On the left, you've got the original Philips Hue LED. On the right, the new-and-improved Hue LED. Both are shining at the default setting here, so this is how they look when you first turn the bulbs on.
As you can see, it's pretty close, although the new bulb on the right looks a touch brighter.
Bright, white light is supposed to be great for concentration (which is why so many office spaces use bright white fluorescent bulbs). This Hue scene called "Concentrate" is intended to serve the same purpose.
Same as before, the bulbs look similar, with the new bulb looking a little bit brighter.
Here's one last white-light scene called "Energize." It jacks the color temperature up as high as it'll go, way up into the bluish-white part of the natural light spectrum. The two bulbs are nearly indistinguishable at this setting.
How about blue, though? The original Hue LED didn't have as many blue diodes as red and yellow diodes, so it struggled a bit with blue tones. At pure blue, it adds in a little bit of red to help up the brightness, which is why things look a little bit purplish. The new Hue LED there on the right does a much better job with true blue.
Icy blue cyan tones were a problem for the original Hue bulb, too. With weak blue diodes, it wasn't able to put out much more than white light with a faint blue tint. The new Hue bulb, on the other hand, hits cyan with ease.
Green is the most notorious problem spot for the original Hue bulbs. Again, those weak blue diodes were the culprit, preventing the bulb from producing anything greener than the tennis-ball-yellow shade seen here. Thankfully, though, the new Hue bulbs fix this long-standing problem, and can finally produce a bold, vivid shade of true green.
Here's something interesting. The Hue app keeps things honest by automatically adjusting the old bulb away from shades that it just can't do. For instance, I set both the new and old Hue bulbs to the same shade of cyan (left) and the same shade of green (right), but notice how the first-gen bulb looks different. Its color in the app changes to match the color the bulb is actually emitting.
You can see that change happen here. The picture on the left is where I set the original Hue bulb for that cyan shot. After closing the color selection screen and reopening it, the cursor was automatically relocated to the actual color produced by the bulb. If it does this with the new Hue bulbs at any specific color settings, I haven't found them yet.
Finally, here's pink. Again, both bulbs hit it with ease. All in all, it's a good result for the new Hue bulbs -- at most settings it lives up to its claims of brighter, more accurate colors. We'll have more with a full review in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.