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DisplayMate Technologies, which makes display test kit for every major screen manufacturer in the world, has declared that the new Samsung Galaxy S5 has “the best performing smartphone display that we have ever tested” with “a long list of new records.”

While OLED screens have long been considered to be playing catch-up with LCD, DisplayMate says that the S5 demonstrates that the race has now been won.

In a span of just four years OLED display technology is now challenging and even exceeding the performance of the best LCDs across the board in brightness, contrast, color accuracy, color management, picture quality, performance in high ambient light, screen uniformity, and viewing angles …

The Galaxy S5 achieved the highest scores of any smartphone display in six separate categories:

Highest Brightness, Lowest Reflectance, Highest Color Accuracy, Infinite Contrast Ratio, Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light, and smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle

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The Galaxy S5 was officially announced by Samsung last month, pre-orders are underway in some countries, and the first customers are expected to get their hands on their phones in the second week of April.

The full summary of DisplayMate’s test results can be found below.

OLED Evolution:  What is especially significant and impressive is that Samsung has been systematically and significantly improving their OLED display performance with every single Galaxy generation since 2010, when we started tracking OLEDs, summarized in our Galaxy S I,II,III OLED Display, Galaxy S4 OLED Display, and Galaxy Note 3 OLED Display Technology Shoot-Out article series. The Galaxy S5 continues the rapid and impressive improvement in OLED displays and technology. The first notable OLED Smartphone, the Google Nexus One, came in decidedly last place in our 2010 Smartphone Display Shoot-Out. In a span of just four years OLED display technology is now challenging and even exceeding the performance of the best LCDs across the board in brightness, contrast, color accuracy, color management, picture quality, performance in high ambient light, screen uniformity, and viewing angles.

Newest Performance Improvements:  The Galaxy S5 has the newest generation of Samsung OLED displays since the Galaxy Note 3 Smartphone, which launched in October 2013, and the Galaxy S4 Smartphone, which launched in April 2013. While many people have assumed that the Galaxy S5 has basically the same display as the Galaxy S4, but just a bit bigger, that isn’t the case… Our detailed Lab tests show that the Galaxy S5 display is a major improvement over the Galaxy S4 and a significant improvement over the Galaxy Note 3 in almost every single test and measurement category – a good reason to consider upgrading.

Best Smartphone Display:  Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements, the Galaxy S5 is the Best performing Smartphone display that we have ever tested. It has a long list of new records for best Smartphone display performance including: Highest Brightness, Lowest Reflectance, Highest Color Accuracy, Infinite Contrast Ratio, Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light, and smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle. The Galaxy S5 has raised the bar for top display performance up by another notch – an impressive achievement for OLED technology.

Most Accurate Colors:  The Galaxy S5 Cinema Mode has the most accurate colors for any Smartphone or Tablet display that we have ever measured. This is especially important when viewing photos from family and friends (because you often know exactly what they actually should look like), for some TV shows, movies, and sporting events with image content and colors that you are familiar with, and also for viewing online merchandise, so you have a good idea of exactly what colors you’re buying and are less likely to return them.

Beautiful Picture Quality:  The Galaxy S5 Cinema Mode provides very nice, pleasing and accurate colors, and picture quality. Although the Image Contrast and Color Saturation are slightly too high (due to a slightly too steep Intensity Scale), the very challenging set of DisplayMate Test and Calibration Photos that we use to evaluate Picture Quality looked Beautiful, even to my experienced hyper-critical eyes. The Cinema Mode is recommended for indoor and low ambient light viewing of most standard consumer content for digital camera, HDTV, internet, and computer content, including photos, videos, and movies. The Adapt Display Mode has significantly more vibrant and saturated colors. Some people like that. It is also particularly recommended for medium and high levels of ambient light viewing because it offsets some of the reflected glare that washes out the images.

Power Efficiency:  OLEDs need to continue improving their power efficiency, which is critically important for mobile displays. We measured an impressive 27 percent improvement in display power efficiency between the Galaxy S5 and S4. According to Samsung, this increase is due to more efficient OLED materials and also to improvements in the display electronics and optics. While LCDs remain more power efficient for images with mostly white content (like text screens, for example), OLEDs are now more power efficient for most other content, which are typically darker, because they are emissive displays rather than transmissive like LCDs. In fact, the Galaxy S5 is 27 percent more power efficient than the Full HD LCD Smartphones we recently tested for mixed image content (that includes photos, videos, and movies, for example) with a typical 50 percent Average Picture Level, APL. If this keeps up then OLEDs may pull ahead of LCDs in total power efficiency in the near future…

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