is currently in use on a lot of phones, so I don't think there would be much difference. Even Super AMOLED can't hold a candle to the screens Nokia is using.

Yes they change, and there are vast differences between (S)LCD(2) vs (S)AMOLED(HD)(PLUS), LCD, etc. With this sample size and the old phones, you can draw a pretty crappy conclusion. Personally, I am a huge fan of (S)AMOLED. LCD or SLCD have nothing on the picture quality.

Zain Adeel said,
the clearblack actually work!!!..
and..

FIRST!..

The screen for the Lumia's is absolutely amazing. I was comparing it to my Trophy the other day and there's just no comparison whatsoever.