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During the unveiling of the Galaxy Nexus, Samsung’s Kevin Packingham shared an interesting statistic on smartphone displays. According to Kevin, 80 percent of people who buy smartphones put the display on the top of their “must-have” list. I firmly believe this to be true.

Every time I buy a new smartphone, the display is the one aspect of the device I obsess over. With cloud storage everywhere, internal memory isn’t as much of an issue as it used to be. Processors are now to the point where, despite what the numbers say, there is practically no difference in performance among top manufacturers. Network speed is more of a personal preference than anything else. But the display? Everyone has to look at their device’s display day in and day out. When it comes down to it, the display is your device. Toshiba knows this, which is why they’re working around to clock to deliver the best displays in the industry.

Unveiled today, and expected to be shown off next week, Toshiba has created a photo realistic 6.1-inch display with a whopping 498ppi screen density. In terms of resolution, that’s 2560×1600 stuffed into a mere 6 inches. The rest of the specs on the display are nothing to shrug off either. There’s a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 16.7 million colors and 61 percent coverage of the NTSC color gamut. Viewing angles sit at around 176 degrees horizontally and vertically which make the display ideal for tablets or other handheld devices that are used in both portrait and landscape positions.

On their own, these displays are amazing. But compared to the competition, they’re jaw dropping. If you take a look at the comparison photo in this post, you’ll see just how detailed images appear on a display with a pixel density this high. Compared to a display with 244ppi (which is normally pretty good for a handheld device), Toshiba’s latest offerings are in an entirely different league. Samsung will undoubtedly give Toshiba some fierce competition in overall display quality with HD Super AMOLED, but they still fall well short of Toshiba’s density levels.

No production dates have been announced yet, but a 2D model shouldn’t be far off. Sometime in the near future, Toshiba is looking to manufacturer a 3D photo realistic display as well. We’ll be keeping an eye out for both.

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