The saying goes, “Great artists steal,” and the same principle applies to prominent phone manufacturers. In the world of top-tier smartphones, it’s common to find similar features, and when one manufacturer makes a significant leap forward in a particular aspect, competitors quickly follow suit with improvements to close the gap.
This brings us to the Samsung Galaxy S24, a flagship phone slated for release at least four months from now. Despite the wait, anticipation for Samsung’s next phone is growing, partly fueled by speculation on how the acclaimed maker of Android phones will respond to the recent wave of autumn phone releases, including Apple’s iPhone 15.
Apple’s latest iPhones have introduced impressive enhancements and new capabilities. Among these, one standout improvement can be found in the entry-level $799 model – the device’s 6.1-inch display. This screen is exceptionally bright, easily ranking among the brightest phone displays we’ve encountered. It’s a feature I hope Samsung will consider incorporating into the Galaxy S24.
Outshining the Competition
Before the iPhone 15, the maximum brightness of your iPhone’s screen depended on the specific model you purchased, with higher limits reserved for the more expensive Pro versions. However, with the iPhone 15, Apple standardized brightness across its entire lineup. The iPhone 15 boasted a peak brightness of 2,000 nits, matching the levels of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
This move was notable, considering Apple’s deliberate emphasis on distinguishing between the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. While Apple is content with different iPhone 15 models running on various chipsets, it has strived for uniformity in screen brightness throughout its product range.
In this endeavor, Apple followed in the footsteps of Samsung, as the Galaxy S23 also witnessed an increase in maximum brightness to align with the more premium models in the S23 lineup. (As the saying goes, “Great artists steal.”) The distinction lies in the fact that Samsung’s phones reach a theoretical maximum of 1,750 nits, whereas the iPhone 15 reaches 2,000 nits.
While real-world usage may not reach these peak values, the higher threshold gives Apple’s phones more headroom to shine. In our testing, the iPhone 15’s display reached 1,401 nits, while the iPhone 15 Pro peaked at 1,550. In comparison, the brightest point on the Galaxy S23 display measured 1,340 nits, with the entire panel topping out at 1,158.
To put these numbers into perspective, the Galaxy S23’s screen is undeniably bright, but the iPhone 15 manages to shine even brighter. This makes Apple’s device easier to use in direct sunlight.
A Bright Future?
The challenge for Samsung doesn’t end with the iPhone 15’s brighter display. At the time of writing, the Google Pixel 8 event is imminent, where Google’s latest phones will debut. One significant Pixel 8 rumor suggests that the new Google flagship phones will feature “Actua” displays, which are purportedly even brighter than the current Pixel models. According to the rumor, the Pixel 8 will reach a peak brightness of 2,000 nits, while the Pixel 8 Pro could hit an impressive 2,400 nits.
Last year, shortly after the iPhone and Pixel phone launches, I compared the displays of flagship phones from Apple, Google, and Samsung. At that time, Samsung’s top offering, the Galaxy S22, emerged victorious in the display showdown, largely due to its significantly higher brightness. This year, it’s likely that the Galaxy S23 won’t fare as well in that particular category.
However, this creates an opportunity for Samsung to make a strong impression with the brightness of the Galaxy S24’s screen. Hopefully, Samsung has been diligently working on this aspect, as it’s evident that both Apple and Google prioritize the visibility of their phones in direct sunlight.