Samsung Galaxy S II vs LG Optimus 2X: Head to head

GSMArena team, 08 April 2011.
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Super AMOLED Plus up close

The original Galaxy S had an amazing display. But as great as SuperAMOLED tech is, it did have its drawbacks, mainly the PenTile subpixel matrix.

The new generation SuperAMOLED Plus should increase the size of the available panels up to 4.3”, it should improve the performance and it’s comes with a conventional subpixel matrix. We expect nothing but excellence – let’s see if the Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II delivers.

First, a few words on PenTile matrix to give you an idea what you’re looking at. PenTile matrices use only two subpixels per each pixel of the screen, unlike traditional matrixes that use three (LCD displays use this arrangement too). The image below demonstrates the difference though in an exaggerated way.

SuperAMOLED vs. SuperAMOLED Plus

Even though both the original Galaxy S and the Galaxy S II have screens with equal resolution – WVGA, or 480 x 800 pixels. The use of a conventional matrix has given the SuperAMOLED Plus screen 50% more subpixels, making the display noticeably sharper (especially when it comes to small text).

Here are a few shots we took of the displays of the original Galaxy S, the Galaxy S II and the iPhone 4. You can see that the subpixels look as we expected them to.

The iPhone 4’s Retina display is easily the sharpest of the bunch. There is a very noticeable difference between the two Galaxies in the following extreme close-up shot, but in reality, the difference isn't that strongly pronounced, unless you’re looking at them from really close.

Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
Macro shot of the screens of the Galaxy S II, the original Galaxy S (middle) and iPhone 4 (bottom)

The SuperAMOLED Plus display of the Galaxy S II has exceptional viewing angles but the old screen in the Samsung Galaxy S isn't half bad either. Especially compared to a regular LCD unit, see for yourselves.

For this comparison we’ve put the first and second generation Galaxy S phones next to the LG Optimus 2X. Let’s just say, the screen is not among the strongest features of the LG smartphone.

Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
LG Optimus 2X • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S

The new Super AMOLED Plus display reportedly has improved brightness and reduced power usage. We’ll leave the battery tests for the review, but we did test the brightness levels. We were surprised to see that the SuperAMOLED Plus screen is no brighter than the previous generation used in the original Galaxy S.

Here are our measurements.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2
iPhone 3GS 0.84 134 2.51 504
iPhone 4 0.14 189 0.39 483
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc 0.03 34 0.33 394
LG Optimus 2X 0.23 228 0.35 347
HTC Incredible S 0.18 162 0.31 275
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II 0 231 0 362
Samsung Galaxy Ace 0.23 160 0.34 234
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo 0.05 68 0.10 134

You’ll notice we didn’t measure the contrast ratio of either SuperAMOLED display – that’s due to how OLED works. Contrast is the ratio of how bright a white pixel is compared to a black pixel while both are visible on the screen. Since black pixels in OLED type displays don’t emit any light at all, the contrast works out to infinity (which isn't really a meaningful measurement).

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