iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3 display battle won by Apple’s 4-inch IPS LCD

September 24, 2012
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iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3

The recently launched iPhone 5 is being pitted against all existing flagship devices from the competition these days, with the Galaxy S3 being the preferred adversary for Apple’s new flagship device. We have already compared the build quality of the two in our drop test, finding the iPhone 5 to be more durable than the Galaxy S3, and showed you an iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3 comparison on video.

Moreover, earlier today, we looked at the iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3 benchmarking results and the controversy they have generated, and concluded that it was Apple’s device that scored better in most of the tests that were performed so far by various publications.

Now, we’re going to tell you that a display expert, DisplayMate’s President Dr. Raymond Soneira performed an iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3 display test and concluded that Apple’s 4-inch IPS LCD is overall better than Samsung’s 4.8-inch Super AMOLED panel.

DisplayMate’s extensive article explains in great detail why Apple’s iPhone 5 display is better than the iPhone 4’s display (in order to show Apple’s iPhone display improvements) but also why it’s better than the panel of the Galaxy S3. We’re going to show you various quotes from the article, that are relevant for this comparison. Here’s how the tests were performed:

To compare the performance of the Apple iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III we ran our in-depth series of Mobile Display Technology Shoot-Out tests on them. We also included the iPhone 4 in order to determine how the display on the iPhone 5 has been improved. We take display quality very seriously and provide in-depth objective analysis side-by-side comparisons based on detailed laboratory measurements and extensive viewing tests with both test patterns and test images.

The publication looked at various display characteristics before presenting its conclusions, including Screen Reflections, Brightness and Contrast, Colors and Intensities, Viewing Angles, Display Power Consumption, Running Time on Battery.

samsung galaxy s3 vs iphone 5 display

Here’s what Displaymate found when looking at the iPhone 5’s 4-inch display:

[…] here are the Highlights: it is the Brightest Smartphone we have tested in the Shoot-Out series, it has one of the lowest screen Reflectance values we have ever measured, it has the highest Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light for any Mobile device we have ever tested, and it’s Color Gamut and Factory Calibration are second only to the new iPad. What are the downsides? The White Point is still somewhat too blue like most Smartphones, and at Maximum Brightness it has a shorter Running Time than the iPhone 4, which is not surprising since it has a larger screen and a larger Color Gamut but roughly the same capacity battery.

And here’s what it found when looking at the Galaxy S3’s 4.8-inch panel:

[…]here are the Highlights: the Brightness is about half of the iPhone 5 due to power limits from the lower power efficiency of OLEDs and concerns regarding premature OLED aging. The Color Gamut is not only much larger than the Standard Color Gamut, which leads to distorted and exaggerated colors, but the Color Gamut is quite lopsided, with Green being a lot more saturated than Red or Blue, which adds a Green color caste to many images. Samsung has not bothered to correct or calibrate their display colors to bring them into closer agreement with the Standard sRGB / Rec.709 Color Gamut, so many images appear over saturated and gaudy. Running Time on battery is less than the iPhone 5 due to the lower power efficiency of OLEDs, even given that the Galaxy S III has a much larger battery capacity and much lower Brightness.

The Galaxy S III has a PenTile OLED display, which has only half of the number of Red and Blue sub-pixels as in standard RGB displays, like those on the iPhones. The eye’s resolution for color image detail is lower, so this works well for photographic and video image content, but NOT for computer generated colored text and fine graphics because it produces visible pixelation, moiré, and other very visible artifacts, so a PenTile display is not as sharp as its pixel Resolution and PPI would indicate. PenTile technology does have advantages in manufacturing, aging and cost.

The quality of the iPhone 5 display matches the iPad 3’s quality display, thanks to Apple’s attention to such details, whereas Samsung could definitely improve the image quality of its flagship devices. According to the findings of the article, the iPhone 5’s display is the:

best Smartphone display we have seen to date based on extensive Lab measurements and viewing tests In particular it is a significant improvement over the display in the iPhone 4 with much lower screen Reflections, much higher image contrast and screen readability in high ambient lighting (the highest we have ever measured), and a significantly improved and accurate Color Gamut and Factory Calibration that delivers very accurate colors and very good picture quality. While it’s not quite as accurate as the new iPad, it is still probably more accurate than any consumer display you own (including your HDTV), unless you have a new iPad.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S3’s display can be further improved, or better said, future OLED displays that will equip future Galaxy-branded high-end devices could be further improved.

Here are the biggest issues we found in our extensive Lab measurements and viewing tests of the Galaxy S III: the Brightness is about half of the iPhone 5 due to power constraints resulting from the lower OLED power efficiency and concerns regarding premature OLED aging. As a result the image contrast and screen readability in high ambient lighting is much poorer than the iPhone 5. The Color Gamut is not only much larger than the Standard Color Gamut, which leads to distorted and exaggerated colors, but the Gamut is quite lopsided, with Green being a lot more saturated than either Red or Blue, which adds a Green color caste to many images. And for some reason Samsung has not bothered to calibrate the Color Gamut on any of its OLED displays, so they are wildly inaccurate and produce inaccurate and over saturated colors.

DisplayMate has various suggestions for both Apple and Samusng, with the former asked to stop making the “White Point Color Temperature so blue” and offer users the ability of adusting display preferences, while the latter is told to use a smaller display, a bigger battery and to calibrate its Color Gamut so it matches the Standard Color Gamut in order for the display to deliver “accurate rather than distorted, exaggerated, and gaudy colors.”

Soneira certainly seems to know what he’s talking/writing about. In case you want to read the full article, and looks at the comparisons tables head to the Source link below. In case you have a professional opinion on the iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3 display battle, please contact us with your findings.

Again, these sort of findings do not mean that buying the Galaxy S3 is a bad decision. In fact, there are over 20 million Galaxy S3 devices already in the wild, with owners probably appreciating its display among other features. In fact, for regular users, such a thorough display comparison may not be important at all when choosing one of the two devices. It just seems that it’s another battle that the Galaxy S3 can’t win against the iPhone 5, at least according to DisplayMate.

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