Mobile phone display mega shootout: The full picture

GSMArena team, 29 November 2010.

ClearBlack AMOLED (Nokia C6-01)

We’ve come to the first representative of Nokia’s new ClearBlack technology. The invention of the Finns is not about the display itself. It’s the glass over it, which is said to act like a polarizing filter.

It may sound like just another gimmick but its real life benefits are huge. We for one, were pretty impressed with the Nokia C6-01 screen. With reflections reduced even further compared to the N8 you get to experience the full potential of the underlying AMOLED.

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With CBD contrast is unaffected by indoor lighting

That means you get to enjoy the highest contrast in the industry (Clear Blacks share the lead with Super AMOLED). Artificial lighting no longer takes its toll on the contrast and even the bright sun has negligible effect.

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Sunlight legibility is top-notch

Viewing angles are comparable to the best and the impressive color balance (a hard one to pull off on AMOLED) rounds off a thoroughly impressive overall performance.

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Viewing angles are sublime

The ambient light sensor is still impossible to override and that’s basically all we can hold against this display. Well that and the resolution, but resolution is limited by the OS and not by the technology so it shouldn’t count here.

Super AMOLED (Samsung S8500 Wave, Samsung I9000 Galaxy S)

We’ve already discussed Super AMOLED screens on numerous occasions and have had no reason to doubt their quality. The Samsung S8500 Wave was the first to impress us, but the I9000 Galaxy S and the Omnia 7 didn’t disappoint either. The question is how good Super AMOLED is compared directly to all the other technologies that appeared after it.

To begin with, the contrast is still that good. We just told you that it shares the first place with the Nokia CBD unit, that takes an edge over regular AMOLED on the N8 due to its lower reflectivity and runs circles around any LCD screen you can think of.

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The Super AMOLED screens have splendid contrast

Viewing angles are as good as those of the iPhone 4. Extremely subtle differences can be observed when the two handsets are placed side by side but we don’t really think anyone will note them in real life use.

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Viewing angles are closing in on perfection

Sunlight legibility is near perfect, only the tiniest of bits worse than the best (again, iPhone 4). You can still enjoy those deep blacks in the bright sun and that is a huge win for the Super AMOLED. You see, even if it loses a bit more contrast than the Apple Retina its starting point is so high that you are still left with excellent results.

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Performance in the sun is spotless too too

Color rendition is very pleasing on both Super AMOLED units. Applied saturation is just enough to make everything on the screen look pleasing, without going into extremes. The only problem we noticed was the slight green tint that both units we used for the review had. If you really need perfect color rendering, you might need to pass on this one.

If you are just looking for pleasantly looking tones however, Super AMOLED is an excellent performer – and you should also take into account its energy efficiency.