Most LCD panels have a set number of pixels, each comprised of three subpixels – one each for red, green, and blue, the three primary colors of light. There have been a number of attempts to stray from this pattern; the most famous of which is Samsung’s PenTile layouts. Japan Display tries something different.
Unlike most PenTile implementations, they don’t remove one of the red or blue subpixels. Instead they add a fourth one – plain, white light. Adding the fourth subpixel allows the company to make much brighter screens for easy outdoor visibility, or screens that are equally as bright as a traditional LCD, but use much less power to achieve it.
Today, they announced that the company was starting production of a new WhiteMagic screen, measuring five inches, with a resolution of 1920×1080. This is good news for Android smartphone owners, as it likely won’t be too long before we see this new screen hit some flagship smartphone.
JDI rates the new panels with a surface luminance of 840 cd/m2, and a static contrast ratio of 1000:1. Given their tight partnerships, we expect Sony to be the first company to take advantage of the new panels, likely in a followup to the Xperia Z1. Sony has already used the displays in a lower-tier smartphone, as well as on the rear of some of its point and shoot cameras (I own an RX100, and the display is extraordinarily bright – totally visible in even bright sunlight).