Watch out, iPhone 12 — Galaxy Note 20 Ultra officially has the best screen

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review display
(Image credit: Future)

We already knew that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was a fantastic phone, but now we have even more reason to love it. And the iPhone 12 has more reason to be nervous. And it’s all thanks to DxOMark.

DxOMark testing has become the industry standard for rating smartphone cameras, but now the company has branched out into displays as well. Testing is already complete, and it turns out the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has the best phone display right now.

To be clear, DxOMark has not yet tested the iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro, but the Note 20 Ultra did edge out the iPhone 11 Pro. We'll have to see how Apple's new phones fare once they get evaluated.

Not satisfied with just benchmarking smartphone cameras, DxOMark has decided to help consumers decide which smartphone displays are best for their individual needs. According to the company, the basic display specs don’t tell you very much about how everything works in practice.

So DxOMark's testing aims to answer important questions about phone use, with over 400 measurements and 20 hours of perceptual evaluation that finishes off with six sub scores that rate a display on its various uses. So in addition to the overall score, you also get scores rating readability, color, video, motion, touch, and artifacts. It's all scored out of 100, and obviously the higher the score the better the performance in that area.

So far nine phones have been tested, and they rank as follows:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G (89) 
  2. OnePlus 8 Pro (88) 
  3. Samsung Galaxy S2 Ultra 5G (87) 
  4. iPhone 11 Pro Max (84) 
  5. TCL 10 Pro (83) 
  6. Oppo Find X2 Pro (76) 
  7. Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra (73) 
  8. Asus ROG Phone 3 (70) 
  9. Black Shark 3 Pro (61) 

Naturally, those positions will change as DxOMark rates more phones, and as newer devices become available. With the impending launch of the OnePlus 8T and iPhone 12 Pro Max, we may see some competition for the top spot.

DxOMark's camera-scoring upgrades

DxOMark is known for its camera testing, but to make sure it stays the go-to company for measuring camera performance it has to adapted with the times. So its camera scoring system is getting some updates to make sure it’s even more comprehensive. 80% of the testing plan has been changed, primarily to account for new camera technologies.

While the old camera testing was solely about pictures and videos, the 2020 update means DxOMark is now testing consistency, reliability, and various other bits of camera performance. These new criteria include zoom smoothness, HDR, accuracy of the preview and more.

Once again not all phones have been scored under the new test conditions, but the current 12 are:

  1.  Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra (133) 
  2. Huawei P40 Pro (132) 
  3. Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (128)
  4. Oppo Find X2 Pro (126) 
  5. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (126) 
  6. iPhone 11 Pro Max (124) 
  7. Galaxy Note 10+ 5G (116) 
  8. Pixel 4 (113) 
  9. Huawei P40 (112) 
  10. Oppo Find X2 Neo (105) 
  11. Sony Xperia 1 (87) 
  12. Samsung Galaxy A150 (76) 

Expect more phones to be tested in the near future, including the new releases, so those rankings are guaranteed to change pretty quickly.

You can read more about both new testing regiments, and the performance of the phones themselves, over on the DxOMark website

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.