Why don’t phone manufacturers offer matte screens without a screen protector?

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I love all of my mobile devices. My MacBook Pro, my iPad, and my Galaxy Nexus go almost everywhere with me. But all of them share a similar downfall: glossy screens.

Glossy screens bring many issues to mobile devices. For starters, they make the device I’m holding in my hand very hard to look at without me going blind. The reflections are simply too much to take, so I avoid using my devices until I’m in a shaded area. And while many screen protector manufacturers have made products that solve that problem by adding a thin layer of matting to the protector,  that just got me thinking: why should I have to apply a stupid screen protector to use my phone in the sunlight in the first place?

I have two 23-inch monitors on my desktop setup, both matte. I wouldn’t be able to do any work whatsoever with a glossy display in my home office, so matte was really the only way to go. Surprisingly mobile devices don’t offer matte screens – not even as an option! That just doesn’t make sense to me.  Display manufacturers are able to add matting to their displays; why hasn’t it happened on mobile devices?

Could it be that there’s not a big enough demand for matte screens? I know that there are a lot of people who prefer glossy screens because of the modern look and colors that “pop”  that they provide, but don’t those same people hate fingerprints and reflections? Matte screens cut down on the noticeability of fingerprints and smudges by removing reflections – and colors can still look good without a glossy finish.

Maybe I’m talking to a lot of glossy fans and maybe, because of that, you’re going to tell me to suck it up and buy a matte screen protector for my devices. Still, I can’t see a logical reason that companies wouldn’t even offer the matte screen option when you go to buy a device. I’d even be happy if manufacturers decided to charge a premium for matte screens à la Apple with its 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro laptops.

As I wrap up my compaint, I can just look at the screen on the MacBook Pro I’m typing on, or the Galaxy Nexus that I’m texting on, or even the new iPad that I’m watching the (unfortunately cancelled!) Napoleon Dynamite television series on, and just wonder how joyous my viewing experience would be if I could see Napoleon’s face instead of the window frame behind me.

Do any of you have a similar hatred towards glossy displays?

[Image credit Lucas Mathis via Wikipedia]
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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts

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6 thoughts on “Why don’t phone manufacturers offer matte screens without a screen protector?

  • Avatar of Jenn K. Lee
    June 5, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I hate glare and fingerprints, but I would still choose glossy over matte. Matte screens just look dull and fuzzy to me. I also associate them with resistive touch screens, and those make me cringe.

    The only time that sunlight visibility really gets to me is when I’m trying to take a picture and can’t see the screen. Other than that, I’m not really using any device if I’m not in some shade.

  • Avatar of Duh
    June 5, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    You can turn a glossy screen into a mat one with a simple, very cheap protector. The reverse isn’t possible.


  • Avatar of dbishop
    June 10, 2012 at 7:49 am

    The new EVO u can see perfect even in direct Sunlight. As I’m doing right now

  • Avatar of iamzb
    June 11, 2012 at 8:11 am

    the EVO 3D has a matte screen although i dont know if the LTE has one too can anyone confirm this?

  • Avatar of Krishna
    November 1, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Personally, I HATE glossy screens……And I haven’t met any person who doesn’t hate glossy screens. With so many people wanting matte displays, there is demand for it. Yet the manufacturers don’t think they should consider the sentiments of their customers. There were good old days when many displays touted matte finish as a plus….Now they advertise glossy screens as a way of showing contrast displaying ability.

  • Avatar of maureen glover
    May 9, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    I have a Kindle Paperwhite with backlighting. I’d love if cell phones were made this way as an option. It’s so difficult to use cell phone cameras in the sun. You cant somewhat you are trying to photograph!


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