Analysis of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 Screen’s Color Gamut

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 Gamut vs sRGB

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.

iPad2 gamut over iPad3 gamut

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.

sRGB gamut over iPad3 gamut

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.

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012.   Website: CDTobie.com   Return to Blog’s Main Page

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4 responses to “Analysis of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 Screen’s Color Gamut

  1. Thanks for this. I really do wish laptop/tablet/portable manufacturers would pay more attention to screen quality. Apple has done reasonably well, and even pretty good with the 3rd gen iPad, but better gammut (and more resolution from more manufacturers than just Apple) would be greatly appreciated.

  2. This is a great article. I’ve been searching for information about color accuracy for android devices and haven’t been able to find anyone else posting color reproduction charts. It is sad that color accuracy isn’t given much importance from most of these companies.

    I’m looking to purchase a new android phone or tablet to replace my outdated HTC desire which no longer has enough memory to install the apps I want. I’ve been thinking of using this new replacement as a photo or project portfolio but all the devices I’ve seen in the shops have horrible tints of blue or yellow without a way to calibrate the screens. Samsung’s AMOLED screens are incredibly yellow. The new HTC phones do not have removable batteries, which means I can’t use them because I use the GPS for navigation during hiking and need to be able to replace the battery over 5-8 days of use.

    The same goes for laptops. There are not many that reproduce colors in an affordable and compact form factor. The Sony Vaio SE15 which I use at the moment comes close with it’s full speed mobile processor, 12GB max RAM, 15″ 1080 IPS screen, and DVD burner weighing 2kg, but it is only 73% RGB and is unable to actually display red, and shows it as orange instead. Sony ignored all the user complaints about the color problem and decided to use the same screen on the new SVS15.

    I’ve been considering switching to an Asus Zenbook UX32VD (1.4kg) which was recently reviewed by notebookcheck.com and was measured at almost 100% sRGB. It has a 1080 13″ IPS screen, but it only goes up to 10gb RAM and has a ULV i7 processor.

    I will not buy an Apple laptop, but I may consider a 7″ iPad if it can be affordable. I will also be looking forward to your review of the Nexus 7 and Microsoft Surface.

    It is a bit difficult finding tools that fit my needs since I am technically homeless and carry everything on my back or bicycle. I need tools which are designed efficiently and practically for mobility while still allowing me to perform graphics and photography work accurately and quickly.

    • AMOLED screens have a huge gamut, but (ironically) tend to have terrible color, poor neutrality, and inaccurate gamma. As we add color management features to SpyderGallery, we should be able to better control that. It will be interesting to see that move forward…

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