Sony says their Live Colour LED technology delivers the deepest and most vibrant colors available on a smartphone

by: Jonathan FeistMarch 11, 2014

Who produces the best smartphone display? If you did not answer Sony, they are hoping that their new Live Colour LED technology will change your mind. Sony’s new screen tech is found on their latest flagship device, the Xperia Z2, which was announced at MWC last month. The phone represents the best that Sony has to offer, including the addition of Live Colour LED to their Triluminos screens that are powered by their X-Reality Engine.

We took the Xperia Z2 for a test run at MWC. It was an impressive phone with many improvements over its predecessor, the Xperia Z1. The Android 4.4 KitKat powered Xperia Z2 spouts high-end specifications, such as a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 CPU, 3GB of RAM, a 3200 mAh battery and the ability to shoot 4K video from its 20.7MP camera. Check out our hands-on video review here.

Sony Xperia Z2 walkman Live Colour LED

Sony’s Triluminos screen and X-Reality engine are not new, earning their stripes on Sony’s high-end televisions before making their way to phones like the Xperia Z Ultra last year. Keeping it brief, Triluminos technology uses light-emitting nanoparticles, referred to as quantum dots, that emit light in specific wavelengths – wavelengths that the human eye perceives as colors. Sony says that these quantum dots are able to produce a gamut of color 50% larger than conventional LCD technology.

Sony’s X-Reality Engine is a software process that breaks down texture, outline, contrast and color components of the video signal that is sent to the display. Each component is analyzed and processed to produce images and video that look sharper, with reduced noise, improved contrast and fine-tuned saturation levels. We took an in-depth look at Sony’s Triluminos and X-Realty Engine in the Xperia Z Ultra last year, check that out for more info, including this quick overview video from Sony themselves.

So, what makes this display better?

The display on the Xperia Z2 changes the game in two main ways: First, it replaces the old TFT display with a new 5.2-inch full HD IPS LCD, second, it adds Sony’s new Live Colour LED technology. The result is a crisper, cleaner display with brighter, more accurate and vibrant colors that are viewable at much greater angles than previous Sony smartphones.

True Colour LED

Sony is not giving up many details of their secret sauce True Colour LED technology, best describing it as the use of red and green phosphor with blue LEDs and customized colour filters to produce a brighter and more uniform light. Resulting in richer colors without saturation. They say their new Live Colour LED is a viewing experience as close to reality as possible.

François Simond and Erica Griffin have been testing out phones from MWC – they ran the Z2 through a spectrophotometer to determine the actual color output, their results are shown in the following images. The resulting color spectrum of the Z2 is represented as the white triangle, with the smaller inner triangle representing the spectrum that LCD displays are capable of producing. This also concludes that the combination of hardware and software enhancements in the Xperia Z2 renders very accurate colors – the dots in the spectrophotometer graphs below represent actual color measurements, the smooth and even linear layout indicates very accurately color rendering.

Xperia Z2 spectrophotometer

We took a little less scientific approach when we had the chance to put the Z1 and the Z2 side-by-side for a brief overview and look at the differences, why don’t you check that out as well.

Thanks to Sony’s True Colour LED enhancements in their new IPS display, it is possible that they have outshone the competition, leading to a crisper, cleaner, more colorful smartphone display future. We can’t wait for the Xperia Z2 to hit the market so that we can get our hands on it for an extended look and full review. Just as important, we can’t wait to have both the Z2 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 in hand so that we can continue the raging debates – which is the better device and who has the better display?

  • shayz


  • brilliant, now pxrn will look more vivid, vibrant and you can watch it with people as the viewing angles are better.(lol) but seriously, it is a step up from Xperia Z1. :) Sony is really catching up this time…

  • namesib

    I’d rather have the pure black of AMOLED.

  • Mike Bastable

    i think they should give everyone who bought the Xperia Z on the strength of the SONY name a refund…because the screen on that is simply unacceptable. Once they have done that they can start boasting about being the best?
    A top company admits mistakes and rectifies them.

    • Brendon Brown

      I own an Xperia Z, it not as bad as you’re making it out to be.

      • Mike Bastable

        Me too..I use it as an alarm clock…awful viewing angles..sub standard for a Sony…my lg g2 is 100% better in every way

        • Brendon Brown

          2012 tech < 2013 tech

          • Mike Bastable

            The screen was bad tech when it launched…really it needs calibrating and Sony abandoned this as soon as thy released it…will not buy from them again….but if you like it i am pleased…design wise it was a good phone. And it is a great alarm clock.

          • Castor

            you were fooled into buying it. no wonder.

            even at first sight, the flaws were already very obvious. why did you buy it?

            i was asking sony fans to be reasonable and not to buy that product with an awful display. they didn’t listen. irrational fans and hype-followers.

            now, they’re regretting the decision. if nobody bought z1, sony would have changed tack soon. a great device like the z2 would’ve come sooner.

          • Mike Bastable

            Good answer you were right

      • Leonardo Rojas

        I own a ZL and I’m very doubtful about upgrading it to the Z2 n.ñ
        Maybe if I had some spare money. Ha

    • Leonardo Rojas

      The ZL might have a better display than the Z, which I have never had the chance to see it live, but, I’m 95% happy with my ZL’s screen. I’d just like it to have a little bit more saturated colors, but it’s very, very sharp and clear. And I have a trick for the screen that fixes the viewing angles and makes the screen look very, very similar to the viewing angles of my brother’s G2. I’ll post it on XDA and share it with you.

      • Mike Bastable

        The ZL is much better.I agree.thnx

  • Benjamin

    Sony for the win!

  • pauldrew18

    I waited a long time for the Galaxy S5 but Samsung gave the world a band aid.. I’m totally waiting for the Z2 to hit the market..

    • Gilles LeBlanc

      Yea I was thinking the same when I went from note 2 to Z Ultra then to Mega 6.3 finally ending with my current note 3. The lesson I’ve learnt is that a 6.3 inch screen in landscape mode is absolutely indispensable. Despite its cheap price and sketchy specs mega 6.3 was the best of all with its super long bat life with flash and no home keys on screen.

      • Lisandro O Oocks

        Can’t you just use “ultimate rotation control” or other UI-rotating apps to fix your landscape needs?

        • Gilles LeBlanc

          I do along with jedi X5 rom its not as good as that little bit more screen space which makes a no tablet lifestyle possible to be honest.

    • MasterMuffin

      Said this multiple times and I’ll say it again: Z2 >>> S5

      • tsk tsk

        Retina ftw the test are haters and copy cats

      • Blowntoaster

        S5 Z2…

        • MasterMuffin

          Z2 >>> S5

          • Blowntoaster

            hahaha. you know I’m right.

            S5 Z2
            The Z2 will only be the flagship for 6 months before Sony drops software support and releases a new Z…

          • MasterMuffin

            Sure sure

          • Ross

            Sony provides software support for 18 months minimum for its flagship devices. Come on, don’t bull shit us.

          • hannan

            Yea shut the fuck up Sony is now even better than,samsung

  • bakakun028

    I wish samsung would actually calibrate their screens for once.

  • Manoj Gs

    Sony make a 5.5 inch display with same technology

  • Ruz

    Sony lacks IR Blaster, FM & Gorilla Glass display… i would be game if they had these features

    • [A]dri[A]n

      The ZL and the Tablet Z both had an IR blaster. The Xperia phones usually always have an FM app.

      • Ruz

        FM is always good but IR is also required

    • Svnjay

      They have Dragontrail glass, no need for Gorilla Glass.

  • lol

    Some pure bs there about the colors. But the z2 is def. better than s5.

    And i love my note 3.

  • apple. com

    apple ftw… retina display is still the most vibrant, bright, contrast, deepest black, and battery efficient display ever to be out.

  • Sony smartphone is always better to compare Samsung on quality and sound system.

  • Mor Deth

    Everyone is comparing Sony to Samsung…..meanwhile HTC is superior to both.

  • ghalib

    Sony is the best smartphone maker no can reach near their video quality in next 100 years

  • diablo escarlata

    Sony Z2 is beautiful, is powerful, is amazing, is like wow, is the best, is the company that rocks making high-end TVs meaning they know their stuff. BUUUT! How in the planet earth they make a phone that powerful WITHOUT removable battery? It is simple unacceptable. I have the galaxy S3 right now, and I had the iphone, and the blackberry, and htc, and a whole bunch. I realized that I do not like to live close to the power plug. I hate the idea of having to reduce the brightness, turn off wi fi and such because I need to save battery (I bet you do that). Plus, when I go to south beach to check the girls out and hangout, I can stay the whole day at the beach texting, surfing, taking pictures, etc, just pop in another battery and ready to go…Then, change clothes at friends house, and party all night long. I hate to be close to power plug, when I used to have the iphone I used to carry a little thing rechargable in my pants, that was not cool,! I might have to buy two sony Z2 smartphones to keep rolling like that. Or I will have to change my life habits, which weeell, it won’t happen.

    For that, S5 got my money. 100 bucks in extra batteries, leave them in the car, FREE to go.

  • ayyo

    Thus began….a new era….

  • Miko Yamada

    im afraid after z and abandon quantum dot display cos of bezel wot u saying isn’t true..they just tweak with old LCD tech