Samsung Galaxy S2

The Galaxy S2 was and still is a great phone. In fact, it’s the only Galaxy S phone that ever shipped with an RGB strip AMOLED. Of course, this was necessary in order to have acceptable resolution for a 4.3” display without increasing resolution past WVGA. Just like the Desire HD, the resolution is still clearly quite poor on close examination, but the odd artifacting from PenTile is gone. This definitely helps with perceived sharpness and resolution. Unlike the Desire HD, the viewing angles are great. The RGB stripe also seems to result in almost no color shifting with viewing angle changes.

Unfortunately, it seems that peak luminance dropped significantly from the Galaxy S to the S2. Presumably this was due to the subpixel layout change, but even with the sunlight brightness boost feature the Galaxy S2 just isn’t as good as the Galaxy S in this regard. I recorded a maximum of 258.7 nits in movie mode and 282.2 nits in standard mode. Contrast is relatively similar and extremely high.

In standard mode, the Galaxy S2 isn't much better than the original Galaxy S. Definitely better, but barely. Far too much blue and green, far too little red, there's not much else to talk about here.

Turning on movie mode definitely helps quite a bit as evidenced by the significantly lower average error score. There's still too much blue and green, especially as we approach white, but it's far better than standard mode.

In the saturation sweep, Samsung has managed to outdo themselves in standard mode by regressing from the original Galaxy S. There's too much wrong with the calibration of this display to really pick at any particular issue in this mode.

Fortunately, movie mode tightens things up significantly, although blue is noticeably oversaturated, as is red, although to a lesser extent.

The same story can be seen in the ColorChecker for standard mode, with unacceptable inaccuracy. Many of the readings are outside of the gamut triangle entirely.

Things are much better with movie mode, but the result is still not the greatest. At this point, Samsung still has a ways to go before we get to the accurate AMOLED panels of today.

HTC Desire HD HTC Rezound and Final Words
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  • kazuha - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Did not know LG G3 had such a terrible contrast. I witnessed that in the store also, with the screen looking too cold and low contrast compared to competition from HTC, Samsung and even the LG G2. Wonder if it's a consequence of 4K panels just not being up to par yet. If so, seems like an odd inclusion, because the display also has negative draw backs in terms of power draw and battery life.

    Not sure which phone to get now. Was planning to wait for the Google Nexus 6, but if it's based on the LG G3 with the same display, I would rather not actually. Maybe buy a used HTC One M8, although I hate the fact that even with a much smaller screen, it is just as tall as the LG G3. I found the G3 just a bit too tall, to swipe down the top menu without changing grip, and I have average male hands.
  • mmrezaie - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    yes and it's not just numbers. I saw them side by side. I couldn't tell the resolution difference but g2 had far better colors. and we all know interface on both sucks ;-).
  • Solandri - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    One thing I've noticed with the LG displays (notably my Nexus 5) is that the blacks brighten up even if you're slightly off the central axis. By the time you're at 85 degrees (looking at it almost on edge), a black LG screen is almost as bright as a white screen. Since most colorimeters measure at close to 90 degrees from the screen, the real-life contrast ratio when you're using the phone at about 60 or 45 degrees is actually much worse than measured.

    That was the biggest shock to me coming from AMOLED. I tried using the same alarm clock app I used on my previous AMOLED phone, and I couldn't sleep. The phone was on the night stand facing up, but the mostly-black display was shining brightly like a lamp into my eyes. I'm back in the AMOLED camp for my next phone. Black should be black - always.
  • fokka - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    i've been similarly disappointed going from an amoled nexus one to my current sensation xe with lcd display. the display is bigger (4,3 vs. 3,7"), has a higher resolution (960x540 vs 800x480) and an rgb matrix instead of pentile, but contrast and especially viewing angles are a clear step back from the old amoled screen.
  • djw39 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Why would there be an expectation that the Nexus 6 will have the same display as the G3? Nexus 5 does not have the same display as G2.
  • crispbp04 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    g3 has a 1440p panel not a 4k panel.
  • fokka - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    oh, i overlooked your comment...
  • tuxRoller - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    While not impossible, I'd be amazed if google went with lg for a third year in a row.
    What's more, it wouldn't surprise me if the N6 was delayed so they could use the armv8 chips. That's something their engineers really need to be focusing on.
  • Impulses - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Then there's the whole Android Silver thing... End of this year is gonna be interesting for the future of Android phones, even tho I've got little interest in upgrading my Nexus 5 right now.
  • tuxRoller - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    Me too. My N5 is plenty fast enough and battery life is good. Even the camera has become far better over the course of updates.
    The latest rumor indicates the new nexus will be a Motorola. Again, possible, but my bet is either Sony or htc. LG seems extremely unlikely.

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