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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.
    Reply
  • 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 ;-). Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • crispbp04 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

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

    oh, i overlooked your comment... Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • scy1192 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Definitely worry more about the sharpening effect than the contrast and colors. LG needs to fix that ASAP, and I say that as a G3 owner. My only complaint about the phone. Reply
  • fokka - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    the g3 has a 1440p display, not 4k/uhd. your points are still valid though. Reply
  • Rocket321 - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    After reading reviews of the G3,i bought a pair of G2's for me and my wife (they can be had for less than $300 new/off contract if you shop around for. Considering the G2 essentially matches the spring 2014 flagship specs but is selling at "last year" prices makes it the best buy currently (imo). Reply
  • solnyshok - Tuesday, August 05, 2014 - link

    but has limited storage. I am considering getting one with 32GB soon. Those are more like $400 (EUR300 here in old europe). But, then, I must wait for August/September announcements to see what's coming ofr iOS/Nexus/SG-Note. And, surprisingly, Sony Z3 Compact looks interesting, though a bit on a small side (less than 5") Reply
  • josemiguelcastillo - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    As far as I can tell you, the default contrast profile the phone uses makes everything a bit washed out. BUT you can control and configure as you please in "Settings > Accesibility > Color Adjustment".

    Once calibrated the screen looks gorgeous. Try it on a demo unit and you'll see how good it looks in real life
    Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    I'd get the LG G2, or equivalent Nexus 5. Great phone. Reply
  • solnyshok - Tuesday, August 05, 2014 - link

    wait! there is LG G3 Stylus coming soon with 6" screen Reply
  • djw39 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    How was Apple doing? Were iPhone 4/4s displays much better calibrated than those of Android phones at the time? Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    It's just one datapoint, but I still have my iPhone 1, bought a week or so after Apple released them). I use it like a transistor radio, as an audiobook player that I can use without headphones.

    - The battery is still going strong. Pretty damn amazing. Especially considering there was one unfortunate dropping in the sink two years ago (saved through rapidly pulling it out, application of paper towels then hair dryer, then three days in a tupperware container with dried rice to suck out any remaining moisture).

    - The thing feels slow as all hell when switching from one app to another. Within an app, speed is OK, but app switching is tough --- I guess 128M RAM means a LOT of constantly hitting flash, and it's not the fastest CPU in there. It's also running iOS 3, and I expect that every version of iOS adds some features that shift the speed-memory tradeoff to use a little more RAM for a little more speed.

    - the display looks to me as good as the day I bought it. Brightness, contrast, color accuracy all fine. No noticeable problems with viewing at an angle. It's not retina, of course, so there is the inevitable fuzziness that implies, but nothing as noticeable as what is being described in the article. The LED backlighting, the diffuser, and the actual LCD all seem to have survived 7 years so far just fine.

    I had an iPhone 4 till about a month ago, and the story there is much the same (in that there were no problems at all with it). That's retina of course, and running iOS7.
    Again, feels slow compared to my iPhone 5, but not the unbearable slowness of the iPhone1. I gave it to a friend in a developing country and he seems very happy with it, even compared against the various no-name brand super cheap Android clones that his friends have.
    Reply
  • dylan522p - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Since the iPhone 4 they haven't advanced much. I mean they got it right with the 4 so they don't need much improvement. Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    This is a silly statement. As I said, the 4 feels substantially slower than the 5. WiFi is not nearly as fast as I'd like. Hell, the 4 doesn't even have LTE. The fingerprint recognition in the 5S works very well for me. I suspect there is a grand future ahead of the sensor core that is the M7 chip.
    etc etc etc
    Reply
  • Streamlined - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    He meant the display was pretty much all sorted out on the iphone 4. Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Fair enough. But I'm not sure it's correct.

    Contrast is still a problem for all iOS devices. Obviously OLED solves that, but (so far) at the expense of greater power usage (unless you try very hard to use black everywhere) and, apparently, the screen degrading over time.

    Beyond that there are the invisible improvements that are possible (most notably the power saving business where you only communicate with the screen when the image changes, not routinely every 60th of a second).
    Also I expect that, at SOME point, someone will add in a fourth phosphor so as to give us a wider gamut than what we have today.

    But yeah, with retina we solved the problems that were so obvious they were visible to anyone with even slight technical background. The remaining improvements are all much more subtle. (Unless, of course, someone comes up with a 3D screen that's both actually useful and doesn't suck to look at!)
    Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    The iPhone 4's screen was still greyish. The iPhone 4S looks mostly good, but was a fairly standard display. It was the iPhone 5 that gave us nearly the full sRGB gamut, and the 5S just improved on that. Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    While that's true in retrospect, the 4 was possibly comparably the furthest ahead of the competition when it launched. Reply
  • akdj - Friday, August 08, 2014 - link

    Yep. The '4' was a game changer. And it's only gotten better. Along with the iPad 3-->4 with the HiDPI display and the guts to run it. The iPhone 4 was a grand slam. I love my 5s as my personal and Note3 as my business line. Doesn't matter which I'm looking at. SP3, rMBP an iPhone 5s or the latest Super AMOLED. Today's HiDPI movement ...including in the living room with 4k, IMHO it's a significantly better 'leap' forward than the CES 12-13 3D craze. Good riddance Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    There have been reports on those screens. I'm not sure about iPhone 3G, but 3GS had a screen with fairly good viewing angles but had a horrible washed-out look. iPhone 4 had better colour and contrast, but was still greyish 4S was pretty good, sort of par for the course at the time, when compared to other screens. It was the iPhone 5 that really brought the "Full sRGB coverage!" and the 5s only improved on that a little. Like, 100% coverage instead of 98%. Reply
  • Fujikoma - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    It would have been interesting to see how displays, that were tested during 2010-2012, would compare to the same tests being run on them after 2-4 years of use. To see how time affects brightness and such. I would think that there would be a usage metering device to measure against, to compare multiple units of the more popular of phones. Reply
  • jabber - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Yeah the Nexus 4 screen is pretty washed out at times but I do prefer it to the overblown Samsung types. I see folks coming up with screen profiles for their rooted Nexus 4's that make the icons and UI look great but then you look at a picture of a human face and they look like they have severe radiation burns.That's the acid test really for any profile...flesh tones.

    I don't know why contrast/saturation etc. has to be locked out of a standard phone setup. Why can't it be access without having to root it?
    Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    You can put it into movie mode, and that should change it to an sRGB standard across the whole phone. It all depends on taste. Reply
  • jabber - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    I beg your pardon? Please explain a little more? Reply
  • SentinelBorg - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    Samsung phones since the S2 have different color modes you can choose from. The movie/video/cinema/whatever mode is usually the one closest to sRGB. No need to root it. Reply
  • plonk420 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    still waiting for oLED monitors, considering SED is dead... : / Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    What do you mean waiting for OLED? OLED has been around for a while, I mean.. this article... Reply
  • Alexey291 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    I still find it funny that anand is trying so hard to push display accuracy.

    Except for the 3.5 anon-geeks commenting on this website nobody cares. People like pretty colours not "perfect colour accuracy" on a 4.3" (or even 5" - either way the size is tiny). Nobody ever ran the sammy displays in movie mode. Everyone who knows how - turns on Dynamic instantly because its simply prettier to look at.

    But yeah rgb colours or whatever. They matter or something.
    Reply
  • jwcalla - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    I agree that color accuracy is of no consequence to me (and probably most others) on a smartphone. I don't even necessarily consider it a positive benefit which is why I find these articles here somewhat mystifying. Reply
  • name99 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Accuracy matters if you use multiple devices in your life. For example it was very clear to me (and I'm not an artist or a color snob) that the contacts photos on my iPhone 1 looked different from the contacts photos on my iMac 2007. (Of course these were the same photos, being shared through iTunes.) It's not a big deal, but these are things you see every day, and it's irritating that the one you see seems redder than the other one you see.

    Obviously it's less of an issue for a movie you see once and never again, but it's something noticeable for things you see every day, and humans are probably more attuned to precise details of faces than anything else.

    FWIW Apple seems to have got this right now (at least it's no longer so bad that I notice it every day even without trying). I assume that's a combination of newer HW (both the iMac and the iPhone have been upgraded) and perhaps some behind-the-scenes SW upgrades.
    Reply
  • Alexey291 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    I tend to (personally - so not implying that its the same for literally everyone) find that I generally get used to the worst screens given time.

    Aside from all my other gadgets (some of which have really good screens both amoled and IPS) I currently own a chromebook HP14 - yes the one with a godawful TN panel.

    Honestly its been some months and these days I don't even notice. And I use the said chromebook a lot. But yeah its a case of YMMV for sure :)
    Reply
  • Streamlined - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    It matters if you ever intend to print your camera photos. Imagine "fixing" a picture of the sunset to print the phot and it's either too saturated or to pale because your crappy phone was off base. Reply
  • JoshHo - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    For the most part, color calibration matters any time content is shared. For example, you could buy something that looks fine on your display, but the color is horrible in person. Similarly, with inaccurate displays you just don't know if other people will see the photo the way it appears on the phone.

    There is reason and logic behind display accuracy, and it certainly isn't a niche feature for a select few. There are use cases that apply to everyone. Samsung is probably doing the right thing by including a calibrated cinema/movie mode and the dynamic/standard modes depending upon personal preference.

    I hope this helps with understanding why display accuracy matters.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Yeah, photography is the one big reason it matters in phones IMO, and not because I'd print straight from phone or wanna edit content on my phone... Trivial yet very practical endeavors like buying stuff online or even sharing stuff requires some degree of accuracy.

    I was renting a tux for a wedding where I was best man and the bride wanted my tie/handkerchief to match the bridesmaid's... I ended up bringing my camera for something that should've been wholly unnecessary (taking a handful of pictures of neck tie colors) because between my phone's camera and display I'd have little control over what she'd end up seeing...

    Even then I had no control over her own display but I know they have a recent iPad so... Figured that'd be close enough.
    Reply
  • Alexey291 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Yeah except you see there's a simple issue of - you take the photos with a camera on a phone. You expect them to be piss poor. (Sorry for the lingua but its true - there's not a single smartphone out there that actually takes good quality photos compared to a dedicated camera). Some phones are better than others but the tiny lens simply ruins colours and light.

    If you actually cared about how people would perceive your photos you would take them through a photo editor on a computer with a decent screen (and use a dedicated camera for god's sake). Most never bother. But even if one does the point is still moot because most people have their screens/monitors/phones all configured differently. Despite this one single website's (yours) crusade for standardisation :)

    But I don't exactly expect you to stop posting these reviews. Though I do find this blast from the past a little odd considering how many reviews you have pending currently :P
    Reply
  • Streamlined - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    This isn't 2002 anymore. The best camera is the one you got and for most people that is their phone. And if people really wanted quality pictures only from a dedicated camera than someone forgot to tell Nokia, Apple and Samsung. Reply
  • jwcalla - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    The point still stands though. The color accuracy of the display is hardly relevant when dealing with photos taken from a smartphone camera. In that case the weakest link in the color accuracy chain is, by far, the camera. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    "Weakest link" arguments often don't make sense. Inaccuracies are additive. A good display is always beneficial. Furthermore, don't you think websites you visit on your phone have pictures taken with DSLRs? Reply
  • Alexey291 - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    you'll find that good pictures you see on your FB/G+ stream ARE in fact taken from a dedicated camera, usually with a stand and separate flash (if need be) as well.

    And then there's the stuff people with smartphones take. Which might as well be viewed on tiny smartphone screens - at least there it MAY look passable.
    Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    "If you actually cared about how people would perceive your photos you would take them through a photo editor on a computer with a decent screen..."

    That's the whole point! If your phone is a computer with a decent screen, you can edit your photos.
    Your argument is generally that today's phones don't make good production environments. The fix for that is to identify why, and improve them. Better apps, better screens, better processors, better interfacing (keyboards/mice), and then there's no reason you can't just edit photos on it.

    If I were editing photos, I'd prefer to look at them on an iPhone 5 (or better, an iPad Air) than on my current computer screen.
    Reply
  • Alexey291 - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    Well they don't make good production (for photography at least) environments because the camera is bad.

    Very little can be done to fix that due to lens size in the smartphone. The screen is just a small factor in the equation.
    Reply
  • bill5 - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    yeah i dunno, the color accuracy thing just seems like another big phone media way to bash samsung/praise apple Reply
  • akdj - Saturday, August 09, 2014 - link

    So apparently you've. It read the past year's worth of Samsung and Apple reviews? The measurements of AMOLED in 13/14 vs 11/12? I'm not sure you're actually comprehending the actual article. At all Reply
  • akdj - Saturday, August 09, 2014 - link

    That was supposed to be 'you've NOT read the...'
    Spell correction. Sweet
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Anand didn't even write this article... :p And phones are increasingly used for more and more things where accuracy can matter, dunno why you'd want to give manufacturers a pass on it, specially with phones being most people's primary camera. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    I meant anand as in anandtech collectively. But yeah I'll be clearer on that in the future :P (if I remember to be :P)

    Generally its not a matter of giving a pass its a matter of "meh who cares".

    As for photography people mentioned above. Whenever I walk around on my hiking trips I am always torn between extra weight + space that a decent camera would require vs terrible quality that phone cameras provide.

    Because whatever the screen colours - the camera that takes the photos is still shit. And besides the primary camera if any of those dumb stats are to be believed is the front one. You know... the 2mp selfie cam :/
    Reply
  • Streamlined - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Good point. Some people are always making excuses for mediocrity. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    People above are making excuses for poor quality (of a phone camera) and you're going to pick on me prefering BETTER LOOKING colours to low contrast and washed out crap that "perfect colour representation" offers.

    Welp
    Reply
  • Streamlined - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    Because over saturated colors is to cameras what Beats headphones are to audio. Poor quality. Those crappy phone screens will lead to printing crappy photos. And if you think EVERY SMARTPHONE is poor quality than you are insane. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    So oversaturated colours on a screen will changed how you take a shot on your 2.1mp selfie cam? Really? Even your 8 (or 13) mp camera on the back still holds a tiny lens and never catches any colour or light. And then you look at your screen on your phone and shrug because whatever you have taken looks ok on a small screen. And will look like shit on a big one.

    As for "all smartphones have crap cameras". Sorry to break it to you. But they do.

    Do all smartphones have crap screens? Nope. Some have ugly "perfect rgb colours" and some have pretty overblown contrasts and colour ranges.

    And if you print your smartphone photos I have nothing but pity for your wasted cash.

    That's pretty much all there's to it.
    Reply
  • HangFire - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Objective testing is necessary because certain ardent brand fans accept and believe whatever they hear about their phone and cannot believe they can be inferior in any respect. I once tried to explain the pixel density on my M7 far exceeded the, um, other phone in question and was met with complete denial. D'oh it's a 1080p display. At least links articles like this can be emailed after the conversation for the coup de grace. Reply
  • sonci - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    What's the point of this review, my Galaxy S died a long time ago,
    anyway since I got my iPhone I stopped looking for smartphones,
    Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    Sorry! You should email them with your newest model, and they'll hop right to reviewing it. I'm sure if they knew your Galaxy S died, they wouldn't have bothered writing you this personalized review. Reply
  • kokono - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    I still have an Athlon64 X2, system with nForce chipset, still going strong,
    it would be nice to see some new tests..
    Reply
  • Orenj - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Having just retired my Rezound for an Xperia Z1 Compact (another 4.3" 720p--yay for phones that actually fit in your pocket!), I can vouch for the fact that the Rezound had a great display; the z1c, while generally good, is noticeably less accurate in color at brighter settings. Unfortunately, neither is bright enough to be usable outside in the sun here in Tucson... still waiting for fast color e-ink. Oh yeah, and the Rezound had atrocious battery life even when new; the z1c is a dream in comparison. Reply
  • scy1192 - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Upgraded from the Rezound to the LG G3. With all the poo-pooing the display got I was worried it would be worse than my Rezound, but I'm glad that it turned out to be better all-around. It really did have a great display for the time. Reply
  • HangFire - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Thank you for filling in the gaps, and yes some of us do care, maybe I'm just one of the 3.5 that do. Also I never realized HTC released a "Thunderbolt 2" (aka Rezound) wow it's a good thing they gave it more than one name. By November 2011 no one wanted anything to do with anything called Thunderbolt! I recall my original Tbolt had what seemed to be a very nice display, but could not compare to my better half's AMOLED in sunlight. That didn't bother me too much, but the battery life and lack of a modern Android O/S sure did. I wonder how it compares to the Rezound et al, but it's all academic now, at least my M7 rocks! Reply
  • SunLord - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    Unless these are basically never used phones wouldn't it be kinda pointless to test the screen on an Amoled display due to how they wear out after a few years? Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    Now that they're testing this, they can do an "after three years" test on models like the S3 or iPhone 5.

    I agree the tests on the older phones don't mean as much, but then, people aren't going out and buying them all that much, either. It's still important historical data about the progress of these technologies.
    Reply
  • Icehawk - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    What was the point of this in 2014? Reply
  • HangFire - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    The industry keeps telling us they're getting better, but it isn't always so. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    Thanks for doing this review, so I can actually compare my current phone with the latest. Reply
  • Peichen - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    Early Android phones are crap. Poor display, cheap build, laggy and small battery. The only thing keeping it afloat is the huge marketing budget.

    Android phone from the Spring 2013 cycle on are much better and closer to iPhone in general quality. Screens are on par with iPhone except color calibration. Build quality on some models improved a lot with better parts. Lag still there but mitigated with fast SOC. Battery life are on par except the phone have to be big to accommodate the big battery.
    Reply
  • Mand - Thursday, July 31, 2014 - link

    Were the Samsung phones actively used since they first got into your hands? Or are these phones that were sitting idle since 2010 and 2012?

    I ask because OLED still has significant lifetime issues, where the individual color channels will decay at different rates based on usage and how bright they're being driven. If these are phones that have been running their displays actively for years, then it's not a fair comparison to new phones, regardless of model.

    In other words, be careful about generalizing the Galaxy S's AMOLED performance compared to the Galaxy S4 or S5 based on this data. If age has degraded the S's performance, measuring it now doesn't give an accurate assessment of the quality of the display.
    Reply
  • JoshHo - Saturday, August 09, 2014 - link

    Actually, if anything the calibration should've improved over time. While I'm unsure of how the GS5 and newer generation panels will age (we don't have data on whether there's aging compensation), the Galaxy S and S2 were shipped with incredibly blue white points. They should approach ~6504k as they age because blue subpixels are the fastest to degrade. Reply

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