Over the past few months, we’ve had something of an arms race over smartphone display brightness. This was kicked off by Apple, which announced with some pride that the iPhone 15 can hit 2,000 nits of brightness. Not to be outdone, Google promptly announced that the Pixel 8 Pro would reach 2,400 nits.
Now OnePlus has blown this out of the water with its newly announced OnePlus 12. The Chinese company says its phone will reach an eye-searing 4,500 nits of peak brightness, though it remains to be seen what its usual ‘sitting’ level is in everyday conditions.
So how does this screen spec compare to Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S24 Ultra? Based on current rumors, this is how things are shaping up.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs OnePlus 12 screen specs
|Row 0 - Cell 0
|Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (rumored)
|Size and type
|Up to 4,500 nits
|Up to 2,500 nits
|1,440 x 3,168
|1,440 x 3,120
|Pixels per inch
As you can see, in terms of brightness, it really does seem like no contest if the rumors are correct. While the S24 Ultra is rumored to be brighter than the Google Pixel 8 Pro and iPhone 15, it looks set to be some 2,000 nits behind OnePlus’ latest phone.
But in every other respect, there’s very little to separate the two apart. Both are similarly sized, with close resolutions and 120Hz refresh rates. Aside from this, the Samsung Galaxy S range is known for having excellent displays, so there’s every chance that it may perform better beyond the specs as written on paper.
Suffice it to say, screen brightness isn’t the be-all and end-all. Granted, it’s handy on bright sunshiney days to comfortably see the contents of your screen, but there’s a reason that Apple, Google and even Samsung back in January were trumpeting clearing 2,000 nits of brightness on OLED: it’s plenty bright enough. Indeed, handsets that support this brightness don’t tend to reach those heights unless conditions make it absolutely necessary anyway, because it hurts battery life.
Perhaps the OnePlus 12 will change our minds on this point when we get a review unit. Currently, however, it’s just available in China, with an announcement about worldwide availability due next week.
With the Samsung Galaxy S24 series reportedly set to be unveiled on January 17, there’s a good chance that the two could end up launching at similar times, going head to head in the battle of the best Android phones of 2024. Watch this space.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.