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The Samsung OLED display in the iPhone X is better than Samsung’s own Note 8 display

Published Nov 2nd, 2017 1:51PM EDT
iPhone X vs. Note 8 vs. Pixel 2 XL
Image: Apple Inc.

While Apple is often ahead of the curve when it comes to certain aspects of its product lineup, there are other areas where it lags behind. One of those was bringing OLED displays to the iPhone, as nearly every other phone maker on the planet has already moved on from LCD. But with the iPhone X, Apple is finally catching up with the competition and upgrading the screen. So how does it stack up against the other top displays on the market?

In order to find out, Tom’s Guide compared the iPhone X with two of the other most popular OLED-equipped flagships of 2017: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 and Google’s Pixel 2 XL. The results might surprise you (but probably won’t).

First, the publication tested the brightness of the three phones. Measuring with a light meter, the Pixel 2 XL was able to reach 438 nits while the Galaxy Note 8 only managed 408 nits. The iPhone X, on the other hand, recorded 574 nits, blowing away the competition. As Tom’s Guide explains, brightness is “especially important on OLED panels, which are typically much dimmer than their LCD counterparts due to the lack of a backlight.”

In terms of color accuracy and saturation, the strengths of weaknesses of the three phones were more nuanced, but once again, Tom’s Guide preferred the image on the iPhone X, which they say “struck a balance” between the other two phones. The Note 8 was oversatured and unrealistic while the Pixel 2 XL tried too hard for realism.

In fact, the iPhone X won out in virtually every category, including white balance and viewing angles. Although the iPhone X is subject to the same blue tint that affects all OLED displays when viewed at an angle, it’s less noticeable than on other phones. The only area where the iPhone X display seems to fall short is pixel density. With just 438 pixels per inch (ppi), the iPhone X isn’t quite as sharp as the Note 8 (521 ppi) or the Pixel 2 XL (538 ppi).

Still, despite this shortcoming, the iPhone X display appears to be one of the best, if not the best, OLED smartphone display on the market. You can see the detailed results of the display comparison over at Tom’s Guide.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.