Samsung Galaxy S5’s Super AMOLED screen called “best performing smartphone display ever” by DisplayMate

Daniel Bader

March 31, 2014 1:32pm

“Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements, which we present in detail below, the Galaxy S5 is the Best performing Smartphone display that we have ever tested – and it has raised the bar for top display performance up by another notch.”

Those are the words used by DisplayMate, a site dedicated to evaluating on new screen technology and the devices they are paired with. According to the Samsung Galaxy S5 Display Technology Shoot-Out, the screen is a “major improvement over the Galaxy S4 and a significant improvement over the Galaxy Note 3 in almost every single test and measurement category.”

The screen defeats the traditional notion that OLED screens are dimmer than their LCD counterparts, which hits an incredible 698 cd/m2, the brightest display they’ve ever tested. It’s also got good colour saturation without becoming comical, deviating from previous AMOLED screens from Samsung.

DisplayMate says the Galaxy S5’s screen has the lowest screen reflectance of any mobile device they’ve seen, and it uses the same amount of power, despite going considerably brighter, than last year’s model.


Unlike previous years, the Galaxy S5 shares the same diamond-shaped subpixel array as the Note 3, which leads to higher efficiency without the graininess that came from PenTile arrays. Indeed, the larger blue and red subpixels are diamond-shaped, while the green subpixels are oval, which make it easier to squeeze in between the others while maintaining the highest quality possible.

The conclusion DisplayMate comes to is that despite a slightly lower pixel density over last year’s S4 (5.1-inches to 5-inches), the Galaxy S5 is a considerably higher quality display, and should provide a much better viewing experience to any Super AMOLED screen in the past.

  • Max Fireman

    THIS! I love good displays. We are always look at them, so why not get the best? The HTC M8 camera quality has steered me towards the S5. Samsung has great customer service and a service center in Mississagua in case of anything bad happening.
    The Sony Z2 isn’t coming for who knows when, no date given.

    • Prakash Dhimal

      Is HTC M8’s camera that bad?

    • brararsh

      I Own One M8 since 5 days now and M8 camera is very good indeed. If you want to print posters out of a phone camera then go for something else.
      M8 is just fine to post pictures on FB or any other websites but not for poster printing as MP count is less.
      And mind you, the pics fom M8 do wonders on FB as I have got many comments asking about the camera I have used because that Duo effect is just awesome.

    • crocop24

      As an M8 owner for 2 days now…i completely 100% disagree with you. My S4, hell, my S3 was better then the M8. The other camera features are just gimmicks. I care about quality and the M8 is by far the WORST flagship camera phone out there.

      I think I will be returning this and returning to my S4 and reassess what I need.

    • Bri Bru

      Oh wow.. I thought they had worked to improve their camera but I guess they failed.

    • KrispyInTO

      They decided to cut corners and hope their marketing would work. They removed optical image stabilization in the M8, also the 2nd “depth” camera is literally the exact sensor from the front facing camera on the original one. Seems as if they had extra stock of sensors and needa a way to get rid of them also by removing OIS they saved more money.

    • Max Fireman

      Sorry for your loss

    • southerndinner

      You’ve obviously never used another cell phone before because the M8 picture quality is garbage

    • brararsh

      I have used almost *Every* smartphone.

      Here are few to list.

      HTC One M8 – Rogers — Now

      R.I.P LG G2- D803, Note 3 SM-N900W8, Black Nexus 5 32GB, HTC One M7 UL (PN07120), Iphone 5S, GS4 SGH-I337M, HTC One, GS4 GT-I9500, Nexus 4, GS3, GNex, S2, N8, Lumia 800, N97 etc

    • monsterduc1000

      Wow. All that looks like to me is a huge waste of money for insignificant upgrades from phone to phone. Yeesh.

    • brararsh

      Might be, but from what I am seeing, southerndinner is a Samsung Fanboy if you look at his comments history.
      My upgrades might be irrelevant but I have used almost all the phones and can tell you my views about each phone.
      I know, I might also use S5 one day but HTC’s camera is not bad if your image’s final destination is FB or G+.

    • Mo Dabbas

      but you sound like a fanboy of HTC…. so both of your opinions are biased!!!

      don’t get me wrong, the M7 was a sweet phone when I tried it (I have a small electronics business so I get these phones as part of my business), but no matter how much you argue, the camera is one of its weeknesses. I haven’t tried an M8 yet. but i’m pretty sure I’ll eventually end up with one in my inventory. but for the M7, these things killed it for me, and made me jump to another phone (Xperia Z1 it was):
      1) Gigantic size for a small screen
      2) very slippery and hard to grab as a result
      3) Camera
      4) Occasional call quality issues. some time others won’t hear me well for some reason. This also occures with a friend who also owns an M7

      On the other hand, I loved the following in it:
      1) Light and simple interface, made it faster and snappier than a lot of the competing smartphones with similar hardware.
      2) speakers are amazing
      3) Vibrator is the strongest i’ve seen in a high end phone.
      4) cool factor (the M7 looks amazing).

      So in the end, i’m not saying one phone is better. I think each has it’s strong points and week points. my opinion may not be teh same as yours. and that is why I am saying what I mentioned is based on my personal experience and not being biased in any way.

      Enjoy. have a good day.

    • Nadefrenzy

      If you’re spending $700 and upwards on a flagship, you don’t just want a camera that can only be described as “not bad”—you wan’t one of the best if not the best.

    • Max Fireman

      What’s wrong with you?

    • Nadefrenzy

      Go read almost every review out there about the HTC One M8’s camera especially the reputable sites like PhoneArena. The M8 loses to the Nexus 5 lol.

    • Sebastien Grenier

      maybe your not good at taking picture too, because I have see many picture gallery taken from the M8 they are not bad at all. The macro shot and close up are really good.

      I have the HTC One (M7) and my picture are quite good, not the best but their good.

      I also own a Nokia 1020, Galaxy S3 and a Nexus 5. they all have their force and flaw.

    • Collin dubya

      Agreed 100%

    • monsterduc1000

      Yep. In side by side comparisons with other flagship smartphones it is barely, if at all, better than them in low light situations and is way behind when it comes to regular and outdoor photos due to its low mp count. gsmarena and phonearena always do side by side comparisons and this new htc camera loses yet again. How hard would it have been to get it up to 8 ultra pixels? At least it would have been almost within striking distance of the competition. They had a year to do it…

    • Max Fireman

      That is how I decided. Sure, phones are not made to take professional pictures, but at least take decent ones for $700

    • Mo Dabbas

      Well, from my experience with the HTC One (M7), it shoots alright pictures. But still, it is a 4MP camera. When I used to have one, some of the pictures (low light mostly) were nice. but in regular situations, the pictures reminded me of the days I owned a Nexus One (yes, that bad). As a matter of fact, I find the camera on the HTC One X and One X+ to be a better overall performer. and I wish HTC continued on that rather than the Ultrapixels gimmick.
      And as many said, when you put it side by side with the other high end phones (LG G2, Samsung S4, Xperia Z1) you see how other maker’s are making better camera’s.

  • grantdude

    Does it still have the blue tint that Samsung displays are known for?

    • monsterduc1000

      Since Samsung introduced different screen modes, choices such as Movie or Professional Photo have eliminated the cool and over-saturated look if the user wishes to do so.

  • alphs22

    Display has been one of Samsung’s strengths, great to see them improve it even more.

    • cartfan88

      When the S5 specs were revealed I was like “meh”…but maybe there’s more to this device than first glance. We do seem to be in more of an evolutionary than revolutionary state in smartphones.

  • J Gibson

    Aren’t the green pixels ellipses, not ovals?

    • Sean Lumly

      It’s tough to say based on the blurriness, but good eye!

  • Bri Bru

    I’m not a big fan of AMOLED displays. The colours seem unnatural compared to LCDs. I love LG’s displays, bright and clear.

    • Eluder

      Yup, LG uses IPS panels which are the best in the biz. Natural looking colours, super sharp and just plain gorgeous to look at.

    • monsterduc1000

      Quote, “Since Samsung introduced different screen modes, choices such as Movie or Professional Photo have eliminated the cool and over-saturated look if the user wishes to do so.”

      IMO, every other dispay looks washed out with their terrible black levels compared to the SAmoled. Very natural colours in Pro Photo or Movie mode.

    • Bri Bru

      The last samsung’s device I used was Note 2. I’ve got to say that the display was not very satisfying to look at compared to my N4. There was that option to change mode on it but it still wasn’t very good to look at.

    • monsterduc1000

      I’m currently enjoying the Note 2 in Pro Photo mode and when I look at other phone screens (iPhone 5s for instance), all I can see is how bad the black levels are and how they wash out the colours. No over-saturation in this mode as well which is nice. Colours look true and even.

    • Nadefrenzy

      I had the Note 2 and now the Note 3. Safe to say that the Note 3 destroys the Note 2’s display in almost every category especially brightness and sharpness.

    • Sean Lumly

      It’s like you flat-out ignored what was written, and fell back to an old argument. The Galaxy S5’s AMOLED screen has been meticulously tested on accuracy, and it is head-and-tails above the competition.

    • Bri Bru

      The article talks about how it’s gotten improved over the past AMOLED screens but not necessarily compared to other screens. I haven’t seen the new display so I guess I’ll find out when I see one.

    • Sean Lumly

      Re-read the article title…

    • Bri Bru

      The title says it but it doesn’t talk much about the details in the actual content of the article. Anyone can say anything and it doesn’t mean much to me without the details.

    • Nadefrenzy

      You’re gauging your opinion on a device that’s 2 years old and only has a 720p display (yes there is a difference b/w that and 1080p especially at that screen size).

    • Bri Bru

      I’m mainly talking about the colour reproduction and I was comparing it with Nexus 4 which is also 2 years old. It’d be nice to see improvement on AMOLED displays especially on colour reproduction.

    • Nadefrenzy

      The Note 3’s display was a big change. Yes, 2 years ago, AMOLEDs had several issues with color reproduction, but not anymore. Look up displaymate’s reviews of the Note 3’s display, and more recently, the S5’s as well.

  • beyond

    “Based on the enormous payouts we received from Samsung, which we are currently allocating to purchase a private golf course, the Galaxy S5 is the BEST performing Smartphone display in the universe – …..”” 😛

    • tamara andre

      Your idiocy is a joy to behold. Seriously, I could spend hours reading posts by people like you. The website is scrupulously impartial. They gave the S4 display lower marks because of its brightness and hue problems. For the S5 Displaymate did the same tests and calibrations. The S5 display rocks aparently. Displaymate supplied charts with measurable results. Anyone can measure the display for themselves, or evaluate the testing. Just give it up. Samsung quietly took Amoled displays from beautiful but terribly flawed to flat out near perfect and surpassed LCD technology in a mere 4 years all by themselves. That should be lauded.

    • beyond

      glad you have a sense of humor 🙂 You’re living in a fantasy land if you honestly believe every single word people write is 100% unbiased and impartial

    • tamara andre

      SO I should just accept your obviously sound, impartial assessment that It’s all lies perpetrated by Samsung’s PR machine? Paranoid much?

    • beyond

      uptight much?

    • wahwah

      Exactly. That, and amoled is subject to degradation and burn-in over time just like plasma displays.

  • Daniel Francis

    I would buy this just for the potential Adobe rgb colour gamut, unless the new Samsung tablets also have this option

  • barrist

    Cool, but you still have to deal with Touchwhiz with this amazing display.

    • BetelgeuseOrion

      no you dont, you dont have to use touchwiz at all you can install whatever launcher you want. TW is only the default.

    • crocop24

      It still runs OVER TW….a launcher is just an app.

    • monsterduc1000

      I don’t see a single aspect of TouchWiz when I use Nova Launcher.

    • crocop24

      do you drop down the notification box and see that ugly black screen with green icons?

      If so…thats touchwiz my friend.

    • monsterduc1000

      Sure. Ok. But what’s wrong with a black screen to show off those amazing blacks and there is nothing wrong with that green. It’s a very upbeat colour 🙂

  • BetelgeuseOrion

    but but but, Samsung doesn’t innovate and copied this from apple

  • bakakun028

    I can’t shake the feeling that they are being paid by samsung for those reviews. I absolutely hate the colors on my note 3. I find the oversaturation an unbearable eyesore. The movie mode helps a bit but still far from perfect. With movie mode on, some colors still look oversaturated and some look undersaturated. Its especially noticeable in the ui elements

  • goolger


  • Adam

    “without the graininess that came from PenTile arrays”

    Errm, the diamond arrangement is still PenTile. It’s just not the RGBG variant of PenTile.

  • Tim Hunt

    “It’s also got good colour saturation.”
    I cringed when I read that. Please, mobilesyrup, proof-read your articles before clicking on that “submit” button.

    • Bolard23

      Don’t be a hick, it’s a Canadian site. Doublecheck before you click that submit button!

    • Tim Hunt

      And I’m Canadian, but I’m not clear on your point.
      Regardless, there’s really no excuse not to take 5 minutes to review grammar. Not doing so just reflects poorly on the author and the site.

    • Monkeylord

      There’s nothing wrong with that sentence.

  • Tom Adams

    I still much prefer IPS LCD displays if only because I don’t want everything to be black I much prefer light colours and LCD kills AMOLED in energy consumption on the light colours

  • HeyYoWL

    I’m not a fan of AMOLED but if this is finally a AMOLED without oversaturation that’d be great. Too bad this is like a reverse of the “girl who looks hot from behind and ugly up front” situation, because that back is ugly with the perforated design.

  • Collin dubya

    seriously the best display i’ve ever had.. gs5 is the best phone of 2014