It is easy to mistake Samsung's new Galaxy Note 7 for a stretched-out Galaxy S7 edge with an S Pen at the bottom. After all, the two flagships have quite a few things in common, like the waterproofing, processors and cameras. Even the display resolution is the same.
The display, however, is not. On top of being bigger, it is also better. In fact, DisplayMate now says that the Galaxy Note7 has the best display in the business. It just goes to prove that you cannot judge a smartphone by its specs.
"The Galaxy Note7 is the most innovative and high performance smartphone display that we have ever tested. It leapfrogs the displays on the Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy S7 to become the best performing smartphone display ever", says DisplayMate. It "matches or breaks new smartphone display performance records. [..] Almost every display lab test and measurement shows some improvements compared to the Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy S7".
For example, it has the highest peak brightness (1,048 nits) and contrast ratio, but also the lowest screen reflectance and brightness variation with viewing angle. At the same time, it also benefits from some neat new features, like a blue light filter, which makes the display easier on the eyes in low light, an extra ambient light sensor, to more precisely determine how high the brightness should be, and HDR mode for videos.
In practice, the Galaxy Note7 delivers "images that look perfectly sharp [...] under all normal viewing conditions", which leaves DisplayMate to believe that it might be pointless to try to offer a higher resolution or pixel density than 1,440 by 2,560 or 518 pixels per inch, respectively.
DisplayMate believes that it is time for vendors to stop focusing on specs and "instead dedicate their efforts and resources into improving real world display performance in ambient light by using advanced technology to restore and compensate for the loss of color gamut, color saturation, and image contrast, something that every consumer will benefit from, and will also immediately notice and appreciate".
And it is true. Vendors make a lot of compromises in order to keep up with the Joneses -- or best them -- on paper. They try to woo consumers with how large the screen is or how high its resolution is, but forget that it is the quality of the panel that users will actually notice in real life.