Samsung details its new Galaxy S5 display: the brightest, most efficient OLED screen to date can hit 698 nits

Samsung details its new Galaxy S5 display: the brightest, most efficient OLED screen to date can hit 698 nits
Samsung Display decided to elaborate on its claims that the 5.1" panel of the Galaxy S5 is the best Super AMOLED display it's put in flagships so far. Hot on the heels of the pros at Displaymate concurring with that assessment, Samsung Display issued a blog post explaining the main reasons why.

First off, they confirm the so-called "Diamond" structure for the arrangement of the subpixels, an alternative to the standard RGB matrix arrangement. This structure seems is an offshoot of the PenTile matrix arrangement, but its advantage is an improved fill factor, which correlates better to the efficiency of the different OLED materials used to achieve the basic colors. Samsung says that the Diamond Pixel arrangement in its AMOLED panels is actually better than the PenTile of yesteryear, as it reduces aliasing and artifacts. Still, the number of green subpixels in the diamond matrix is as high as it would be in a regular RGB stripe configuration, for instance, while the red and blue subpixels are 50% less. They are much larger, though, and with a diamond shape, while the numerous small green subpixels are oval. 

This rendering scheme has allowed Samsung to achieve the same 1080p resolution as displays with a normal RGB stripe matrix, but with two thirds of the subpixel count. The overwhelming number of green subpixels is due to the fact that green is the longest-lasting and most efficient OLED emitter, while the red, and especially blue, are more taxing on the battery, and have a shorter lifespan. Now you know why even in the Cinema mode, which has been measured to be the closest to the standard sRGB color gamut, the green pulls towards oversaturation - there are just too many green subpixels in the Full HD Super AMOLED panels. Long story short, in terms of color representation we can't expect the screen on the Galaxy S5 to differ much from the one on the Note 3 and the S4, which share the same Diamond Pixel arrangement.

The big improvements are in brightness and power efficiency, though, reiterates Samsung. OLED displays don't have backlighting, as LCDs do, and only count on the light emitted by the organic LEDs in their structure. Thus, their maximum brightness levels are usually lower than those of the best LCDs out there. As you can see in the chart below, however, the 5.1" Galaxy S5 display is 22% brighter than the panel on the Galaxy S4, and 13% brighter than the Note 3. Those 351 nits might not sound much compared to, say, the 500+ nits of the iPhone 5s screen, but here Samsung is giving an example for the typical ambient lighting levels in your home or office, for instance, where LCDs hit similar values. 

During the Galaxy S5 announcement, Samsung bragged that it can easily hit 500 nits, which is a remarkable feat for a Super AMOLED screen. Today it clarified the peak brightness levels further, saying that in  further in certain high ambient lighting situations - for example, when the summer sun outside is shining directly on the display - they've measured burst levels of 698 nits, while the S5 hits 475 nits on the regular outside. This is the highest brightness level achieved by a mobile OLED panel so far, as only some Nokia Lumias manage to hit 600 nits in those circumstances, so kudos to Samsung here. 

Moreover, the good OLED panels are covered with elaborate low-reflectivity coatings, which serves to minimize those pesky mirror reflections, so their visibility outdoor is on par with much brighter screens. Samsung touts 4.5% reflectivity ratio for the S5, which is amongst the lowest measured on a mobile screen so far, making the Galaxy S5 panel an excellent screen for outdoor usage. Last but not least in the brightness department, the minimum luminance levels are just 2 nits now, which makes the phone more comfortable to use when you are lying in bed in complete darkness, and get a message, for instance. The human eye starts perceiving glare and discomfort in those situations at levels as low as 3-5 nits, says Samsung, so it tried to go even below that with the minimum brightness level on the S5.

In addition, the improved organic materials used by the company to make the new S5 panel led to 27% reduction in its power consumption rates, compared to previous Super AMOLED editions, like the one on the S4, as well as measured up to 1080p LCD screens. This allowed Samsung to eke out about a third longer battery life from the S4 to the S5, while bumping the battery capacity only slightly. 

When we combine that power-sipping display with the new Ultra Power Saving mode on the S5, it should be ranking among the best, but we'll save the verdict for when we do our own battery test. For now, it seems that with the Galaxy S5, Samsung has indeed managed to make its best mobile screen with OLED technology to date.

Related phones

Galaxy S5
  • Display 5.1" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh(21h 3G talk time)



2. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

If these are true, then congratulations to Sammy.

59. torr310

Posts: 1659; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Nokia Lumias manage to hit 600 nits in those circumstances, so kudos to "Nokia" here, not Samsung. But I am still looking forward what Samsung will offer in Note 4.

63. maherk

Posts: 6876; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

698 beats 600, but obviously not according to your match skills ;)

70. torr310

Posts: 1659; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

What I was trying to say..Lumia 925 already hit 600 nits around a year ago.

71. shadez10

Posts: 427; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

+ the ClearBlack Display its a win!!! xD

72. bassof

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 24, 2014

There is so much jealousy against Samsung that it is ridiculous, especially from Nokia and Sony users, take a break with it, it is not good for health, or buy a Samsung and be happy and content as the rest of us ....

3. take1sub

Posts: 15; Member since: Jan 24, 2014

actually this samsungdisplay's post is all based on displaymate's.

7. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Which makes it objectively a spectacular screen.

4. Karriope

Posts: 148; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

698nits is brighter than even most LCDs.. what I'd really love though is that 2nits mode. The S5 could easily be the best night clock ever.

15. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

+1....Good point and since its AMOLED only the lit up part of the display will consume battery. Google's daydream function can be put to a good use here.

5. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

This can only be achieved through auto-brightness, so it is basically useless to me

9. Jason2k13

Posts: 1462; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

why is it useless? The sun doesn't shine in your country? or the sun is too strong the

18. Sauce unregistered

LOL this thread is full of great jokes xD (this and post 14)

42. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

What I meant was that this level of brightness is only accessible if you enable auto-brightness. This would be awesome if I could enable it manually. I do think that xda will figure out some way how to bypass this.

60. wildfiregt

Posts: 179; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

Maximum brightness will peak when you'll need it. It'll take you 5 seconds to enable the mode. Why would you want 700 nits during the night ?

6. Lt.Green

Posts: 397; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

The only thing I like about his phone.

20. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

What about the amazing battery life and arguably the best camera on an android phone ?

37. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Micro SD card slot, USB 3.0, IP67?

40. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

Prefer Micro SD card slot, IP58, Glass and Metal design:)

57. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

And I prefer one-handed use when it comes to smartphones.

69. SamsungELITE unregistered

you just made me laugh, you still prefer IP57 over the great IP67? oh my c'mon

8. MobileGuru

Posts: 82; Member since: Jan 18, 2014

Good improvements, but amoled is still amoled. Burn in will happen especially with high brightness and colour shift is still worst than ips lcd. I own the gs2 and gs4.

11. Jason2k13

Posts: 1462; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

burn in? proof? i read soo many people talk about burn in problems with amoled in blog websites only but never in real life. I also check out the XDA website every now and then and i rarely see people complaining about burn in and weird colour shift on amoled screen.

65. nedooo

Posts: 71; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

Are you ok, have some kind of fever or what? Burn in is known FACT...FACT, and one more time FACT for amoled. You need proof: Google boy Google...or ask Sammy.

16. williamdroid

Posts: 125; Member since: Jan 19, 2014

I still have my GS2. I see no signs of burn in.

28. rantao333

Posts: 346; Member since: May 21, 2013

* yet

33. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

*Yet another troll and samsung hater.

77. nedooo

Posts: 71; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

One more delusional boy...

41. nxl2610

Posts: 49; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

i've been on my S2 for almost 3 years now ,maybe i must wait another 3 years to get this so called "burn in" effect And yeah ,hater gonna hate

54. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

My s2 is almost 3 years old now and still no burn in issue.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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