Screen comparison: G3 vs Xperia Z2 vs Galaxy S5 vs One (M8) vs iPhone 5s
With a new flagship handset out of the gate (we're looking at you, LG G3), it's time for us to sit down, power up the calibrators, get our magnifying glasses, and do a nice and detailed inspection of what we're dealing with when it comes to that gigantic, 5.5” display. Frankly, there's a lot going for the G3's display – it's one of the largest ones amongst other AAA smartphones, plus it comes with the remarkable QHD resolution that's supposed to make things even crisper and clearer than usual. But, as our review has already shown, the G3's display isn't quite the breakthrough affair that we were hoping for. That said, the G3 will now have to face some other handsets, whose screens have proven to be pretty exceptional (in one way or the other), such as the Xperia Z2, the One (M8), the iPhone 5s, and, of course, the Galaxy S5.
We'll be testing the displays in a number of areas, including brightness and visibility, resolution, and color reproduction. Let's see who's boss in the display category at this point!
Brightness and outdoor visibility
The first key area that we're going to focus on is brightness and visibility. This is where we find out how well handset displays perform outdoors, where there's plenty of bright ambient light.
Having a powerful brightness output is of utmost importance for every smartphone. After all, what use a massive screen is if you can't read your email while out and about. Recently, cell phone manufacturers have managed to achieve a decent level in this respect, though we're still far from where we need to be. Most high-end Android handsets stick around the 450-nit mark, which often makes for a readable screen outdoors. Readable, but by no means easy to view when the sun is shining brightly. The LG G3 and Xperia Z2 can reach about 450 nits of maximum brightness, while the HTC One (M8) manages to be a bit brighter with its 490 nits.
However, when viewed outdoors, there's hardly any difference between the M8 and the Z2. The G3, on the other hand, is just a bit dimmer. It also tends to overheat, which causes the phone to automatically lower its brightness level to about 90%, and it doesn't let you crank it back up to the maximum. Needless to say, such behavior isn't observed with any of the other phones. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S5 can outshine these guys, provided that you have the Adapt Display option activated. The GS5's brightness output actually varies depending on the content that's being displayed. On average, this allows the GS5's screen to be about as bright as that of the iPhone 5s, which cranks its brightness up to about 580 nits when facing the sun. Great performance demonstrated here by Apple's and Samsung's flagships, but there's still a lot more to be desired, as you can see from the images below.
Meanwhile, another important factor that we have to consider while on the subject of brightness is... minimum brightness. That's right – a metric which is very important for those of us who often use their phones in bed. Basically, the dimmer a phone's screen can get, the better. Some companies have started to actively deal with this – for example, Samsung has specifically made sure that the Galaxy S5 can lower the brightness to as low as just 2 nits! Measuring the handsets' minimum output when displaying solid white, the GS5 proves to be the best proposition in that category, although the iPhone 5s is a very close runner-up with its 5 nits. The LG G3 takes the honorable 3rd spot with its 9 nits, which means it's a bit brighter than what we'd consider comfortable, but still OK. Finally, the HTC One (M8) and Sony Xperia Z2 share the last spot with their 16 nits of minimum brightness. Obviously, you wouldn't want to spend too much time viewing these in the dark.
Brightness and outdoor visibility
1. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1834; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
Kind of disappointed that G3 didn't dominated the competition. However, my Z2 is holding well in this fight :D
49. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9849; Member since: 14 May 2012)
A 4" 640p screen scored higher than a 5"+ 1080p? Huh?
66. farhad_per (banned) (Posts: 128; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)
Do you have S5...? I own S5 and I get that tiger photo... you can't belive how much this site lying...! The tiger photo was fantastic and more accurate colors...really white...they put a fake photo and related to S5..really shame on PA...every one has S5 get that tiger photo and judge your self..in real that tiger photo in S5 is far better than 5s and most accurate.!
92. sipha (Posts: 401; Member since: 12 May 2012)
Even on out door visibility picture, to me the iPhone clear got out performed by the Z2 & M8..
160. Furbal (Posts: 588; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
Yeah it does have a damn good display.
Theres a G2, 1520, M8 and S5 on my desk. I like the M8 better overall but the S5 does outclass it on display.
83. enthasuium (Posts: 120; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)
Liar Phoerena used Professional Display Mode on s5 instead of Movie Mode.
87. needa (Posts: 199; Member since: 30 Jun 2014)
it very well could be the screen in that phone vs the screen in yours. some show white in pink, some in green, some are yellow. some of the screens show white really well, some do not.
97. techperson211 (Posts: 1002; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)
Why am I not surprise that iPhone is the no. 1. By the end of the day it's user preference .
105. DerryAhmad (Posts: 256; Member since: 05 May 2012)
the iPhone shared the same score as Z2 and M8. There's no clear number one. Only number 4 (S5) ;)
113. EiadAjam (Posts: 4; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)
yes sure, especially when it is white-greened tiger xD
118. neiljay6 (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Apr 2014)
I found the same photo and it looks nothing like what they have on the site. hmmm...
127. gynorm (Posts: 12; Member since: 31 Jul 2013)
Ray is on something... read the article on displaymate for an accruate review on the Galaxy S5 display.
70. PunyPoop (Posts: 750; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)
Lol it's okay it's okay. Let's wait for the Galaxy F (no sarcasm) I think I might like the design of it.
58. DEATHSTROKE9 (Posts: 399; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)
Look at that green white tiger on the GS5 display lol
153. jgalvez21 (Posts: 21; Member since: 29 May 2014)
put the same picture in my phone.
no green tiger , it looks actually better all those photos
62. enthasuium (Posts: 120; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)
Dont believe this pointless article by PA. After 1 month they will come up and Say we apologize , we did wrong
Color Reproduction: HTC m8 beats other
Outdoor : s5, then 5s
Resolution : iphone should be less than 5 , Blurry
89. akki20892 (Posts: 3798; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
Amoled is yellowish display.
LCD is whitish display.
90. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1834; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
My question is... How do we know the camera they used has good color reproduction?
130. Busyboy (unregistered)
If it was taken with an ISOCELL camera it's guaranteed according to sar44
119. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
120. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
124. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
This is good?
OMG. How much you paid sony?
125. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
122. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
Where is viewing angles, contrast, black color, video (response time) tests? Paid pa
135. baibhav93 (Posts: 3; Member since: 09 May 2014)
yeah z does well...even in sunlight....they didnt compare lumia 1520...its better than all of them...i used it in sunlight n it was better than my z2 and s5...
164. LGisgood (Posts: 828; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
LG G3 still the SHARPEST and still Great in COLOR REPRODUCTION.
the outdoor visibility is not that bad! most people will not looking their phone'screen in the middle of the Sunlight!
Great Job LG!
194. chocolaking (Posts: 491; Member since: 22 May 2012)
M8 has the best screen performance..
how is this comparison even right..????
31. hung2900 (Posts: 884; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)
For Sony fans of course.
In fact it's nice but red is too red makes eyes hurt. Viewing angle is simply not as good as others (and far from GS5) with a lot of brightness loss.
IPhone 5s and GS5 (cinema) are proved to be the best in color reproduction. One M8 is yellowish.
This is the real comparison. Forget abt the BS iPA made above.http://youtube.com/?#/watch?v=
32. Jinto (Posts: 414; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)
I have used all of the phones in the review but the G3, and I have found the Z2 to have the best screen (the bezels are a bit too big, though)
The whites are white, it can get bright outside and the colors are very accurate
36. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3509; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
Reds are too red if X-Reality is on. X-Reality is horrible it boosts all colours into whole new level it's awful. The sample photos of S5 in this review look a lot like X-Reality ones.
138. mixedfish (Posts: 805; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)
Yep, X-reality is horrible, and it's not just the colours, it over sharpens details for video and pictures.
Turn that off however, and the screen is the best there is. Mine is permanently off.
188. marlowe10011 (Posts: 14; Member since: 23 Aug 2014)
Sony is always better than Samsung's amoled display because samsung over saturate things making it fake, unrealistic, erroneous
43. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9849; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Lol the S5 screen is 10x better than the SLCD3 on my M8, especially when it comes to blacks and outdoor visibility. S5 wins in my book.
48. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9849; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Yes - thank you for repeating what I said.
71. PunyPoop (Posts: 750; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)
Ummm seriously he didn't repeat what you said.
56. MrTzr (unregistered)
Another big pro of the s5's screen is that there is not a waste of screen-space because the s5 has physical buttons.
80. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)
The S5 also has an infinite contrast ratio.
67. farhad_per (banned) (Posts: 128; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)
Me too and display mate too, the most trusted site..
79. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)
The S5 has the best overall display out of all the current flagships.
121. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
130% Srgb, oversaturate, distortion, redness is good. Good sony's marketing specialists
165. LGisgood (Posts: 828; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
G3 is still overall better
3. rd_nest (Posts: 1136; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)
Makes the comparison pointless just because phones have various "modes" which differ a lot in quality. You just check one basic mode and create an article simply for click bait.
If you want to do something, do it properly. Half knowledge is a dangerous thing.
13. pwnarena (Posts: 1046; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
same argument with camera comparisons. the s5 wins with its default settings because of the kind of pleasant punch it creates. other cameras can do similar or even better results with the right settings but that's just not how they are configured.
they're just comparing what the device makers want their potential buyers to see without any tinkering.
21. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 7040; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
only iPA gives the iph a crappy high score. how many more blogs out there are going to keep doing this?
18. GJanee (Posts: 214; Member since: 29 Jun 2011)
Lumia flagships are a league above these :D
52. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3682; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Nokia fanboys and Sony fanboys, as always are in their little world.
59. josephnero (Posts: 503; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)
Not to mention Sammy fanboyz that aren't any better than Iphone fans
61. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9849; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Here's how the fanboy rage chain goes (worst to mild):
68. PunyPoop (Posts: 750; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)
You are over reacting Smurf Lol! See how many complaints the Sammy fans have here. Life is too short, just Laugh it out Loud!