Samsung Galaxy S5

Brightness, viewing angles and color accuracy are record-setting, but power drain hasn't increased

Although it's easy to think that the Samsung Galaxy S5 simply has the same AMOLED display as the S4 with a slightly larger footprint, it turns out Samsung has cranked up the quality of the display in the last year as well. According to tests from the folks at DisplayMate, the Galaxy S5's display outperformed it in many regards, even setting records in some categories, and ended up being the best-performing display that they had ever tested.

Brightness, screen reflectivity, performance in ambient light, color accuracy, viewing angles and power efficiency have all improved in the fifth iteration of the Galaxy S. Screen brightness is a full 22 percent higher than the Galaxy S4 while using the same amount of power, and its Super Dimming Mode offers serious power savings when there's no need to light the screen completely. It is also the most color-accurate phone or tablet display they have ever tested while in "Cinema Mode," scoring excellently in both color and white point calibration.

While the size and resolution of the Galaxy S5's display may not be much to write home about, it turns out we're all in for a major treat in terms of overall display quality with Samsung's latest flagship.

Source: DisplayMate


Reader comments

Samsung Galaxy S5 screen tech picked apart, revealing notable improvements over its predecessor


So can we stop with the 'sucks in sunlight' thing now

You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

Once started on the web, nothing ever stops.
Nigerians will always have money to give you.
Apple iPhone will always be better than Android.
Windows Phone will always be the next biggest thing.
This will always be the year of Linux on the desktop.
Samsung will always steal from Apple.
Amoled will always be pentile (even when it's not).

Seriously, nothing ever stops.
it sucks, but Idiocracy is now a true documentary.

This phone is probably shaping up to be one of the best phones released so far this year. I know people will hate it because it's plastic or just because it's Samsung. But the battery life and display tech is most important to me. I could care less what it's made from as I will most likely put a case on it anyways.

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I currently have a Samsung and while I like the device I do wish the plastic would end. At least for the faux metal band around the screen anyway. A little more rigidity and wear tolerance would go a long way. Otherwise their devices are fantastic.

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the plastic is far superior to the metal on the One, but the soft touch back on phones like the Rezound is the clear winner...

How the hell can you say that plastic is better than metal? I'll take the HTC m8 over this cheap crap any day

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scratch the metal back, your screwed because there is no real fixing it. The plastic crap costs 10$ and 5 minutes.

Did you see the drop tests that were done awhile back? The One did not fair very well.

Metal is overrated because "its premium", which it isn't

Are you for real ?!
Wake up bud, this is the real world. Plastic better than metal ?!
:)))) not a single GRAM of common sense left in you, now that IS A FACT.
Be honest with us, are you paid to say this crap? i cant imagine someone actually believing this :)

On a phone you're putting in your pockets with all sorts of scratchy things, dropping it once in a while, sliding it over tables and just handling it like you normally handle your phone... A replaceable $10 plastic cover beats metal every day.

Ok lads. You keep believing that, plastic better than metal. Glad to see more than one of you thinks this way. I suppose that 40 mil makes sense now :))
p.s. according to a repair test yr beloved s5 is as almost as hard to fix/repair as an M8. So if i were you, i would try not to drop it.

Yeah Crack the back on the One and the S5 and tell me again how tough that is to fix. We are not talking screens but casing

You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

Samsung has this special feature and their phones only land on the back right ?! Can you not see how pathetic yr reasons are for defending this abomination of a phone ?! God, samsung could make a big fat poop, you would still buy it. You know what, it's a free world, good for you.

Hey way to go to an extreme.

Even if you drop it on a corner, you will see less damage on the plastic crap than the metal.

For the record, I own a Note, but I used every phone (major) last year. The most complete was more than likely Sony, but the One was lacking

You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

The problem is the faux aluminum around the edges are not part of the back panel and I have seen a few note 3's with flaked and chipped edges they should have just made the edges plastic as well as it would be more durable then the fake aluminum banding going around the edges. I like the faux leather back and it is easy to replace the backing but the sides of the device not so much.

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I agree. I have mine in a case but I can see how that could turn to shiat quickly. They should have either gone all metal there or done nothing. Aesthetically it looks good but over time not so much.

I really like the back. Feels good in the hand

You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

I definitely like the trim look I just don't think it was the best choice of material for the sides. My friends rock there note 3's without case's lately in fact I'm noticing more and more people skipping the use of case's so I really hope that oems can make it so we don't have to with durable phones definitely going the water resistant/ dust proofing like Sony and Samsung are doing is a step in the right direction.

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I agree. It was not the best choice. I am a bit clumsy so I will always do the case

You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

I'm gonna agree. Aluminium is not that premium of a metal. It's soft and easy to dent, ya it's light, but so is plastic. How about a magnesium phone? Titanium? Those might be premium, but all of them make for unnecessary engineering for all the antenna that are in a smartphone.

Sent from my bathroom

Verizon has yet to announce preorders. They better not delay again this year. I want the S5 ASAP!

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Samsung doesn't mess around when it comes to hardware specs... Absolutely top notch.
Only if they can clean up TouchWiz.

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He's referring to the look of Touchwiz. It's too cartoonish and it has cut and paste look meaning the OS has a very inconsistent design.

I have an S4, Moto X, Nexus 4 and Nexus 5. Out of the four, the S4 is the slowest, buggiest and laggiest (if that's a word). The S4 is a great phone. It's just not as polished as other phones.

Take a picture with all 4 and get back to us

You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

True the camera is not the best, but they more than make up for it in other areas. If HQ photos matter that much then a dedicated camera is what you want.

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Sorry for not stating "Imo" but the comment was clearly being cheeky and mocking the comment more than the validity of the statement. No tunnel vision, I can assure you.

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Good to know.
some of my biggest issues are screen res and battery. If I can get more by using less, shut up n take my money.

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If it isn't apparent that it's better without ripping it apart and testing, then it isn't really better. Sorry, the S5 is still not what I expected and hoped for.

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Lol ripping apart something is not the only to test a product nor is it the best.

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Haha that's besides the point. If I can't see that it's better, if you have to tell me it's better, then it isn't better

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In orders words, if your personal criteria is not met, then it means it's not good enough. Now, feel free to correct me if you believe I have misinterpreted your argument but I have two issues with what you are implying;
1) that you have a superior method of judging screen quality, to which I will ask you please explain that method
2) empirical research does not change your impressions which would be viable argument if you have somehow, based on first impressions, you were able to make an argument based on fact and not perception.

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Has nothing to do with my criteria. They have seen and compared the s5 to the s4, if the screen looks better, then it is better. If you have to tear a screen apart and run tests to tell me it's better, then it isn't better. I should be able to see that this phone is worth the upgrade from my current phone. In ram and cpu I obviously have to believe stats like this, but they tend to result in real world performance that effects my usage of the phone. If I can't see a difference in the screen, these tests don't help me, if I can see the improvements, then I don't need these tests. It's a screen, it displays information in pixels, I don't need a damn test. The S5 was disappointing before, these tests didn't make it any more appealing.

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Far enough. Even so, you still have not made a strong argument in face of empirical evidence. All you stated is that if I can't see, then it's not better and therefore the statement that the screen is better is not true. That's like not believing in atoms despite the evidence because you can't see the evidence without experimentation.

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They didn't tear it apart, they just tested its color accuracy, brightness, etc. These are all things you CAN see with your eyes, that they're measuring to give you a *quantitative* description of how much better it is. These are all things you will certainly notice if you compare the two screens.

I did misread, I thought they tore it apart, but that isn't really my point either. You dont see them posting this kind of test for any other phones. It's posted for this phone because people are unimpressed with this phone, so they are trying to quantify how much better it is to prove it's better. If something like a screen (who's quality is typically obvious and doesn't need to be quantified) is quantified then they are reaching. It just stinks of "We will tell everyone how much better your phone is, please continue to send us free phones Samsung!"

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Not really. Maybe you're just seeing it, but this is exactly what places like displaymate do for every phone. Anandtech does it too (I tend to read them because color accuracy matters to me).

I'm not talking about those places. I come to android Central for most of my Android news but recently they have been making a lot of excuses for companies. Like, "why Gmail is down and why that's a good thing!" and "the SGS5 isn't very much different than the S4 but here's why that's what you want". Every single questionable decision an Android company has made, they make an excuse for them, I don't feel like they are on the consumers side anymore. Articles like this just keep giving me that feeling

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Ah, I see what you mean. I misunderstood.

I won't comment on AC's editorial decision to report on this particular test, but as someone who follows display quality (in particular, color accuracy) closely, I'm glad the tests are done.

Seeing as it hasn't been released, therefore, we don't have people's real use yet, this is the best we have until then. I'm sure when people get it in their hands, the results from this testing will be confirmed.

But people have seen it, touched it, used it. The same people that posted this story. Look I never planned on getting the s5, I'm very happy with my Note 3. But I did hope that they could have pushed the bar a little more, promoting more innovation. It isn't the huge jump most people wanted and Android Central is doing everything they can to sell this phone

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They saw and held it for maybe 10 minutes at a press show. That hardly qualifies real world use. Again, we'll see in a few weeks how it compares to the S4 in the real world, but for now, this is the best we can do.

You know how I know you didn't read the articles at the announcement? They had the s5 a week before, not them minutes

You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

None of the latest phones are pushing much innovation. Until there's a major improvement in Android, or hardware technology, phones are going to show only incremental improvements. Even the new One that AC is fawning over is just a larger, restyled, old One with incremental hardware and software improvements. I'd argue there's more new tech in the S5 than in the One.

Good point, the new one isn't that much improved either. But what you're telling me is that they are waiting for someone else to push the bar. Why? Samsung makes their own chipsets, they pretty much have their own OS, they make their own screens, what exactly are they waiting for?

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How can you say that the s5 is more improved than the m8, when Sammy just throws whatever random nonsense they can onto every phone

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Now that's a exaggeration, isn't it? Granted HTC is more reserved than Samsung, not everything Samsung does is random. In fact, the ability to answer a call by lifting the phone to one's head, an ability that HTC touts with the new One, was "randomly" added by Samsung in the S4.

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ONE still have same crappy camera, end of story. not to mention, they never seemed to know what to do with the name of the phone. Now they started calling them M7, M8. total mess

What about gray-ish black on LCD? I used to use GN2 and I now use nexus 5. I can't wait to go back to AMOLED...

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You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

The exact problem you're talking about is why these color accuracy tests are important. I don't know how to reconcile the bad anecdotal evidence with the good empirical evidence, but my first guess would be the previewers haven't set the color profile to "cinema," which is the color profile used here and described as the most accurate mobile screen ever tested.

Just from using it in an att store, the screen did look pretty amazing. Great they make all these improvements without battery drain increasing.

You know, Androidcemtral has always been fair and reasonable when it comes to reviews and I appreciate this. But I fully expect to watch the blogosphere to react to thie gs5 in the following ways:

"Well...the Gs5 might have the best screen, superior performance and improved and better than competition battery life....but the HTC One (M8) is made of metal...and is thus superior.". Kinda sickening....And not because that someone disagrees that Metal>Plastic (I actually tend to prefer metal as a build material)..but this stance will be taken purely because Samsung is the big boy and thus everyone else should be considered the underdog and thus better somehow. The blogosphere is wierdly political about these things... At least we can count on AC to keep it above board!

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I think a big part of it is also due to selective perception (you know, how people viewing political coverage view impartial reporting as against their side and reporting slighted to their side as fair) people pull what they want to from coverage, no matter how much they deny it.
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I agree and think AC does a great job being unbiased when it comes to these phones. Wish the "ac is biased" and "wait for the hater" comments would die down a bit.

I agree that metal is better, I just have grown sick of Samsung. Their phones work great for a while until they begin to lag. After a week, I had to change settings in developers options to make my s4 run somewhat smoothly.

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That's my main concern with buying the s5. my s4 started off flawless, a couple months and it was a bunch of Stutter's and freezes everywhere. I also wanna wait for a 32 GB version.

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I will be getting the S5 from TMO. No doubt about it. This plastic vs metal thing is crap. Most plastics today are far stronger than metals. But if you have to have metal by all means get the "new one" its a good phone. But let me spend my money how I please, I won't bash you HTC so don't bash my Samsung. Were both happy that way.

If only more people thought like you, used to think android is an army but not it is so devided into all these different camps it's not even funny you can't go to an HTC thread without someone bashing them and praising Samsung and you can't come to a Samsung thread without someone bashing it. I don't have a preferred oem and I don't know if I ever will but can we keep the fanboy crud off the threads, s5 has great specs awesome display and improved battery it's a great phone, if you don't like it don't buy it but then you can't comment on it neither. If you hate it keep it to yourself instead of ranting about it on a Samsung thread that just ignites more hatred towards other oem's.

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Does it Fucking matters if it's plastic or metal?? What..? are you modeling your phone or are you using it? All the galaxy phones have been great..and the galaxy s5 it's gonna be even better!!! Keep up the good work Samsung!

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Screen burn still possible? I had my gs4 from release last year and it got screen burn within the first week

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I just went to Best Buy to check out an S5 at the Samsung kiosk. This store didn't have the S5 but the kiosk model had serious screen burned in image of the Google search bar. Go see for yourselves.

I am a professional photographer, so I can appreciate a display that accurately represents sRGB and AdobeRGB color gamuts, but realistically this mainly matters on a display where you are are doing final color adjustments in your photographic workflow. I think it is safe to assume MOST professional photographers are only using mobile displays for quick soft-proofing, and and will still be using desktop software like Lightroom, or Capture One for their primary color adjustment, and will be for some time to come. It is nice that it has such good color reproduction, but whether it is slightly more or less close to the AdobeRGB or sRGB standard than say the iPhone 5 or the SGSIV is not really that important.

What I am more excited about are things like improvement in brightness, viewing angle, reflectance, etc.

But it's still an AMOLED display. I have the first 3 galaxy's and used family members S4's and Note's, and LCD is far superior in sunlite so I doubt the s5 will be record breaking in that category. I'm a carpenter so I spend a lot of my time outside and that's a key point to me. Just like I feel a lot safer with a metal backed phone in my pocket than a plastic backed phone in my pocket that I can crush no matter what case I put on it, unless it's a metal case lol.

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It actually is breaks ng new ground..go check out what display mate had to say about the screen!

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And here, we still have plastic vs. metal arguments...

Don't like the back of the S5? Change the cover or slap a case.

I personally prefer metal for it's strength and feel, but plastic also has it's advantages.

I've had two Captivates, an Infuse, a Skyrocket S2, and currently the S3. The two things they all have in common are poor visibility outside, and after a few months TW got laggy. The cure for me to fix the lag was/is a periodic full wipe and factory reset or moving to a custom ROM. Poor visibility outside IMO is an AMOLED issue. Now with Samsung's fixation with KNOX, I think I'll be moving to another brand.

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get a Note 3 and you wont complain about lags!!!!
I guess all these people complaining about plastic, they must really care about environment.
Plastic vs scrap aluminum is same crap!!

I played with one these at Best buy last weekend and I was impressed. Will be selling my s4 and upgrading ASAP. They have some nice cases as well, and the watches were pretty cool.

Posted via Android Central App and some kind of Android device!

What I want to know is how the gs5 radios compare with Motorola radios. I have A RMHD that I compared to a Note 3, an GS4. All phones are on Verizon, I compared them in the same spot at the same time next to each other. This was done 3 times at different times of day and the RMHD averaged 1.5 dB better than both. I got my info from each phones own signal strength screen. I need good connectivity more than anything else.

Posted from behind a slab of bacon.

Lol its funny how fast samsung vs htc starts and how stupid people react to it even though they don't know a single shit about how mobile market runs....
Many other things matter other than just specs,looks or how small\big your screen size is.....
Regarding htc, they have been growing very fast since last year but they don't even care about after sale service huh....
I would have been more impressed by them if they had looked after this major problem and have atleast opened some fuckin' service centers worldwide.
Samsung didn't become the best smartphone manufacturer by just specs or hardware or displays but also because of their after sale service....

When you really run shit, you don't have to talk about it....

I've had the chance to handle the S5 in a samsung store preview, i've noticed some discoloration on the edges of the glass, near the chrome rim. I notice it too in the picture above. It looks like a sticker not pasted properly, but i doubt it. Looks awful.

On the device itself is somewhat disappointing, bigger bezels than even the note 3. They really went for marginal upgrades this time around.