Deciding between S6 and S7 and thoughts about LCD/AMOLED screen

skaertus

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I currently have a 9.7-inch iPad Pro which I bought in 2016 and I am looking for a new tablet. My main use will be reading PDFs, watching media, and navigating the Internet. Not intended to be a laptop replacement.

My choices were narrowed down to the S6 and S7. The S7+ sounds incredible, but it is not yet available for sale here in Brazil. It is supposed to become available in mid-November, for an initial price of $1,600. The prices of the S6 ($700) and the S7 ($850) are already steep, so I think I will end up settling with one of these, especially considering that I will not edit photos or videos.

The S7 is a superior tablet in nearly every way: a faster processor, more memory, more storage, a larger screen, 120 Hz screen. However, it has an LCD screen instead of AMOLED, which is featured on the S6. However, the S7 screen looks like one of great quality (and much better than the one in the S6 Lite, for instance). The first time I had seen the S7, I had not even notice that it had an LCD screen, as I thought it was great. I only learned it had an LCD screen when I saw it on the Internet.

I tended to turn my nose up at LCD screens, as I thought they were inferior to AMOLED. When I first looked at the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR side-by-side, for instance, I could instantly see the difference. The OLED screen of the iPhone XS looked more vivid and lifelike, with better contrast than the one in the XR. This resulted in turning me away from the iPhone XR and the iPhone 11. However, the screen in the S7 had given me so much of a good impression that left me intrigued, and I had to check for myself.

So, I went to a Samsung store and compared the S6 and the S7, both at maximum brightness, side-by-side for some time. The sellers told me the S7 had an AMOLED display and kept telling me that the screen was better than in the S6 (this was the training that Samsung provided that, as they told me). They were not aware that the S7 had an LCD display until I showed them the specs on the Samsung website (and, to be honest, I had to check in person to see if Samsung's specs were, in fact, correct, or if they were wrongly announcing the S7 as having an LCD screen).

I put the same websites, pictures, and videos on both screens at the same time, so I could compare them both. I have some impressions which I would like to share after looking at both screens. I would also like to check if you have a different view or impressions, as my examination may have been influenced by the units, by calibration, or by the fact that I was standing in a store with no optimal light. Here I go:

  • Both screens had great quality. I was surprised by the quality of the LCD screen of the S7, which was strikingly similar to the AMOLED in the S6. I had to look in more detail to see the differences between them, which were not obvious if I did not put them side-by-side. In the end, it became clear that they use different technologies.
  • The screen in the S7 feels significantly larger in my hands, although the difference is only 0.5-inch.
  • Scrolling was smooth in the S6 (much more than in Samsung's lower-end devices), and, although the 120 Hz screen of the S7 was even smoother, that was a much closer call than I would imagine.
  • On paper, the screen in the S7 is brighter than the one in the S6, but the brightness looked very similar in real life.
  • Blacks looked very good on both devices. To my surprise, and despite the fact that I looked carefully at the two devices, I could not notice much difference between black levels in the S6 and the S7. It was not the black color that revealed the LCD screen of the S6.
  • Yellow was much more vivid in the S6 than in the S7. It was a saturated yellow, but very pleasing to look at. This was one of the most remarkable differences.
  • Red seemed to be better and more accurate in the S7. In the S6, red had a yellowish tone that made it look somewhat orange instead.
  • White seemed to be warmer in the S7, and colder (even blueish) in the S6 (and a white screen was the only hint that the S7 might be actually brighter than the S6, which was somewhat compensated by the colder tone).
  • I did not notice much difference in the other colors, such as green and blue.
  • Contrast was very good in both devices and the difference was nearly unnoticeable. After looking carefully, the S6 seemed to have a little more contrast, but I could not identify the source of my impression (perhaps the yellow color being more vivid).

Please let me know your thoughts and if you have a different impression. At first, I tended to be biased towards the AMOLED screen, but the LCD in the S7 looks so good that it may not even make a difference after all. I would much appreciate some unbiased opinions, as I am trying to decide between these two devices.
 

srgonu

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I own S7+ but from the reviews and my impression at best buy S7 has good comparable display. To me, S7 display is a good as any iPad pro display and with so many pros compared to S6, S7 is definitely a better buy.
 

Mooncatt

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All things being equal, and even with many things in favor of AMOLED, I will still pick an lcd screen if given the option. The main reason is no risk of screen burn in. It's that big of an issue for me.
 

skaertus

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I own S7+ but from the reviews and my impression at best buy S7 has good comparable display. To me, S7 display is a good as any iPad pro display and with so many pros compared to S6, S7 is definitely a better buy.

Thank you. This is helpful. It seems like it may be worth more than an S6. And definitely, it is worth more than paying the hefty premium Apple is charging for the iPad here in Brazil.
 

skaertus

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All things being equal, and even with many things in favor of AMOLED, I will still pick an lcd screen if given the option. The main reason is no risk of screen burn in. It's that big of an issue for me.

Thanks. Is that great the risk of burn-in? If I use the tablet for reading, which I suppose would use lots of white, would there be a chance of increasing the risk of burn-in?
 

skaertus

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I own S7+ but from the reviews and my impression at best buy S7 has good comparable display. To me, S7 display is a good as any iPad pro display and with so many pros compared to S6, S7 is definitely a better buy.

Thanks, this is helpful. I suppose it may be worth more than the S6 then.
 

Mooncatt

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Thanks. Is that great the risk of burn-in? If I use the tablet for reading, which I suppose would use lots of white, would there be a chance of increasing the risk of burn-in?
I'm on my first AMOLED phone, which I got last Spring. So far so good, but it's annoying taking all the extra steps to prevent burn in. My wife has used Samsung phones for the past 10 years or so and all of them have got burn in. The most notable places was a shadow of the keyboard.

If you primarily use it to read, your risk of burn in may be lower due to a mostly white seen, but the trade-off is the entire display will dim quicker over time. AMOLED pixels dim over time as they wear out, which is what causes burn in. In a case like yours, the burn in may be uniform so it's not really noticeable, but means the maximum brightness goes down.
 
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Evilguppy

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I am 100% ignorant in everything tech related, but:
I have the Note 20 ultra and the galaxy S7 5g tablet and I find both a lot more fun than my old Apple getup.
The display is fine, I have no complaints.
Go for it ??????
 

skaertus

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I'm on my first AMOLED phone, which I got last Spring. So far so good, but it's annoying taking all the extra steps to prevent burn in. My wife has used damaging phones for the past 10 years or so and all of them have got burn in. The most notable places was a shadow of the keyboard.

If you primarily use it to read, your risk of burn in may be lower due to a mostly white seen, but the trade-off is the entire display will dim quicker over time. AMOLED pixels dim over time as they wear out, which is what causes burn in. In a case like yours, the burn in may be uniform so it's not really noticeable, but means the maximum brightness goes down.

Well, I've got a few devices with OLED/AMOLED displays. A Samsung Galaxy S4, a Galaxy S8, a Galaxy M30, an iPhone X, an ASUS ROG Phone II, and finally a Galaxy S20 Plus, which is my current smartphone. I never noticed any problem with burn-in, but that does not mean it cannot happen, especially with a larger device.
 

skaertus

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I am 100% ignorant in everything tech related, but:
I have the Note 20 ultra and the galaxy S7 5g tablet and I find both a lot more fun than my old Apple getup.
The display is fine, I have no complaints.
Go for it ������

Thanks! You do not notice that the display in the Note 20 is superior to the one in the S7 tablet, I suppose?
 

Mooncatt

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Well, I've got a few devices with OLED/AMOLED displays. A Samsung Galaxy S4, a Galaxy S8, a Galaxy M30, an iPhone X, an ASUS ROG Phone II, and finally a Galaxy S20 Plus, which is my current smartphone. I never noticed any problem with burn-in, but that does not mean it cannot happen, especially with a larger device.

I should clarify, because I just noticed a typo in my last reply (dang autocorrect). It originally said my wife had damaging phones, when it should have said Samsung phones. Mostly Notes and currently on the N9, but also had the S7 Edge.
 

srgonu

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All things being equal, and even with many things in favor of AMOLED, I will still pick an lcd screen if given the option. The main reason is no risk of screen burn in. It's that big of an issue for me.

Risk of burn-in is not an issue anymore or percentage is very less now as tech matures. We have all major OEMs favoring AMOLED including phones, tablets and TVs. If it is still an major issue, adoption rate will be very low. I had note 8 for 2 years, LG AMOLED TV since 2017, note 10+ and now Tab S7+. Didn't see burn-in, may be am lucky !!!
 

Mooncatt

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Risk of burn-in is not an issue anymore or percentage is very less now as tech matures. We have all major OEMs favoring AMOLED including phones, tablets and TVs. If it is still an major issue, adoption rate will be very low. I had note 8 for 2 years, LG AMOLED TV since 2017, note 10+ and now Tab S7+. Didn't see burn-in, may be am lucky !!!

Not only have I seen it repeatedly, we still get threads about it now and then here. Especially from people that use GPS on their phones all the time (stands alone GPS units don't use AMOLED for this reason). The risk may be lower, but it's still there. With LCD, the risk is zero. So to say it's no longer an issue is incorrect.

Tv's are a different story. Images are not static on them, so burn in isn't an issue.
 

srgonu

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Agree with you that it is not completely safe from burn-in. I meant to say it is matured enough that we don't have to consider it as a reason not to buy phone/tablet with AMOLED display.
 

mustang7757

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Not only have I seen it repeatedly, we still get threads about it now and then here. Especially from people that use GPS on their phones all the time (stands alone GPS units don't use AMOLED for this reason). The risk may be lower, but it's still there. With LCD, the risk is zero. So to say it's no longer an issue is incorrect.

Tv's are a different story. Images are not static on them, so burn in isn't an issue.
I agree using as a GPS for hours can do this , it's better to listen voice by direction, even though through all my Samsung and other devices with Amoled displays I never expirence burn in , maybe Color tint just not burn in , it can happen no question if not careful.
 

Mooncatt

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I agree using as a GPS for hours can do this , it's better to listen voice by direction, even though through all my Samsung and other devices with Amoled displays I never expirence burn in , maybe Color tint just not burn in , it can happen no question if not careful.
Well apparently I jinxed myself, because I just noticed the beginnings of burn in on my V60 after only about 6 months of use. I'm pretty sure you know me to be careful when it comes to preserving phones, so not like I've abused it.
 

mustang7757

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Well apparently I jinxed myself, because I just noticed the beginnings of burn in on my V60 after only about 6 months of use. I'm pretty sure you know me to be careful when it comes to preserving phones, so not like I've abused it.
No way :(
 

Mooncatt

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I fully expected it when I bought the phone. The only reason I have it is because my V20 was getting worn out after 4 years and this has the least amount of feature loses. I really hate the direction phones are going these days, but that's another topic for another day.
 

mustang7757

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I fully expected it when I bought the phone. The only reason I have it is because my V20 was getting worn out after 4 years and this has the least amount of feature loses. I really hate the direction phones are going these days, but that's another topic for another day.
I can't complain, never expirenced it on my sansung, apple,google,Google, one us phones.