resolution preferences??

Ortwin Regel ortwin at
Sat Jun 7 13:11:28 CEST 2008

On 6/6/08, The Rasterman Carsten Haitzler <raster at> wrote:
>convince me vga is incredibly more useful than qvga. convince me
> you
> all have amazing eyesight! :) i am doing this because i am trying to listen
> to
> the community and if given a choice - choose the right way based on what you
> guys think, but PLEASE, be practical, and honest. be honest with yourselves.
> this is not a "my screen is higher dpi than your screen" competition. it's
> about making a nice and usable device you want.
> if you ask for vga, but you really can't see the difference between qvga and
> vga, you're not being honest. you're just playing the spec numbers game.

I have good eye sight and I believe many other people do, too. You
don't need very good eye sight to see the difference but I guess you
need it to fully make use of the high resolution.

What do we not need VGA for?
-Videos. The phone won't do VGA videos anyway and resolution isn't
that important when watching videos. (See the popularity of
-Finger applications. Displaying huge buttons in high resolution is
beautiful but not useful.

What do we need VGA for?
-Ebook reading. I read Cory Doctorow's Someone Comes to Town, Someone
Leaves Town in very tiny font on my Neo. It was a great experience.
But even fonts that are a little bigger still profit a lot from the
high resolution.
-Web browsing. There are a lot of tricks to display web pages at low
resolutions. I haven't seen anything that works well, though. VGA is
the smallest resolution to do web browsing well.
-Other things that use text (word processor, speadsheet, calendar,
...) and stylus applications in general.
-Games. Not necessarily 3D games but things like OTTD. RTS on a
handheld becomes usable at 480*320 and fun at 640*480. Since we don't
have buttons, those are the games that are possible on current Neos.
-Maps. The tiny map portions you can fit into 320*240 aren't really useful...
-Comics. Again, 640*480 is the smalles resolution most comic pages
become readable at.
-Pictures. They can be displayed at QVGA but only at VGA they look
perfect, because it's hard to see the individual pixels. Not being
able to see the individual pixels is pretty much the point of the high
-The text console. The terminal app is bad enough with the huge font
it is set to at the moment. Way back it had a very tiny font that
worked great. Can you imagine it at 320*240? I can't.

What future OpenMoko devices need is a bigger screen area. Making the
problem worse by decreasing the resolution to a quarter is not a good
idea. 480*320 is the lowest resolution I could live with but I'd much
rather have 800*480. When I get my Pandora, that's what I'll get used


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