Philips Puts SoftBlue in Smartphones

Philips has differentiated its newest smartphones – the Sapphire S616 and Sapphire Life V787 – by incorporating its SoftBlue technology in the displays.

SoftBlue lowers the blue light output of a screen – by up to 86% on these phones, according to Philips. However, rather than achieving this with a filter (which affects all colours on the display), it instead shifts the wavelength of the blue light to a less harmful one. SoftBlue was first seen at IFA 2014 (Display Monitor Vol 21 No 36), and has only been applied to monitors since then – this is the first incident of the technology on a smartphone.

The S616 has a 5.5″ display with an IPS panel and 1920 x 1080 resolution. It runs Android 5.1 on a 1.3GHz octa-core Mediatek processor, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. A micro-SD slot can expand storage to 128GB. The phone is a 4G model with dual SIM slots and a removable 3,000mAh battery.

A smaller model, the V787 has a 5″ display – although also with 1920 x 1080 resolution – and the same Mediatek processor (MT6753). In fact, internally it is identical to the S616. However, it also features Phase Detection Auto Focus on the rear (13MP) camera – this enables autofocus in 0.2 seconds. The front camera is a 5MP unit.

Both phones are initially being launched in China, although may be launched in other countries later. The S616, according to Phone Arena, will cost CNY1,160 ($180) ex VAT. A price has not been shared for the V787.

Analyst Comment

It makes sense to incorporate eye care technologies like this on well-used screens, like smartphones and tablets. Blue light suppresses melatonin production, which is responsible for drowsiness, so the advice normally given is to not look at LCD displays before going to sleep. That doesn’t stop people from doing it, though! (TA)