Improved color gamut, smarter always-on display and extremely high peak brightness are among the highlights, according to DisplayMate.

I got some face time with the Galaxy S8 and S8+'s screens last week, and I can tell you they look good. What I can't tell you is exactly how good, and that's where DisplayMate, a longstanding expert in display technologies, comes in.

The publication has gotten its hands on early Galaxy S8 samples, putting the them through a rigorous suite of tests covering just about every aspect of the displays. As you'd expect, there are significant improvements across the board, but there are also a few surprises along the way. Highlights include:

  • Contrary to pre-announcement rumblings, the GS8 uses a diamond subpixel pattern (as opposed to an RGB stripe, as was rumored.)
  • The GS8 supports subpixel rendering, where each (red, green or blue) subpixel can be addressed and rendered to, improving perceived sharpness.
  • Viewing angles have been improved, with a smaller reduction in brightness when viewed at 30 degrees.
  • The display supports 100% of DCI-P3, bringing its color gamut in line with current 4K TVs.
  • Peak brightness is a whopping 1,000 nits in high ambient light mode. (610 nits when the level is manually adjusted.)
  • As well as being certified for Mobile HDR Premium, there's also an Expanded Dynamic Range mode to upscale non-HDR content on the phone.
  • There's an ambient light sensor on the back of the GS8, to give a more accurate reading of environmental light levels.
  • The core functionality of the Always-On Display mode is reportedly now handled by hardware, as opposed to the app itself. This won't affect the user experience, but should save power.
  • Display power consumption is comparable to that of the Galaxy S7, only with a wider color gamut, this making it more efficient overall.

The verdict?

The Galaxy S8 is the first in a new generation of OLED Smartphones that have a Full Screen Display design. It has many major and important state-of-the-art display performance enhancements, features and functions, with mobile OLED display technology now advancing faster than ever. The Galaxy S8 is the most innovative and high performance Smartphone display that we have ever lab tested. So the Galaxy S8 becomes the Best Performing Smartphone Display, earning DisplayMate's highest ever A+ grade.

DisplayMate's write-up goes into great detail on all aspects of the Galaxy S8 and S8+'s displays, so be sure to take a look if you want to pour through all the technical details.