Skip to main content

Retina Display The Most Misused Term On The Web?

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone 4 and it's new high resolution display he coined the phrase 'retina display' and justified it by explaining that at display pitches over 300ppi the human eye can't distinguish the individual pixels in a display. Leaving aside the arguments about this statement it sets a pretty definitive description of what constitutes a retina display. Which means that the WVGA 3" screens of three Windows Mobile devices got there first, two Xperias (Xperii?) and a Toshiba.

What has become the norm is the description of any 960x640 display as a retina display. Whether that be discussing the new Meizu Android phone, the prospective 7" iPad or what looks like being the new HP WebOS tablet. That's just plain wrong because anything with much more than a 4" display isn't going to meet that 300ppi criteria.

And that 300ppi claim? Well at normal reading distance individual pixels are indistinguishable on any display over about 170ppi, whilst even at an unusable distance, say 2", any display over 200ppi is still going to be too high a resolution to make out the pixels no matter how good your eyes are...

Sent from my Dell Streak.