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.

  • KB26

    No way I want a smaller screen. ”
    while the latter is told to use a smaller display” No.

  • Fifth313ment

    They should have done the iPhone 5 vs the HOX or EVO LTE as that would have been a closer result. I have seen both side to side and the HOX/EVO LTE wins by a very close margin (imho).

  • I want to see a comparison between S3 display and Note 2 RGB display.

  • Jack Mabry Jr

    Are these comparisons for people with super eyes? Maybe it’s my age getting to me lol.

    • Jared Persinger

      If you can see the pixels on an HD display then you have problems

  • synot

    Another iphone favoured test by iphone people in america.These test are biased because they are carried out by americans who favoured Apple as their chief American mobile maker in relation to foreign owned companies.The person doing the test may be an expert in displays but he wouldnt favour Samsung over Apple being an american ,just like the jury in the lawsuit case.

  • synot

    I didnt expect any better from a Chris Smith article nor American tests result against their prized Apple .

    • Hungry for Android

      i felt cheated for having to read similarities twice in your review.. like you reverbed what was already stated more than once.. seriously? some of your Chris Smith reviews are lacking.. but a few a pretty good when they are detailed. i have to wonder if you write these articles based on your mood swings, and in that case i suggest you get a gf so that you write much better :)

  • truth

    SAMSUNG will never get a fair test or trial in America ,not by a long shot,knowing the history of America vs foreigners and foreign companies.With Apple being Americas most valuable company ,Samsung wont stand a chance not even with a korean doing the test in america. . If Samsung even make a futurestic phone with everything perfect it would still loose against Apple in every test even if tested against the first Iphone ever made.

    • doc

      pls see my post

  • MoogleStiltzkin

    honestly, i have not seen the iphone5 screen for myself ….although i do have a HP LP2475W H-IPS 24” wide screen monitor at home :X so i am familiar with the display technology.

    I also am aware that techwise, the S3 is using a pentile matrix versus RGB which offers better picture quality at the expense of longevity and battery power consumption. Although i appreciate the power savings of pentile and i don’t see any real issues with it, i would have preferred the RGB layout had it been offered.

    But that said, i am satisfied with my S3 screen. However it doesn’t look too great when in direct sunlight. Works best in doors or in the shade.

    Regarding the brightness, i find the S3 too be too bright. I use Auto Lux Brightness to manage it, and set it to a sub-zero brightness level which is comfortable for me.

  • AndroidVesti

    These rewritten articles are getting annoying.

  • Enough of these iPhone 5 related news already. Bring back the mobile theme instead, or I’ll stop reading the blog!

    • George

      I agree with you…
      Not sure if they care though..:P

  • littlewolvie

    Okay, I’m starting to wonder. Do you guys get paid by Apple? Maybe you should change your name to appleauthority while you’re at it, as lately all you’ve been ranting about is how great the iphone 5 is. How about some Android related news for a chance? Funny that no other Android specialised sites are reporting your bits and pieces.

    • jimmy

      right back at you

    • informist

      I think capple fans infiltrated android sites to make themselves feel better.
      AMOLED screens can turn off the back-light, and produce infinite shades of grey…..and yet this site says that the iphone has “better contrast”…..lol.

    • Couldn’t agree more!!

    • Mark_CZ

      I’m also very surprised that they haven’t even mentioned #scuffgate!

  • bau

    Well, I am sure mr Soneira did not see these videoclips:
    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc1ZPWSA8dc
    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgnkWjGvkYo&feature=related
    3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4kYbiygU6A&feature=related

    It appears that iphone 5 has huge issues… Please have a look!

  • This is why I want one of these top notch SLCDs in my next Nexus.

  • I think Android Authority became Apple authority by these numerous comparisons of iphone 5 against Android devices, especially Samsung devices. As long as a test was performed by an american, you cannot but doubt its results.

    • jimmy

      thank you for saying that, we all know there are more samsung fans in the whole world

  • Someguy

    I appreciate honest articles, and the fact that AndroidAuthority does not try to blow up arguments in favor of android devices only keeps me more in tune. Way to go!

  • HellG

    who is the only site in the world that made a drop test between the GS3 and the iPhone 5 where everytime they made the GS3 fall face down and the Ifail 5 fall on it sides and were like OMG its looks so bad for the GS3!! -_-”
    Which blog back in ma 4th http://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-galaxy-s3-vs-htc-one-x-is-three-better-than-one-82189/
    Said that the PENTILE screen in the GS3 is even better than the Super IPS display in the One X when almost every respected reviewer in the planet gave it to the One X or a Tie (I’m no HTC fan…nor Samsung to be honest Nexus all the way :P)
    you always gave new meaning to words such as Biased and Paid and…MONEY!
    as a guy who liked that site so much i beg you not to turn into a BGR like site!
    I’m not pashing you for this particular post as i know that it has some truth in it, but the way your posts is changing is not good, i love that you point out bad things in Android/Android phones as it will make it only better but the inconsistency in your Post in the GS3 review and now just makes me wonder!
    we dont want AndroidAuthority to be biased for a brand or getting paid, show us some consistency and dont turn into another BGR.com which is a joke in the technology world!

  • Elder

    Hey Chris, you are supposed to bias all reviews to the Android bubble. Stay away from any iPhone advantage and you’ll be more popular here.

    • Vboom

      Wow this is sad.
      Why cant you just accept an unbiased review?

  • doc

    Yup German is not the most commonly used language in the world but still it pays off sometimes. For those who can pls go to the online version of the Focus Magazine (www.focus.de). Since several years the guys there are testing cellphones and they have a lot of experience. Now you guessed right they ran their standard test also for the new exorbitantly axppensive oiphone 4 3/4. Guess what it came in a good 3rd. I must say well done iphone, but HTC and Samsung are just a bit better.
    One last thing and again. If this fruit company would sell these phones for a decent price say 500 Euro and would not produce it in China in a company which exploits the labor force one could even forget about the, how was it termed, socialist appearance and rip off practices at least almost.

  • I got a new special phone that has a screen twice as good as i5’s but its precisely 0.8 inches smaller ie 3.2 inches. Can i still call it better? what about super duper 1 trillion mega pixel screen on an 2 inch screen? lets get real, what ever you look at it, the 4.8 inch screen is overall better then the iphones. Even the 4 inch dimensions seem dated, forget resolution.

  • Come on guys, most of the comments here are ridiculous.
    The proof is in the pudding. The numbers that have been published by multiple sources cleary state that the iphone 5s display is top of the heap in almost every discipline and way ahead of any AMOLEDs currently on sale. There are other excellent LCDs out there like the ONE X but there is no denying the fact that AMOLED is behind the curve by now. Samsung has improved its AMOLED offering with the Note 2, but it´s not quite there yet.
    People´s individual preference for gaudy color reproduction is something entirely different.

  • i’f you like apple then what are you doing here?

  • Shion

    Did you guys know that Samsung makes the screens for Apple too?
    Its so ridiculous that Apple sues Samsung for everything even though it does their screens and half of the equippments for Apple products.

    I dont have any problem with iPhones but why is the iphone 5 better than 4s?
    Because it has 4″ screen now? Oh cmon…

  • null

    Does it bother you that you’re quoting Displaymates President Dr Raymond Soneira who puts a lot of effort into writing ‘reports’ that go into great depth about how perfect apple products are, and then diseminates them as fast and far as he can.
    In one of his other articles where he compares just the OLED screens from each SGS 1,2,3 he announces the iphone the winner. Or another comparing 7″ android tablet screens and declares the ipad screen the clear choice.
    Fascinating the way he notes how Samsung has produced a screen with ‘wildly inaccurate’ and ‘over saturated colors’ and yet it looks pretty nice to me, interesting exagerative prose from a professional.
    This guy reminds me of the ‘scientists’ that used to work for the tobacco companies, a little reality, a whole lot of bs. Just because something looks technical and someone quotes lots of qualifications, don’t mean they ain’t evil! Check your sources! :D

  • Cashh92

    Lets cry about how much better the iPhone 5 is than any other android on the market. Grow up.

  • mack

    ugh how impresive you defend apple
    well i have used both devices the winner is clear the super amoled screen is far richer than sutupid high res screen we cant even see
    stop turning this into a apple royalty blog *_*