Pentile screens are not available on the OLED Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch OLED Model has no Pentile screen.

Pentile screens are not available on the OLED Nintendo Switch.

This might not be important to you and we weren't able to verify it during our review process. Other than that, the screen is a significant improvement. It is. However, there has been speculation since the OLED Switch's announcement that its panel may use Pentile technology. This could have huge implications for image quality. Nintendo devices do not have the best screens.

Samsung's Pentile trademark refers to subpixel matrix layouts that are most commonly used in OLED panel OLED displays. Pentile, which is essentially "not full RGB" in casual conversation or conversations about OLED subpixel layouts, can now be used to refer to subpixel matrix layouts. This means that subpixels of red, green and blue are shared among pixels, rather than each pixel being all three.

Nearly all OLED screens found in consumer portable devices today use a Pentile subpixel layout. Pentile displays are cheaper to make and last longer. They have a lower functional resolution than a screen with an RGB stripe. This can lead to artifacts such as dithering or graininess in high-contrast situations, like reading text.

As pixels density increases, the effect decreases. Pentile became less bothersome on my phones after 1080p OLED displays became more common. I personally didn't like the panel of the Galaxy S III, but it was fine with the Galaxy S4. Pentile would have been a problem on a 7-inch, 720p Switch screen. Nintendo isn't known for providing the best screen technology for its devices. Take the 3DS for example. Some models had better IPS screens than regular TN LCD panels. There was no way to know until you opened the box. This led to reasonable concern about the Switch OLED Model.

It turns out that there is no need to be worried. So, I took a macro photo of my OLED Switch personal preorder. This is how the screen looks up close.

This is the white area on the screen. All subpixels are lit up. It's a bit unusual because there are columns of subpixels in blue next to smaller ones. They alternate red and green rather than being arranged in uniform RGB lines. This layout is similar to that of the Apple Watch. I don't know what the benefits are, but it may be related to the relative efficiency each color. What matters is that each pixel is composed of one red, green and blue subpixel. In other words, you are looking at a full RGB display with identical resolution for all three colors.

Here's a comparison: iPhone 13 Pro

It is easy to see how subpixels are organized in a complicated diamond layout. They alternate between red and green on one side and blue and green the next. This display has fewer subpixels than LCDs or RGB OLEDs, which reserve three subpixels per pixel. The "green resolution" actually is higher than the two other colors. It's not an issue with devices with such sharp panels but it can cause problems when pixels are visible to naked eyes.

The new Switch chose RGB because the original PS Vita used an RGB-stripe OLED screen ten years back. But you never know what the future holds with Nintendo. It's not common to find OLED displays that are 720p this large, or RGB OLED displays, so it was a difficult question.

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