LG Optimus G vs Samsung Galaxy S III: screen comparison

LG Optimus G vs Samsung Galaxy S III: screen comparison
This story is sponsored by LG. PhoneArena's opinions in this article have not been affected in any way!

One of the things that can make or break the experience of using a smartphone nowadays is the screen, and these tend to come in many different kinds and implementations, as manufacturers try to come up with something new and unique for their handsets. Interestingly, screen technology also happens to be one of the major differentiating factors between two of the very best Android handsets right now - the LG Optimus G and the Samsung Galaxy S III. With the former using an advanced kind of LCD technology called True HD IPS Plus, and the latter - the so-called Super AMOLED, it is clear that what we're dealing with here are two exceptionally potent screens. With that in mind, we think it's completely possible to discover which one is the better of the two if we take the time to examine them closely. Let's do so right now!

Outdoor visibility

Let's start by checking how these guys fare when taken outdoors, where most handsets usually struggle to offer an easily viewable image. Taking advantage of its True HD IPS Plus display technology, the LG Optimus G is capable of producing some very high brightness levels, which don't seem to be within the reach of the GS III's Super AMOLED panel.

That doesn't mean that the Galaxy S III is hard to read when you're out and about. It actually performs well in this department, but when directly compared to LG's offering, it's visibly more washed out.


AMOLED displays, like the one of the Galaxy S III, are known for their very saturated and unrealistic colors. They happen to be far from natural for two reasons. The first is their already mentioned tendency to appear oversaturated, and the second is the AMOLED screens' cold color temperature - something they have been unable to escape from to this day. The Galaxy S III is not an exception. When you put it next to a quality IPS screen like the one of the Optimus G, you immediately notice that the white on the GS III's screen is actually bluish, while the Optimus G display is much closer to the real thing.

Of course, the same observations are valid for all colors, not just for the "whites". This is one area where IPS LCD screens have remained unbeatable. Sure, if you're only staring at the Super AMOLED panel of a Galaxy S III, you may even fail to notice the inaccurate temperature of the colors, and you might even like it this way, but it'll quickly become obvious that the Optimus G's IPS display produces the more accurate picture once you take a look at it.


On paper, both handsets are almost equal in terms of resolution, or pixel density. However, there is an important difference, which makes the display of the LG Optimus G the better one in this category. While the GS III uses a PenTile pixel arrangement, the Optimus G sticks to a traditional RGB matrix. In short, equally sized displays of the same resolution would look better with an RGB matrix, because they'll have more subpixels. The result of this is that RGB displays appear finer and smoother, with less fuzziness. Both the LG Optimus G and Samsung Galaxy S III perform very well here, due to their high resolutions, but the Optimus G does have the upper hand, as its RGB matrix helps it achieve some cleaner-looking details compared to the GS III.

The main activities that benefit from this have to do with reading text. If you're working with documents, reading ebooks, or simply web browsing, you'll surely appreciate the more detailed display of the Optimus G. Other things, like watching video or viewing pics, don't suffer that much from the PenTile display.

Viewing angles

Traditionally strong in the viewing angles department, AMOLED screens have recently been losing their lead to the highest-quality IPS screens. Such is the case with the Galaxy S III and Optimus G. Although the GS III manages to retain relatively good contrast levels as you start tilting the screen to various sides, we don't like how quickly the panel starts shifting its colors, becoming quite bluish in the process. Meanwhile, the True HD IPS Plus display of the Optimus G loses some of its contrast, but the image stays pretty much the same, without any serious alterations.

All in all, LG has proven that it's a serious innovator when it comes to display technology. The Optimus G is up there with the very best in this respect, boasting a high-definition screen with nicely saturated (but not too much) and realistic colors, along with reliable outdoor visibility and viewing angles. As good as the Super AMOLED technology of the Galaxy S III is, Samsung will have to think of something better than that if it wants to compete with LG's True HD IPS Plus tech.

Related phones

Optimus G
  • Display 4.7" 768 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Quad-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2100 mAh(15h talk time)
Galaxy S III
  • Display 4.8" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.9 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 4 Quad, Quad-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2100 mAh(11.60h 3G talk time)



1. jstahl

Posts: 79; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

Both suck. Apple and HTC are the best. Only if HTC made iOS phones. That will be my dream phone.

8. aco96

Posts: 244; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

iphone's display is made by LG...

11. MeoCao unregistered

LG has made huge improvement and after Nexus 4 I believe LG will do much better in phone design.

13. Kronic

Posts: 321; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

U mad bro?

24. thenoodge

Posts: 32; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

i have the iphone 5 and now the optimus g it was given to me during the training for it and i have to admit the screen on it is better then my iphone 5 just about everything is better and i never thought id like a sprint lg phone they are usualy garbage but they stepped it up alot

29. epicandroid

Posts: 40; Member since: Nov 08, 2012

just cause you're taiwanese doesnt mean htc is the best..im taiwanese but i think samsung is better :P look at the sales

32. alexanderbell

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

@jstahl God, you're an idiot. Please go away and read some other site.

2. aquadust

Posts: 29; Member since: Sep 13, 2012

There is still a lot of work to do with OLED panels, I'd like to see power consumption comparison while browsing the web :)

10. MeoCao unregistered

I think AMOLED is worse in color reproduction, but very power efficient. Still GS3 is 6 month old and the fairer comparison would be between Optimus G and Note II.

27. BadAssAbe

Posts: 508; Member since: Apr 22, 2011

Someone did a test when web browsing, and samsung won LOL i think they won in every category for battery life I still like the LG OG Better :-) I think i read it on GSM Arena

3. darkskoliro

Posts: 1092; Member since: May 07, 2012

Still not sure whether or not I'd go with an amoled screen. Dont see any majors only minors..although id kill for an LCD with solid black :P

4. GeekMovement unregistered

In my opinion, the AT&T version of the LG Optimus G has a better build design/quality. The Sprint variant looked nice too (which I was super excited for), but handling it in the store was a little disappointing. Despite the patented crystal reflection back and the amazing specs, the phone felt very lightweight and cheaper than other handsets I've held, but I was really hyped when I got to get my hands on the device at the AT&T store, it really is an amazing device. Very solid in both areas (build & specs) despite lacking the 13mp camera which I really don't mind. Interesting, it might be only me that felt that way, but honest opinion. Anyway I'm looking forward to seeing improvements in Samsung's screen quality this coming year (2013).

5. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

OLED has more cons than pros...

6. wendygarett unregistered

Not surprising that this is sponsored by LG... I'm sorry to say that amoled is the latest tech and it's always better compared to other lol

9. rudlie

Posts: 205; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

amoled is a stuck technology. don't you know samsung has start to giveup on that technology and plan to back to LCD tech. amoled can not be enhanced any more, while IPS display getting more advanced. super amoled is 2-3 years ago technology until now there's no differences

28. BadAssAbe

Posts: 508; Member since: Apr 22, 2011

Is this the reason why they haven't made a Super AMOLED HD Plus? FYI LCD is way older than AMOLED

7. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

The text, while less precise, looks more defined on the S3 imo.. Only the really thin lines suffer from the pen tile arrangement, bolder lines are being compensated with the sub pixel rendering.

12. i_hate_my_life

Posts: 24; Member since: Dec 17, 2010

WHERE IS THE LUMIA 920 COMPARISON?! everyone is waiting for this! last time you compared the OLD Lumia 900 vs iphone 5 vs one x vs S3

14. Kronic

Posts: 321; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

I have said it once and am saying it again- THERE IS NOTHING LIKE AN AMOLED DISPLAY.

18. OpTiMuS_BlAcK

Posts: 418; Member since: May 04, 2012

Then I am saying this again, there is nothing like a True HD IPS+ display.

30. Kronic

Posts: 321; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

Really? Colors look better on Amoled. They are so vibrant.

31. OpTiMuS_BlAcK

Posts: 418; Member since: May 04, 2012

Goes to show you actually haven't seen a True HD display.

33. alexanderbell

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

I've seen both and I have to say that they both look good but LG's zero-gap display beats Galaxy S3 hands down for making stuff look like they're popping off the screen....

15. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

Super Amoled Is Super Amoled, The Best Screen I Have Seen Is Without Doubt The One On The Note 2. But That's My Opinion. I Like The High Contrast, The Amazing colors And The Deep Blacks Which No LCD Can Match Really. I Prefer My Low Resolution GalaxyS2's Screen Over My Friends High ResolutiOn LCD Ones. BUt Again It's Just My Preference And I Can Choose What Phone With What Screen I Can Buy.And That's Why Android Is Awesome..!

20. redmd

Posts: 1943; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I like your comment but you have a serious case of keyboard malfunction.

23. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Sorry do disapoint you but the Galaxy S2's screen is not that great, the whites are light blues, and when you tilt the phone just a little bit it turns everything into blue, if the phone has a perfect black bacground and there is something white in the middle you can see some light bleed around the white and into your "deep blacks". May i have to say that also it oversaturates everything. Right now LCD rules the world. Also stop writting like that it makes you look down right R E T A R D E D.

25. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

You Sir Have Never Beta Tested An Unstable ROM Before, Otherwise You Would Have Known Sometimes This Things Behave Like This. The Keyboard Auto Capitalizes The 1 St Letter. Running 4.1.2 s**t ROM I Guess, Switching Back To The Tried And Tested Resurrection Remix :)

34. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Don't you know how to install a new keyboard from the Play Store? Also i didn't insult you, i only said that the way you were writing made you look retarded. I'm sorry you can't read properly ;) And yes i have tested plenty of ROMS as i had 4 different Android devices and rooted and installed roms in each and everyone of the devices, even if it would mess with the keyboard i would be smart enough to install a new keyboard or change ROM.

26. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

And Btw See How I Wrote An Entire Comment Without Insulting You? And Also I Did Point Out Every One Can Have Their Preferences. You Like LCD I Like Amoled. You Don't Have To Thrust Your Opinion On Me.

16. 1ceTr0n

Posts: 549; Member since: May 20, 2012

So now Samsungs screen suck? Man, I really hate now fast technology changes in the cell phone market, makes me tired of hearing about it, even as an IT guy

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