Nov 222011

Now that my wife is back from a couple of days away I ended up comparing some bits between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, particularly download speed wise (with the SpeedTest app) and I noticed that the screen on the 4S was yellower/murkier than the iPhone 4 I used before.

Part of this evening I’ve been comparing the two screens and I struggle a bit over which I prefer, some colours look better on the yellower screen, at the cost of some detail in photos as its a bit more washed out, and others look better on a bluer screen, for instance I looked at the same photo on both a iPhone 4 and 4S screen and a purple/pink was much more striking on the bluer iPhone 4 screen than the 4S. However the grey and greens looked more natural on the yellower 4S. The other cost with the yellower screen is that the text of the App Icons isn’t quite as clear

I kind of forget the difference when I don’t look at the iPhone 4 but there is a part of me that is bugged knowing that some of the detail in pictures is lost / washed out and icon text is a bit harder to read.

Its not an unknown issue and also occurred when the iPhone 4 was released. Its quite varied, some like the yellower tint, some the bluer tint and the chances of getting exactly the one you want is slim unless you somehow convince Apple to let you swap lots of times.

Have a look at this photo by Jason Yeaman in the AppAdvice thread, which shows the variation in the iPhone 4 screens.

— PHOTO REMOVED – was no longer viewable —

When I got my original 3GS I loved its screen to death (I honestly think it was on the yellow side of neutral), but the casing (dock connector area) cracked and I ended up taking it to the Apple Store and they kindly replaced the phone. Then began a nightmare of 6-7 replacement phones which had varying degrees of problems (dead pixels, vibration unit and so on) including quite different degrees of screen colours; none though had as good a colour as my original 3GS had and I ended up with one that was quite blue, too blue even and so I gladly upgraded to the iPhone 4 when I could.

When I got the iPhone 4, the first one was quickly replaced because the phone had a strong green aura when taking photo’s of white surfaces and I had struggled with it compared to the 3GS; while camera shots were great outdoors I couldn’t trust the camera indoors; I still don’t. The replacement 4 was yellower than the original 4 but I went with it with the intention that I could change it down the line if I didn’t get on with it. Since then I’ve gotten used to the yellower look of the screen, but had to constantly ignore the fact that the top part of the screen (status area) was dimmer than the rest of the display (most noticeable on white pages in Safari, particularly if rotated horizontally). In the end I didn’t exchange it again as I didn’t want to go through what I went through with the 3GS.

And now we come to the iPhone 4S which is yellower again than the iPhone 4. At the moment it stands like this there is a:
2G which is reddish
3GS quite blue(red)
4 most neutral (to my eyes)
4S yellow

Excuse the photography, it is an iPad 2, but it shows the difference in the screen colours well enough in both this first side on shot. The dimist, on the left, is the original iPhone, then the 3GS, 4 and then finally the 4S.

Side on shot of our iPhone family. It shows the difference is the display panels.

Then we have a face on shot of the phones, again 2G, 3GS, 4 and 4S and it again shows the variation in the screens.

Face on shot of the iPhones, all on full brightness and auto Brightness off.

I’m not entirely sure how i will leave it, whether I will waste my time and Apple’s and try and change out the phone, part of me definitely wants to as I find the screen that little bit more yellow than the 4 and it makes the text a bit harder to read. On the other had, its not a big issue and I should learn to live with it how it is; particularly as I have no idea what the replacement will be like, it could be yellower or bluer. Its a lot of money, even subsided, and it irks when its not “right”.

There is the note that was said when the iPhone 4 came out, the part of the yellowing was actually the glue which hadn’t dried yet and that basically you just need to use the phone for a week, ideally at full brightness to help it finish the drying process. I will try that out but really that was suggested more for people who had yellow splotches on their screen, rather than their screen being yellower overall compared to another iPhone. (As some have noted in this thread)

I'd love to hear what you have to say

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