The Google Nexus One is better in sunlight than the Motorola Droid?

And by that title I don’t mean which tans better of course – rather, which device has a better screen when you’re in the sunlight! Is the Google Nexus One AMOLED, or the Motorola Droid (Milestone) TFT LCD? I think you may be able to guess the answer, but let’s read on ….

The Google Nexus is rocking a 3.7″ AMOLED bad-boy of a screen, whilst as we said, the Motorola Droid is packing the TFT – interestingly, they are both the same size.¬†Check out this video of the comparison, brought to our attention by my buddy Ron over at

Short summary, for those with ADD:

  • The AMOLED is brighter than the Droid, and behaves better at Sunlight
  • In normal conditions, the Nexus one has much more vivid colors.
  • When viewing photos or videos, the AMOLED has much better colors.
  • The reviewer complains that he ‘sees individual pixels’ on the AMOLED – and this does not happen on the LCD (I’m not sure what he means). He says that sometimes the LCD’s image is more ‘crisp’
  • Overall the AMOLED is much better than the LCD

Not unlike what we’d be expecting, but, I will say that the performance of screens, irrespective of technology, does seem to vary wildly between devices. This of course can be down to a mixture of hardware and software. Whilst I’ve always liked the iPhone screen for example, I remember being a bit stunned when I turned on the HTC Hero some time back, and saw just how sharp and alive the images on-screen looked!

That sparks an interesting question – which device (that you’ve either owned, or played with) do YOU think has the best quality?


  • Jonathan Morris

    AM-OLED screens need to be very bright to be visible in bright sunlight, so I wonder what the impact is on the battery?

    The Droid/Milestone certainly looks crisp and is fine outdoors – but if you put it beside, say, an Acer Liquid – there’s a noticeable difference. However, it’s a subjective thing – as the Milestone looks ‘warmer’ and the Liquid looks ‘cooler’. You can only really tell when they’re next to each other.

    I don’t have the Nexus One to compare, but Samsung OLED screens are very vivid but usually over saturate oranges and greens, looking colourful but not entirely natural.

  • Daniel Cardenas

    Your kidding right? What is meant by “in sunlight” is being outside in the full sun. Not indoors with a ray of sun hitting it. Big difference.

  • Jeff Dade

    Nexus boost current to make AM-OLED brighter in bright sunlight for sure but it will suck the power. Not sure why Droid in this case does not boost brightness (they can). I believe both phones have light sensors for sunlight case especially on Nexus One AM-OLED.

  • John Blossom

    I have been enjoying the Nexus One, it’s screen is very readable in a very wide variety of conditions. If you have it on full-strength for reading it will last only five to six hours, but that’s about what you can expect from a well-equipped laptop, so for intense content viewing that’s not too bad.

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