iPhone 4 display outperforms Samsung Galaxy S in technical comparison

The 3.5-inch retina display of the iPhone 4 performed better overall than the Samsung Galaxy S, but that might be due to Android OS issues rather than the actual technology.

Asavin Wattanajantra
2 min read

The screen on the iPhone 4 is better than that on the Samsung Galaxy S, according to a detailed review.

The iPhone 4's 3.5-inch retina display won out as the best all-round screen in a comparison test by pro screen calibrators DisplayMate. As well as the Galaxy S, the iPhone 4 was up against the Google Nexus One, the iPhone 3GS and Motorola Milestone (known in the US as the Droid). They were compared using lab measurements, side-by-side visual tests, evaluations and comparisons.

Though the display of the iPhone 4 performed strongly in many test categories, it had its shortcomings. The iPhone 4 had the brightest and sharpest display of the four phones, but sometimes produced washed-out colours, while its image contrast was too high. This was due to its range of colours being too small, which Displaymate believed to be a trade-off so that Apple could increase screen brightness, power efficiency and battery life.

Though not as good all-round, the Super AMOLED Samsung Galaxy S screen performed well in many categories. It had the lowest screen reflectivity and largest contrast for both light and dark ambient lighting, and the best viewing angles. It fell down over its lower brightness, excessive colour saturation, high power consumption and sharpness issues. DisplayMate said this was more to do with manufacturer calibration and Android OS issues rather the technology itself.

A special mention was given to the display of the Motorola Milestone, which Displaymate said had the best picture quality and accuracy. It claimed the 3.7-inch display was close to a calibrated studio monitor, and better than most HDTVs in the home. It fell down over its weak screen reflectivity and viewing angles.

The full research is available here, where DisplayMate says all the screens had room for improvement. Have you chosen a phone on the basis of its display? Do you agree with these findings?