I have the S10 and thinking of sending it back. The main reason is the display.
I'm really surprised at this. Every review I read has said this is the best display in a smartphone ever, its brightness stats (nits) are off the scale compared to other phones and its own awards for colour accuracy.
First of all, what Inam comparing to: I am coming from a HTC u11. Before that a OnePlus 3 and before that a OnePlus one. This is my first Samsung phone in recent years. I was expecting to be blown away. I'm not.
- In full brightness it's just "ok". Screen needs to be at absolute max to be crisp in normal daylight (ie cloudy day) and in bright sunlight is not very visible.
Side by side - my HTC u11 LCD screen is brighter, very slightly.
- The colours on the screen are horrible. Its impossible to make white look white. Natural mode is far too dull and like looking through a separate filter. Vivid mode makes everything look like a nuclear wasteland. I've spent ages messing around with the settings. There is no good setting. Greys have a green tinge, screen looks funny colours at different angles etc etc.
Again, side by side my HTC u11 has much more natural looking colours.
Taking photos with this thing is just not nice because there is no way to make your screen look like what you are seeing in real life, or what it will look like on another screen.
- There seems to some sort of uneveness. For example when looking at black text in white background the left hand side of the screen s sharp black, whereas it seems slightly lighter towards the right hand side of the screen. Not hugely, just enough to notice and be off putting.
I just cannot understand how none of the reviews have called this out. I am actually wondering whether the uk/EU variant got a dodgy batch of screens as well as the second rate processor.
Is it just me?
The thing for me is that this phone apparently won awards from displaymate for colour accuracy.
There is no way my phone has accurate colours.
On natural mode, it's like a sepia filter over the screen. On vivid mode, it's not just oversaturated, the colours themselves are off. Like a greenish tinge and anything green in photos is ridiculously bright. I have played with the various settings, including the ones in accessibility menu, and I've got it to the best I can but it's not good. I
The colours are just different to any other screen - other phones, PC monitor, tv, iPad. Grass will look grass green... on this phone it either looks far too faded and "warm" (yellowybrown tinge) in natural mode, or ridiculously oversaturated in vivid mode (even with the g balance all the way to left). Blue colours are not vivid enough, although bizarrely the screen suddenly looks very blue in the dark. Red has the same problem as green - it's either faded and slightly orange in natural mode or pushed towards a bright neon purple/pink in vivid.
Typing this standing outside at the train station in uk at 8 am. The sky is clear but I'm in the shade and no direct sunlight. Screen brightness is on max and it's just about ok. I went to turn it up assuming it had more to give but not. How is it less bright than my old phone when it is apparently measured at over 1000 nits vs the circa 400 htc u11?
I have now been using an S10 since september 2019 and have, just like you, previously owned an HTC U11 since it appeared in 2017 or so.
When I got my S10, I knew what i was getting into. AMOLED: black is black (due to no backlighting), contrast is high, too much brightness can off put the colour accuracy, long usage of the screen might burn the pixels.
Samsung displays are also known for having slightly off colours to make them more vibrant. I believe it's a marketing thing.
So for the past week I've been booting up the old U11 and here's what I found by doing basic tests like videos, photos and interface aesthetics comparisons; the camera is software corrected, especially on the Htc and they are 2 generations apart so I didn't bother with that (I believe samsung's is better but the colour do seem somewhat better in the htc because of their ''Dual-pixel'' trickery).
In maximum Brightness and both in vivid mode the contrast between the colours is really showing in the S10 and the brightness is there. With no doubt I can say that the S10 has more powerful lighting.
Honestly the images on the samsung are following the ''TV display'' philosophy by making the saturation a bit higher and the colours popping more for that Wow effect.
I like watching football matches on the S10 for the high contrast although it feels sometimes too much of a ''football match display'', colors don't pop anymore and fade out. And the normal mode is completly hopeless. But when I watched some other content I went back and forth a lot. Some flowers and vivid pictures look better on the samsung but many other times I prefered the natural look on the Htc. It felt warmer, not because it had a red hue, just the accuracy and true to the nature made it more beautiful. The borders on the Htc are a problem, they look shadowed because of the LCD tech. On the other hand I observed the pixel burning on the s10 and that greenish hue. It isn't observable after long usage because my eyes adjust to the hue but it is there nontheless.
Over all I got what I was expecting. Nothing really surprising. I've heard samsung dislays have had these problems before.
One thing I don't quite understand is the ppi resolution. Htc: 534 ppi (1440 x 2560) // s10: 550ppi (1440x3040).
But for the love of god the Htc is 10 times crispier at everything. The density is higher on the s10 so it's not the 18:9 aspect ratio which is the problem. The apps logos look well definied, the text lines look so much higher resolution and I don't know if it's the samsung Software, But in general I absolutely hate its interface skin on android (TouchWiz as they used to call it) I prefer the stock android experience.
I bielive the amoled display is the future and has many benefits compared to LCD screens, mostly because they have a simplier structure. For now I'll use my htc at home and my samsung at work. My next phone won't be a samsung just so I can really test the other flagships as well. They are all really good at many aspects. These days there isn't much to point out except the different experiences we get from them.