Back to Article

  • PolarisOrbit - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    What is APL? Reply
  • close - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Average picture level. Read more here: Reply
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Can't emphasize enough that "night mode" is an excellent trick to maximize both battery life and legibility. Got used to it on my AMOLED Galaxy Note, now I'm using it even on my LCD screens just for the legibility part. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Is that something that is built into Android or specific to some phone? Where do you find it? Reply
  • Solandri - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    Settings -> Accessibility -> Color inversion (experimental)

    Not sure when they added it. I first saw it in 5.0; dunno if it's in 4.x.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    You can also install apps like Lux or CF.Lumen that support night modes and colour shifting and better auto-brightness algos. Reply
  • victorson - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    It's a bit cynical that you start the article by saying that nobody is measuring the display power consumption, while DisplayMate has been doing that for years and consistently so for AMOLED displays (as much as I dislike them for their obvious Samsung bias). Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    While it's true that other publications do power measurements, these are incorrectly labelled as display power while in reality they represent total device power. Due to overhead of device components as seen in this pipeline post those numbers cannot be used as evidence of screen efficiency. Reply
  • wicketr - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    How are you monitoring the power of the display without getting the device components in the way? Have y'all disassembled the phone, and put a reader in front of the wiring? Or are y'all simply figuring out what the baseline of the components is and subtracting it from the overall usage you're reading. And if that's the case, how are you sure that the OS isn't running background tasks that can cause the readings to be faulty. Reply
  • dylan522p - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    239 measuments means you would be able to see that Reply
  • saratoga4 - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    FWIW, Displaymate claims that they measure a multiple brightnesses to back out the screen power consumption from the total device power consumption. They never post their data though, and don't really explain the calculations they use, so I've always been curious how accurate their conclusions were. Reply
  • Shadow7037932 - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    They are using full system/device power and not measuring the actual display power draw. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    All you have to do is compare video playback battery life and you can clearly see that AMOLED offers nothing tangible in terms of power efficiency. Reply
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    There are too many other factors involved in video playback life to say anything meaningful about the power draw of the display. For example, if the audio and video codecs are decoded in hardware versus software. That would make a huge difference in power draw. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Video playback is the one scenario AMOLED offers the biggest power efficiency advantages. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    I would think so, given how much darker video tends to be... Most of my time on the phone is spent looking at the UI or web pages like this one tho, shock full o white. :p

    If Samsung can actually keep going at the rate they are tho, I'd welcome an AMOLED display in a year's time. Not so sure about a Samsung phone tho, and they tend to keep the best display units for themselves.
  • Jimios - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    There is too much white on both major mobile operating systems. And not only on the OS itself, but also on most popular third party apps. I own a Samsung Galaxy S4 and even simple usage destroys my battery life because of the whites.

    Slightly off-topic, but my solution to this was that I flashed a custom ROM based on CyanogenMod, the OS is completely themeable and there is support for theming several third-party apps as well. I just applied a black theme and my battery is now on a different league. As an added bonus, it is lightning fast (feels like a new phone) and I got rid of all the Samsung bloatware as well.

    Still, I believe that AMOLED is the right choice for mobile displays going forward. However, I think it will be a while before we start seeing large, desktop AMOLED displays.
  • mr_tawan - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Android was using darker-theme (Holo) before they made a switch with Material. Reply
  • soccerballtux - Saturday, June 27, 2015 - link

    So stupid that they left that IMHO. whites are so harsh on the eyes at night Reply
  • melgross - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    A major problem that still needs to be addressed is the extreme sensitivity to heat that amoled has. We still see the effective max brightness peak at around 350nits, whereas for LCD screens it's around 600 nits.

    For the S6, Samsung has that special mode for direct sunlightt which allows the screen to go to about 600 nits, but it can't be set as a maximum in settings, because if used other than intermittently, and just occasionally, the screen will burn out. That's still a major deficiency.

    And at the same time LEDs for backlighting are increasing their own efficiency every year. I'd like to know what the efficiency of the best LCD and back lights are. I don't know where the Huawei panel is in that group, or what kind of LCD panel it is.

    Also, amoled still needs the while Pentile display for maximum brightness, which LCD displays don't. As we know, that dropped effective sharpness by 25-30%, so that a 1440 screen is only about as sharp as a 1008 to 1080 screen. But it wastes GPU energy and processing power. So there are still reasons why LCD screens are better.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    The LCD brightness advantage really depends on the device and vendor. Some devices only go slightly over 400nits so for those the advantage to AMOLEDs is much smaller. Power consumption can also be high at those high luminosities, for example the MX4Pro which I measured used about 1.1W luminance power to get to those 600 nits:

    The Huewei panel is a JDI IPS-Neo unit, so power efficiency should be among the top for LCD screens. Back-light driver ICs and LEDs do play an important role in efficiency but we have extremely little information when it comes to what devices/panels actually use.
  • melgross - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    As the Samsung amoled is thought to be possibly the best out there, it really needs to be compared to the best LCD. Perhaps an IGZO screen instead of a pedestrian LCD panel. Reply
  • darth415 - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    I think perhaps the LG G4 is the best competition here. Reply
  • zodiacfml - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    I have a different perception. It is the LCD that is lagging behind as I rarely open my phone under bright sunlight. We are usually indoors or in vehicles that such attribute above is not something display makers should focus on.

    My problem is with LCD in low or no light as they are lower contrast and they are usually to bright as they are designed for this under sunlight ability.
  • PubFiction - Sunday, June 28, 2015 - link

    Samsung has not used a white subpixel in their displays for many generations now...... Reply
  • MegaK - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    What about IGZO panels? Has anybody measured the increase in efficiency? Reply
  • jann5s - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Awesome bit of research here, this type of article is what keeps me returning to AT! Reply
  • Refuge - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    +1 Reply
  • bernstein - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    huh? According to the first graph Luminance Power at 200cd/cm² is:
    Galaxy S4 : 1309mW
    Galaxy S5 : 790mW
    Galaxy S5 LTEA : 971mW
    Galaxy S6 : 800mW
    which is clearly different to the values in the table. so which is right, the graph or the table???
    if its the graph, the tables values for "mW / cd / cm²" are wrong too!
  • bernstein - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    forget that... the graph says "device power" while the table states "screen power" :-) Reply
  • bernstein - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    well the graph should be redone, it mainly shows device power inprovements not related to the screen (e.g. all the improvements at zero luminance) Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    I wanted to show that the base power consumption can be a significantly variable metric and that screen efficiency is not everything when a device idles. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    The table accounts for base power consumption (Minimum power) at 1-2 nits while the graph shows the total device power. I edited the column label in the table to better explain that. Reply
  • sonicmerlin - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    I'm sorry but that makes absolutely no sense. You wrote: "the Huawei P8’s panel we can calculate a luminance-power of 332mW at 200cd/cm²", but on your graph titled "device luminance power" you include non display power consumption?

    Then you say the AMOLEDs are almost as good as the P8 LCD, but based on that graph they only consume less power at all black.

    Then the table before that graph... Wth are you trying to say? I have no clue what the info means. You have "screen luminance power at 200cd/cm^2", but at what APL? All black? All white?
  • NeoteriX - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Do we know where the other phones with AMOLED screens sourced from Samsung stack up? In other words, I believe I've read that current AMOLED phones (various Motorola phones, Nexus 6, etc.) have the generation AMOLED display that is one behind the latest and greatest Samsung had to offer at the time. If that's correct, then for example, at the launch of the Nexus 6, the latest/greatest panel offered by Samsung was in the GS5/Note 4, so it has the equivalent panel as the (power hungry) GS4. Is this correct? Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    We can't really verify that but it's a good hypothesis. Reply
  • BMNify - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Samsung always keeps the latest and greatest AMOLED display for themselves and sell the last generation panels to other guys like Motorola, Nokia/Microsoft etc.. Reply
  • sabrewings - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    My favorite phones have always had AMOLED displays. LCDs look washed out, even some as beautiful as the 720p (the hotness back in the day) on my HTC Rezound. I just wish that other manufacturers made as good a panel as Samsung. I'm not too keen on having another Samsung phone after my GS5. Reply
  • Nintendo Maniac 64 - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    The obvious solution is LG - they also make their own OLED panels. Reply
  • Duncan Macdonald - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    How much of the efficiency improvement is actually caused by the loss of efficiency with use that AMOLED devices suffer from? Older phones are likely to have been used more which would decrease their efficiency. Reply
  • rstuart - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    The take away for me from this article: if you have an OLED screen make your background black. You get really low power consumption, contrast is awesome and the display doesn't degrade. Reply
  • IlllI - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    great, so when do we start to get some affordable oled monitors? 5yrs ago, it was predicted as now. now that we reached and passed that mark... still nowhere to be seen. Why are companies dragging their feet? Reply
  • Nintendo Maniac 64 - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    Because LG is currently focusing on large-size 4k OLED TVs. Now consider that they are currently supply & yield-limited rather than demand-limited... Reply
  • LukaP - Saturday, June 27, 2015 - link

    LG are saying their yields are still not in the league for mass producing 22-24" panels for monitors, but that they expect them to be in that ballpark by 2016 ;) So id say holidays 2016 or H1 2017 Reply
  • PubFiction - Sunday, June 28, 2015 - link

    Its normal for display technology to go into very small phones or large TVs first. Computer monitors are always last place. This is because with phones you can have lower yield because the displays are so small you can cut them up into many displays. With TVs its easier and higher profit to work with much larger pixels. People are also much more likely to drop more money on a TV, than a monitor, especially now that the mass sales of monitors are in disposable laptops with glued in batteries and what not. Reply
  • serendip - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Whatever happened to polarization layers like Nokia's ClearBlack? My ancient E7 and 808 with ClearBlack and AMOLED are much more readable in bright sunlight compared to my Galaxy S5, even though the older phones have much lower resolution and presumably use second-rate Samsung displays. Reply
  • iwod - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    But are we reaching the limits of LCDs? The article suggest AMOLED will reach parity with LCD in few years time. Surely LCD efficiency will improve too along with Quantum Dots? Reply
  • Refuge - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    He mentions that LCD's are improving as well still and that the comparison he made was in fact if LCD's didn't improve further in that time. Reply
  • der - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

  • kenansadhu - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    Hi there. A small suggestion: if you include galaxy note 4 in this, you could also see how screen size affects power consumption. That would be interesting to see, too. Thanks! Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    Well, the bigger the screen the more power it uses. It's hard to get an exact comparison as each screen has different efficiencies, but power should scale roughly linear with screen area. Reply
  • kenansadhu - Sunday, June 28, 2015 - link

    I just found what I wanted to see in the final page. Dunno if I missed it before, but thanks a lot for satisfying my curiosity. Cheers. Reply
  • Bob Pang - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    Hi Andrei, I have a few question about how the power consumption measured in review.

    In previous review, I have noticed that sometimes you were not allowed to disassemble the device, such as the Huawei P8.

    So the question is, how do you measure device's power to get an exact watts number when you were not allowed to disassemble the device, and how the things changed if you can disassemble it?

    I wonder there is a way to read the platform power via software, although the hardware way is more accurate. Could you introduce these way to let us know more about how the device power consumption measured?

    I feel excited about I could know the exact power consumption of the devices in AnandTech's review, but if I could understand more about the methodology, that would be better.

  • Andrei Frumusanu - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    The S6 was dismantled and the other Galaxy phones have access to their power input via removable battery, so all numbers in this article are measured externally with instruments.

    The I couldn't dismantle the P8 because it was too tightly glued together and frankly not worth the effort to pursue so I fell back on the device's internal fuel gauge.
  • SashaO - Friday, June 26, 2015 - link

    How did you measure the optical output? With a optical power meter/photodiode? If so - why do all the curves stop at 350 nits? It would seem that the max optical output for each color would be different, due to the sensitivity of our eyes. And if the max output of R, G, and B is 350 nits, it seems the max optical output of White should be higher (not exactly a sum of the three due to compensation techniques, but certainly higher than 350 nits.) Thanks! Reply
  • Beaver M. - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    I find it interesting how the burn in problems are ignored so much. Forums are full of people reporting it (and everyone with 2 working eyes can check it themselves), yet the power efficiency is the biggest issue?
    Its really interesting how such facts get ignored. Not only on this topic but on others aswell. What causes such blatant ignorance of obvious problems?
  • sabrewings - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    I'd say it's over blown. I've had four different AMOLED screened phones and haven't any sort of burn in (technically, it's burn out). Reply
  • Beaver M. - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    And I made the experience that people just dont (want to) see it. A few tests and its obvious that a lot of devices have that problem. Just recently I saw a OLED TV in a shop that had massive burn in. You could see logos from TV stations at the top corners and message lines from news stations at the bottom. Reply
  • grayson_carr - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    Yup. Look at every AMOLED phone on display in any carrier store. All have terrible burn in which start becoming noticeable only a week or two after they are put on display. And this is despite all demo phones displaying moving images and videos these days. I used to think it was the static images that they used to use on demo phones, but the burn in is just as bad on demo phones that don't display a static image. AMOLED screens deteriorate at an alarming rate. I would never buy an AMOLED TV for that reason alone. When I buy a super nice TV, I want it to last at least 10 years. Phones have less of a problem, especially for enthusiasts, because people upgrade every 6 months or a year now. That's probably why AMOLED tech hasn't taken off in the TV space. Still 99% LCDs. Reply
  • PubFiction - Sunday, June 28, 2015 - link

    Phones in stores really aren't a good take on normal use. People made the same arguments about plasma TVs. So what normal people aren't going to run a device 12 hours a day in constant on mode on the same screen for a years strait. And if you have to carefully get out and scan a grey image in order to detech any burn in then one would argue its probably not something the consumer cares that much about when they get the massive contrast ratio improvements. Reply
  • BoyBawang - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    What about the resale value? That's the reason I never buy second hand phone from EBay that has OLED screen. Reply
  • grayson_carr - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    Even worse is the uniformity issues. Open various shades of plain gray or white images on a Galaxy S6 in a dim environment. It looks splotchy as hell. Parts of the screen are pink, other parts are green. It looks streaky and stained. And every display is different lol. You could identify them by their unique streaks and splotches, like a fingerprint. LCDs are MUCH MUCH MUCH more uniform than AMOLED displays. Reply
  • Beaver M. - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    Yeah, I noticed those on an OLED smartwatch once while I looked at it in a dark room, but just thought that thing is defective. Reply
  • PubFiction - Sunday, June 28, 2015 - link

    People know about burn in first of all. So what would he write? If he wanted to do something like this lol think about how horribly long it would take to burn in some displays and report on it. There's not much value in an article.
    Second phones are disposable these days and you don't really have options for companies that don't make them disposable so people don't care as much. If person A sees burn in, Person B ends up with a cracked screen, and person C upgrades. By the time a phone gets old enough to experience major burn in, the displays for that phone are like $20 each so you could either replace it or buy a new phone.
  • PubFiction - Sunday, June 28, 2015 - link

    Also for the record I own 4 galaxy note devices as old as a note 2 and none of them have severe burn. Reply
  • BoyBawang - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    Any improvement about the AMOLED Burn-in? Reply
  • melgross - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    Preventing burn in, which is the accepted term for it, simply requires lowering the brightness. And it is an issue, which is why AMOLED devices have low maximum brightness. Burning out the display is a major issue too.

    But as most phones are cycled on a two year basis, most people do t have the issue. Keep the phone for four years, and there's a good chance the brightness will have dropped, mostly in the blue and green.
  • blzd - Thursday, June 25, 2015 - link

    I would also like to see an investigation of AMOLED burn in. Some Nexus 6 users were reporting it within a week of purchase. Reply
  • Ketzal - Thursday, June 25, 2015 - link

    Whatever happened to the LGG4 review? It seems very very late to the party. Is this going to be the usual rate of mobile reviews in the future or will you guys be able to do something to deliver them closer to launch? At this point many people have made their buying decisions, myself included. It's a shame as your reviews are simply the best, sadly that's irrelevant if they are ridiculously slow. Here's hoping... Reply
  • JoshHo - Thursday, June 25, 2015 - link

    The G4 was subject to some exceptional delays that shouldn't occur for the next few months. Reply
  • p-uds - Monday, June 29, 2015 - link

    Do you have any number, how much PSR is really saving? Do you know if they use a dedicated memory in the TCON or do you think, they access the DRAM for it? Reply
  • SanX - Monday, June 29, 2015 - link

    I'm not I retested with OLED junk for 5 more years. Wake me up there.

    The future is with true LED LCD not OLED or usual backlit LCD. They should have 2-3 times brightness and efficiency over best current tech, extended gamut, and of course inherent to them infinite contrast and no burn in or burn out.
  • SanX - Monday, June 29, 2015 - link

    In 5 years this site will be the only one on the planet which has no EDIT button. Pathetic. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now