With Qualcomm announcing that we should see products emerging with the company’s Mirasol screen technology next year, including smartphones in the later part of the year, we wanted to catch up with the company to see how the screen performed. According to Qualcomm, the screen works even better with the more light it receives, meaning that like rival e-ink display (so far only available in black and white in commercial products like the Amazon Kindle), Mirasol should perform exceptionally well under direct sunlight. The advantage that Mirasol has is that it uses low power, can display photos and videos like traditional LCD technology, and has benefits like outdoors readability like e-ink. Additionally, the Mirasol display can be embedded with a touchscreen layer for touch input or front-lighting for use in darker environments.
For playing videos, the display panel we looked at was rendering videos at 15 frames per second, though Qualcomm said that they had publicly demoed a Mirasol panel capable of rendering video at up to 60 frames per second. Panels can also be made to render videos at the more traditional 30 frames per second as well.
Would this tech be something that you’d be interested in on a smartphone? I can see this being more useful on a Sprint EVO 4G or a Dell Streak with a larger screen. With those screens, something that’s more visible outdoors under direct sunlight would help those devices be more functional “tablets,” allowing users to continue to work on the go as they walk from site to site.