GSMArena Labs: Introducing our sunlight legibility test

17 April, 2012

Until now, we've always performed all of our display tests in dark environments in, what's technically, ideal conditions, so that we can measure the full potential of any particular display in the most objective manner possible. And while we believe that test gave a pretty clear picture as to how well the latest display technologies stack up against each other, there was still one area where we felt our display test could be further improved: screen glare.

Let's face it, using a display in a completely dark room is not always your typical use case, particularly if you are the outdoorsy type. That's why we've come up with a way to test how a display performs in an environment where screen reflectivity matters as much as its natural contrast and brightness.

Our new sunlight legibility test allows you to see exactly how different displays fare in one of the worst possible scenarios. We use fixed studio lighting to simulate sunlight falling on the phone screens and see how legible they remain when faced with a powerful light source.

We'll also be providing contrast ratios for the tested phones to make them even easier to compare. Naturally, higher is better here and this is how the first batch we subjected to the test did.

Contrast ratio

  • Apple iPhone 4
  • Apple iPhone 4S
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
  • HTC One S
  • HTC One V
  • HTC One X
  • LG Optimus 3D
  • Meizu MX
  • Nokia N8
  • Nokia N9
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
  • Samsung Galaxy S
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
  • Samsung Omnia W
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray

We feel that this added element to our display tests will give you a more complete picture of how well the display that interest you will fare in the real world and how it compares to its market rivals.

Apple iPhone 4S • Samsung Galaxy S II • Samsung Galaxy Note • HTC One X • HTC One S

While we are not able to perform this test retroactively on all of the phones in our database, here's a peek at how several top devices stack up against each other in terms of screen reflectivity, including our latest review candidates, the One S, One X and One V.

Apple iPhone 4 • HTC One V • Nokia N9 • Samsung Galaxy S • Samsung Omnia W

Feel free to provide us with feedback in the comments section on how useful you find the test and whether you think it's worthy enough to become a regular feature.

Gigabyte GSmart G1355 • LG Optimus 3D • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray • Nokia N8 • Meizu MX


Reader comments

  • Bringitback
  • 18 Nov 2020
  • 0Vg

bring back this feature!

  • Anonymous
  • 02 Jul 2013
  • x7W

who can tell me the sunlight readable test enviroment? the brightness of illuminant and the test angle ? tks~

  • Anonymous
  • 02 Jul 2013
  • x7W

How many nits is the Luminance of the worst possible scenarios? Thank you.

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