Video: Display comparison between the iPhone 4, Desire and Vibrant

Ian Hardy

August 10, 2010 8:00am

There are so many devices out in the market that have great specs and can do many things all at once. Over the past several years one major shift has happened and it’s the attention to the display. This area has grown from what used to be 2-inches to what seems to be the minimum standard of 3.5-inches. The display is the center of your device, the area you look the most and brings the mobile experience home. Remember when people used to say “Why would you watch videos/movies on your phone”… now it’s becoming why would you not. The picture quality is so incredibly impressive.

I grabbed hold of the Apple iPhone 4, HTC Desire and the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant. All these touchscreen devices have a stellar list of specs that range from a 5 megapixel camera, flash, Android 2.1, 1GHz Snapdragon processor etc… but what I really wanted to test out what the display in each. The iPhone 4 comes with a 3.5-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 960×640. The HTC Desire has a 3.7 inch Sony Super LCD with a resolution of 480×800. And finally the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant has a massive 4-inch Super AMOLED display with resolution of 480×800.

You can check out the video yourself of the comparison and let us know which is best – They quality is high on all. The video was shot in HD and the video I picked to stream was from YouTube in HD.

Here is the video from YouTube:

  • Bobby Bojangles

    Its obviously the Samsung Galaxy in this category. You cant touch that SAMOLED man…that s**t is crazy clear and the brightness on the device trumps the other two.

    No doubt in my mind the Galaxy has a better HD quality viewing experience…but do you really want to carry around a phone that big that looks like a 1st gen iPhone rip-off?

    iPhone all day, son

  • Justin

    All 3 phones look amazing! The video is so neat!

  • Mkoz44

    Excellent video Ian. But you never indicated what your favourite screen was. Which do you prefer?

  • Karam

    I agree Bobby, Samsung has horrible user interface and the Galaxy S series is just plain ugly!

    I prefer the Desire over the Iphone just because it has superior sound quality when it comes to making calls. It’s also more customizable, which makes it a lot of fun to play with!

  • firefight16

    On the desire, you did not select watch HD? I know I have a Milestone and a Samsung Galaxy S, and on both you have to select the watch HD? Yes the Samsung compared to Milestone is not even in the same market, picture is twice the quality and the angle you can see the screen and with little glare!

  • julian

    this is a terrible review you should of downloaded the file in 720p than converted to each phones native resolution and have them start playing all at them same time

  • FIlip Mares

    Silly review. The Samsung looks too bright and you can’t really tell the quality difference on video.

  • Tom

    It appears that – when you want to show any one screen by itself – you zoom in and get very close to that screen.

    But I don’t think people use their phones this way, so you should move the phones apart when you want to show them individually.

  • jim

    wow, i am a fan of HTC and Apple, haven’t really liked what Samsung has done in the past, but the galaxy looks by far the brightest. however i didn’t notice in the video that the galaxy was rendering pages and menus much slower than the other two… whats the point of the GIANT screen if the phone can’t keep up with it it

  • Larry

    Ian what phone did you like?I have an iPhone4 the vido quality is way better than the 3Gs.Not as good as my 50″Samsung plasma running HD.But it’s getting close.I saw a made for TV movie a couple of months ago about climate change based in the future the cell phones were creating holographs,The movie sucked but the phones rocked.

  • Sined

    Very cool video Ian. Can’t go wrong with either phone!

  • Reggie Noble

    I’d take the Desire before taking the iPhone 4 or Vibrant even though the Vibrant and iPhone 4 beat it in terms of video quality. I just like the look of the Desire and prefer HTC UI. The Vibrant’s UI is pretty ugly and not as polished IMO and i’m just not an iPhone person.

  • Randy – 1

    I’ve had the opportunity to play extensively with live models of all three as these were the final three in my search for a new phone.

    The iPhone is brilliant if you’re going to be doing a lot of reading of text on web pages or ebooks. It’s so fine I think it will really help you.

    The Desire screen didn’t impress me at all. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really good, but it doesn’t seem like any kind of improvement over any other good LCD screen I’ve seen in the past. It is definitely crisp & clear due to its good pixel count, but for the most part, I don’t think you’ll notice a whole lot of difference if your phone already has a decent screen.

    The Galaxy S screen, all I can say is… WOW! Seriously guys, you have to see it in person to appreciate it. It is beyond amazing and video on it is insane. I can definitely see me watching a 2 hour movie on this thing during a flight etc. I don’t think I appreciated what people were talking about when they said how deep and rich the blacks were until I saw it.

    After trying all three, I went with the Galaxy S as you’ve probably guessed. I’ve had it for a couple of days now, and have experienced no lag or problems whatsoever. Even scrubbing through a two hour video file, the video starts to play again immediately where I stop the slider. I’m very impressed.

  • Ryan Waddell

    Interesting. Hard to tell which is better based on your video, personally… But from everything I’ve read, the Galaxy S and the iPhone 4 are pretty neck and neck, as long as you’re not looking at them with a microscope. I’m going to be picking up a Captivate when it comes out on Rogers… which will hopefully be soon. :)

  • Rene

    Being on Fido, the only downside to a comparison like this is that there’s really only one choice. I wish there was an easier way to pick up unbranded (as in, factory unlocked) versions of these phones. I’d personally love to get the Galazy S, but I don’t want to be with Bell. The iPhone 4 is nice, but it can be so much greater. Damn restrictions!

  • Bryan

    Cool vid. I’m picking up a Desire this week if I can find one in Montreal.

    A neat side effect of the video is that it really shows the screen size difference between the three in low light conditions. iPhone looks pretty tiny in comparison.