With the recent release of DisplayMate Multimedia Edition for Mobile Displays, a battery of tests to measure the quality of portable screens--and apparently because I'm a glutton for punishment--I thought now would be the perfect time to bring five popular smartphones back to CNET Labs for a down-and-dirty comparison of their screen performance.
The five phones I chose to put through the ringer (ahem) are the Samsung Behold II, the Motorola Droid, the Apple iPhone 3GS, the HTC Nexus One by Google, and the Palm Pre Plus. These five were chosen because of their relative popularity and similar feature sets.
We used three different types of tests to evaluate each phone:
Scientific measurements: We used the Konica Minolta CS-200 ChromaMeter to test the maximum brightness, black level, and contrast ratio of each phone and reported numbers for each of these three tests.
Test pattern screens: We used several DisplayMate Mobile test patterns to test for color-tracking errors, 24-bit color, and font legibility, among others.
Real-world: Finally, we conducted real-world anecdotal testing using 3D games, photos, and a little tool I like to call "the Sun" to test the diffuse reflectance of each display.
All test screens were viewed within each phone's native gallery application. Some phones may handle pictures differently--and even improve them to some extent--outside the application. That said, we believe that testing within the respective gallery applications is still a viable test as this is where most users will view pictures on their phones.
In order to diminish potential repetition, I'll dive right into the details of how each phone performed; if you'd like to know more about our tests, you can binge off nerdy details in our "How we tested" section at the bottom of this article. Please note that this is an evaluation of each phone's screen performance and nothing else. Check out the full reviews of these phones to determine which is right for you. Also, DisplayMate recently conducted a more technically focused evaluation of the iPhone 3GS' and the Nexus One's screens that I recommend you take a look at.
The bottom line… Read more