First the A6, Now the Display: iPhone 5 Topping the Charts

This just in via MacRumors, DisplayMate has compared the iPhone 5 to the 4S and GS3 to determine which has the best display. You can read the full review here, but the spoiler is that iPhone 5 (A grade) comes out on top with the 4S (A- grade) in second place and the GS3 (B+ grade) in third. Of course the GS3 display size is much bigger if you are looking for quantity over better quality. It is important to note that DisplayMate rated all three of displays as excellent, so if size is your thing the the GS3 might just be the ticket. Another large display that was obviously absent from this comparison is the Lumia 920 which has yet to ship, yet many have high expectations for the Lumia 920 display.


Many have pointed out that the HTC One X is not included in this review from DisplayMate. I have been in touch with the president of DisplayMate and asked if he would consider reviewing the display on the One X as well. He said that they don't look to review mobile devices, but rather best-in-class representatives of the leading display technologies like IPS LCD and AMOLED. He asked for a credible review showing specifications as a testimony to the One X since HTC offered next to nothing on their website. I pointed him at the Anandtech review for the One X. With that review in hand, I decided to compare the three measurements that Anandtech does bring up for HTC One X and iPhone 4 versus the same measurements taken by DisplayMate for iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S and the Samsung GS3. Here is how it turns out with rankings:

Contrast Ratio (higher is better):

  1. Samsung GS 3: > 45,000 (winner)
  2. Apple iPhone 5: 1356
  3. HTC One X: 1256
  4. Apple iPhone 4S: 1117
  5. Apple iPhone 4: 951.67

White Brightness (higher is better):

  1. Apple iPhone 4: 571 (winner)
  2. Apple iPhone 5: 556
  3. Apple iPhone 4S: 541
  4. HTC One X: 502.4
  5. Samsung GS 3: 224

Black Brightness (lower is better):

  1. Samsung GS 3: 0.005 (winner)
  2. HTC One X: 0.4
  3. iPhone 5: 0.41
  4. iPhone 4S: 0.48
  5. iPhone 4: 0.6

Obviously, these three specs are hardly the whole story because things like glare and color reproduction are missing. The ability of AMOLED to produce deep blacks and insane contrast ratios certainly helps Samsung take the top spot in two of these three specs, though the last spot in one of them. The one thing I don’t get is the iPhone 4 brightness rating from Anandtech. It is really high compared to its successors, maybe Anandtech had an exceptional iPhone 4 unit. All of the brightness ratings are in units of “nits” (or cd/m^2).