The illustration above shows the color gamut of the seven inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, compared to sRGB. This gamut looks quite familiar to anyone who has analyzed the gamut of laptop computers and tablets over the last few years. It can best be described as “small and twisted.” This refers to the fact that the corners of its gamut triangle are not as far from the center of the triangle as the sRGB corners (called primaries), and as well as the fact that the corners are not aligned with the sRGB primaries. The result of this is that colors tend to be the wrong hue when viewed on such as device, and that colors on the device will be undersaturated as well.
Many laptops have similarly small and twisted gamuts. Apple MacBooks had such a gamut until the quite recently. And iPads had such a gamut as well, in the first and second generation iPads. However the iPad 3 moved to a gamut very close to sRGB; as did the Retina display MacBook Pro (see assorted articles on this blog describing these devices).
Gamuts don’t always increase over time: the most recent pre-Retina MacBooks had a gamut somewhat larger than sRGB; normalizing the Retina MBP gamut actually involved reducing the gamut. Similarly the gamut of the first Samsung Galaxy Tab was a bit larger than the gamut of the v2 device, though still sub-sRGB, and still twisted.
The illustration below shows the gamut of the iPad 1 or 2 (they contained the same screen and had the same gamut), which careful comparison will show to be a bit larger than the Galaxy Tab 2, as well as less twisted. But the iPad 3 screen is more interesting, being nearly a perfect sRGB gamut size.
There are multiple advantages to a gamut closely replicating sRGB. It means that even non-color managed applications will show sRGB images correctly, including most web images, where sRGB is the standard, and much video, where the color definitions are similar to sRGB. It also means that variation between various devices, such as your iPad 3, and your MacBook Pro, will be minimized as well.
So while Android tablets may be making progress in some areas, its clear that the color gamut of even the flagship devices is not yet up to the standards of the latest iPads. The next tablet of interest to measure will be the Google Nexus; and following that, the Microsoft Surface tablet. When these devices become available, I will attempt to publish articles covering them. The varying, sub-sRGB gamuts of Android tablets means that calibration of these devices will be required to produce consistent and accurate color on them. Datacolor plans to produce an Android version of SpyderGallery, which would help considerably with this issue.