DisplayMate: the Note 3 has the brightest mobile display we ever tested

October 1, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 aa 7

The Note 3 is launching this week in US and around the world and many of you have already made it clear that you plan to buy it. If you’re still on the fence about it, perhaps the fact that the Note 3 has thoroughly impressed the experts at DisplayMate will help make up your mind.

DisplayMate is a company that produces software for “optimizing, calibrating, testing, evaluating and comparing all types of displays, monitors, projectors, mobile displays and HDTVs”. They are an authority in the field that we often quoted in the past, most recently when they compared the HTC One, Xperia Z, and Ascend P6 in a Full HD display shootout.

Now DisplayMate evaluated a pre-release version of the Galaxy Note 3 (supplied by Samsung), and the results are quite impressive. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The Note 3’s is extremely bright. According to DisplayMate’s testing, the Note 3 is 55 percent brighter than the Note 2 and 25 percent brighter than the Galaxy S4. The Note 3 performs better than or comparable to “most LCD displays in this size class”. With Automatic Brightness on, the Note 3’s display reaches an impressive 660 cd/m2, which is the highest value that DisplayMate ever recorded. For comparison, the iPhone 5, long considered a standard in display quality, outputs 600 cd/m2.
  • DisplayMate praises the user selectable color modes of the Note 3, noting that the Professional Photo mode delivers a “fairly accurate calibration to the Adobe RGB standard, which is rarely available in consumers displays”.
  • The reflectance levels on the Note 3 are very low, which, along with the high brightness, improves readability under intense ambient light. The Note 3 has the highest “Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light” that the company ever measured.
  • At viewing angles of 30 degrees, the display loses just 22 percent of its brightness, compared to 55 percent or greater in the case of a typical LCD display.

Overall, DisplayMate’s experts were very impressed with the Note 3, remarking that, with it, Samsung brought OLED display technology to a level that is comparable to or better than most LCDs. For a technology that has matured in just a few years, that’s a very impressive achievement.

We’ll be taking a close look at the Galaxy Note 3’s display in our upcoming review, so we’ll be offering our own observations soon.

Comments

  • vgergo

    Wonder how quickly the high brightness will cause burn in on the display. Typically sensitive application: in-car navigation, being plugged-in the navigation app goes to the highest brightness and shows the same display elements for hours or even days on long trips. On the Note 1 it took about 10 full days of driving for some easily noticeable burn in to happen. At this boosted brightness it will take even less…

    • Mystery Man

      This is still an issue? Never heard of burn in on any S4 displays

      • feeres

        it’s not burn but a degradation of the pixels. oled pixels eventually degrade and lose their brightness faster than lcds especially when made to produce higher levels of brightness.

    • Skander

      The Note 1, S2, S3, and Note 2 all had kinda quick burn-in, yet to see this on the S4.

      • Maher Salti

        I’m using the galaxy nexus for almost 2 years now, haven’t noticed any burns..

        • Marsg

          the galaxy nexus gets major burn in i own one, but its acceptable since its an old amoled display and back then the tech was at its infancy

      • xhozt

        never seen burn in on my s3
        or my cappy

  • Azaz Patel

    sounds suspicious 2 me. first bloated benchmarks now best displays

    • TechGuy

      Most companies fiddle the benchmarks – it’s not really anything to new.

    • zourite

      Tested phone “supplied by Samsung”…

    • Zacisblack

      Most reviewers have said the Note 3′s display is better than the S4 so I dont think it has anything to do with Samsung giving them a special device.

  • TechGuy

    Pity it does not have a “dark mode” for the email app as it’s blinding white!

    • MasterMuffin

      Wasn’t it 3 fast clicks on the home button in Touchwiz that made the screen change colors to opposite or something?

      • YoungHermit

        I think that only works with Siyah Kernel ._.
        I’m late I know.

        • MasterMuffin

          Well therw’s always the widget that inverts the screen and the option is also in accessibility settings if I remember correctly

  • jjordan

    This is awesome to hear because the only concern I had with the note 3 was the fact that it was amoled and traditionally amoled screens do not do well at all in direct sunlight…the only problem I had with my note 2 was outdoor visibility

    • mobilemann

      big thing for me too, coming from a gs3, which is pretty horrible in daylight.

  • freedomspopular

    Sounds like they’ve made some breakthroughs with AMOLED tech. Now let’s see how this will affect burn-in.

    • Marsg

      The only burn in I have heard of so far were a few display models that were on for 12 hours straight on maximum brightness (Galaxy S4)

  • zourite

    330 nits according to Anandtech (http://www.anandtech.com/show/7376/samsung-galaxy-note-3-review/5). Where is the truth ?

    • Noor Mahmoud

      Anandtech isn’t accurate at all. Their review would have a clueless reader believe that the iPhone5s has better battery life than the Note 3… They were even saying that microusb 3.0 brought no performance increases, while trying to use it with a usb 2.0 port on the computer. /facepalm

      • zourite

        Anandtech us certainly one of the most credible tech site of the Internet. They detail their battery life test procedures and they only said USB3 doesn’t work between the Note3 and a Mac (only Windows it seems). They are convinced Apple fans but they explain why and even prove why at the hardware level (those small phones are benchmark beasts as everyone knows).

        • Noor Mahmoud

          I’m sorry, but detailed doesn’t mean credible. Gsmarena is even more detailed than them for many reviews, and for the Note 3 had stunningly different results. I know from using the Note 2 for almost a year that anandtech was wrong about it in many ways in their review and gsmarena was correct. So far, it seems the same with the Note 3. For example, on Anandtech saying that the Note 3 has a measly 330nit display, while Displaymate says it has a godly 660nit, I compared my Note 3 in sunlight to my brother’s iPhone5s, which should be around 500nit, and the Note 3 turned out to be much brighter. Not to mention hardly any of the, usually very smart, people at xda view anandtech as a credible source. They’ve known for years that their measurements are off to always try and give apple the edge.
          My advice is to not use anandtech as a main source, if a source at all. Get reviews and opinions from atleast 15 credible outlets and some users on various forums that have used the device before you make a decision.

          • zourite

            You may be right. I will try to find more sources for Android and iOS gear in the future. Obviously, the more, the better.

          • Troy Dunn-Higgins

            Anandtech is correct with respect to the Note 3′s brightness. This article is simply hyperbole. If you read the DisplayMate evaluation carefully, you will see that the 660 cd/m2 value can only be achieved for short durations in Automatic Brightness mode.

            At 100% brightness in manual mode, the display reaches a maximum sustained value of 337 cd/m2, which is consistent with Anadtech’s result.

          • Noor Mahmoud

            Ummm, no. I’ve been using this phone for 6 months, and that 660nits(actually closer to 690) can be sustained…

          • Troy Dunn-Higgins

            If it is locked to the automatic brightness control, then it can be not sustained.

          • Noor Mahmoud

            You do realize that there are apps and such to change brightness, not to mention that many roms allow to to manual change brightness through the entire range of nits.

          • Troy Dunn-Higgins

            “many roms allow to to manual change brightness through the entire range of nits”

            If true (which I do not know), this would be outside the scope of a GSMArena or Anandtech review and thus not relevant to this discussion.

            I know for a fact that the Note 3 can not continuously run at a brightness of 660 cd/m2, as that would produce large amounts of heat and trigger the phone’s hardware-based automatic dimming.

            There are many threads on XDA discussing this.

  • Joshua Hill

    DisplayMate ceased being experts a few years ago for me when they claimed LG’s passive 3D, 1920 x 540 effective resolution, tv’s provided full HD and offered a superior image to active 3D systems with full 1920 x 1080 HD.

  • feio

    you must be joking. the brightness on my phone is very low even on full brightness its almost like the lowest light settings on iphone. this is ridiculous.

  • June Philippines

    i don’t think so… check the screen of Nokia 808 Pureview.

  • Brian

    how about the Xperia People? it has white magic technology. an extra white Pixel

  • Michele Gurrado

    Got a little burn in on my note 3: becouse of the notification bar i always present in android apps and it is black, pixels on that notification bar are used less often than other on the creen. This effect is more visible on blue pixels: the blue pixels are brighter than others.