Screen comparison: G3 vs Xperia Z2 vs Galaxy S5 vs One (M8) vs iPhone 5s
posted by Ray S. / Jul 01, 2014, 10:01 AM
Ah, color reproduction – such a complex area to explore, but also one that's extremely important, as it determines how good-looking and accurate a screen is going to be to a large extent. There are a lot of metrics here to look at, so let's get going!
Color temperature is one of the most important things to consider. It represents the balance between red and blue in the display, and determines if your screen is going to have a colder or a warmer tone to it. Color temperature is measured in Kelvin, and the reference value is 6500. It's typical for smartphones to usually exhibit a slightly colder/bluish look, and neither of the participants in this comparison are exception to the rule. The Xperia Z2 does best here with a color temp of 6900 K, which is quite good. The iPhone 5s and HTC One (M8) follow closely behind with 7150 K, slightly edging the G3's 7300 K. The Galaxy S5 is worst in this respect. In Standard screen mode, it hovers around the 8100 K mark, although you can switch to Professional or Cinema mode in order to bring this down. Still, even though the GS5's temperature can get relatively close to the reference value, it suffers from another problem — too much green color — which prevents it from looking... well, good. Such kind of excessive green isn't present with the rest of the gang.
NOTE: The photos above have been post-processed in order to represent the real-world performance of the displays.
If we take a closer look at the CIE charts, we can then see that in what way each of the handsets deviates from the standard. The Sony Xperia Z2, for example, stick with an evenly spaced gradation of colors, but tends to oversaturate each and every shade to a small extent. On the other hand, the HTC One (M8) prefers to stay closer to the confines of the sRGB colorspace, but boosts certain midrange shades in order to achieve a more intensive color effect. The LG G3 has a similar approach, but the oversaturation effect is a bit more exaggerated with it, compared to the One (M8). Meanwhile, if we take a look at the Apple iPhone 5s' chart, we can see how much closer it is to the reference values (the dots are very close to their respective squares). This indicates that there isn't any cheesy oversaturation going on.
Beyond the various aspects that we examined, we, naturally, find that the Galaxy S5 differs from the rest by offering fancy, yet overly-inaccurate colors. They do appear very eye-catching at first glance, but we have to take into account how far from target they are, often resulting in certain things looking a bit weird on screen.