Good display on your smartphone, or what? We advise you on what to do when you buy

What is the difference between a screen in a cheap phone and a screen in a flagship model? And is it worth paying extra for better quality?

It's really not easy to compare displays on phones today through the prism of dry technical specifications. For the layman, they all look the same - we have 6 "on the phone for PLN 1200, we have 6" on the phone for PLN 3,800. We have a resolution of 2340 x 1080 on a smartphone for less than PLN 1500, and in such for over PLN 2,000.

And since the difference can not be seen on paper ... what is the difference between the screen on an inexpensive smartphone and the one from the top shelf?

It's all about technology

The main difference between the displays is the technology in which they were made. Buying a phone for less than PLN 1500, you can basically be sure of buying a device with an IPS LCD screen, i.e. a liquid crystal display. Such a display has, for example, the Motorola Moto G7 Plus, costing about PLN 1,400.

More expensive devices have AMOLED displays, i.e. in which each pixel is individually backlit. What does this mean in practice?

As a rule, this means that AMOLED looks just nicer. The colors displayed on such a panel are lively, the viewing angles are wider, and the blackness is really "black" - this is due to the fact that in AMOLEDs "black" colors are simply dimmed pixels. In LCD screens, "black" is in fact gray, because the LEDs must at least minimally illuminate the pixel to display the image.

Also thanks to this individual backlight, OLED screens achieve better results in content with a wide tonal range (HDR). When watching a video prepared in this technology, we can be sure that it will look better on the AMOLED screen than on the LCD screen.

AMOLED screens are more expensive to produce, so we will meet them in smartphones that cost a lot of money than in cheap models, although this is not always the case. For example, the Samsung Galaxy A50 has a 6.4 "Super AMOLED display, although it costs only 1600 PLN , while last year's Huawei P20 has an LCD panel, although its price is still more than Samsung.

Does this mean that AMOLED is always better?

Not necessarily. Although AMOLED has objective advantages over LCD panels used in cheaper smartphones, it also has several disadvantages. The most serious is connected with the so-called "Burning" the screen, that is, leaving part of the image on the display from another interface element.

In recent years, this problem has been largely limited by manufacturers, but if we often use navigation (eg working on a taxi or as a sales representative), we can expect that after some time the elements of the map interface will permanently break through the display.

Another issue is the mapping of colors. Not everyone is fond of strongly saturated colors in inexpensive AMOLEDs, especially when we want to faithfully reproduce colors, for example when watching photos or movies. Here in inexpensive smartphones usually perform better LCD screens, which offer more natural colors and a little worse viewing angles.

AMOLED is undoubtedly a better technology in the most expensive smartphones. Take the example of the top Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, costing over 4000 zlotys , whose display has been awarded the title of the best mobile display in history from Display Mate.

His "best" is not only due to the fact that we are talking about the AMOLED screen here. It is not enough to produce a screen, you still need to calibrate it the way it presented itself best.

The screen in Galaxy S10 Plus has a perfect contrast, perfect color reproduction in the DCI-P3 color space (used in cinematography) and excellent viewing angles. It is also brighter than most displays on the market, reaching dizzy 800 nits. What - translating into practical use - means that on sunny days we will not have a problem with seeing the content on the display.

Galaxy S10 Plus reviews

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus screen also emits the least harmful blue light among all smartphones on the market. Fortunately, to limit its fatal impact, we do not need to buy a very expensive phone - cheaper models, like the Moto G7 Plus or Samsung Galaxy A50 mentioned earlier, have a built-in blue light filter. Its use affects the displayed colors, but if you spend a lot of time with your smartphone, the use of such a tool can be beneficial for your eyesight.

Resolution is not everything.

It is also worth mentioning that when comparing screens with each other, it is not always worth suggesting the resolution seen on paper.

A crown example is the iPhone XR, which - although it costs over 3800 PLN - has a screen with a resolution of just 1792 x 828 px. For comparison, most phones for PLN 1000 currently have displays with a resolution of at least 2270 x 1080 px. Does this mean that the iPhone XR has a worse screen than the three times cheaper phone? The more so because it is an LCD panel, not AMOLED?

In a word: no.

iPhone XR reviews

The human eye is not able to distinguish individual pixels from each other if their intensity is adequately high relative to the size of the screen and its distance from the face. The PPI 300 is considered "sufficient" - the iPhone XR has a PPI of 326. And although it is still less than the staggering 551 PPI in the Galaxy S10 Plus, this difference is of little importance to the human eye.

In Galaxy S10 Plus, as in many Android smartphones with a high resolution screen, the resolution is defaulted to Full HD + to save energy.

So how do you choose a smartphone with the best display?

To be honest, in 2019 it is very difficult to buy a phone that would have a bad display. Apart from the cheapest smartphones from producers with dubious reputation, buying a smartphone for over 800/1000 PLN, we can be sure that we buy a device with a beautiful screen.

And how to choose the best one for us? There is no answer to this question other than - go to the store, view and compare. Because if the specification is of little importance, then the final choice should only matter which screen we are, purely subjectively, more like.

* The material was created in cooperation with the RTV EURO AGD store.

Good display on your smartphone, or what? We advise you on what to do when you buy


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