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.

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

(View all)
Avatar
31 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)
Avatar
31 months ago
Look how stupid the iPhone X looks next to the S9 with that disgusting notch.
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 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)
Avatar
31 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)
Avatar
31 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)
Avatar
31 months ago
Yes, but does it have a sweet notch at the top?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Officially Obsoletes First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display

Wednesday July 1, 2020 3:40 am PDT by
As expected, Apple's first MacBook Pro with a Retina display is now officially classed as "obsolete" worldwide, just over eight years after its release. In a support document, Apple notes that obsolete products are no longer eligible for hardware service, with "no exceptions." This means that any mid-2012 Retina MacBook Pro 15-inch models still out there that require a battery or other...

New Mac Ransomware Found in Pirated Mac Apps

Tuesday June 30, 2020 11:44 am PDT by
There's a new 'EvilQuest' Mac ransomware variant that's spreading through pirated Mac apps, according to a new report shared today by Malwarebytes. The new ransomware was found in pirated download for the Little Snitch app found on a Russian forum. Right from the point of download, it was clear that something was wrong with the illicit version of Little Snitch, as it had a generic installer...

Unreleased iMac With 10-Core Comet Lake-S Chip and Radeon Pro 5300 GPU Shows Up in Geekbench

Wednesday July 1, 2020 10:48 am PDT by
Benchmarks for an unreleased iMac equipped with a 10th-generation Core i9 Intel Comet Lake-S chip and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics card have surfaced, giving us an idea of what we can expect from a refreshed 2020 iMac. The Geekbench benchmarks, which appear to be legit, were found on Twitter and shared this morning by Tom's Hardware. The iMac in the benchmarks would be a successor to the...

Leaker: Future iPhone Models to Come in 'Exquisite' Thinner Box

Wednesday July 1, 2020 1:57 am PDT by
Leaker L0vetodream this morning posted a tweet corroborating recent rumors that Apple's "iPhone 12" lineup won't come with EarPods or a charger in the box, adding that this will also eventually apply to the existing second-generation iPhone SE. L0vetodream also claims that future iPhone packaging will be "thinner" and "exquisite," which would make sense if Apple's handsets are set to come in ...

Apple's A12Z Under Rosetta Outperforms Microsoft's Native Arm-Based Surface Pro X

Monday June 29, 2020 10:31 am PDT by
Apple's Developer Transition Kit equipped with an A12Z iPad Pro chip began arriving in the hands of developers this morning to help them get their apps ready for Macs running Apple Silicon, and though forbidden, the first thing some developers did was benchmark the machine. Multiple Geekbench results have indicated that the Developer Transition Kit, which is a Mac mini with an iPad Pro chip, ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Models Won't Include Charger in Box, 20W Power Adapter Will Be Sold Separately

Sunday June 28, 2020 7:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 models will not include EarPods or a power adapter in the box, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. This lines up with a prediction shared by analysts at Barclays earlier this week. Kuo said that Apple will instead release a new 20W power adapter as an optional accessory for iPhones and end production of its existing 5W and 18W power adapters...

Rosetta 2 Benchmarks Surface From Mac Mini With A12Z Chip

Monday June 29, 2020 7:48 am PDT by
While the terms and conditions for Apple's new "Developer Transition Kit" forbid developers from running benchmarks on the modified Mac mini with an A12Z chip, it appears that results are beginning to surface anyhow. Image Credit: Radek Pietruszewski Geekbench results uploaded so far suggest that the A12Z-based Mac mini has average single-core and multi-core scores of 811 and 2,781...

Display Analyst Once Again Says No 120Hz ProMotion Display Coming to iPhone 12 Pro

Wednesday July 1, 2020 11:29 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 models will not feature an upgraded 120Hz ProMotion display, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young previously said that Apple would not implement ProMotion technology until it adopted low-power LTPO display technology, a move Apple is not expected to make until 2021. In a tweet shared this morning, Young said that the none of his contacts have been able to...

Apple Seeds Third Betas of iOS and iPadOS 13.6 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Tuesday June 30, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 13.6 updates to developers, three weeks after seeding the second betas and over a month after releasing iOS/iPadOS 13.5 with Exposure Notification API, Face ID updates, Group FaceTime changes, and more. iOS and iPadOS 13.6 can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or over the air once the proper developer profile has been...

The New York Times Ends Apple News Partnership and Pulls All Articles

Monday June 29, 2020 11:17 am PDT by
The New York Times today announced that it is pulling out of Apple News, as the service does not "align with its strategy of building direct relationships with paying readers." Starting today, articles from The New York Times will no longer show up in the Apple News app. The news site says that Apple has given it "little in the way of direct relationships with readers" and "little control...