Finally! Galaxy Note 4's Super AMOLED screen to have super-accurate colors

Finally! Galaxy Note 4's Super AMOLED screen to have super-accurate colors
This story was initially published on September 6. We're now republishing it (with no revisions made), just in case someone missed it.

We've always been honest that one of our biggest gripes with Samsung's Super AMOLED screen technology is how inaccurate and pumped-up its color-reproduction tends to be. As undeniably eye-catchy as those ultra-vibrant visuals are, we've always imagined there to be a special screen mode that would allow Samsung's AMOLED-powered devices to exhibit more realistic screen tones. Sure, phones like the Galaxy S4, S5, and Note 3 came equipped display modes designed to make things look more 'natural', but truth be told, in reality, those modes never did much in order to fix the issue of AMOLED's overly cold and greenish color character.

When the Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablets arrived earlier this year, we were actually pleasantly surprised to find that they were armed with a new screen mode called 'Basic', which actually did a great job tweaking the display colors so that they look very true-to-life. That made us optimistic about the future of Samsung's AMOLEDs, and it also made us very excited, because we felt that this new, improved AMOLED technology is to eventually make its way to the company's smartphones.

Well, it seems like that time has finally come, as we've been able to take some scientific measurements of the new Galaxy Note 4's screen, and guess what - its 'Basic' mode successfully adjusts the 5.7" screen's color reproduction to be impressively close to the reference sRGB standard - meaning that we finally have an AMOLED smartphone, whose color tones can get very realistic! Of course, this data should be considered 'preliminary' for the time being, since the phone is yet to arrive on the market, which means that the retail product may perform in a slightly different manner. Still, we believe these early measurements are a pretty good indication of what's to come when the phablet hits retail.

Impressively, in this mode, the Galaxy Note 4's measured color temperature is ideal: 6596 K (Kelvin). That's pretty much spot-on with the reference value of 6500 K. This means that the balance between the primary blue and red colors is great. Thankfully, the third primary, green, isn't present in excessive amounts (as on Samsung's previous AMOLED screens), so things won't be looking decidedly greenish on the Galaxy Note 4's display.

With Delta E greyscale and Delta E rgbcmy values of 3.84 and 4.86, respectively, the Note 4's screen proves that its various hues and nuances won't deviate much from their target values. In the realm of Delta E, which is a metric used to indicate amount of 'color error', figures of less than 5 are generally considered fine.

Well, figures of 3 and below are to be preferred (Delta E of 1 is considered to be the smallest amount of color difference a human can distinguish), so there's obviously still some room for improvement, but even now, the Note 4's measurements speak positively about its overall color reproduction.

As you can see on the chart to the right, the measured color points are very close to almost all of their reference values (the squares) - that's a good way to visualize the level of color accuracy exchibited by a display. So, what else can we say but 'well done, Samusng!' Of course, should you wish to feast your eyes on the traditionally oversaturated and vibrant AMOLED looks, you can always switch to some of the other available modes ('AMOLED cinema' and 'AMOLED photo'), as those will present you with the familiar, punchy AMOLED outlook.

As a side note, we'd also like to mention that the Galaxy Note 4's display will easily be able to achieve a maximum brightness of about 500 nits and up when in excessively bright lighting conditions, so we expect outdoor visibility with Samsung's next-generation phablet to be more than adequate - just as it was with the Galaxy S5.


Related phones

Galaxy Note 4
  • Display 5.7 inches
    2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP (Single camera)
    3.7 MP front
  • Hardware Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3220 mAh
  • OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow
    Samsung TouchWiz UI

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130 Comments

129. Jkennedy

Posts: 9; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

No one has mentioned that in the italicized portion at the top, the word "editions" is improperly used where the word "additions" should be.

121. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

This was posted on the Anandtech G3 review. And they run through display tests quite thoroughly just like display mate does. Keep in mind this site is ran by some Apple shills. This comment was in reference to the GS5 display. Everything seems to be similarly imperfect in their own way, and it comes down to personal preference which imperfections are tolerable and which aren’t. HTC delivers the best audio experience, LG provides the best balance of camera experience (from day to night shots), and Samsung offers the best display. Perhaps this is a taste of what the future will hold for enthusiasts. However, if the past is any indication, there’s still hope that there will be one phone to rule them all. Notice how Anandtech and display mate says that the GS5 has the best display? They both run thorough tests that any display specialist can recreate and they haven't been called out. This suggests the haters are reaching pretty hard here. The only site with shady display tests is you guessed it, here. That is just going by the GS5. Of course the Note 4 and GS5 LTE A displays would be better. No surprise here. The haters can claim whatever they want but every website says the same, except phone arena, not just display mate. So anyone that would take conspiracy theories over two sites that test the crap out if their displays, not to mention GSMARENA or every other site for that matter that all say the GS5 display is top 1 or 2. You guys are seriously reaching and it's pretty much game, set, and match. All the facts and stats support this article while all the subjective, speculative crap supports your theory about Dm being paid off. Hmmm, I wonder which side to believe...lol Oh you HTC, Sony, and ifans slay me. Just suck it up and admit it. Even if Samsung didn't use AMOLED they would beat the crap out of any other company in LCD displays. Them and LG are the only two companies with the manufacturing prowess to do it. And if they put their AMOLED resources into LCD tech they would still have the best displays like they have the best LCD tablet displays.

117. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

Dug up from the grave This article clearly loses its credibility

123. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Clearly this article is sponsored by Samsung

114. Mitulsingh25890

Posts: 7; Member since: Sep 15, 2014

Dude how u can even bother to post the same article twice..

115. YourNickname

Posts: 127; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

"This article is brought to you by Samsung... again. Making every penny paid to the Displaymate shill count."

112. Shino

Posts: 196; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

"Good job", Samsung! Only 8 years after Apple, your displays are worth something.:)))

118. androidrocks

Posts: 63; Member since: Apr 14, 2012

Cool story bro... Guess who makes those iphone displays? http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-04/04/why-samsung-makes-retina-displays

120. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Lol um they have been making the best LCD displays for awhile now. The two year old Nexus 10 LCD is still gorgeous and the tab pro 8.4 display, probably the best LCD display ever bar none. That's just their LCD's and not even getting into their AMOLED panels.

105. aksdad

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

The Galaxy S5 already has extremely accurate colors, contrary to what was said in the article: "those modes never did much in order to fix the issue of AMOLED's overly cold and greenish color character." Actually, they do. DisplayMate, which specializes in display calibration and testing and does much more thorough tests, recently said the Galaxy S5 in Cinema Mode is "the most color accurate display we have ever measured for a Smartphone or Tablet." That means more accurate even than the iPad Retina which is impressive indeed. The DisplayMate reviewer also said, "the Galaxy S5 is the Best performing Smartphone display that we have ever tested." (They haven't tested other recent smartphones, but the point is the Galaxy S5 in Cinema Mode is extremely accurate, contrary to what the article above states.) A note about display performance: you can have it bright or you can have it accurate but you can't have both at the same time. That's why the latest smartphones do the same things projectors, monitors and TVs have been doing for years: offering different display modes for different conditions. The absolute brightest choice will usually have a strong blue or green cast which is hardly noticeable in bright daylight when you just want to be able to read the display. In shade or indoors the color cast is noticeable and often annoying. Every display technology (LCD, OLED, plasma, DLP, LCOS) has the same tradeoff between absolute brightness with green/blue cast and dimmer, more accurate colors. When you compare smartphone displays, you need to compare them in their most accurate display modes, which this reviewer apparently didn't do.

104. dipender0141

Posts: 8; Member since: Aug 27, 2014

Why People are bothering about the camera? If users of this phone have only bought Note 4 just because of the screen, then why not buy a Xperia Z3? Think of it dude. Check the link below and see the difference

103. alexvv

Posts: 165; Member since: Oct 16, 2013

there is a small detail no smartphone site seems to understand. except for some weird geeks no one, i mean literally no one cares about true to life colours. every single user wants colours that pop out (ok maybe not so much as in an some amoleds) and btw have you ever heard anyone saying "ahhhh! these colours are fake, they aren't true to life, this isn't a good screen!". you got it, no one.

101. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

My god. There are so many people who complain about Pentile I swear its getting old. Pentile isnt even an issue at 386ppi on the Note 3, let alone 500+ppi on the Note 4. And the Note 3 colours were actually pretty accurate, so this is even better. I don't know why people even need perfectly accurate colours on their display anyways.

102. mixedfish

Posts: 1579; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

You don't even care the phone has a crappy moire inducing screen from the pentile pixels, of course you wouldn't know why people want accurate colours on their display.

127. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Dat English though. Lol make sure your English makes sense so people can read it. Go back to the cave u came from.

99. opsys14

Posts: 8; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

AMOLED will one day achieve perfect whites but LCD will never be able to achieve perfect blacks.

97. opsys14

Posts: 8; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

I don't know which screen will make PA guys happy. When the world was saying that S5 Screen was the best till that date on any device, PA was lost in their own charts, color temperature and Delta this delta that. I have read a lot of PA's reviews about plethora of devices (especially the ones which involved an LG phone) and have objectively observed their opinion on various aspects. And almost every time hey favored an LG device over Samsung..and when the lg device was losing outright they still highlighted lg's insignificant positives and Samsung's minor cons were blown out of proportions. And after the launch of note 4 also I have been reading their headlines and articles consistently and almost every time I read, the articles tries to create a negative notion in my mind against Samsung. And when I read articles from other sources there is a positive feedback about the very aspect that PA has criticized. I accept that you are entitled to hold your individual opinion irrespective of others but that needs to be objective and substantiated with REAL and ALL possible facts. Hiding of facts is cheating. I know that media can never be impartial but PA seems to really hate Samsung for whatever they do..PA need to be more objective and impartial.

90. magnum44 unregistered

Excellent article from PA and quite informative. I don't see any reference to any source, so presumably PA is the source (good old real journalism for a change) really well done. The display of the Note 3 is already superb (albeit a tad too vividy). It beats that of the Sony Z Ultra, which is a brilliant one in its own right. But the display of the Lumia 1520 is even superior to both of them, making it really fantastic for displaying videos, games, gifs, pictures and photos (WP's well documented shortcomings notwithstanding). Now if the a Note 4 will bring another level of screen picture quality as reported here (should be expected given the extra pixels, 12 months worth of further development, plus more advanced SoC graphics and CPU), I hope it would not only improve on the Note 3, but also surg well ahead of the excellent Lumia 1520 screen and have that anticipated 5.5 iphone 6 well covered at a minimum. These devices are supposed to be entertainment power houses. The quality of their screen/display is very important part of the enjoyment.

86. solidsnake695

Posts: 132; Member since: Jan 04, 2013

same article was posted by phonearena for galaxy s5 so this is not new always they will praise samsung

93. tedkord

Posts: 17544; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Actually, PA skewered the GS5 display.

96. solidsnake695

Posts: 132; Member since: Jan 04, 2013

it did( skewered ) after it said its the best display in the universe http://www.phonearena.com/news/DisplayMate-Samsung-Galaxy-S5-has-the-best-performing-smartphone-display-that-we-ever-tested_id54583 then after it was tested with other phones it came last i think and iphone and z2 came first so this means samsung literally pays phonearena

85. ciprian.ruse

Posts: 320; Member since: May 13, 2014

From all the devices I had with all the different screen types I would always choose super amoled screen because it simply gives life to the device and the viewing angles are the best.

79. redmd

Posts: 1972; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Basic mode is full of dull colors. It looks like cheap TFT screen.

64. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

But.. But... I liked over saturated colours :-(

68. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I don't know if 99% of PA users actually read the article and just jump to the comment section based on the title, but it clearly said on the "Basic" screen mode, which is not selected by default. Smh.

83. tedkord

Posts: 17544; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They just jump to the comments armed with an agenda and little else.

82. tedkord

Posts: 17544; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Then it's lucky for you that Samsung gives you the choice.

55. sar44

Posts: 278; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

Galaxy alpha also have such display calibration

49. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

I'll be getting the Note 4 myself to replace my Note 2 (been a Note user since the GNote 1). I have to admit there has been a marked improvement in the SAMOLED screens since my first Sammie phone, the Epic 4G. I want to get the Note 4 because I want to get the Samsung VR.

58. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

the screen still fine ? no burnins amoled?

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