Aspect Ratio

There's also another problem we have to cope with, though: aspect ratio. The aspect ratio of a screen is the ratio between the width and height, either in pixels or centimeters. We can calculate that like this:

pixel aspect ratio = width in pixels / height in pixels or this:

physical aspect ratio = width in centimeters / height in centimeters

When we use width and height here, we usually mean the width and height in landscape mode. The Nexus One has a pixel and physical aspect ratio of ~1.66. The Hero has a pixel and physical aspect ratio of 1.5. What does this mean? On the Nexus One we have more pixels available on the x-axis in landscape mode relative to the height than we have on the Hero. Figure 5-2 illustrates what this means with screenshots from Replica Island on both devices.

NOTE: In this book we'll use the metric system. I know that it might be a bit hard to get comfortable with if you are used to inches and pounds. However, as we will also do a little physics later on, which is usually defined in the metric system, it's best get used to it now. Just remember that 1 inch is roughly 2.54 centimeters.

Figure 5-2. Replica Island on the Nexus One (top) and the HTC Hero (bottom)

The Nexus One displays a tiny bit more of the world on the x-axis. Everything stays the same on the y-axis though. Hmm, what did the creator of Replica Island do here?

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