Lab test – Samsung Galaxy S8: a full screen that is immediately essential

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Lluís Enric Mayans
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Our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be published this week, but as an appetizer, we're giving you some results related to its 5,8-inch Super Amoled screen. Unsurprisingly, the display enters our top 10 mobile screens. A technical success that can be seen in (very) large, due to the physical optimizations operated by Samsung.



Samsung Galaxy S8


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If you didn't know it yet – which seems difficult – the Galaxy S8 will be on the market from April 28 and even from Thursday April 20 for pre-order buyers. While waiting for our full test of the GS8 and even its big brother GS8+ also in the editorial labs, let's see what its 5,8-inch WQHD+ Super Amoled screen offers (i.e. a definition of 2960 x 1440 px on a diagonal of 14,7 cm). First of all, no reddish screen to report on our terminals. Phew...



The first feat visible without our instruments is the almost total expression given to the display. With an occupancy rate of just over 83% of the front surface, the Super Amoled panel of the Galaxy S8 comes to war against the LG G6 and Xiaomi Mi Mix on the battlefield of these new generation mobile screens to which we leaves full powers. Note that the main button, physical before, has not gone very far, since it takes refuge under the slab in the form of a haptic interaction.


 

We also note the disappearance (finally!) of Samsung's scratched ego on the front panel to save a little more space. The direct impact of this optimization is the extreme compactness of the product, compared to the size that a 5,8-inch screen (≈14,7 cm diagonal) could induce. Afterwards, we are only 0,1 inches, or 3 millimeters, from the imposing Huawei Mate 9. Judge for yourself in the photo below, where the Galaxy S8 is surrounded by an iPhone 7 Plus, a Galaxy S7 edge, a Huawei P10 Plus and a G6. Apart from the latter with a 5,7-inch (≈14,5 cm) panel, all the other candidates offer a 5,5-inch (≈14 cm) screen, i.e. a smaller panel than that of a GS8 that is ultimately more compact.


The Galaxy S8, center, surrounded by competitors and a parent.


Basic mode, your colors' best friend

Are you familiar with Oled technology and especially Super Amoled that Samsung has been using for 8 generations of Galaxy S? So you probably already know that the GS8 is no exception to the rule, offering infinite contrast thanks to a totally black black, AMOLED technology requires. On top of that, the GS8 can count on a maximum brightness of 595 cd/m2, then a minimum white of 1,7 cd/m2. Enough to ensure good readability in all circumstances – especially associated with a light reflection rate of the panel of only 10% – as well as excellent reading comfort in the evening in the dark.

Color rendering is excellent – ​​it has become almost systematic on Samsung's mid-range and high-end mobile products.

Colorimetry 1.7

The colorimetry is accurate, faithful, balanced (average delta E of 1,7, one of the best on the market). However, if again you know the devices stamped "Galaxy", it will be necessary to play with the display mode to obtain this excellence. Among the 4 choices offered: Adaptive, Video, Photo and Basic, it is the latter that must be checked to catch this Grail. In this mode, the color temperature is close to perfection (6 K) and avoids any general drift towards yellow or blue. Although they continue to have a pronounced defect (a temperature that is too high, in particular), the other modes are no longer so far from these very good results, with the exception, always, of Adaptive where the colors make the samba . Ideal to highlight the phone in a store loaded with references, not better.


In summary, the screen of the Galaxy S8 once again honors the status of the smartphone it equips. For a handful of decimals here and there, the GS8 ranks 6th in our ranking, behind … 5 other Samsung smartphones, ultimately all as good – in order, the Galaxy S7, S7 edge, S6 edge+, A5 2016 and, ad, the Galaxy S8+.

One screen, many possibilities

Like the G6, the Galaxy S8 inducts a type of elongated panel, here in 18,5: 9 format (against 18: 9 on the LG smartphone). This therefore induces a different display, for the OS and the content. Everyone must therefore adapt... or not (yet?). Samsung has naturally optimized its Experience interface, which succeeds TouchWiz, so that Android best applies to this screen which is gaining height. The ability to split the screen in two to perform two tasks almost simultaneously makes a little more sense in this format, both in portrait and landscape mode, by the way. Nevertheless, if the visual effect is not so problematic as that on a compact S8 (we will see it this week), the Galaxy S8+, him, accuses much more this ratio, as well visually as structurally. But back to the content.

In video, Samsung applies 3 display levels for compatible applications, including its own video player and YouTube. The basic display imposes black bands depending on the format of the video, they can appear horizontally or vertically.


The basic format on YouTube

The application of the original format on the screen gives birth to a floating image in a black frame, while the "Crop" option extends the image over the entire usable surface of the GS8.


Original size.

The latter option is bound to be the most impressive, but as the name suggests, it involves a loss of edge information in the video, as the playback is zoomed in slightly to suit the frame.


Cropped format to occupy the entire screen and below the real rendering.


 

For video games, there is no doubt that Samsung will negotiate as it should with the interlocutors in view of the sector, in order to adapt all these beautiful people to an 18,5: 9 which is likely to flow by millions in the weeks to to come. In the meantime, a title like Super Mario Run has black bands imposed on the lower and upper parts of the screen, which in no way interferes with the game. Fortunately...

Finally, be aware that the Galaxy S8 has several definitions. Three more precisely: "HD+" (1 x 480 px), "Full HD+" (720 x 2 px) and finally "WQHD+" for the 220 x 1 px sold by Samsung on the technical sheet. At startup, the GS080 wakes up in the intermediate category (Full HD +). Everyone is free to switch to maximum mode, but whatever happens, FHD + and WQHD + offer substantially the same experience in terms of reading comfort on all content displayable on the Super Amoled panel.

Find our complete test of the Samsung Galaxy S8 this Thursday, April 20!

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