Samsung vs Apple: Galaxy S9 screen beats iPhone X's, new display tests say

Samsung Galaxy S9's display is better than 4K Ultra HDTV and snatches iPhone X's crown in screen benchmark.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Video: Samsung Galaxy S9: Checking out the specs

The Samsung Galaxy S9's display has been given an A+ and ranked the best-performing OLED screen on the market, according to test outfit DisplayMate.

Apple's first ever OLED smartphone, the iPhone X, earned that title from DisplayMate last year with its full HD 2.5K 2,436 x 1,125-pixel resolution display. The iPhone X set records for high absolute color accuracy, screen brightness and performance in ambient light.

But the Galaxy S9 is now the smartphone to beat, despite having the same 2,960 x 1,440-pixel resolution and 5.8-inch display as the Galaxy S8, thanks to Samsung using its manufacturing prowess to target display qualities that matter, such as color accuracy, brightness, outdoor visibility, and reflectivity.

The Galaxy S9 matched or surpassed DisplayMate's records for absolute color accuracy, luminance shifts, peak display brightness, native color gamut, contrast ration, screen reflectance, contrast in ambient light, viewing-angle handling of brightness and color variation, and its 3K screen resolution.

Instead of packing more pixels into its OLED hardware, Samsung uses precision display calibration to optimize picture quality and color accuracy.

The result is that the Galaxy S9 is "almost certainly considerably better than your existing smartphone, living room 4K Ultra or HDTV, tablet, laptop, and computer monitor based on our detailed lab measurements," wrote DisplayMate.

Unveiled at Mobile World Congress this week, the Galaxy S9's Snapdragon 845 should make it an extremely fast phone, and it comes with improved cameras, speakers, and a fix for the S8's awkwardly placed fingerprint reader.

The S9 and S9 Plus start at $720 and $860, respectively, in the US and will be available for preorder on March 2.

DisplayMate notes that Samsung needn't deliver 4K 3,840 x 2,160 pixels on a smartphone, which would put a burden on memory and processors, yet wouldn't improve what people see in reality.

OLED displays are taking over the high-end smartphone market due to several advantages they have has over LCDs, including being better suited to edge-to-edge designs, brighter, flexible and more power efficient.


The iPhone X's screen, left, set records but the Galaxy S9, right, is now the smartphone display to beat.

Image: CNET

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