Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review: Display


Samsung Galaxy Note 8 smartphone features Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, 12MP dual-camera, IP68 water and dust resistant, Qi wireless charging supported, and starts from 6GB of RAM. As the latest Android flagship, especially in display, its display performance is widely concerned.

The Note 8 adopts Infinity Display, a near bezel-less, full-frontal glass, edge-to-edge screen, just like S8, except a larger 6.3-inch size, pushing the screen-to-body ratio at 83 percent. The new display panel resolution is 2960x1440, new technology gains peak brightness to more than 1200 nits, and lower dimmest brightness to 2 nits in night mode, as Samsung claims. Also, HDR is supported, for better 4K HDR display quality. In addition, Samsung improves the refraction problem on the edges.

Four screen modes, Adaptive display, AMOLED cinema, AMOLED photo, and Basic are provided, each corresponds NTSC, DCI-P3, Adobe RGB, and sRGB color gamut, just like Galaxy S8. The color temperature adjust is replaced by a more dedicate RGB adjust, and Screen Edge Color Balance was cancelled.

Display Mode Adaptive AMOLED Cinema AMOLED Photo Basic
Max Brightness 425 402 405 406
Grayscale (Gamma 2.2) 2.09 2.08 2.09 1.92
Average Color Temperature K 6925 6211 6242 6225
Average Luminance Error, Delta E 4.77 2.65 2.28 3.4
Comparision Galaxy Note 8 iPhone 8 Plus HTC U11 XZP sRGB Mode Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8+
Brightness cd/m2 406 545 358 396 399
Grayscale (Gamma 2.2) 1.92 2.21 2.17 2.22 2.27 2.29
Average Color Temperature K 6225 6974 6600 6669 6276 6324
Average Luminance Error 3.4 6.42 2.15 2.91 3.67 2.58
Display Mode Adaptive Mode AMOLED Cinema AMOLED Photo Basic
Color Gamut (sRGB) 144.49% 136.32% 125.22% 101.58%
Average Color Error 5.67 3.38 4 2
Max Color Error 8.87 6.53 6.76 4.27
Comparision Galaxy Note 8 iPhone 8 Plus sRGB HTC U11 XZP sRGB Mode Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8+
Color Gamut(sRGB) 101.58 102.77% 131.77% 95.55% 96.2% 98.99%
Average Color Error 2 3.64 3 2.14 3.43 3.01
Largest Color Error 4.27 8.1 4.95 3.69 6.66 5.05
  • 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.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8's auto peak brightness in our office is about 500cd/m2, which is excellent for AMOLED display screens, however, the peak brightness of the Note 8 can be only showed in strong lights, so this brightness can be just a reference. Note 8 is better than S8 in color and luminance accuracy, but the color temperature is still lower than the D65 6500K standard, brings slightly warm colors. Luminance contrast of Note 8 is relatively lower than S8, while the color dynamic in Basic mode is better. In addition, Note 8's colors look better than the S8 in AMOLED Photo mode, we suggest that S8 occurred a bug.

Note 8 covers 102% NTSC, 100% DCI-P3, 98% AdobeRGB, and 101% sRGB in Adaptive display, AMOLED cinema, AMOLED photo, and Basic modes, making it a reference for photos and colors. The future of smartphone displays is higher peak brightness, wider viewing angle, larger color space, and HDR supporting. Note 8 also improves viewing angles and glass transparency rather than just color indicators. S8 is good enough in outdoor using, while Note 8 is even brighter when flying drones or taking photos in sunlight. The edge color shifting problem is also improved, but still not solved, you can still see slightly blue and green shifting on the edges. Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the latest Samsung flagship, as expected, its display screen is one of the top among smartphones. In the end, let's talk something more about the Spen. We tried to use Spen in adjusting brightness, however, it is not accurate enough, not to say to be compared with Surface Pen or Apple Pencil, so the Spen is better for shorthand or handwriting input.

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