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The iPhone and iPod touch are presumed to have the same screen quality. But they don't, according to some testing and reader feedback we did today. The iPod touch's screen turns black areas somewhat grayish, washed out shadow detail, with absolute blacks appearing shimmery. (The top image is the touch. Look at the girl's hair.) I was going to do some more testing tomorrow to verify with another iPod, but I just got an email from a reader complaining his touch's screen "Looks like a negative" in the dark areas. This is exactly what we're seeing. Here's more proof:
We took these photos with auto-brightness off, both devices set to 50% brightness. Symptoms occur on the touch regardless of brightness level. Here is a case of varying screen qualities, despite them being spec'd the same. Of course, when you watch a video of our second test iPod below, you can't really notice it. We'll be using a third sometime soon to confirm whether or not its only a case in some shipping units. More to come, but for now, I think our verdict is that the screen on the touch is not as nice.
Update: We've tested four different units now (in both SF and NY) and they've all had the same problem.