When Apple launched iPhone 5, display experts DisplayMate concluded after extensive lab tests concluded that it had the best smartphone display.
So with the launch of Samsung Galaxy S4, it was interesting to find out how Galaxy S4’s 4.99 inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920×1080) display with 441 ppi would perform compared to iPhone 5.’s 4-inch Retina Display.
According to DisplayMate’s President, Dr. Raymond M. Soneira, concludes that displays of Samsung Galaxy S and iPhone 5 “are quite good and comparable overall – so it’s currently a tie”.
He goes on to explain:
The iPhone 5 is now more than half way through its product cycle, which is important to keep in mind for our comparison. However, high-end LCDs like the iPhone 5 are a very mature and refined display technology, so other than screen size, resolution, and the Pixels Per Inch not much is likely to change in the next generation, no matter what Apple decides to do. The iPhone 5 is significantly brighter than the Galaxy S4, particularly for screens with mostly peak white backgrounds. Its color calibration is a bit better, although the Galaxy S4 has a more accurate White. The Galaxy S4 has a much bigger screen, higher resolution, higher PPI, much darker blacks, and better screen uniformity than the iPhone 5. They each have their own particular strengths and weaknesses, but if you scan our color coordinated Comparison Table, both displays are quite good and comparable overall – so it’s currently a tie – we’ll see how they both evolve and improve in the next generation.
Here’s a look at the comparison table:
And here’s the overall assessment:
As DisplayMate points out, Samsung has made significant improvements to the OLED display technology over the last few years to bring it on par with LCDs.
In comparison, after introducing Retina Display with the launch of iPhone 4 in 2010, Apple has not made any significant improvements to Retina Display, except for the use of in-cell display technology in iPhone 5. However, it was not significant enough for Apple to boast about the feature.
It remains to be seen if Apple will up the ante with the launch of iPhone 5S or iPhone 6. It also remains to be seen if Apple will launch an iPhone with a larger screen as that’s one area where Apple won’t be able to convince users looking for a smartphone with a bigger screen even with significantly better display quality.