samsung galaxy s3 vs iphone 5 display

A few days ago, just after the iPhone 5 launch, we compared the new iOS device with the Galaxy S3 in a series of posts (drop test, video comparison, benchmarking results and display tests) and in most cases the iPhone 5 proved to be the better device.

Today we’re going to take another look at the display battle between the two. In our previous coverage, we showed you that the experts at DisplayMate concluded that the iPhone 5’s display is superior to the Galaxy S3’s but now we have a new report that says the opposite. Sort of.

A study conducted by IHS says that the Galaxy S3’s display is thinner and has a wider color gamut than the iPhone 5’s panel. The Galaxy S3 features a 1.1mm thick display capable of offering the full color gamut (NTSC standard) while the iPhone 5 has a 1.5mm thick display that is capable of offering just 72% of that full color gamut.

However, it’s not a clear win for the Galaxy S3, as IHS isn’t completely refuting DisplayMate’s findings. According to the survey, the iPhone 5 may offer a better performance thanks to “better calibration, higher brightness and superior power efficiency,” with Samsung’s display feeling “oversaturated and unrealistic.”

“Such improvements on the iPhone 5 are consistent with Apple’s philosophy of selecting features designed to yield profitable products that deliver a superior customer experience, rather than of providing technology for technology’s sake,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, an analyst at IHS.

The iPhone 5 offers a better pixel density (326 ppi vs 306 ppi) while the Galaxy S3 has the advantage of featuring true HD resolution (1280 x 720p vs 1136 x 640.) Choosing LCD over OLED could be an advantage for Apple as IHS expressed concern regarding the way organic materials age and OLED’s “power efficiency in the longer term,” according to Tech Crunch.

According to CNET, DisplayMate’s Raymond Soneira voiced his concerns against the findings of this IHS study, “arguing that the color gamut test IHS conducted was based off of an old standard that has led to incorrect conclusions.”

Ultimately, it’s down to end users to select their favorite kind of display, and smartphone. In fact, users may not even perceive during actual day-to-day smartphone use some of the differences presented by such expert studies. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see more such comparisons in the future, especially as next-gen devices from these two smartphone families come out.

  • Excuse me but wasn’t Power efficiency one of OLED’s advantages over other LCD Panels???

    • George

      Only when displaying black because they turn off the leds.
      When displaying white efficiency is 60% higher than lcs i think…:S
      That’s why the S3 has 2300mah battery…;)

      • MasterMuffin

        2100 mah…

  • I do believe that S3 has an way too over-saturated display, I was playing Temple run on a demo unit and it felt like the colours were trying to rape my eyes. It was way too different than, other phones like HTC One X or Sony Experia Neo V, On my dad’s iPad t looks much better. Sammy needs to fix it.

  • arabsrulechina

    What a lying report. Everywhere i’ve read says iphone 5 display is better. Just google it.. dont be decieved by lies

    • Yet you trust everything you read, instead of actually comparing them yourself, and tell other people (experts) they’re lying.

    • Sondre Krumsvik

      This is how it is:
      iPhone = just a bit sharper
      Samsung = better colours

  • AusyCoop

    What it really comes down to is which display appeals to your eyes more. I’ve seen both and I prefer the GS3’s display. I prefer the deeper, truer blacks, especially if you’re watching movies or playing games. It sucks me in more. It’s all about preference. Enough to with the display tests, just look at both and decide which you like better.

  • NTSC gamut is meaningless. sRGB is the standard which is used on professional designers’ monitors and for calibrating images and video. Full, accurate sRGB representation is the important spec here and AMOLED displays fail hard at that right now. Even sadder, it could be mostly ameliorated with a better factory calibration, but Samsung would rather burn out your retinas just so they can stand out a bit more on the display at the store.

    • PaintByNumbness

      NTSC gamut which is actually the total colours perceived by the human eye, and nothing to do with television sets.
      Adobe RGB is the one used by professionals, for RAWs/masters, not sRGB. It’s close to NTSC gamut.
      sRGB was created by computer and monitor manufacturers in the late 90s is much narrower, but became a pc standard because it was a lower bar :)

  • Why doesn’t anyone compare the iPhone 5’s display against the HTC One X? Isn’t the display on the One X better than the S3?

  • I’ve yet to understand why there’s so much iPhone coverage on an Android site. I got an Android phone (S3) for a reason. It wasn’t the screen that sold me on it.

  • Read: We didn’t like the answer DisplayMate came up with, so we ran a test that gave us the answer we wanted!