DisplayMate analysis: Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge top the Note 5 for best performing smartphone display ever

Samsung continues to lead in smartphone display technology and after six months as the king, the Galaxy Note 5 was dethroned by the new Galaxy S7.

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Last summer DisplayMate performed extensive testing on the newest smartphones and awarded the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 the title of best smartphone display ever. Samsung announced the new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge this week and DisplayMate test results from early production units reveals there is a new champion with the best smartphone display.

While the Samsung Galaxy S6 has an incredible display, Dr. Raymond Soneira's testing revealas that Samsung significantly improved the maximum brightness. Test results show the maximum brightness is 24 percent higher than the Galaxy S6. The contrast and contrast rating for high ambient light has also been improved.

While the Note 5 was blessed with the best smartphone display for about six months, the Galaxy S7 matches or breaks new records in smartphone display performance for: Highest Absolute Color Accuracy (1.5 JNCD), Highest Peak Brightness (855 nits), Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light (186), Highest Screen Resolution (2560x1440), Highest (infinite) Contrast Ratio, and Smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle (28 percent).

The key differentiation between the Note 5 and Galaxy S7 is the fact that the smaller 5.1 inch display on the Galaxy S7 means the display components were scaled down by 20 percent, while delivering the same maximum brightness.


A few interesting items detailed in the DisplayMate analysis include the personalized automatic brightness control, performance with polarized sunglasses, and the always-on display mode.

The new brightness control functionality stores the brightness settings that you select for different ambient light levels. It learns when you move into these lighting environments and then adjusts to your settings and not those the manufacturer thinks is best for you. I've battled brightness controls with LG smartphones and look forward to this custom brightness control on the next Galaxy Note device.

With some smartphones, I have to take off my sunglasses to capture photos in landscape orientation which has resulted in several missed shots in the past. I learned that Samsung orients its polarizer (installed to reduce screen reflectance of ambient light) at a 45 degree angle so the display is viewable in either portrait or landscape orientation. This orientation is present on the Galaxy S7, S6, and Note 5 lines.

Other smartphones, particularly the Nokia Lumia line, have had always-on display modes that provide so basic information (time, date, notifications) while in standby mode. The Galaxy S7 has some advancements in this mode, including turning this function off when the phone is face down or when it senses a confined space such as a pocket or handbag. The display is updated once a minute for both content and brightness.

DisplayMate notes that the power consumption of the display on the S7 line remains the same as the S6 line, but with an 18 percent larger capacity battery you will see better battery life out of the Galaxy S7 devices.

If you are looking for the absolute best smartphone display, with some very advanced technology and personalization options, you can't beat the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

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