In the third part of our series focusing on the details that make the difference we’ll be looking at screen technology, how that makes up a vital part of the mobile experience, and what Sony is doing to perfect it.
As ever, at this point we’ll hand over to Takao Yagi, the person behind our newest display tech to give you an expert view on how details make all the difference.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the screen is at the very heart of any user’s mobile experience. It might not be the most obvious or conscious area of differentiation for people, but subconsciously the quality of screen affects every other aspect of the user experience. Striking the balance between sharpness and depth, between vivid and natural colours is the first challenge and our response starts, not by understanding technology, but by understanding people. As humans, our emotional reaction to colours and the way we remember them shape our expectations when we’re looking at a screen. So, for example, if I were to show you a red rose then reproduce it accurately, it would seem like the colours were washed out and lacking intensity. This is because when we think about deep reds, our instinctive reaction is to remember them being more intense than they necessarily were. If however, I were to take a skin tone and make it more intense on the phone screen, your reaction would be to think that the image is too vivid and un-natural. So the first issue has nothing to do with technology, it’s about understanding what the technology needs to do.
The second challenge lies in our ability to re-create a colour palette wide enough to fit the brief set by the first. We’ve used a whole stack of technologies to do this. Firstly we needed to move away from traditional LED, which consists of blue LED chip with yellow phosphor, based screens. They simply didn’t give us the flexibility we needed. We started development on the new screens using red and green phosphor cells with a blue LED behind them. On top of this we layered our Triluminosfor Mobile technology – this allowed us to take the more flexible base offered by the new LED tech and build on it to intelligently treat certain colour ranges, particularly deep reds, vivid blues and natural greens. The end result is not only the world’s widest range of colours on a mobile screen, but something that is innately satisfying.
The final challenge was around clarity. The pixel density on our top end screens now far exceeds what the eye can view so you would think that creating super sharp images would be easy. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. In most instances the images that are being loaded onto the screen are very low resolution (particularly images on the internet), so they need to go through a process called up-scaling. This involves increasing the resolution of the image by creating new pixels in and amongst the old ones, but if done badly, can lead to dull and blurry images. Our approach to this is to use our X-Reality for mobile engine to intelligently add this detail back in, analysing every pixel to optimise tone, colours and sharpness. Using this approach, we’re able to upscale even low resolution content such as web images or non-HD YouTube videos to make them look sharp and clear.
When you’re working at the very extremes of what technologies can achieve, even a small change can make a huge difference. With the screen technologies in Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z2 Tablet, as with many of the other technologies involved, we knew that the key was to make the right changes, in the right places. Each individually might be peripheral but taken together they add up to make products that feel very different.