The Galaxy S8 uses an active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, or AMOLED display, similar to those use in past Samsung flagship phones. This is the most advanced version to date featuring the ability to accurately display a deep color gamut, super bright whites, and inky dark blacks. There is no LCD screen on any other device that can compare to the awesomeness of the superior technology that Samsung’s OLED brings to the table. The closest I’ve seen from an LCD display is the Super LCD screen used in the HTC 10, however, this screen was supplied to HTC from Samsung. OLED simply looks better in every measureable way, and is more energy efficient as well.
This isn’t to say that the S8 is calibrated correctly out of the box. By default it is too blue. There are many reasons why this isn’t a good thing, but there are ways to get the calibration more accurate. The quick and easy way is to simply turn on Photo mode. To do this, go to the Settings menu, choose, Display, Screen Mode, then simply click on “AMOLED Photo. This is really very good, and for most purposes, you could just leave it on this setting and stop reading now.
However, in the S8’s default mode, the screen is in “Adaptive display”, which allows it to not only dynamically change brightness when needed, but also change contrast. In this mode, you will almost always be able to comfortably read your phone even in the harshest sunlight; it will just be really inaccurate and blue. The AMOLED photo mode doesn’t seem to be using the adaptive display capabilities.
Samsung has provided a solution; you can tweak the color balance to your liking. I’m sharing the settings that I am using, but please note that I did not come by these by accurately measuring anything with a colorimeter; this was all just from eye-balling it, but to me, it looks about as good as the “AMOLED photo” mode, while still allowing for the screen to dynamically change as needed.
First, open settings, go to Display, then Screen Mode. Choose “Adaptive display” if not already selected. Scroll down to “Full screen color balance”, slide the control all the wat to the right to “Warm”. Select “Advanced options”, then scroll down a bit more. This is where it gets in to my best estimation. There is likely a better calibration, but this is a good starting point. Slide “Red” all the way to the right. Slide “Green” about 75% to the right. Finally, slide “Blue” to about the 20%, so that it is mostly near the left side. That’s pretty much it. You really can stop there…
Unless you want to tweak it further.
You see, the S8 has a screen that curves on the left and right side. The curved glass acts as a magnifying glass that slightly distorts the color a little bit. I can’t get it perfect, but I did get it better. At the very bottom of the “Screen mode” menu, you will find the heading, “Screen edge color balance”. Beneath it is a paragraph explaining what it does. Click on the paragraph. Now, slide the control all the way to the left to where it is marked “Cool”. Press the button labeled, “Apply”. The phone will start some calculations, then need to reboot once or twice. The entire process can take up to ten minutes. Don’t interfere with it. Just let it do its thing.
Once it reboots, your screen should be pretty color neutral, and still be able to keep up with harsh sunlight.
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