For as long as anyone can remember, Samsung’s highest end phones have used AMOLED technology. What is AMOLED? It’s complicated to explain in one paragraph, but the best way to wrap your head around it is that each individual pixel in an AMOLED panel can light itself up. This contrasts to LCD, where a backlight is required for the entire display. So which is the better technology?
For the longest time, the answer has been LCD. There’s a reason the iPhone and the iPad use LCD screens and not AMOLED screens. That’s not to say AMOLED is bad, it’s just different. People knock AMOLED because the color accuracy has always skewed towards the oversaturated, the color white isn’t always really white, and while power consumption is indeed lower if you’re watching a movie or looking at photographs, AMOLED screens suck up a ton of electricity when you’re reading text.
Which brings me to today’s analysis of the Note 3 display that was done by DisplayMate Technologies. Their website may look like it’s from the 90s, but these guys know their stuff, and they’ve always helped me understand display technologies, regardless of how trivial or complicated my questions have been. What do they think about the Note 3? This should say it all:
“In a span of just a few years, OLED display technology is now challenging and even exceeding the performance of the best LCDs across the board in brightness, contrast, color accuracy, color management, picture quality, screen uniformity, and viewing angles. OLEDs are also considerably thinner than LCDs but still cost considerably more to manufacture.
The Galaxy Note 3 has the newest generation of OLED display technology. The Lab tests show that it is better than the Note II in every measurement category, and also comparable or better than the display on the Galaxy S4.
They’re particularly impressed with the Note 3’s brightness, which was recorded as achieving 660 cd/m2 when set to auto-brightness mode. Note that the iPhone 5/5s/5c “only” pulls 600 cd/m2. Compared to the Note II, the Note 3 is 55% brighter; versus the GS4, the Note 3 is 25% brighter.
In other words, the Note 3 has the best AMOLED Samsung has ever produced.