OnePlus 5 Review: Display
Author:Soomal
Source:eng.soomal.com

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OnePlus 5 maintains affordable high performance. In addition to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 6GB RAM, it also has a balanced configuration without obvious shortage. How's its display?

OnePlus 5 still adopts the 5.5-inch FHD AMOLED display with Pentile sub-pixel array, just the same as OnePlus 3. With rapidly growing OLED penetration, OLED supporters and TFT supporters are arguing about which one is the better. TFT supporters consider that AMOLED is using PWM to control monitor brightness, which would lead to flickering light at low brightness, and the Pentile sub-pixel array's PPI is lower than what it claims to be. OLED supporters says that TFT is not dark enough, and not fast enough in speed, when using TFT displays in winter, it would lagging.

OnePlus is a well-known smartphone brand overseas, so they added sRGB mode from OnePlus 3 on. Although the display screen remains the same specifications, OnePlus 5 added DCI-P3 display mode in H2OS. In addition, OnePlus 5's H2OS is a totally native Android 7, almost the same as Google Pixel XL, which is rear among Chinese brand smartphones. As usual, the quantitative results are tested by SpectralCal Calman.

Display Mode DCI-P3 Mode sRGB Mode Default Mode
Max Brightness 409 409 422
Grayscale (Gamma 2.2) 2.16 2.15 2.13
Average Color Temperature K 6117 6120 7117
Average Luminance Error, Delta E 2.97 3.04 5.48
Comparision OnePlus 5 Nubia Z17 HTC U11 XZP sRGB Mode Galaxy S8+ iPhone 7 Plus
Brightness cd/m2 409 453 434 358 399 525
Grayscale (Gamma 2.2) 2.15 2.22 2.17 2.22 2.29 2.21
Average Color Temperature K 6120 6503 6600 6669 6324 6794
Average Luminance Error 3.04 1.72 2.15 2.91 2.58 1.95
Display Mode DCI-P3 Mode sRGB Mode Default Mode
Color Gamut (sRGB) 129.27% 95.97% 134.71%
Average Color Error 3.53 2.56 6.3
Max Color Error 5.99 5.24 9.55
Comparision OnePlus 5 Nubia Z17 HTC U11 XZP sRGB Mode Galaxy S8+ iPhone 7 Plus
Color Gamut(sRGB) 95.97% 134.71% 131.77% 95.55% 98.99% 101.45%
Average Color Error 2.56 2.66 3 2.14 3.01 1.69
Largest Color Error 5.24 4.91 4.95 3.69 5.05 3.08
  • 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.

We can see from the quantitative result that our OnePlus 5 is a little warmer than 6500k, the D65 standard. If you are accustomed to D65 standard, we do not regard this could be a problem. However, we consider 6500 to 6900K would be a better choice for smartphones. OnePlus 5 cannot adjust color temperature in sRGB and DCI-P3 mode, so the luminance error and color accuracy could be improved. In sRGB mode, OnePlus covers a smaller range than stand sRGB color gamut, and losses redness dynamic, which makes it looks a little organish. We thought this problem is make by AMOLED display, but the same thing happened in Sony Xperia XZ Premium.

The greatest shortage of OnePlus 5 in our daily use is the viewing angle. Except the AMOLED's vivid colors, it shows a little blue-greenish when using, while the R11 is quite better in viewing. When we use polaroid sunglasses, this would not be appeared. This shortage lowers product positioning, worsens then OLED viewing angle. As OnePlus flagship, it should not cost down on this kind of details. OnePlus 5 has a little brighter display than the previous generation, which makes no difference in outdoor using. The DCI-P3 mode is just an available option for Android now, an Apple, Samsung or Microsoft level sRGB mode would be better. We still courage the pursuing for technology.

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