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Screen brightness comparison – Nokia N9 vs Samsung Galaxy S2

Nothing fancy. 1 photo comparison. My friend also agreed N9’s display is visible brighter than his SGS2.
Not the easiest test to show with a photo instead of you seeing “live” but this is the only way to show it.
Anyways, the conclusion here is that N9 does have a nice AMOLED with very high brightness. (good for day time / direct sunlight)

SGS2
– Have disabled auto brightness and set it to maximum brightness. Ensured that it doesn’t auto-dim after the timed backlight period. (made sure default web browser was also set to max brightness)

N9
– Have set brightness slider to maximum and also had to shine a torch at the light sensor for a brief moment to trigger the maximum brightness. (You cannot disable auto brightness on N9 currently and hence this maximum brightness is not really achievable indoors right now)

I also have the Nokia X7-00 which has one of the brightest AMOLED of all phones according to gsmarena test. Nokia N9’s display brightness is very similar to the X7. However, as you can sort of tell from the photo above, my N9 exhibits a slight pink tinge at maximum brightness. So this makes it look less much vibrant than the X7-00.Now if your N9 does not show such pink tinge at maximum brightness, let me know. (make sure you trigger that extra level of brightness by pointing something bright at the light sensor)

UPDATE: I have now one other person here in Oz with N9 64GB reporting to have the same pink tint as mine. So I guess this might be normal. However, this pink tinge is not really noticeable while in a bright environment. Only in the dark but you can’t even use that setting while in a dark / indoor environment anyways.

UPDATE2: The pink tint has now been explained by Konttori (Nokia dev) as being intentional. It is called over-saturation which actually makes the colors more visible during bright sunny outdoor situations. It was never really intended for indoor use and hence this maximum brightness is not even accessible manually via the brightness bar. So this isn’t actually an issue. Also, apparently the colors have been adjusted in PR1.1 to make it more consistent at all brightness levels except the maximum. N9 even at its second brightest setting (which is accessible manually via the brightness bar by setting to highest) keeps the color consistent and is still brighter than the maximum brightness of SGS2. So you can say that the over-saturation maximum brightness setting is just an extra bonus for bright outdoor use.

http://konttoristhoughts.blogspot.com/2011/10/n9-on-sale-in-finland-and-few-other.html?showComment=1319054036383#c8221305205709662183

 

18 thoughts on “Screen brightness comparison – Nokia N9 vs Samsung Galaxy S2”

  1. Could it be the polariser, or the way there’s no gap between the screen & the glass that’s causing the pink tinge?
    The X7 doesn’t have those two features right?

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

    1. CBD Polarizer or having no gap should nto have anything to do with it. In fact, SGS2 actually look like it has less gap (or no gap) compared to the N9.

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  2. Can you turn-it-up to a point where it’s still brighter than the SGSII, but no pink tinge?
    Or to get it to the point that it’s brighter, do you have to reach the pink tinge?

    Also, couldn’t it just be that the SGSII screen’s older, & that’s why it’s not as bright?
    They lose their brightness over time, AFAIK…

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

    1. Yes, you can still get it up to the point where it’s similar to the SGS2 without the pink tinge. But not brighter without it unfortunately. N9 requires a more granular brightness control than now that’s for sure. SGS2’s brightness range and control is superb. (you can make it amazingly dark also) AMOLED does lose brightness over time but not enough to be noticeable. Not within the first year anyways. (That SGS2 was purchased 2 months ago)

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  3. Thanks.

    Maybe the polariser or gap doesn’t have anything to do with it…
    I hope there’s a fix or if that’s not possible, a revised unit is eventually released :(

    It’s a shame it doesn’t have more granular control too, really a massive oversight.
    That may ensure it gets a smidge brighter than the SGSII, w/o hitting the pink tinge!

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    1. The pink tinge is the least of my problems. Actually, it’s not an issue at all in everday use. Not many people would have even noticed it if I didn’t mention it. But I would definitely want more granular and a wider range of brightness in addition to having the option to turn the damn ALS (automatic brightness) OFF! The fact that I can’t get the exact brightness I want all the time is just madness.

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    1. Thank you for pointing this out. I forgot that I used the default browser on the SGS2. (I actually thought I launched Opera Mobile on SGS2 and didn’t even think again about it.) I will re-test this and will update this as there is now a big chance that SGS2 might have not been at its brightest setting within the browser.

      UPDATE: I have just checked to ensure the brightness on the SGS2 is set to its maximum even in the default web browser. Also have tried Opera Mobile to ensure it wasn’t any different. But yes, the result is that the N9’s maximum brightness is still brighter. However, the N9’s maximum brightness is not easily achieved while indoors unless you shine a torch at the light sensor. (Automatic brightness can’t be disabled on the N9 annoyingly) So yeah, max brightness is brighter on N9, but when it isn’t at its maximum (1 level down from max), N9 still is just as bright as the max brightness of SGS2. (confirmed by my eye and my friend who owns the SGS2)

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  4. GSMArena did brighness measurements in their N9 review. N9 is clearly brighter and has better contrast than it’s competitors Galaxy S 2 and iPhone 4.

    N9:
    brightness at 50% = 349 cd/m^2
    brightness at 100% = 596 cd/m^2

    black level is always = 0 cd/m^2

    Galaxy S2:
    brightness at 50% = 231 cd/m^2
    brightness at 100% = 362 cd/m^2

    black level is always = 0 cd/m^2

    iPhone 4:
    brightness at 50% = 189 cd/m^2,
    black level = 0,14 cd/m^2

    brightness at 100% = 483 cd/m^2,
    black level = 0,39 cd/m^2

    Here are the actual brightness and black level measurements of N9 and several other phones in case someone is interested (go to the bottom of the page):

    http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_n9-review-659p2.php

    Thanks! Thumb up 1

  5. wow that sux! N9 has a pink tint! I hate it! But i hate th strong blue tint on SGS and SGS2 even more, thats really bad, visible in all photos and apps, its always there, always annoying, and its worse on normal brightness than on full.

    I was right again, i said it for more than a year, since i first saw a SGS: SLCD is still the best displays, best color reproduction, without doubt (HTC and Sony Ericsson)

    Thanks! Thumb up 0

    1. The pink tint has been explained by Konttori (Nokia dev) as being intentional. It is called over-saturation which actually makes the colors more visible during bright sunny outdoor situations. It was never really intended for indoor use and hence this maximum brightness is not even accessible manually via the brightness bar. So this isn’t actually an issue. Also, apparently the colors have been adjusted in PR1.1 to make it more consistent at all brightness levels except the maximum.

      Thanks! Thumb up 1

    2. FYI – N9 even at it’s second brightest setting (which is accessible manually via the brightness bar by setting to highest) keeps the color consistent and is still brighter than the maximum brightness of SGS2. So you can say that the over-saturation maximum brightness setting is just an extra bonus for bright outdoor use.

      Thanks! Thumb up 1

    3. Im not convinced Jay Kim, with AMOLEDs history so far theres good reasons to believe they cannot make it perfect and making up excuses. For example SGS and SGS2, surely Samsung dont WANT the strong blue tint, i hvae encountered samsung enthusisasts who dont hesitate to admit that HTC and SonyEriczn has better displays (SLCD has a very good color reproduction) than the SAMOLEDs, because this blue destroys the experience when viewing photos andso on, and once SGS/SGS2 owners become aware of it then the blue will bother them alot. Surely thats a defective display. So Samsung has a confirmed problem.

      Lets look at nokia then? Its only now in the last FW that N8 got rid of the purple in the black, that FW isnt even available yet except for a few countries. So as of today most of the N8 in the world are defective. iow, Nokia has a confirmed problem.

      These are defects you dont find on SLCD, and not on TFT. Der are ofcors a few bad TFT screens out there, Samsung Galaxy Tab is one of them, a tab owner i know who is a freelance pro photographer described his as “cartoon like colors”, and by comparing a photography he showed me the problem. And yes it looked very stupid. Such small things may not bother most ppl but it bothers me alot, becoz its so very obvious to me. My background in video editing has made my eyes very sensitive to defects, where other ppl dont even notice a dropped frame in a digital video playback, for me its like a small explosion in my eyes. Yes i even notice a 3:2 pulldown when watching movies, some ignorant ppl has even argued that its impossibl to notice a 3:2, but trust me its easy to see it. Well, im getting older now, my eyes have degraded a little so its not so bad now, in 10 more years i probably dont care ehehe.

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  6. Happy N9 owner, I would like to get your opinion on another annoying detail I noticed in the display : look carefully at white areas, especially the ones that are displayed on a black background (white characters on black background, or more obvious the borders of any white window). I can see a purple vertical line on the left hand side, and a greenish vertical line on the right side. This happens in full screen or even in the multitasking panel when windows are reduced. Anybody noticed the same ? any explanation for that ?

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  7. You just might be comparing a SGS2 with a bad display. I’ve been doing some research on the issue with some SGS2 displays being too dark and having too much contrast causing the darker shades appear as black. We currently have two SGS2 in our household – both with totally differently behaving screen. One is brilliant in every sense – the other dim and with way too much contrast.

    I’ve blogged about the issue at moubail.com:
    http://www.moubail.com/2011/10/more-quality-control-issues-with-samsung-galaxy-s2-display/
    and
    http://www.moubail.com/2011/11/samsung-galaxy-sii-display-issues-part-ii/

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