Display guru pens glowing review of the Galaxy S5’s screen

March 31, 2014
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Samsung Galaxy S5 Hands on MWC 2014-1160012

We’ve often featured Raymond Soneira’s Technology Shoot-Outs analyses on Android Authority, and for good reason. Head of DisplayMate Inc., Soneira is one of the few display experts that regularly takes the time to look at major new devices and offer reviews based on actual measurements. In a world of vague comparisons, Soneira’s work is an oasis on objectivity.

The latest device to go through Raymond Soneira’s lab is the Galaxy S5. Samsung’s latest flagship features a 5.1-inch AMOLED display of Full HD resolution, and it’s easy to think that the differences between the S5 and the 5-inch Full HD Galaxy S4 are minimal. But things are not quite so.

According to Soneira, the Galaxy S5’s display is the best display DisplayMate ever tested. Not only is the Galaxy S5 a marked improvement over the Galaxy S4 in almost all aspects, but it’s also better than the Note 3, another device that gained Soneira’s praises.

Highest Brightness, Lowest Reflectance, Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light and Highest Color Accuracy

The Galaxy S5 sets several records when it comes to displays, including Highest Brightness, Lowest Reflectance, Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light and Highest Color Accuracy. That last point in particular is important, as color accuracy has long been the weakness of AMOLED screens, and the Galaxy S line in particular. In Cinema Mode (one of the color presets that users can pick from), the S5 features the most accurate colors of any smartphone or tablet that DisplayMate measured.

Samsung Galaxy S5 hands on color size vs all -1160811

In terms of brightness, the Galaxy S5’s screen is 22 percent brighter than the S4, while using the same power. Factoring in display size, the S5’s screen is an impressive 27 percent more efficient than the S4, which should improve battery life.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S5 triumphs in battery life tests

The S5 is even brighter than the Note 3, the previous record-holder. With Auto-brightness turned on, the device can output a whopping 698 cd/m2, six percent better than the Note 3. Further helping usage in bright ambient light is the very low reflectance. In other words, the Galaxy S5’s should stay visible even in direct sunlight.

Soneira concludes that, with the Galaxy S5, AMOLED is on par or better than LCD in every aspect, a big change compared to the early days of the technology, when the technology consistently came last in display comparisons.

For more details on Soneira’s results and methodology head over to the Shoot-Out over at DisplayMate.

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