Sony Adds a White Pixel to Energy-Saving "White Magic" Phone Screens

So Sony's got a brand new TFT LCD. Big whoop. But here's something to write home to your grandmother about: the 3-inch screen has a switch for "outdoor mode" and "low-power mode," letting you save battery-life for when it's needed.

As you know, it's harder to see screens outdoors, which is why some laptop companies have included similar switches in the past. Sony's low-power mode turns the brightness down by 50 per cent, to 470cd/m2, but can then be pushed to 1,000 cd/m2 when outdoors, which compares to the iPhone 4's which is it a constant state of 500cd/m2 brightness. Don't feel too sad for your iPhone 4 though, as that's still double the brightness the iPhone 3 had—and at least both phones had touchscreens, unlike Sony's White Magic.

It works by adding a fourth white pixel to the RGB pixel arrangement, similar to how Sharp added a yellow pixel to its line of TVs a couple of years ago. While these 3-inch screens are obviously well-suited to Sony cameras and Sony Ericsson phones, Sony may well choose to sell them to other manufacturers too, with samples on the offer from October. [Sony via TechCrunch]