The HTC EVO 4G and Motorola Droid X are both awesome, second-generation Android phones and have their own exciting features, but the Samsung Galaxy S line of phones has a few specs we might call third-gen and it could still come out on top as the hottest smartphone this summer.
For starters, the Galaxy S has pure numbers on side. While the EVO and Droid X are exclusive to their respective carriers, we should see a version of the Galaxy S on all four Tier 1 carriers in the U.S. and over 100 more around the globe. AT&T will launch the Captivate this summer, Sprint will offer the Galaxy S Pro as their second 4G phone, T-Mobile will finally land a high end-phone with the Vibrant, and we are still waiting to see what Verizon does.
So what are the features that make the Galaxy S so special when compared to the competition? It will be the first Android phone to offer a Super AMOLED display and it features a graphics processor (PowerVR SGX540) that is said to be twice as fast as the leading competitor (the Droid and Droid X’s PowerVR SGX530).
Most people might not know what Super AMOLED stands for (Super Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode), but they should take note of some of the benefits offered by Samsung’s exciting new mobile phone display technology.
Super AMOLED differs from other display technologies in that the layer which detects touch is integrated into the screen rather than being overlaid on top. Another benefit of the next-generation display technology is that an AMOLED display do not need backlights because they emit light itself when electricity is applied.
The reduction in components and other advancements result in the absolute best display you will find on any smartphone this year. Samsung is already boasting that their Super AMOLED technology outperforms the iPhone 4 Retina display in several areas including contrast ratio, color reproduction, and response time.
So which benefits of Super AMOLED should you be aware of? Read on to see our top five highlights.
1. Power consumption – 20% more battery life
Battery life remains one of the biggest areas of concerns for Android users. Sure your battery will normally get you through the day, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could squeeze a couple extra hours out of your phone?
Depending on how you use your phone, the display is normally at the top of the list when checking your battery use. Samsung claims their Super AMOLED display provides 20% more battery life vs traditional AMOLED, so it’s quite conceivable to give you that extra hour of use that you sometimes need.
2. Superior sunlight readability – 80% less sunlight reflection
The biggest gripe with traditional AMOLED displays (like the ones found on the Nexus One and Incredible) is that they are hard to read out in direct sunlight. Living in South Texas, I’m outdoors a lot and I have experienced this first hand. There have been many times when I had to find some shade just so I could operate my phone.
Since the touch layer is integrated into the Super AMOLED screen, there is less reflection when viewing the display. To be exact, Samsung’s official measurement is 80% less sunlight reflection when using a Super AMOLED display. For a direct comparison, check out the hands-on video of the Galaxy S in direct sunlight.
3. Viewing angle – 180 degrees
Did you know Samsung’s Super AMOLED mobile phone display offers a 180 degree angle? That means even if you held the Super AMOLED display at eye level, you could still see the images on the screen without any blurring or distortion. This makes it easier to share your videos and pictures with the people around you without having to tilt the display.
4. Contrast ratio – 100,000 to 1
Super AMOLED display offers 100,000 to 1 contrast ratio, for unmatched vivid colors and clarity. The contrast ratio for Super AMOLED is the closest comparison in the U.S. mobile industry to the current HDTV standard.
5. Brightness – 20% brighter
If you have never seen an AMOLED display, then drive down to your local Verizon store and play with the Incredible. The color reproduction of an AMOLED display is noticeably better than a TFT LCD when you hold them side by side. Games, pictures, and YouTube videos come to life with the vivid colors and brighter display.
Samsung’s Super AMOLED offers an even better display because it is 20% brighter versus a traditional AMOLED screen.
The more I learn about Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology, the more I become excited about getting a Galaxy S phone. The added battery life alone is enough to sell me on the display and the extra benefits are just icing on the cake. Samsung actually produces most of the displays found in competing smartphones, so I expect they will have an exclusive for awhile.
My only concern is Samsung’s ability to keep up with demand. Both the HTC Incredible and HTC Desire have faced extreme shortages because they utilized AMOLED displays manufactured by Samsung. The company is already building a new facility in South Korea which can produce 30 million displays per month, but it is not scheduled to open till July 2011. Hopefully, they can focus their current resources on producing enough 4 inch Super AMOLED displays to keep the Galaxy S inventories up when the phone launches in the U.S. this summer.