Galaxy S22 Ultra to boast a record display peak brightness

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to boast a record display peak brightness
The rumor mill never stops! We’re still months away from next year’s Galaxy Unpacked event and the official announcement of the Galaxy S22 series but we know almost everything about Samsung’s new flagship phones.

Today another leak from the famous tipster @IceUniverse has popped up in the Twitter jungle. This time it’s the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the peak brightness of its display. According to the post, “The peak brightness of the S22 Ultra broke through the highest record of Samsung's OLED screen.”

What does that mean exactly? Well, if we take a look at the peak brightness of the S21 Ultra, we get the advertised 1,500 nits. Which is a lot! The S21 and S21+ boasted 1,300 nits of peak brightness, while the Ultra stretched its legs and offered that 200 nits more.

So, what do we make out of it? The Galaxy S22 Ultra could go even higher, and it does, if we’re to believe the leak. We’re maybe looking at 1,600 nits or even more. But before you get all excited, there’s a huge caveat here.

What is peak brightness?

Peak brightness refers to a display’s maximum rated brightness, obviously, but there are several ways to measure and interpret this value. There are “real scene”, “window”, and “sustained window” measuring methods.

Real scene” is pretty much self-explanatory - it measures the brightness of a composite image such as a picture or video with dynamic elements in it. And because there are dark and light elements in such a picture, almost none of the manufacturers use this method - it produces lower values than the other two.

Window” brightness refers to a certain portion of the display - for example, “10% peak window brightness” refers to the brightness measured across 10% of the display surface. This value can be as low as 1%, and as you can imagine, if you measure the brightness of a 1 square inch of your display, you’ll get a much higher value.

Smartphone manufacturers often use this method of measuring the peak brightness, omitting the actual display surface. And then there’s the sustained peak brightness. As the name suggests, it’s the brightness a display can sustain for a prolonged period of time.

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Smartphone OLED displays can emit a huge amount of light on small areas and for a short period of time, hence the crazy values of peak brightness we’re seeing - thousands of nits.

Our take

You shouldn’t take these numbers too seriously. Yes, 1,500 nits of peak brightness sound amazing, and sometimes it actually is but the real-world difference between a display with 800 nits of peak brightness and one with 1,500 could be negligible.

We’ve tested many displays through the years and from our personal experience we can say that sustained brightness and the reflective coating of the display are much more important. Just an example - an OLED display on a flagship phone measured 800+ brightness in one of our display tests versus an LCD display of a midranger, which only managed around 500 nits, and yet in the end the LCD display was much more clear in direct sunlight.

That being said, Samsung manufactures one of the best smartphone OLED displays on the market (if not the best). Even Apple buys panels from its main competitor. We have no doubt that the display of the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be one of the best in the business. It’s just that difference to the other Galaxy phones, including the previous generations, might not be that big, despite all the PR headlines.

Samsung Galaxy S22 leaks and rumors so far:

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