iPhone 5 beats Galaxy S3 with best screen ever, say experts

Display experts say the screen on the new iPhone 5 is officially better than the Samsung Galaxy S3 -- the best ever in fact.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read

Prepare to be outraged, people who get outraged about things: experts say the screen on the new iPhone 5 is officially better than the Samsung Galaxy S3 -- they've done tests and science and everything.

Screen testing wonks DisplayMate Technologies pitted the two flagship phones in screen-to-screen combat. The iPhone 5 earned an A in in-depth tests, while the S3 could only manage a B+. Must try harder, Samsung!

The iPhone 5's screen is "a significant improvement over the display in the iPhone 4", according to DisplayMate. It offers much lower reflection, much higher image contrast and improved screen readability in bright lighting conditions.

In fact, it's the best smart phone display DisplayMate has ever tested.

By contrast, the Galaxy S3 doesn't do as well in bright sunlight because the screen brightness is about half that of the iPhone. That's in part due to the restrictions of the power required by the S3's OLED screen.

The OLED screen is still rated "very good", and only falls behind the iPhone because OLED is a newer technology and is yet to be perfected. So it's the classic story: Apple succeeds because it takes existing technology and refines it, while rivals succeed by using newer technology.

But Apple also pays attention to the details; Samsung, by contrast, has "not bothered to calibrate the colour gamut on any of its OLED displays, so they are wildly inaccurate and produce inaccurate and over-saturated coloors". Oops -- schoolboy error!

So there you have it: the iPhone 5 is officially easier to see in bright sunlight when you're out and about. So when you need to find out where you are as you journey about, simply fire up the Apple Maps app and... oh.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is still a great phone with a great screen -- a much larger screen too -- but have you struggled to see it outdoors? Is DisplayMate just biased? Is everyone biased? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.