Samsung’s launch of their new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S3 was met with disappointment in some quarters due to their use of a Super AMOLED HD PenTile display, just like in the Galaxy Nexus.
Samsung’s PenTile screens have only two subpixels per pixel, and instead ‘borrow’ subpixels from neighboring pixels to ‘mix’ the right color. On lower resolution screens this can lead to a tint at the edge of white blocks, and sharp edges can appear blurred. However at the 720p resolution of Super AMOLED HD on a relatively small screen it can be argued that these artifacts are not visible to the naked eye.
PenTile technology has obviously a cost benefit for Samsung, but AMOLED screens actually degrade over time and using PenTile can give a longer lasting screen. According to Samsung PenTile AMOLED displays have proven to be more reliable than those with RGB layouts. Apparently the blue subpixels degrade the fastest and PenTile screens will last longer because they use more green and less red and blue subpixels.
The Galaxy S2 had a beautiful Super AMOLED+ (non PenTile, RGB) screen, and when compared side-by-side these Super AMOLED HD screens look even better. If PenTile is helping our screens last longer then perhaps it’s time it lost it’s negative connotations.