DisplayMate: Samsung Galaxy S9 Beats iPhone X With 'Best Performing Smartphone Display'

The OLED display on the Samsung Galaxy S9 is the best smartphone display on the market, according to lab analysis by DisplayMate. The screen on Samsung's latest handset showed consistent Top Tier display performance and became the first display to receive All Green ratings in all of DisplayMate's lab test and measurement categories.

galaxy s9 iphone x

Based on our extensive Lab Tests and Measurements, the Galaxy S9 has an Impressive Display that establishes many new Display Performance Records, earning DisplayMate’s Best Performing Smartphone Display Award, and receiving our highest ever A+ grade.

Last year, DisplayMate praised the iPhone X as having the "best performing smartphone display" on a smartphone. It also congratulated Samsung – Apple's iPhone X screen supplier – for developing and manufacturing the "outstanding" OLED panel, but said that it was actually the Apple-developed "Precision Display Calibration" that made the biggest difference, since it transformed the OLED hardware "into a superbly accurate, high performance, and gorgeous display".

However, the Galaxy S9 has now knocked iPhone X off the top spot in DisplayMate's rankings, matching or setting new smartphone display records in several categories including highest absolute color accuracy, highest peak display brightness, largest native color gamut, highest contrast ratio, and lowest screen reflectance. Yet despite all that, the 3K 2960x1440 panel in the S9 is said to have the same power efficiency as the one found on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8.

DisplayMate found that the color accuracy of the Galaxy S9's 5.8-inch display is "visually indistinguishable from perfect", thanks to a record-setting high absolute color accuracy of 0.7 JNCD, which is "almost certainly better than your existing smartphone, living room 4K Ultra or HDTV, Tablet, Laptop, and computer monitor". The 2,960 x 1,440 display, with 570 pixels per inch, also set a new reflectance score record with a 4.4 percent reflectance level, which measures display readability in bright conditions.

DisplayMate concluded by emphasizing the "tremendous performance advantages" that OLED displays now have over LCDs, which it said secured OLED as "the definitive premier display technology for Top Tier Smartphones in the foreseeable future over the next 3-5 years". Out of the three new iPhones Apple is rumored to be introducing later this year, two are said to be OLED models measuring in at 5.8 and 6.5 inches, and one is a 6.1-inch lower-cost LCD model. All three are expected to feature Face ID and edge-to-edge displays.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the 5.8-inch model will have a display with 458 pixels per inch, indicating the same 1,125 x 2,436 resolution of iPhone X, while the larger "Plus size" 6.5-inch model will offer 480 to 500 pixels per inch. Bloomberg has said the larger model will feature a screen resolution of 1,242 x 2,688, which would put it closer to the pixel density of the 5.8-inch display.

Apple is reportedly sourcing the majority of its OLED displays for the 2018 iPhone lineup from Samsung, but LG Display could provide displays for the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone, and Apple could also tap Sharp and Japan Display for extra supply.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS

Top Rated Comments

dannys1 Avatar
36 months ago

display is "visually indistinguishable from perfect"

To be fair, they used this exact phrase to describe the iPhone X.

Which begs the question how much closer to perfect can "visually indistinguishable from perfect" be?
[doublepost=1519909801][/doublepost]

Look how stupid the iPhone X looks next to the S9 with that disgusting notch.

Look how stupid the S9 looks next to the iPhone X with those disgusting bezels.
Score: 74 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Alex.Roams Avatar
36 months ago
Look how stupid the iPhone X looks next to the S9 with that disgusting notch.
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Brian Y Avatar
36 months ago
Whichever phone has the better display - the one thing the iPhone X has done is started a shift away from horribly oversaturated OLED displays!

Which, no matter what badge your phone has, can only be a good thing.

Unfortunately, people here are actually embracing the 'notch' - like if a smartphone doesn't have a notch, it sucks. This is why people don't respect Apple fans.

Since when does obscuring part of screen is selling point?! Does that mean all prior iPhones were inferior because they didn't have this 'beautiful notch' or can someone please admit it is a compromise and the ideal solution is no notch?

I'm not "embracing" it - but I really don't see how it matters. Once you've used the phone for a few days, you don't notice it. At all.

The vast majority of people who moan about the notch are those who don't own one.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FSMBP Avatar
36 months ago

Look how stupid the iPhone X looks next to the S9 with that disgusting notch.

Unfortunately, people here are actually embracing the 'notch' - like if a smartphone doesn't have a notch, it sucks. This is why people don't respect Apple fans.

Since when does obscuring part of screen is selling point?! Does that mean all prior iPhones were inferior because they didn't have this 'beautiful notch' or can someone please admit it is a compromise and the ideal solution is no notch?
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Alex.Roams Avatar
36 months ago

To be fair, they used this exact phrase to describe the iPhone X.

Which begs the question how much closer to perfect can "visually indistinguishable from perfect" be?
[doublepost=1519909801][/doublepost]

Look how stupid the S9 looks next to the iPhone X with those disgusting bezels.

The screen-to-body ratio on iPhone X is about 82.9%. The “all-screen” iPhone is 17.1% not-screen. The screen-to-body ratio on Samsung’s Galaxy S9 is 84.2%.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jtrenthacker Avatar
36 months ago
Yes, but does it have a sweet notch at the top?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
MacBooks black friday

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Mac and MacBook Deals

Thursday November 26, 2020 8:29 pm PST by
For Black Friday 2020, many retailers have solid deals on a variety of Macs. Apple's new M1 Macs are ones everyone wants right now, but because they're so new, deals on them are fairly sparse, although we are seeing some modest discounts. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps...
Top Stories 38 Feature

Top Stories: Black Friday Deals, Redesigned MacBooks, Hands-On With Apple's M1 Macs

Saturday November 28, 2020 6:00 am PST by
With Apple's holiday hardware lineup seemingly all set, attention this week turned to the shopping end of things with Apple and other retailers rolling out their Black Friday deals. That wasn't the only news this week, however, as we've continued to learn more about Apple's new M1-based Macs and we've even heard some fresh rumors about redesigned Mac notebooks coming next year, so read on...
General black friday 20 sale feature 2

Apple Black Friday 2020: Our Top Picks

Friday November 27, 2020 6:16 am PST by
Black Friday shopping has officially kicked off across the United States, and we've been collecting the best deals for Apple's iPads, Macs, AirPods, the HomePod, Apple Watch, and more in separate articles. In order to further streamline your Black Friday shopping this year, we've put together this quick list of our top picks of the overall best Apple-related bargains happening today. Note:...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...