September 28, 2011 1:21 pm

The Nokia 701 screen outshines the rest

– You don’t get to make the brightest touchscreen on the planet without being pretty, er, bright. So I pressed for an interview with Peter Nisula, head of the display and touch development team and Osku Sahlsten as Nokia 701 Display and touch project Manager, to find out how Nokia managed to leave the rest of the world’s phones in the shade.

Nokia Conversations.
Creating a phone with the worlds brightest screen is great, but why do it?

Peter Nisula.
In honesty, there’s two answers to this question. The first answer is, well, why not? We’ve got the technology to do it. The second answer is that having a screen that’s super-bright means that when used outdoors, it’s even easier to see what’s displayed on the screen if it’s lit really, really well.

The IPS type LCD with ClearBlack technology makes the bright parts of the display bright and the dark bits, especially the black colours, dark. This combination gives a really clear display for the user.

Doesn’t a super-bright display drain the battery of the phone quicker?

There is no significant impact on the battery life. We have performed studies in order to determine how people will use their phones on a daily basis. How long they spend on gaming, listening to music or even the simplest of tasks such as just standing at a bus stop typing a text message. With the information from studies we are able to decide the optimized settings for phone. All these things are considered when we make a phone.

Although the screen of the Nokia 701 is the brightest screen on a smartphone, it’s not always cranked up to the highest level of luminance. As with most Nokia smartphones, there’s a built in ALS (ambient light sensor) that senses the light in the environment and adjusts the screen accordingly. If it’s dark, the phone turns down the screen brightness and the opposite happens if you’re in a really bright place.

How bright is this exactly?

The brightness – or luminance – is measured in what’s called nits and the Nokia 701 screen has 1000 of them.

1000 nits huh? So, what does that mean? In real-life terms?

Well, think of it this way. 1000 nits is equivalent 3145 lux. Sunlight on an average day ranges from 32,000 to 100,000 lux, TV studios are lit at about 1000 lux and moonlight measures at 1 lux. So, it’s clearly not as bright as daylight but much brighter than moonlight. However it’s three times brighter than a TV studio making it very bright.

Oh, and the max brightness of the Nokia 701 is more than double higher than the iPad, if that’s a good example?

Is this really the brightest smartphone screen to date? What do other phones measure up to?

We work with the major display manufacturers in the world and we know competition around, so we know the situation really well. We can bravely say this is the most brightest smartphone screen in the world.

Are there plans to introduce IPS type LCD screens to every Nokia smartphone?

IPS type LCD as a technology is giving certain advantages without doubts, but we need to see what technologies will be introduced to Nokia smartphones in the future. Of course, we’d love to have IPS type LCDs on all future Nokia smartphones. But we don’t know if that’s going to happen. We hope it will.

If you’re still confused about some of the terminology used – and to be honest, it baffles us slightly, too – we’ve written a separate piece that explains all when it comes to nits and lux.

Would you like a smartphone with the worlds brightest screen? Let us know your thoughts, in the comments below.

Image credit: chadmiller

Updated October 1, 2015 7:02 pm