Our mobile device displays are the windows into our mobile lives. We spend hours everyday peering through them without much thought, so it’s prudent to take a deeper look into these magnificent portals before deciding on which will provide the best experience for our eyeballs.
As you may know, Samsung will be entering the 1080p display market with the Galaxy S IV’s 5-inch Super AMOLED panel. How does it compare to the other top of the line device’s displays? Let’s take a look:
Brightness & Color Reproduction
Super AMOLEDs have been notorious for their blue-shifted representation of the color spectrum, and unfortunately this still holds true for the Galaxy S IV-0albeit less so than its predecessor the Galaxy S III. If you look at the rightmost column (white), you will see that the Galaxy S IV’s white reproduction isn’t quite as good as that of the LCD based iPhone, Xperia or One. However, if we compare it to the Galaxy S III, we can tell that there has been a marked improvement.
Although the LCDs have an overall higher brightness which is good for outdoor use, the incredible black levels (a black screen for all intents and purposes, looks like the device is turned off) give the Galaxy S IV a great contrast ratio, making colors vibrant and saturated.
Trying to watch a hilarious YouTube video with your friend? Well you best hope that your device has good enough viewing angles so that color shift and visibility aren’t an issue. As you can see (again, look at the rightmost white column), Samsung’s AMOLED panels suffer from blue shift, especially when viewed from an angle. Thankfully though, both the S III and S IV maintain strong relative contrast and brightness even at this steep viewing angle. The Xperia Z and Lumia 920 on the other hand suffer severely from lowered brightness and poor color reproduction when viewed from this angle.
Resolution and Pixel Density
Just 2 years ago the standard screen resolution was WVGA, 800 x 480. Come spring 2013, we will have doubled that to 1920 x 1080. This resolution wars have resulted in astronomically high pixel densities, making the “retina” moniker somewhat irrelevant in the mobile space. Although detractors of Samsung’s AMOLED technology have pointed towards the PenTile pixel arrangement as a significant loss in pixel density, the Galaxy S IV makes this a moot point, packing a whopping 441 ppi. The improvement in pixel density over the previous generation of PenTile AMOLED can be seen when comparing teh fidelity of the Galaxy S III and S IV displays.
When all is said and done, it boils down to slightly over-saturated colors of the AMOLED vs the more neutral LCD displays. Without a point of reference, it is difficult to even notice the AMOLED’s color inaccuracies–I personally prefer the trade-off for improved contrast ratio. Don’t take our word for it though, All of these phones will be available at your local AT&T store in the coming month, so take a look for yourself and let us know what you think!