Galaxy Note 9's screen receives record-setting rating from DisplayMate

That Samsung's phones have the best displays in the business isn't all that surprising at this point. What's truly amazing, though, is that they keep getting better at a steady pace despite already being well ahead of the competition. The Galaxy Note 9 marks another leap in display quality for Samsung, with the stylus-packing phone's display taking home DisplayMate's highest rating yet.

Samsung is making the best mobile displays available today, and it's not particularly close.

In DisplayMate's testing, the Note 9 hit record marks in several areas. It has a record-high Absolute Color Accuracy, which it says is "visually indistinguishable from perfect." It has record-high color accuracy and intensity, independent of the on-screen image. It has record-high small color shifts, brightness shifts and viewing angles, including when displaying white. And somehow Samsung managed to get the Note 9's full-screen peak display brightness to 710 nits, which is 27% higher than the already-fantastic Galaxy Note 8; the screen is capable of 825 nits of brightness in situations where 50% of the display is active (aka not black), and 1050 nits for very small portions of the display (1%) are active. The list goes on ... here's a full breakdown of the plaudits:

  • Highest Absolute Color Accuracy (0.5 JNCD) – Visually Indistinguishable From Perfect.
  • Smallest Change in Peak Luminance with the Image Content APL (2%).
  • Smallest Shift in Color Accuracy and Intensity Scale with the Image Content APL (0.7 JNCD).
  • Highest Peak Display Brightness (1050 nits with 710 nits at 100% APL).
  • Largest Native Color Gamut (113% DCI-P3 and 142% sRGB / Rec.709).
  • Highest Contrast Ratio (Infinite).
  • Lowest Screen Reflectance (4.4%).
  • Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light (239).
  • Smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle (27% at 30 degrees).
  • Smallest Color Variation of White with Viewing Angle (1.3 JNCD at 30 degrees).

DisplayMate's ultimate rating of the Note 9's display is "A+" and leaves little doubt as to how great this display is with its conclusion:

The Galaxy Note 9 is the most innovative and high performance Smartphone display that we have ever Lab tested, breaking and establishing many new Display Performance Records that are listed above. The Galaxy Note 9 delivers uniformly consistent all around Top Tier Display Performance and receives All Green (Very Good to Excellent) Ratings in All of the DisplayMate Lab Test and Measurement Categories – only the second display we have ever tested to get All Green in All Categories – the Galaxy S9 was the first. The level of display performance and excellence has been increasing each year, and the Galaxy Note 9 has now raised the bar significantly higher.

DisplayMate's tests are very much focused on the scientific measurement of the characteristics of displays and how they compare to one another, but the results really do back up the eye test: the Note 9's display is gorgeous to look at. The Note 9's display seriously outperforms the competition in just about every respect, and even outperforms its own displays shipped as the latest and greatest just six months ago with the Galaxy S9 and S9+. If you're a screen quality buff above all else, it's clear that you shouldn't look anywhere but the Galaxy Note 9.

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Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.