The display on the new Samsung S IV, launched in many parts of the world over the past two days, is a big improvement over the SIII and, with it, Samsung now challenges the Retina display of the Apple iPhone, according to display experts DisplayMate.
Discussing the pros and cons of the screens DisplayMate says:
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…both displays are quite good and comparable overall – so it’s currently a tie.
The S IV’s OLED technology still has some way to go with the colors still too saturated, especially the Greens. However, DisplayMate also point out that the Green is a big improvement on the last generation in the S series.
There’s also a 25% improvement in power consumption in the S IV (over the S III). That and the improved Greens suggests that Samsung now use both red and green phosphorescent OLED, which was predicted to give a 25% energy saving.
Universal Display Corporation, who supply the phosphorescent raw materials, would not confirm.
DisplayMate also point out that competitor LCD screens like the iPhone are mature technologies. Although there are expectations for improvement over time, it’s unlikely that they will be incorporated into an iPhone update this year.
Yesterday I got a chance to play around with the Samsung Galaxy S4. The much talked about Gesture control offers very marginal benefit on a small screen and as often as not the phone did not pick up the gesture.
What hit me more than the software features though, which have been criticized for their complexity, are two things.
The first is that the screen is very striking – while it has been criticized for color saturation, I can see also why younger people would be attracted to its rich colors. DisplayMate points out that it provides full HD in a 5 inch screen, which is not only impressive but also useful because so much video content is now HD.
The second is its lightness. The phone feels too light for its size. Samsung could have taken advantage of the energy saved on the display and at the same time accommodated a more powerful battery, to add heft, without upsetting customers. In fact Samsung might have stolen a lead in recharge intervals.
The S IV, in appearance at least, is a more dazzling phone than the iPhone, though criticism so far has focused on the overcomplicated software updates. If you tend to buy by appearances, the S IV looks the part. In Europe the price tag is Euro 700.00 (over $900.00) and for that I can buy a top of the line iPad and come away with change.