As the central piece of the smartphone, the screen is essential for any usage. But not all smartphone displays behave in the same way. Besides the typical technical specifications of size, resolution, and refresh rate, to bring a qualitative experience, the display must properly light up and adjust to different light conditions to ensure correct readability.  

Whether in the dark or in bright sunlight, it has to playback video without stuttering, and it has to show all nuances of colors, detect user’s touch and respond accordingly to the finger’s commands when browsing the web, typing a message or playing games. Specifications alone won’t be able to do all that. To help you understand which smartphone display is right for you, DXOMARK has built its Display protocol. Since 2020, DXOMARK’s Display experts have combined objective and perceptual testing to bring you an overview of the screen performance, evaluating the most common use cases.

To keep up with the latest technology trends and usages, DXOMARK regularly updates its protocols and continues to offer exhaustive and meaningful evaluations.  

Display Score Structure


hours of testing

for each smartphone 


measurement points
carried out on each test

Learn more about our Attributes


Readability 38%

We evaluate how easily and comfortably users can read their display under different situations and lighting conditions (from total darkness to bright sunlight) 


In readability, DXOMARK particularly tests (among others) 

    • Readability vs. ambient lighting: brightness and contrast are measured to verify that the device can be easily read in different lighting environments, from very dark to super bright light conditions 
    • Readability vs. light transitions evaluates the display behavior in a changing lighting environment (e.g. going out of the metro and moving to a very sunny street) 
    • Readability vs viewing angle evaluates the behavior of the device when multiple people are looking at a display, when the device is viewed off-axis 

Color 18%

We evaluate the faithfulness of the display rendering to what the user actually sees in real life, in various usage situations and lighting conditions (for still contents) 


In color, DXOMARK particularly tests (among others) 

    • White point vs. ambient lighting: evaluating the adaptation of a white point color to various lighting environment. A correct adaptation will improve the rendering of the viewed contents. 
    • Color fidelity vs. ambient lighting: measuring if colors are faithful and present all the nuances available in the tested pictures, within various lighting environments 
    • Color shift in angle: measuring if there is any shift in color when the device is looked at by multiple users 
    • Blue light filter impact: evaluating the filtering performance of the blue light and its color impact  

Video 16%

We evaluate the different display quality attributes specifically for SDR & HDR video content.


In Video, DXOMARK particularly tests: 

    • Brightness: evaluating if the video brightness adjusts itself well to the lighting conditions so that users can fully enjoy the contents whether they are in the dark or in indoor bright light conditions. 
    • Contrast: evaluating if the artistic intent is preserved and if local contrast and details are faithfully rendered 
    • Color: evaluating if color played in the videos match the original mastering 

Touch 10%

We evaluate the accuracy, smoothness, and responsiveness of the touchscreen.  


In Touch, DXOMARK particularly tests (among others) 

    • Smoothness: evaluates the fluidity of interaction with the touchscreen, making sure there is no jump 
    • Accuracy: evaluates if the touch is accurate when reaching a part of the screen and particularly the sides and corners 
    • Touch to display response time: evaluates how long it takes to the device to recognize the touch, process the action and display the result. This is particularly crucial for usages such as gaming.

Artifacts 10%

Artifacts qualify the flaws or problems impacting the user experience and falling outside of the other attribute categories.


In artifacts, DXOMARK particularly tests (among others) 

    • Reflectance: evaluates how much of the surrounding light is reflected by the device, therefore impacting the viewing experience 
    • Flicker: evaluates  the frequency of the quick oscillation of light happening at low brightness. This can induce unpleasant physiological responses in some users.  
    • Unintentional touch: evaluates if the device shows any unintentional touches on the side of the display 

Motion 8%

We evaluate the performance of a device when managing the image processing while watching videos or gaming.


In motion, DXOMARK particularly tests (among others): 

    • Frame drops & stutter 
    • Motion blur

What we also Test

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