How does the Galaxy S4 display stack up to the competition?

March 28, 2013
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How does the Galaxy S4 display stack up to the competition?

Samsung Galaxy S4 pre-orders are just weeks away here in the U.S., with AT&T announcing April 16 as a launch date. Needless to say it, but there is a lot to be excited about, with one of the biggest changes being the 5-inch full HD display. The crew over at Phone Arena decided to compare the Galaxy S4 display with the iPhone 5, Sony Xperia Z, HTC One, Galaxy S3, and Nokia Lumia 920. All these phones have a 720p HD or better display, so it’s a pretty level playing field.

Galaxy S4 display comparison

Click to enlarge

Just like on the Galaxy S3, the AMOLED panel of the Galaxy S4 can’t match the brightness of an LCD display. Every other phone aside from the Galaxy S3 performed well in the brightness test and, when it comes to visibility, the HTC One and iPhone 5 performed the best.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

While viewing angles are not a strong suite on the Galaxy S4, Sony’s Xperia Z performed the worst. Thanks to the high quality LCDs on the HTC One and iPhone 5, they managed to retain more color at different viewing angles.

screen-comparison-galaxy-s4

With a 1080p display, Samsung’s latest flagship has no problems in the resolution department. However, the HTC One is ahead by just 27 ppi, but that’s due to having a 4.7-inch screen compared to the 5-inch screen on the Galaxy S4. And quite frankly, unless you have fantastic eyes, there isn’t much difference.

Color reproduction isn’t fully up to par yet on AMOLED displays and it shows. The Galaxy S4 was more towards the colder side, while, yet again, the HTC One and iPhone 5 performed the best. Still, the Galaxy S4’s display is an obvious improvement compared to the Galaxy S3, and although the S4 doesn’t have the “best” display, it still does pretty well.

When you also take into consideration the rock solid performance and impressive battery life, you could forget about the lack of brightness and viewing angles, don’t you think?

Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/hill3829 Kevin Hill

    Hmm? What’s this? iPhone is not the best? This must be sorcery.

    • kascollet

      Nice try. Read the article again dude.

  • Filip Justin

    I know the S4 doesn’t render whites as good(they are actually a bit greenish), but the blacks on that text look gorgeous.. Dunno.. if i had my picks i’d choose the One screen for the whites and the S4 for the blacks..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kirk-Ngo/1362282755 shamatuu

    Viewing angles don’t seem to be that huge of a deal to me. It’s more about actual clarity and color reproduction but average people will not care about that this kind of stuff. As long as its working they are good to go..

  • th3d

    The Chinese test was better, as it showed clearly how lacking S4 is in color reproduction and how bad greyscale it has, and then finally they had photo samples to show how bad detail you get on AMOLED. Needless to say the Xperia Z swept S4 away in that test, just like Xperia T and others repeadetly has humiliated S3 when it comes to video and photo details. AMOLED is too far behind, even the simplest TFT displays blows them away, and the distance is increasing.

    • Bill

      If you read the article, it says that the Galaxy S4 is actually better than the Xperia Z.

      • inspire

        and if you see the posted images, you would not agree with the article text!
        In all 3 images above XZ looks better then S3/S4.
        Article also says XZ has worst viewing angle, but look at Lumia 920 in that photo and compare and tell which is worst in viewing angle ?
        look at the ‘very’ greenish whites of S4/ S3, but the article doesn’t point it out! Of course you can see that clearly, can’t you ?

        So, this is just another AA article praising Samsung despite of its weaknesses and bashing Sony (the usual AA stuff).

        But in all test images above, HTC One display looks best.

      • inspire

        and if you see the posted images, you would not agree with the article text!
        In all 3 images above XZ looks better then S3/S4.
        Article also says XZ has worst viewing angle, but look at Lumia 920 in that photo and compare and tell which is worst in viewing angle ?
        look at the ‘very’ greenish whites of S4/ S3, but the article doesn’t point it out! Of course you can see that clearly, can’t you ?

        So, this is just another AA article praising Samsung despite of its weaknesses and bashing Sony (the usual AA stuff).

        But in all test images above, HTC One display looks best.

  • MasterMuffin

    I thought the viewing angles of AMOLED were good?

    • kascollet

      AMOLED screens loose less brightness than LCD screens when angled, but their colors shift more (greenish tint seems accentuated). A matter of taste.

      • MasterMuffin

        Oka :)

  • IncCo

    i do love those amoled blacks tho…

    • fixxmyhead

      yea i hate this LCD on my nexus 4. damn backlight makes them grayish

      • http://www.fotoallerlei.com/ Markus Ressel

        Also on my Nexus 10, great display but amoled kicks ass.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000738940938 Moosa Mahsoom

          It depends on people’s tastes. Also, If you browse a lot LCD displays are your best choice. AMOLED screens consume 4 times the power when displaying whites or was it three? I prefer IPS displays because I want more natural colours and better viewing angles. I myself use a nexus 7 and I’ve had no problems. Initially, I found the display to be unsaturated but, since the last update, that has improved. The green bar in Evernote used to be a very unsaturated green which has now become more saturated.

  • whoknowswhereor

    Don’t really care for these tests too much. I can’t go back after using pure blacks. All other color issues are minor and they are now tuneable.

  • David Brymer

    Htc kicking ass hahaha. Where r all the samsung bum lickers the nite haha. Htc one all the way :) :) :) :)

  • NicholasMicallef

    I would have chosen SAmoled anyway because of the blacks, better colours makes the choice even easier for me :).

  • Mikesphoneandtab

    I do like the One and iPhone screen but from everyday usage of prefer the amoled screens. I love the blacks and the saturation isn’t on my liking as I am not a professional photographer.

  • Iram Ali

    Amoled is over saturated and there is a green tinge to the screen. IPhone 5 and HTC One have the best displays followed by XPERIA Z.

  • Arsenal™

    One FTW!

  • DeadSOL

    Why does GSMArena show different results? They’re quite in favour of the S4’s display.

    • Jack

      cause they get paid by sammy

  • cycad007

    Great job on the displays, HTC! Now if you only add those two features *EVERYONE* wants, so you can get Samsung-like sales!!

  • Roberto Tomás

    No. I don’t agree, viewing angles are very important … not so much on a television (where even there they matter), but on mobile devices they are much more important.

    There is a difference between color and color calibration. Any time a white background looks spot-on green, something is wrong with color calibration. Right now, there appears to be a real problem with AMOLED not being able to produce anything humanly recognizable as even off-white. But somehow I think the test was designed to force screens differences from normal use’s experience. :)

    I disagree that the iPhone 5 is among the best 2 screens for color calibration in that text image. Zoom in on that image and the iPhone screen’s color looks alright. Warm but alright. But zoom out a bit and the HTC One looks best, with the slightly blueish Xperia Z following closely behind. It might be metrically further off I guess, but visually the eyes are least sensitive to blue, and that paper color looks closest to neutral next to the iPhone 5. Up close, it is no competition: there is no haloing from the pixels on the Xperia Z, if produces a much better color — but I yield that that hardly matters since if you are actually seeing pixels, you are holding it too close. :)

    In terms of text rendering, the iPhone 5 has the absolute worst handling of text in the group. Its compression scheme chops off too much detail.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hypratt Henry Pratt

    If you like one over the other then by all means buy it. What a rediculous comparison.