Galaxy S4

A simple setting change can get you extra brightness on web pages and documents

The Samsung Galaxy S4's Full HD SuperAMOLED screen is the best AMOLED display we've seen on a smartphone. However if you're noticing subpar brightness some of the time, there's an option in "Display settings" you might want to take a look at.

By default, the Galaxy S4 and many other Samsung devices ship with "Auto adjust display tone" turned on. You can find it under Settings > My device > Display > More settings. When enabled, it tweaks the display brightness based on the on-screen image to avoid burning through an excessive amount of juice. Most of the time you might not notice this, but there's an easy way to see its effects.

Auto adjust screen tone

When there's a lot of white space on-screen, "Auto adjust screen tone" will dim the display slightly to save power. The effect is subtle, but jump between a website like Google in the web browser and your home screen and you'll probably notice that after a split second the page is dimmed slightly. That's good if you want to save power, bad if you want to take full advantage of that big, bright screen.

So if you favor battery life, you can leave it turned on - after all, it's designed to save power. But to get the brightest possible image on your Galaxy S4, you may well want to turn this setting off. 

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There are 20 comments

Gator352 says:

Made a little difference. Also, putting it on vivid in screen mode makes the whites much whiter and the colors pop! I know, movie mode makes for better natural colors...but I like my whites white and blacks black. This may be the best AMOLED screen ever seen, but I have to be honest, the screen on the ONE is much sharper and clearer <-----strictly my opinion.

Justin Hale2 says:

That's racist.

mjmdroid says:

There's too much how to with this #sgs4... Too many settings?

cjbrigol says:

No, it's because the phone just released and they know people are doing google searches on it. More SGS4 articles, more clicks on the site, more money for them. Simple as that. But yeah it's pretty damn annoying.

Love Divine says:

It's important to note that even with this option disabled, there's a system-wide brightness throttling that occurs, and you can NOT turn it off.

It's noticeable. What's surprising is that not a SINGLE reviewer mentioned this. It's a pretty significant shortcoming, imo, as the screen was already dim enough compared to its LCD competitors.

Santosh giri says:

sir plz any body reply me Samsung galaxy s2 is showing charging icon (big size center) even when it is switced off and disconnected from charger and normly screen turned on and some times and charger canecting sound comes sir plz dont avoid me reply me ...agar ho sake to hindi me other wise English bhi chalega....

Jayq330 says:

I turned the auto adjust on & off to see if I'd notice a difference & I didn't. I guess for some like me its not worth the battery drain which might be minimal anyway.

Jayq330 says:

I turned the auto adjust on & off to see if I'd notice a difference & I didn't. I guess for some like me its not worth the battery drain which might be minimal anyway.

TheDu9du says:

If you mix baking soda with oxy clean that'all do it

snookasnoo says:

Certainly agree with the comments that the HTC One screen is brighter and clearer and that brightness on the S 4 is an issue. I just don't like ambled screens all the way around with the over saturated colors. It gets old fast for me. You want to see a stunner screen check out the LG Optimus G Pro.

D16RR says:

I read at least one review which mentioned it's brighter than the S3 (which is useless in sunlight), but still an epic fail. Waiting for S5.

Too bad LG has a poor history of support.

mayconvert says:

Who keeps a phone long enough to worry about it? lol
Sell whatever you have, buy LG opt. G Pro. screen is sexy.

carraser891 says:

will this work for other galaxy S phones with super amoled?

Ive owned the s2 and s3 and they both have this option

BlueAce127 says:

This is quite helpful. Thanks for the tip Mr. Dobie!

the brightness change is better for your eyes. especially if youre looking at your phone before trying to sleep. Bright white screens can keep you awake. lower temperature colours are even better.

I chair an IT committee and displays are a real passion of mine, the jump between brightness was something that I noticed when testing S4 versus "one" and this setting toggle, sadly, has done nothing to change the issue on my 16 GB Galaxy S4 (AT&T, Black Mist). Oh well - I still love this display and find brightness outdoors to be plenty visible!! The display (size SuperAMOLED) were huge factors in me choosing this over HTC One or buying another iPhone 5 when I switched from Sprint.

Neill Martin says:

The colours are too muted on HTC one. The Samsung Samsung looks far nicer.

Brian Barria says:

I found a solution,
Go into Settings > My device> Display > Screen Mode>
Uncheck Adapt Display then choose Dynamic.

This should fix the issue.