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Why cell phone photos look so ugly on a computer? Jun 27, 2018

The ability to take photos with mobile phones has become stronger, coupled with the inherent portability, even in photography, news and other professional areas gradually eroded the position of SLR cameras.

We also often remember the beautiful moments recorded by the camera on a mobile phone, but once these pictures go to a computer or a big screen TV, it seems that we have become less “good” on the phone.

Why do photos taken by a mobile phone look good on a mobile phone, but suddenly it's not good to watch it on a computer? Here we come to answer this question for you.

Screen Resolution

The perception is different on mobile phones and computers. The first reason is resolution.

At present, the mainstream resolution of mobile phones is basically maintained at a level above FHD, even to 2K or 4K, and HD-level resolution is rarely seen on thousands of machines. The mainstream screen size is maintained at about 6 inches, which means that the pixel density of its display reaches 264PPI, and even goes beyond 300PPI.

So on the mobile phone, we see the ultra-high-detailed photo thumbnails, the picture sharpness is higher, the same area has more clear details, the perception is better.

Mobile phone screen size PPI comparison table

Size and Resolution PPI

iPhone 4 3.5" 960x640 330

iPhone 8 Plus 5.5" 1920x1080 401

iPhone X 5.8" 2436x1125 458

Galaxy S9 5.7" 2960x1440 570

Xerpia XZ P 3.5 inches 3840x2160 861

This table lists the current common mobile phone resolution, FHD and 2K levels as the mainstream, and there is such a terrible presence of 4K level.

Looking back at the computer screen, even though thousands of mobile phones have already used FHD screens, there are still many introductory notebooks with ancestral 1366x768 resolution, and even the mainstream desktop monitors are only 1080P level. In Internet cafes, professional studios, you may see the emergence of 4K monitors. So how are their resolutions?

Main display size PPI comparison table

Size and Resolution PPI

19 inches 1440x900 90

21.5 inches 1920x1080 102

27 inches 1920x1080 82

27 inches 2560x1440 109

23.6 inches 3840x2160 195

From the above table, it is clear that even a 23.6-inch “small monitor” coupled with a 4K level has a PPI of only 195, which is basically half of the current mainstream smartphone. At present, the mainstream 4K displays are mostly 27 inches or even higher, so the pixel density will decrease, not to mention those products with only 1080P level.

What are the consequences of falling pixel density? For example, watching the same size picture on the iPhone 8 Plus and the 21-inch 1080P display, the former shows a pixel density about four times that of the latter, providing sharpness and detail that are not at all on one level.

So our photos on the phone looked very sharp and sharp, and they were blurred on the monitor to suspect their eyes.

Screen color, material

The second reason is the screen color. Due to different product positioning, the screen material selection of mobile phones and computers is very different.

A mobile phone is a device that we can't live without. It means we use it in various postures. Walking to play mobile phones, lying down to play mobile phones, while doing push-ups and sideline drama ... Mobile phone screen viewing angle must meet our needs for color, from all directions, will not change color white phone can be called qualified.

Passing upwards, the mobile phone screen is also more pursuing the accuracy of the screen, not just sRGB color gamut, DCI-P3 color gamut and other broader color gamut standard has become the standard flagship mobile phone, whether hair color or color accuracy, Both have reached the mainstream level of current display technology.

The high color gamut and high accuracy are mainly attributed to the development of mobile phone panels. Even for thousands of mobile phones, IPS screens are the products of pass lines, and even better OLED screens have basically become the mainstream of high-end mobile phone screens, with their color and contrast performance. Needless to say, it looks cool.

The computer is very different. We can't play computer on the bed with the monitor. We sit at the computer desk more positively and watch it at a fixed angle. Therefore, the material of the computer screen does not need to be too good. Just look at it from the front. Do not change color, color does not run around, can basically meet the needs of many people.

And because of the larger size, it is more difficult and costly for computer monitors to achieve a wide color gamut. The display with DCI-P3 color gamut support can cost half the price of a regular monitor than a regular monitor, so mainstream notebooks and monitors use color displays to lose a lot of mobile phones. The photos taken by the cell phone on the top are naturally grayish.

At present, many computer display screens still use TN materials, and even entry-level 4K displays are also used. Although gray-scale response speed is fast, the biggest disadvantage of TN screens is poor viewing angles and hair color is relatively general, so they look good. Mobile phone photos, unless you use high-level software to increase saturation, it will look a little off.

Comparing the difference between the TN screen and the OLED screen, the black and grey feeling of the computer is not enough, and the red and green colors are not bright enough, and the mobile phone OLED is very seductive and can catch the eyeball colors instantly. However, in many TN screens, the color accuracy of the Macbook Air is still relatively good, that is, the resolution and viewing angle are far from satisfactory.

The same photo on the computer and mobile phone looks like a gray filter? It's not that you can't take a photo with your phone. It's up to you to change your monitor.

After talking about the two more realistic back-pan man, the following is to say something more metaphysical. Why the mobile phone photos feel better than on the computer, mainly due to vendor optimization.

After all, compared to professional cameras, the gap in sensor size is a short time for camera performance to catch up. This requires us to make some optimizations in software and take advantage of the small screen of mobile phones to make the viewer's brain think: " This photo is pretty good feeling.

Therefore, the performance of mobile phone photography is not based solely on the actual capabilities of the camera. Some thousand-level mobile phones want to take pictures and look good. They can be adjusted under their own hardware constraints, and they can have very good results.

What to do if you don't have sharpness, sharpen directly, and make the details look sharp. How to do if the color is not saturated enough, to an AI color filter, let your cell phone shoot photos instantly get "poison! German taste! Master! Learn!" Praise. But on a computer monitor, you will find that the transition sharpens the distorted picture, the oversaturated colors, and the smudge-like details.

In the MTF curve of some thousand yuan mobile phones, we can see that there is a "hump" phenomenon caused by sharpening (the higher the curve hump, the more sharpening), and the MTF50P value is significantly lower than the MTF50 value, indicating that there is a late-stage sharp Photo.

Unless the phone is really good at taking pictures, this situation may change, even if the color is not enough to watch on the phone. Taking the DXO photo is second to the P20 Pro's HTC U12+ example. Its MTF 50P value reaches 1294 LP/PH, which is almost the same as that of MTF50, meaning that there is almost no sharpening at the later stage and the resolution is excellent. This photo was equally satisfactory on a computer.

People don't necessarily like real things. Instead, they like to compare things that are whitewashed. For example, the very classic Huawei Leica color. In standard mode, Mate10 produces a very high level of color, and when the filter is turned on, the color starts to fly and goes to ΔE>18.6. Although the color is “running”, it is a deviation that makes people seductive, and it is shared on the circle of friends. Open filters will be praised more.

So on the premise that many low-end mobile phones still need to be optimized in the future, the perception of the mobile phone photos on the computer will not be too good. Because after magnification, sharpening, smearing and other post-processing defects appear naturally. Professional cameras such as SLRs also perform well on computers. This is because their resolution has been very good and there is no big difference when they are enlarged.

Why do the phone pictures look worse on the computer? It may not be the computer's pot, but your phone is deceiving you.

So, why do you look at the photos on your mobile phone? You can't bear to look at it on a computer. There are both reasons behind the computer and the reasons behind the mobile phone.