Over the years, smartphone manufacturers have been pushing pixel counts and density for their screens to higher and higher levels as they introduced higher resolution displays to the market. As the numbers got higher, some users noted that these improvements were meaningless as the human eye could not detect the improvements. In a review of the new screens for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, DisplayMate points out some benefits of pushing on resolution specs beyond what the human eye can detect and also praises Samsung for turning their attention to other features that impact a user’s perception of how good the screen is. The end result are two devices that are described as having the “crown jewel” of displays for Samsung smartphones.
One of the areas that DisplayMate examined and tested was Peak Brightness and how the displays function in high ambient lighting situations. DisplayMate notes that consumers trying to use a phone in situations where there is a lot of ambient light, like on a sunny afternoon outside, lose the sense of vibrancy their devices normally seem to have. The displays that Samsung uses in their new devices were designed to try to overcome this challenge and it appears Samsung was successful as DisplayMate measured the highest color saturation for any screen in a high ambient lighting setting. Samsung also improved the performance of the screen by reducing reflectance in order to improve contrast.
Along with appearing better in high ambient light situations, DisplayMate found the Galaxy Note 5 screen produced the most accurate colors for consumer content of any smartphone or tablet display they have tested. According to DisplayMate, the measure of Absolute Color Accuracy was so high that they described it as “visually indistinguishable from perfect.”
DisplayMate also points out the fact that Samsung included some features to help consumers get the most out of their displays. One is an Adaptive Display feature that will adjust the screen’s color gamut and brightness based on both the level of ambient lighting as well as the color of the ambient lighting, a value Samsung is able to get from the ambient light sensor. The Samsung displays include four preset modes that users can select compared to many other devices that do not even offer a setting. Samsung also included a Super Dimming Mode that works at the other end of the lighting scale, night-time conditions, where it helps to not be faced with a super bright screen.
Against all of these improvements in how the display looks, DisplayMate notes that Samsung managed to improve power efficiency compared to previous generation screens. These new OLED displays were measured at 21 percent more power efficient than last year’s Galaxy Note 4.