Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the fairest smartphone screen of them all? Samsung's Galaxy S5, at least according to DisplayMate. The display specialists say the S5's OLED screen is "the best performing smartphone display" ever put through their gauntlet of objective tests.
Interestingly, Samsung achieved that distinction without upping the pixel count. The S5 has the same 1080p resolution and a similar screen size to the old S4. However, the new display is reportedly 22% brighter at the same power level, and it's 47% brighter when turned all the way up. The thing pumps out an impressive 698 cd/m² at maximum luminance. This prodigous output combines with low reflectance to yield particularly strong performance in brighter environments, DisplayMate says.
Color reproduction is another strong suit. The S5's color accuracy is said to be better than all the other smartphones and tablets DisplayMate has tested to date—and they've tested just about everything. The best image quality is in cinema mode, but there are other options, including a professional photo mode calibrated for the Adobe RGB color gamut, and an adaptive mode that tweaks the saturation and vibrance to account for different ambient lighting conditions. Pretty slick.
A lot of folks seemed disappointed when the Galaxy S5 was announced. The display seems to be a nice step up, though, and the improved performance in brighter environments fits nicely with the dust- and water-resistant body. The S5 may be the best smartphone for everyday outdoor use, and that has it high on my potential upgrade list. If only Samsung hadn't TouchWizzed all over the thing. Ahem.