Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Review: Display


The Chinese mainland retail version of Galaxy S7 is G9350, it is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 820(those selling in Taiwan, South Korea, and Europe are equipped with Exynos 8890), 4GB ram and 32GB build-in storage, dual-SIM standby and supporting all wireless network in China. The curved screen and the beautiful body design and IP68 certified water resistant of Galaxy S7 Edge have attracted much attention and raised strong urge to buy. The performance of curved screen is also one of the most concentrated.

Compared with Galaxy S6 Edge, the s7E's dual-glass is smoother, and also smooth round on the edge, this make it more comfortable to hold. Water resistant without plugs is also an aspect of Samsungs outstanding ability of body design and quality. The Galaxy S7E is powered by the latest Android Marshmallow OS (Android 6.0), and TouchWiz UI. S7E can display more on the Edge or always on notifications than S6E, the features such as side waking up when calling in also remains. Compared to vivo Xplay5 which also equipped with dual-curved edge screen, Samsung has more applications, such as stock information on the edge. Is it useful? Depends on your daily use. The biggest advantage of dual-curved edge screen is its beauty.

S7E has a 5.5-inch QHD YOUM dual-curved AMOLED display, while S7 uses 5.1-inch one, the others remain the same. Except Samsung, only vivo Xplay5 and Blackberry Priv adopts this kind of display screen. S7/S7E shares similar market positioning with iPhone 6s/6s Plus, while Samsung ones are using QHD display with higher PPI. The color mode of S7E in the Settings still divide into Auto, AMOLED cinema, AMOLED photos, and Standard (sRGB). Conventionally, we will use SpectraCal Calman for objective testing.

Display Mode Auto AMOLED Cinema AMOLED Photo Basic
Brightness cd/m2 418 416 347 349
Grayscale (Gamma 2.2) 2.24 2.12 2.06 2.12
Average Color Temperature 7206 7167 6414 6415
Grayscale E Average 3.84 4.84 2.06 2.13
Comparision S7 Edge Xplay 5 S6 Edge+ Nexus 6P(sRGB) Lumia 950XL S6 Edge iPhone 6s
Brightness cd/m2 349 333 305 341 282 272 575
Grayscale (Gamma 2.2) 2.12 2.27 2.15 2.22 2.06 2.16 2.21
Average Color Temperature K 6415 7528 6527 6441 6493 6406 6753
Grayscale E Average 2.13 4.97 2.25 2.81 2.15 2.34 1.94
Display Mode Auto AMOLED Cinema AMOLED Photo Basic
Color Gamut(sRGB) 137.22% 140.55% 132.77% 103.60%
Average E2000 4.06 7.22 3.6 1.74
Max E2000 6.31 10.1 6.41 2.73
Comparision S7 Edge Xplay 5 S6 Edge+ Nexus 6P(sRGB) Lumia 950XL S6 Edge iPhone 6s
Color Gamut(sRGB) 103.60% 141.56% 100.32% 96.61% 101.40% 97.51% 99.43%
Average E2000 1.74 5.18 2 2.37 3.18 2.13 2.3
Max E2000 2.73 7.21 4.5 4.69 4.35 5.11 4.08
  • Max Screen Brightness (cd/m2 or nits): The maximum brightness one screen could reach, without considering glass quality, algorithm or dynamic adjusting. Over 500 cd/m2 can be used under strong light, below 400 cd/m2 will be to use.
    Gamma 2.2: Gamma value is the key factor in contrast display. Our eyes do not perceive light the way cameras do. Under SRGB, if the gamma value is 2.2, the tonal range is just what human eyes receive. Lower than 2.2, the contrast will go down, otherwise, it will go up. Except the gamma value, we have to see form the picture if the red, green and blue curve overlap, if not, different color contrast will be different. The value between 2.1 to 2.3 is qualified for display, while if the value is below 2 or over 2.4, the contrast will be lower or higher than standard.
    Average Color of White: The average color temperature in degrees, D65 with 6500 K is the standard color of White for most Consumer Content and needed for accurate color reproduction of all images. Higher than 6500K will tend to be cold, otherwise will be warm.
    Color difference: A measurement used to indicate how much a color deviates from standard. The higher the E, the more inaccurate the color. This is because the human eye is only capable of detecting color difference at certain thresholds. It is hard to detect if average E is below 5, less than average 3 E and less than 5 E is excellent, the smaller the E is, the better the color is. Between 5 to 10 E is detectable, over 10E is significantly detectable.
    Color Gamut(sRGB): The specific range of colors that one device is able to display. Our test is based on sRGB. If wide-gamut device is tested, Adobe RGB or NTSC gamut will be noted for reference. Display with over 90% will be enough for everyday use, higher than a certain percentage will not affect using experience significantly. However, photo playback requires precisely range, 10bit video requires wider gamut.
    Restricted by our devices, we will not test the viewing angle. On average, more than 30 would bring over 50% brightness loss.

From the objective indicators we can see, S7E performs perfectly on grayscale and color-difference, just like our previous tested Samsung devices. However, this color temperature of our S7E is slightly lower than our S6E+. The color temperature under Standard sRGB and AMOLED photo mode is about 6400k, which is slightly lower than the standard 6500k, but this is just variability for our unit, and does not affect daily use. The difference of greyscale between the top and bottom is less than 2, the consistency of screen color are normal. Although manufactures, such as Samsung or Apple, attaching importance to indicators and quality consistent, the greyscale and color temperature variability that different batches brings cannot be avoided. The auto brightness adjust is fast, one can hardly find the adjust process. The maximum brightness can be higher than 400cd/m in daily outdoor using, while as low as 200cd/m in the darkness. Compared with S6 Edge+, S7 Edge performs better in auto brightness adjusting.

There are a lot advantages on curved screen in visual experience, the content displayed looks floating and three dimensional on the screen. The darkness of Samsung AMOLED display panel became deeper from Galaxy S6 on, which increases the black/white contrast under strong light. The plastic feeling and not-that-deep dark in the front side makes S4 and S5 look cheap, but this problem does not exist from S6 on. The black border in the screen is quite narrow, and the display area can be as wide as the bezel reaches. The more rounded edges brings better touching feeling, and more durable in using and wearing. However, the refraction, dispersive and unbalanced brightness problem that YOUM curved screen brings still exists, it is a little red when viewing contents with white background, such as websites, but performs better than S6E that we have.

As the wider angle that S7 Edge curved, the stronger decay of brightness on both sides in front is worse than S5 Edge+. If you can accept those inherent problems that curved screen has, S7 Edge may be one of the best one in touch feeling and architecture. Samsung should also solve those problems by raising brightness on both edges, or improving coating, to give the curved screen a perfect experience. If S7 Edge performs great enough in marketing, edge curved AMOLED screen will be one way that other smart phone manufactures perusing, and become a symbol for high-end smart phones.

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