DxOMark’s new best smartphone display rankings will surprise nobody

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Each time Samsung launches a new flagship, it claims the title for the best display on a smartphone. The clockwork continues with the Galaxy S21 Ultra from January, climbing to the top spot on DxoMark’s Display rankings.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Exynos variant has secured 91 points in the overall display test and has topped the test. It has overtaken the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra(Snapdragon) by the smallest of margin - one point. The third position is secured by the Note 20 Ultra Exynos variant and the OnePlus 8T (89) and Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (88) complete the top 5. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

In terms of improvement over the last generation, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has gained 4 points compared to the S20 Ultra (Exynos). Here is how DxOMark breaks down the score of 91. In terms of readability, the S21 Ultra scored 74 and tied with TCL 10 Pro. The device secured 82 in for colour which is  6 points behind the OnePlus 8 Pro (88). The Galaxy S21 Ultra got 90 in the video which is another high point of the device - one point behind the TCL 10 Pro and Note 20 Ultra(81). 

S21 Ultra Display

6.8" QHD+ AMOLED 2x screen 

1440 x 3200 pixels resolution

120Hz refresh rate

corning gorilla glass victus protection 

89.8% screen-to-body ratio

20:9 aspect ratio,  ~515 ppi

Furthermore, when it comes to motion, the Galaxy S21 Ultra scored 77, the category topped by Huawei P40 Pro at 87. Things fell when it came to the Touch where the Galaxy S21 Ultra could score only 55 which is almost 30 points drop from the OnePlus 8 Pro’s 83. DxoMark said the S21 Ultra is not accurate when pinch-zooming with fingers in the gallery app. However, they also mentioned the issue was not there while using the S Pen.

Lastly, in terms of Artifacts, the phone scored 78 - the segment is led by the OnePlus 8 Pro (84). The S21 Ultra comes with a centred punch-hole camera, so it can be disturbing during gaming and when looking at content in landscape mode. They also pointed out that the device has some issues with flickering. As for the ghost touches, the device handled it well in portrait mode, but it occurred frequently in landscape mode. There were also frame mismatches at 24fps often but no visible judder at 30fps or 60fps. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Overall, in terms of display quality in terms of colour, readability, video, and motion, the S21 Ultra performed well and struggled in terms of touch. It will come in handy for viewing content on the crisp screen while it might not be the best one for gamers out there. 

As for the positives, the device is best suitable for watching HDR10 videos, thanks to the crisp display high brightness level. The device is overall smooth and handles the frame drops pretty well. As for the negatives, the device is not accurate when zooming as it won’t register touch accurately and the colours are still a tad oversaturated. 

These findings corroborate with our Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review, where we praised its display for vibrancy, clarity and brightness, but suffered from palm-rejection on the sides. 

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Srivatsa Ramesh

Srivatsa is a prolific writer who spearheads the core writing team on tech news, buying guides, reviews, and all gadget articles. He is passionate about technology.