Samsung Galaxy S6 edge Super AMOLED display benchmark and color accuracy analysis


The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge both feature a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display that Samsung boldly claimed is among the very best displays out there in terms of not just its high resolution, but also quality. The part with the resolution is fairly straightforward: you have a 1440 x 2560-pixel (Quad HD) display with a pixel density of the mind-boggling 577ppi that looks surprisingly similar to paper.

Sharpness, however, is just a part of the story, and even a sharp display could look bad if the company does not take care of proper color accuracy. The Samsung Galaxy S5 was a perfect illustration to that: its high-res display appeared noticeably greenish and with overblown colors, it was far from accurate. Has the company learned from its mistakes, and is the Galaxy S6 edge an improvement?

We have run the first display benchmarks on the pre-release units shown at MWC 2015, and we're happy to say that the answer is 'yes'. The Galaxy S6 edge display is not perfectly color-accurate, but it is very, very good and features pleasing colors. As you probably know, Samsung provides multiple display options where you can tweak the colors, and we measured in the default 'basic' mode that is supposed to be the most color accurate.

What do we notice? First, gamma response stands very close to the reference 2.2 value at 2.3, which means we have adequate brightness response at various levels.

Color temperature measures in at 6971K, which is a bit above the reference 6500K, and what this means is that whites would appear a bit blueish. It's not a huge deviation, but it is noticeable. 

When we look at color accuracy, gladly, in Basic mode, the Galaxy S6 sticks to the standard sRGB color gamut. We see an above average color deviation in both greyscale and color tests. You can see on the saturation sweeps chart below how the dots for particular color are not perfectly within the squares where they should be. As we said earlier - colors are mostly pleasing, but not perfectly accurate.

Finally, we don't yet have the number for peak brightness, as the conditions were too challenging on the MWC floor, but we can say one thing for sure: this display is bright, above 500nits, which is an excellent achievement for an AMOLED display. Take a look at the measurements for yourself right below.

Maximum brightness Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits) Lower is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 553
(Excellent)
1
(Excellent)
6799
(Excellent)
2.2
3.81
(Good)
2.1
(Good)
Apple iPhone 6 606
(Excellent)
7
(Good)
7162
(Good)
2.23
2.79
(Good)
3
(Good)
Sony Xperia Z3 713
(Excellent)
4
(Excellent)
10324
(Poor)
2.55
6.43
(Average)
9.28
(Poor)
LG G3 455
(Good)
9
(Average)
7099
(Good)
2.26
2.10
(Good)
2.86
(Good)
HTC One (M8) 490
(Good)
16
(Poor)
7182
(Good)
2.11
4.33
(Average)
4.82
(Average)
Google Nexus 6 270
(Poor)
1
(Excellent)
6551
(Excellent)
1.94
5.61
(Average)
2.32
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 468
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
6667
(Excellent)
1.97
1.56
(Excellent)
3.1
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy S5 442
(Good)
2
(Excellent)
8183
(Poor)
2.25
5.08
(Average)
7.38
(Average)
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 574
(Excellent)
4
(Excellent)
7318
(Good)
2.18
3.05
(Good)
3.82
(Good)

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63 Comments

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I'll wait for what others say, such as DisplayMate. Funny because last year they ranked the S5 as the best screen they tested and PA ranked it terrible. Just saying.

4. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Exactly ! PA's display testing methodology is a joke. According to PA, Lumia 1520 - 720 nits Galaxy S5 - 442 nits Yet in real world the difference is huge. Look at this video and see how Galaxy S5's display in much more brighter and legible then Lumia's in day light.http://goo.gl/lIJXaD

10. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

PA said the M8 had a way better screen than my S5 and that was a complete lie. The M8 sucked when it came to outdoor visibility. The S5 blew it out of the water, which is partially the reason why I got rid of it.

33. sgodsell

Posts: 7207; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I am shocked at the gray scale where they put the S6 as average. When AMOLED screens can go lower and have much deeper blacks and greys then any other type of display. Even PA stated that the S6 has excellent minimum brightness.

45. mixedfish

Posts: 1551; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Do you even know what you're talking about? Grey scale isn't the same thing as blacks.

11. TyrionLannister unregistered

You actually can't compute the max. brightness of an AMOLED panel. It depends a lot on the APL( Average Picture Level) and Samsung has another trick to disable max. brightness in manual mode. Both of these make it nearly impossible to measure max. brightness of an AMOLED. PA is not at fault here. At 100% APL, S5 reaches about 450 nits and at 1% APL, S5 reaches 700 nits. See this for more info: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8795/understanding-brightness-in-amoled-and-lcd-displays Also, in the video you mentioned, there is the measure of sunlight performance. That includes another variable i.e. reflectance into the equation. OLED panels are thinner and hence reflect a lot less light making them a lot more legible in direct sunlight despite having lower brightness. See GSMArena's sunlight legibility test: http://www.gsmarena.com/nexus_6_vs_galaxy_note_4-review-1210p3.php Push the expand button to expand the list of sunlight contrast.

42. mixedfish

Posts: 1551; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

LOL that's a sunlight visibility test, not a brightness. Learn the difference.

50. kevin91202

Posts: 642; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

This rinky-dink tech websites (PA included) don't know how to properly measure the performance of displays. Out of every measurable benchmark, "maximum brightness" is the easiest to measure. Yet, PA still can't get it right. The SG5, Note 4, and SG6/6e all have adaptive displays. So, in very bright ambient conditions (sunlight), their displays output over 650 nits (Note 4 does 750). Why can't PA and other wanna-be tech publications get this right? Lack of training? Lack of insight? Lack of common sense? Who knows?

27. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

LG G3 BEST Smartphone of 2014! LG G4 BEST Smartphone of 2015!................

29. TreyTreyTaylor

Posts: 728; Member since: Dec 21, 2010

G3 was good. But the furthest thing from best smartphone of 2014. 2015? Not a chance. The G4 would have to be majestic. A marvel in hardware and software to compete with the S6 and for damn sure the Note 5.

31. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

If it comes with a 810 SoC it's DOA.

60. Hitokage

Posts: 103; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

Don't get me wrong, I love LGs hardware/software (I've never owned a phone not made by LG), but from what I've heard, the G3 was meh as a flagship due to poor performance and subpar battery. I'm not calling it a bad phone, and because I've never used one I'm not going to call it a bad phone, but at the same time, those flaws keep it from being the best, in my opinion. Best smartphone is highly subjective, as various users have various needs.

30. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Matter of opinion. I'd give best smartphone to Note 4 hands down. Sorry to cheat on my 6 Plus but that's the honest truth.

36. JumpinJackROMFlash

Posts: 464; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

LOL! It's the best if you only compare to other LG models.

62. alouden unregistered

Look, I have the G3 and I love it. Great phone, and I do not regret the purchase. But it IS flawed. I am surprised that it has been voted the best smartphone of 2014. The Note 4 would have received my vote.

48. r41nier

Posts: 70; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

last year in MWC2014 the Xperia Z2 has excellent color accuracy but actual units differ and is a bit more saturated. you should wait for actual review maybe.

59. Sumanth82

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

In samsungs uk site,under display section its mentioned that s6 is using real RGB,what does that mean? No more pentile matrix?

2. SolomonGrundy

Posts: 20; Member since: Dec 21, 2013

No data for maximum brightness. Okay... From what I've gleaned, the display is a regression from the Note 4.

6. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

... No. Each gen of AMOLED gets vastly improved in terms of brightness and efficiency. That's a fact.

23. SolomonGrundy

Posts: 20; Member since: Dec 21, 2013

I wouldn't say "vastly" improved, but improved nonetheless. This graphic from PA, however, indicates otherwise. Guess I'll wait for Displaymate's review.

25. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Wait for others, PA likes to wax lyrical about Apple products but no other. Even though the color temp and accuracy is better than the iPhones here, they praised the iPhones while being dour here.

35. tdslam720

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

efficiency and brightness are irrelevant to a displays PQ

55. penguinbelly

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 27, 2014

It is possible to lose some accuracy in pursuit of brightness and power efficiency. Not everything improves simultaneously.

34. tdslam720

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Yeah I'm very disappointed that both the display and camera look like they've gotten worse than the Note 4, those were the two things I was expecting to be same or better, and most important to me.

3. limporgyuk

Posts: 357; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

Guiness World Records rang, PA broke the record with the number of Samsung articles in one day. Are there any other phones at MWC? I was quite interested in the Lenovo Vibe shot, how's their screen, hows their benchmarks....

8. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Right! I was curious about this phone too.

63. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

No sir, you need to call the International Institute for Measurement of Fecal Matter in Zurich for that...

5. tech-lover

Posts: 108; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

PA still saying iphone 6,6 plus are the most accurate .... but even in their own result they are not accurate. ..both temperatures are above 7000k and 6plus is average in deltagray! Really PA you write something and saying something else? you don't trust Displaymate atleast trust your own result..!

9. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

On the other article they said the Z3's display isn't that bad but it's color temperature is over 10000. What a joke.

15. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Yes we all know its bluish, but that was on purpose and you can change the white balance to your likings to get accurate results (can you do that on the iPhone?) I actually got used to the blue tone since it give the illusion to be brighter

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