Jun 24 AT 9:28 AM Taylor Wimberly 69 Comments

5 reasons to get excited about Samsung’s Super AMOLED

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.

Conclusion

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.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://momo.brauchtman.net moritz

    having played around with one for 15 minutes or so, i can nothing but agree: the display is amazing, never seen such a quality before.

  • http://Website alex

    I mainly want this phone, because it will play all movies on my ps3(.avi), but i would prefer a SUPER MYTOUCH, for the load of accesories.

  • http://Website drksilenc

    only one problem i wont buy a samsung phone because of the fiasco with the tmo sammy phones not getting upgrades from 1.5 to 2.0+ because they want to sell more handsets

  • http://Website tk

    While the Galaxy S’ screen sounds awesome, there are too many other reasons that make me not want to get it.

    1) Behold II fiasco – why in the world would anyone buy such an expensive phone when Samsung has already shown that they aren’t to be trusted to update their phones properly.

    2) Touchwiz – I thought MOTOBLUR was bad until I saw Samsung’s attempt at skinning Android. Its like the worst of everything. The funniest thing is they tried to copy the iPhone simpler UI and still failed.

    3) The four buttons/navigation pad – it seems you either get all four buttons or the pad, but not both, which is stupid since both are needed for the best Android experience. I don’t think Samsung got the message that Android doesn’t ignore function for form.

    4) Missing a lot of features that the new range of top of the line phones have now. It has the screen and GPU, but then the 5mp camera isn’t that impressive in a world of 8 and for some reason they aren’t putting flash on T-Mo and AT&T version. Don’t have the HDMI out, noise canceling microphone, etc..

    Damn it T-Mobile, I would much rather your flagship phone been from HTC or Motorola, or hell even get Google to make a Nexus Two already. Let Samsung stick to just supplying components to these other companies.

  • http://Website andy

    This phone gives me wood.

  • http://NotForMe KC

    This phone looks good, but heres the kind of phone i want on T-Mobile:
    -Snapdragon Processor @ 1Ghz
    -512MB or more of RAM
    -Default Android Interface
    -QWERTY Keyboard
    -Android 2.2

    Please release a phone with said specs, i will buy it.

    • http://gardenwife.com Gardenwife

      As would I, KC. I’m still using my G1 because nothing T-Mobile’s offered has been worth the upgrade to me without the QWERTY. The MyTouch Slide is okay, but where’s the processor speed? Why is there always something lacking?

      • http://gardenwife.com Gardenwife

        (Aside from the MyTouch Slide not having this gorgeous display and other features, I mean.)

    • http://Website mkrmec

      What? the nexus one doesn’t work on T-Mobile? You described it exactly..

      And why the hell you want a snapdragon? it’s shit compared to omap, and hummingbird. As for Android 2.2 I agree with you.

    • http://Website Rob H

      That might end up being the rumored Sidekick Twist.

    • daveloft

      Why Snapdragon, it’s good compared to older processors. But the latest 1 GHz chips used in Motorola and Samsung devices are far better and they come with far better graphics chips as well.

    • http://Website ba

      why would you want an inferior processor in your phone of choice?

  • http://Website Ragflan

    I’m only worried that the Galaxy S won’t get official Froyo. Of course there’s the community for that, but that’s one of the only things holding me back. I’m not a fan of the skins. I’d much rather prefer stock Android so updates will never be delayed.

  • http://Website JD

    There are so much hypes on the “Retina Display”.I suspect that they are just market words, but has anybody actually compared the 2 displays and can they tell the differences?

  • http://Website Joeskie

    I think after being on a nexus I could never go back to another android device.sound crazy I know, but being so up to date as far as os’s go its nice. Nexus has its flaws, some pretty mean ones at that but the phone is so cutting edge.all these smart phones coming out as nice as they are I couldn’t imagine even reverting back to 2.1. But these specs do indeed make my all wet.

  • http://profiles.google.com/michaelhaydel Michael

    Weren’t their rumors of a version of this phone that had a hardware QWERTY keyboard as well?

    I still really want that in my next phone, and is what’s keeping me clinging to my G1, for now.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Galaxy S Pro – see article for link.

      • http://profiles.google.com/michaelhaydel Michael Haydel

        Bah, I totally overlooked that. Thanks Taylor!

    • http://Website RobH

      yeah, the Pro…it’s going to Sprint I think.

  • http://Website waleed alvi

    witch display is better?
    the Super AMOLED on this phone or the iphones 4 retina display

    • http://Website mike

      SUPER AMOLED for sure

  • http://Website AndroidKing

    1. Looks like a great phone love the screen for VIDEO and Photos.
    2. Everyone needs to look up “Pentile”, what Samsung uses for all their AMOLED screens, could be a problem for reading texts.
    3. Please don’t comment on 5MP camera being inferior to 8MP, megapixels don’t matter that much when the lenses are terrible. Samsung generally makes better phone camera than the others.

    • http://kindleworld.blogspot.com Andrys

      Very true about the Samsung having a more effective camera.

      And an 8 megapixel camera with same-sized sensor as a 5 megapixel camera will tend to produce more noise.

      Am with Verizon but I do want that sliding keyboard (w/number keys) that Sprint is offering – it’s this phone with the keyboard and is called the Epic 4.

  • http://Website Jonathan

    I can’t stand the Pentile subpixel matrix. It makes everything look fuzzy, and it’s super annoying. I’ll stick with LCD until that goes away.

    • http://www.twitter.com/reignzone Reignzone

      This is very true, hence the reason I prefer TFT displays over AMOLED displays. My crucial attention to screen detail prevents me from being able to truly enjoy the beauty that is AMOLED.

    • http://Website Chris

      I’ve had one of these for about a week now, and the pentile, if that’s what it is, doesn’t make the text fuzzy at all. Using the ebook reader or the browser there’s no trouble distinguishing text (and it looks SHARP) until you get down to absolutely minute sizes – I’m talking text around a millimetre high is easily readable, and moving around most fully-zoomed out web pages is no trouble.

      I really doubt anyone using one would even notice there’s a different sub-pixel layout unless you’re used to reading with your nose actually pressed up against the glass (careful what you activate doing that ;)).

      The screen is absolutely INCREDIBLE: we tested identical videos side-by-side with my mate’s HD2 (which I thought had a really nice screen) and the difference was astonishing – everything just looked deeper, more colourful, more detailed on the Samsung.

      As for the launchers etc.: TouchWiz 3.0 is NOT your old geborkenen TouchWiz. It’s absolutely fine. AWD launcher works, apparently, but I just haven’t felt the need yet. I’ve yet to hear anyone who’s actually used it come up with any complaint more coherent than “it looks a bit too much like iOS”. Which is understandable, it does look similar, but (for me anyway) it’s hardly enough reason to miss out on a phone like this.

      • http://Website RobH

        well said…

      • http://Website Drew

        …made by Scamsung.. reason enough for me

        • http://- Kyle

          Scumsung…Scamsung… Hmm… Yeah.

  • http://Website Frank

    Better viewing angle on a phone is definitely a bad thing, but, oh well.

  • http://Website Jim

    I am sure this phone will have a great screen and great camera (even at 5MP). I am also sure the rest of the phone will be crap and it will never see 2.2. They will also put TW and other crapwear on it. I am just going to go ahead and tell you now not to buy.

  • http://Website Ms. Matrix

    The phone looks good(of course it looks like the iPhone) but I think people still will buy it. I got turned off by Samsung years ago during the flip phone days and I haven’t had one since.

    My cousin has the behold 2 and it’s giving her nothing but trouble. For whatever reason the phone keeps deleting her photos from the micro card. They refuse to give her a new phone…

    So even though the phone looks good, they have a bad track record with their phones.

    • http://www.myspace.com/hermyhalloween hermyhalloween

      this is true. I have the Samsung Moment and it has been trouble ever since I got it 8 months ago. proximity sensor issues, data connection issues, keyboard issues, screen response issues, random reboots, capacitive buttons issues, finnicky screen when locking. the list goes on and on – and most of my problems are not unique, according to my research and a Samsung representative. they are well aware the phone is junky! Samsung has demolished my perception of them with such a terrible build of a phone. and it’s just stock OS! no TouchPiss 3.0 or other UI additions! shouldn’t that be the easiest to adapt to your hardware?

      • http://kindleworld.blogspot.com Andrys

        I have the ancient Samsung SCH A990 and with only a 3.2 megapixel camera, it has taken decent pictures, with lots of options, such as spot meter, iso800, flash-off etc.
        http://www.pbase.com/andrys/cellphone

        So I expect that it’ll have a decent 5 megapixel camera.

        In 3.5 years I’ve never had a problem with it at all, despite a lot of bug reports I see others have had with other Samsung phones.

  • http://Website Lactose The Intolerant

    Several different carriers? Yeah, because they did such a GREAT job for HTC’s Incredible /sarcasm.

  • http://Website Fish

    These guys are so completely out of touch with the android community. How in the world did they choose to take the first leap and flagship android, and then turn around and all but abandon it? This is going to be the first 1ghz android phone t-mobile offers (no, the nexus 1 doesn’t count. T-mobile doesn’t actually offer it) and it’s a water-down? Anybody who is going to be interested in this phone is already going to know that it’s a less impressive version of one that has been around for months in other countries. And for what? What does T-mobile benefit from removing the ffc and switching out the hardware buttons for unreliable haptic crap?

    Come on T-mobile! You’ve got 100% FREE customer feedback right here before a product even launches. Use it.

    If you’re not going to give us what we want, then at least have the decency to stop making such a big deal out of it. First the “Really Exciting Event” that turned out to be a new-family-plans-only waste of time and now this? Why do you hate me?

  • http://Website s15274n

    Can you turn off touch-wiz (settings… running awd launcher… etc) or are you stuck with it on all the time?

  • mrmetoo

    I CANNOT wait for this phone to come out for T-mobile! I have an upgrade and just waiting for this phone to come out….why can’t it come out sooner than later! :(

    • http://Website Drew

      You can buy Scamsung if you want.. but in 5 months when Android 3.7 is available and your still looking at your 2.1.. don’t say you weren’t warned -behold2 owner

  • http://Website Joonatan O

    You should change #4, contrast ratio doesn’t matter at all.

    Anyways, the other 4 points are good :D

  • http://Website Loooney2ns

    It looks good on paper but let’s see it when it comes out. The only advantage I see is the extended battery life. It’s also smaller than the Droid X and the Evo, which may appeal to people who think these two have gone too far size wise. I had a Samsung phone years ago, and it was well made, but recent history has shown otherwise. I think Motorola still makes the highest quality top end phones. The Droid has fantastic build quality and so will the Droid 2 and the Droid X. Hopefully, they will start selling these on all the carriers, not just Verizon.

  • http://bandroid.blog.hu Bandroid

    180 degrees: it is simply in-cre-dib-le.

    So I see the pixels when I’m watching the side of the phone. Amazing. Technology never stops. :)

  • http://hitechcoffee.blogspot.com/ Adrian Petrescu

    the 180 degrees is not so important, but power consume, the contrast, the brightness and the 80% less reflexions is very important for an mobile phone or smartphone.

    on tv/monitor/laptop the 180 degrees angle is very important, also become important and have a very close relation with the display size and display resolution

  • http://Website mkrmec

    Dear Mr. Samsung and all the people who want this phone.

    The nature of Samsung is sell sell sell, it’d definitely not to support it’s products like Google supports it’s Nexus one, and HTC it’s phones and so on. Samsung rather shoves the old phones into the trash and says it’s not posible to do upgrades.

    Partly it’s true because of their Secured RIL that commands the phone. The community developers have a really really big problems because of that at the development of new ROM’s for that phones.

    I myself have had this problem with my ex samsung phone. And I CANNOT say buy or don’t by this phone or any phone from samsung. BUT I CAN advise you not to buy it. you’ll be sorry.

    when buying and android phone go with the manufacturer that supports their phones and upgrades them and ignore the ones that don’t.

  • http://Website Paul

    Essentially what I’m reading is that the Samsung Galaxy S Pro fulfills all the aspects of an Android phone I’ve been waiting for: Glorious screen, hardware keyboard, and dedicated GPU comparable to the Droid. All these aspects exist in current phones, but not all in one place. At any rate I’m glad I have to wait until November to get a new phone – there is going to be some amazing stuff on the market by then. Just hope Verizon carries this one. And I wish the Samsung phones just used a plain vanilla ROM instead of their own skin. (Especially considering how difficult the previous models have been to root)

  • Matt1325

    If it had a HDMI port i would have got it..

  • http://Website SpaceCadet

    I’ve now got a Samsung Galaxy S (after waiting with my trusty G1) and I don’t miss the keyboard (swype is fantastic), the screen is gorgeous – I’m a very happy owner. My only (slight) criticism is the battery life – its lasting slightly less than a days use (mainly showing off to colleagues at the moment and lovingly switching it on to see if it’s okay).

  • http://Website gwlaw99

    If you don’t like touch wiz, just install launcher pro. It is fantastic and very fast.

  • http://Website Marvin

    This article is very bad. Did you ever compared the 2 phones in real life. Other testers like from engadget do REAL-TESTS BEFORE THEY POST CONCLUSIONS.

    See yourself. The iPhone is much better!
    http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/24/iphone-4-retina-display-vs-galaxy-s-super-amoled-fight/

  • krazytrixxxsta

    tmo stay fucking up… htc and motorola are the way to go.

  • http://- Giona

    This phone might be good for a person who has never experienced the new standard or never had a smart phone before, so to speak. This screen will not be a good reason to get the phone, alone and that is all it is.. A screen with lacking features.. JUST WHAT WE WANT! Why are people so “OMG!” over a SCREEN? Sure, direct sunlight can get annoying but I rather have every feature other phones have at this time versus just being able to say “Well, I can see in the sunlight a little more then you.. What now?”

    The UI SUCKS, and Launcher Pro.. REALLY? LOLLLLLLL Fail fail fail fail fail.

    **Here is a scenario**
    “Oh wow, neat phone Johnny.. What an incredible screen… Oh decent pictures, but my DROID does better..but still cool for something being developed.. What is with this UI? LOL wow, how do you deal with that?! Eww… I want to buy you a DROID so you never look back… Or an iPhone.”

    Regardless — T-Mo has a horrible way with dealing with updates.. The res of the phone only supports its 5 MP while the 8 MP phone’s res supports theirs.. Have you seen someone upload a pic with the 8MP cam on like Facebook? Incredible, unless they are poor photo takers.

    All in all — A great STARTER smartphone.

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  • http://Website phoebetech

    I agree with you. I think I am going to jump ship and move to a different carrier because TMo seems to lag in regards to Android updates. I have the Cliq and have not seem any updates for it yet. Motorola claims that they handed 2.1 to TMo….well, then I guess it’s TMo’s fault…which is why I’m leaving.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hermyhalloween hermyhalloween

    concurred! I do not want all your glossy icon redesigns, flashy animations, and generally scrambled placement of things, Mr. Companies.

    though I will say some of the additions are awesome and some people love the UI redesigns, their dickin’ around with Android should be an option.