Vena, a Canadian company focused on the Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software space, has raised $ 242 million in Series C funding from Vista Equity Partners.
As part of the financing, Vista Equity is taking a minority stake in the company. The round follows $ 25 million in financing from CIBC Innovation Banking last September, and brings Vena’s total raised since its 2011 inception to over $ 363 million.
Vena declined to provide any financial metrics or the valuation at which the new capital was raised, saying only that its “consistent growth and…strong customer retention and satisfaction metrics created real demand” as it considered raising its C round.
The company was originally founded as a B2B provider of planning, budgeting and forecasting software. Over time, it’s evolved into what it describes as a “fully cloud-native, corporate performance management platform” that aims to empower finance, operations and business leaders to “Plan to Grow” their businesses. Its customers hail from a variety of industries, including banking, SaaS, manufacturing, healthcare, insurance and higher education. Among its over 900 customers are the Kansas City Chiefs, Coca-Cola Consolidated, World Vision International and ELF Cosmetics.
Vena CEO Hunter Madeley told TechCrunch the latest raise is “mostly an acceleration story for Vena, rather than charting new paths.”
The company plans to use its new funds to build out and enable its go-to-market efforts as well as invest in its product development roadmap. It’s not really looking to enter new markets, considering it’s seeing what it describes as “tremendous demand” in the markets it currently serves directly and through its partner network.
“While we support customers across the globe, we’ll stay focused on growing our North American, U.K. and European business in the near term,” Madeley said.
Vena says it leverages the “flexibility and familiarity” of an Excel interface within its “secure” Complete Planning platform. That platform, it adds, brings people, processes and systems into a single source solution to help organizations automate and streamline finance-led processes, accelerate complex business processes and “connect the dots between departments and plan with the power of unified data.”
Early backers JMI Equity and Centana Growth Partners will remain active, partnering with Vista “to help support Vena’s continued momentum,” the company said. As part of the raise, Vista Equity Managing Director Kim Eaton and Marc Teillon, senior managing director and co-head of Vista’s Foundation Fund, will join the company’s board.
“The pandemic has emphasized the need for agile financial planning processes as companies respond to quickly-changing market conditions, and Vena is uniquely positioned to help businesses address the challenges required to scale their processes through this pandemic and beyond,” said Eaton in a written statement.
Vena currently has more than 450 employees across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., up from 393 last year at this time.
Facebook has removed 16,000 groups that were trading fake reviews on its platform after another intervention by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the regulator said today.
The CMA has been leaning on tech giants to prevent their platforms being used as thriving marketplaces for selling fake reviews since it began investigating the issue in 2018 — pressuring both eBay and Facebook to act against fake review sellers back in 2019.
The two companies pledged to do more to tackle the insidious trade last year, after coming under further pressure from the regulator — which found that Facebook-owned Instagram was also a thriving hub of fake review trades.
The latest intervention by the CMA looks considerably more substantial than last year’s action — when Facebook removed a mere 188 groups and disabled 24 user accounts. Although it’s not clear how many accounts the tech giant has banned and/or suspended this time it has removed orders of magnitude more groups. (We’ve asked.)
Facebook was contacted with questions but it did not answer what we asked directly, sending us this statement instead:
“We have engaged extensively with the CMA to address this issue. Fraudulent and deceptive activity is not allowed on our platforms, including offering or trading fake reviews. Our safety and security teams are continually working to help prevent these practices.”
Since the CMA has been raising the issue of fake review trading, Facebook has been repeatedly criticised for not doing enough to clean up its platforms, plural.
Today the regulator said the social media giant has made further changes to the systems it uses for “identifying, removing and preventing the trading of fake and/or misleading reviews on its platforms to ensure it is fulfilling its previous commitments”.
It’s not clear why it’s taken Facebook well over a year — and a number of high profile interventions — to dial up action against the trade in fake reviews. But the company suggested that the resources it has available to tackle the problem had been strained as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated impacts, such as home working. (Facebook’s full year revenue increased in 2020 but so too did its expenses.)
According to the CMA changes Facebook has made to its system for combating traders of fake reviews include:
- suspending or banning users who are repeatedly creating Facebook groups and Instagram profiles that promote, encourage or facilitate fake and misleading reviews
- introducing new automated processes that will improve the detection and removal of this content
- making it harder for people to use Facebook’s search tools to find fake and misleading review groups and profiles on Facebook and Instagram
- putting in place dedicated processes to make sure that these changes continue to work effectively and stop the problems from reappearing
Again it’s not clear why Facebook would not have already been suspending or banning repeat offenders — at least, not if it was actually taking good faith action to genuinely quash the problem, rather than seeing if it could get away with doing the bare minimum.
Commenting in a statement, Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, essentially makes that point, saying: “Facebook has a duty to do all it can to stop the trading of such content on its platforms. After we intervened again, the company made significant changes — but it is disappointing it has taken them over a year to fix these issues.”
“We will continue to keep a close eye on Facebook, including its Instagram business. Should we find it is failing to honour its commitments, we will not hesitate to take further action,” Coscelli added.
A quick search on Facebook’s platform for UK groups trading in fake reviews appears to return fewer obviously dubious results than when we’ve checked in on this problem in 2019 and 2020. Although the results that were returned included a number of private groups so it was not immediately possible to verify what content is being solicited from members.
We did also find a number of Facebook groups offering Amazon reviews intended for other European markets, such as France and Spain (and in one public group aimed at Amazon Spain we found someone offering a “fee” via PayPal for a review; see below screengrab) — suggesting Facebook isn’t applying the same level of attention to tackling fake reviews that are being traded by users in markets where it’s faced fewer regulatory pokes than it has in the UK.
It was easy to wonder what would become of Docker after it sold its enterprise business in 2019, but it regrouped last year as a cloud native container company focused on developers, and the new approach appears to be bearing fruit. Today, the company announced a $ 23 million Series B investment.
Tribe Capital led the round with participation from existing investors Benchmark and Insight Partners. Docker has now raised a total of $ 58 million including the $ 35 million investment it landed the same day it announced the deal with Mirantis .
To be sure, the company had a tempestuous 2019 when they changed CEOs twice, sold the enterprise division and looked to reestablish itself with a new strategy. While the pandemic made 2020 a trying time for everyone, Docker CEO Scott Johnston says that in spite of that, the strategy has begun to take shape.
“The results we think speak volumes. Not only was the strategy strong, but the execution of that strategy was strong as well,” Johnston told me. He indicated that the company added 1.7 million new developer registrations for the free version of the product for a total of more 7.3 million registered users on the community edition.
As with any open source project, the goal is to popularize the community project and turn a small percentage of those users into paying customers, but Docker’s problem prior to 2019 had been finding ways to do that. While he didn’t share specific numbers, Johnston indicated that annual recurring revenue (ARR) grew 170% last year, suggesting that they are beginning to convert more successfully.
Johnston says that’s because they have found a way to turn a certain class of developer in spite of a free version being available. “Yes, there’s a lot of upstream open source technologies, and there are users that want to hammer together their own solutions. But we are also seeing these eight-to-ten person ‘two pizza teams’ who want to focus on building applications, and so they’re willing to pay for a service,” he said.
That open source model tends to get the attention of investors because it comes with that built-in action at the top of the sales funnel. Tribe’s Arjun Sethi, whose firm led the investment, says his company actually was a Docker customer before investing in the company and sees a lot more growth potential.
“Tribe focuses on identifying N-of-1 companies — top-decile private tech firms that are exhibiting inflection points in their growth, with the potential to scale towards outsized outcomes with long-term venture capital. Docker fits squarely into this investment thesis[…],” Sethi said in a statement.
Johnston says as they look ahead to post-pandemic, he’s learned a lot since his team move out of the office last year. After surveying employees, they were surprised to learn that most have been happier working at home, having more time to spend with family, while taking away a grueling commute. As a result, he sees going virtual first, even after it’s safe to reopen offices.
That said, he is planning to offer a way to get teams together for in-person gatherings and a full company get-together once a year.
“We’ll be virtual first, but then with the savings of the real estate that we’re no longer paying for, we’re going to bring people together and make sure we have that social glue,” he said.
In this country, we have a longstanding peaceful transfer of power for the executive office, even in the wake of the hardest-fought elections. Certain circumstances have led many to question whether the tradition will continue come January 20. Despite his very vocal protestations, however, the current president has agreed to step aside, should all of his legal maneuvers fall short (something that seems all but a certainty at this point).
There is, of course, nothing in the Constitution that offers guidance the peaceful transition of passwords — strangely, the forefathers of this country didn’t possess the foresight to predict Twitter . The service has already outlined what happens to Trump’s account when he leaves office. Namely, he loses the protections that come with being a political figure.
CEO Jack Dorsey noted this at last month’s congressional hearings, stating, “If an account suddenly is not a world leader anymore, that particular policy goes away.” But what of the incoming president? What will the transition look like for Biden? And what happens if Trump doesn’t willingly give up the official @Potus account as has also been suggested?
Biden transition says Trump admin has refused to transfer the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse Twitter accounts with followers and that Biden must start from zero — reversing goodwill gesture from Obama admin in 2016.
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) December 22, 2020
He hasn’t exactly been eager to accept the results of this election and he’s not the sort to willingly give up a platform — particularly one with 33 million followers (admittedly a fraction of Trump’s main account).
Nick Pacilio, of Twitter’s Communications, Government & News team, offered TechCrunch the following statement, on the matter: “Twitter has been in ongoing discussions with the Biden transition team on a number of aspects related to White House account transfers.”
The company, perhaps understandably, didn’t answer the question directly, but working with the incoming team is a simple enough way to circumvent any issues transferring more than one dozen accounts, as The Wall Street Journal notes. As has been reported, existing tweets will be deleted and the incoming administration will start from scratch — a net positive for the Biden team, given the…polarizing nature of the previous president’s feed.
According to Biden’s digital director, the POTUS and White House accounts will also reset to zero followers, marking a change over the Obama to Trump transition. Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account has already lost one prominent follower. Earlier this week, CEO Jack Dorsey unfollowed the president, along with other prominent politicians, including Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Most venture capital firms are based in hubs like Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston. These firms nurture those ecosystems and they’ve done well, but SaaS Ventures decided to go a different route: it went to cities like Chicago, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Lincoln, Nebraska.
The firm looks for enterprise-focused entrepreneurs who are trying to solve a different set of problems than you might find in these other centers of capital, issues that require digital solutions but might fall outside a typical computer science graduate’s experience.
Saas Ventures looks at four main investment areas: trucking and logistics, manufacturing, e-commerce enablement for industries that have not typically gone online and cybersecurity, the latter being the most mainstream of the areas SaaS Ventures covers.
The company’s first fund, which launched in 2017, was worth $ 20 million, but SaaS Ventures launched a second fund of equal amount earlier this month. It tends to stick to small-dollar-amount investments, while partnering with larger firms when it contributes funds to a deal.
We talked to Collin Gutman, founder and managing partner at SaaS Ventures, to learn about his investment philosophy, and why he decided to take the road less traveled for his investment thesis.
A different investment approach
Gutman’s journey to find enterprise startups in out of the way places began in 2012 when he worked at an early enterprise startup accelerator called Acceleprise. “We were really the first ones who said enterprise tech companies are wired differently, and need a different set of early-stage resources,” Gutman told TechCrunch.
Through that experience, he decided to launch SaaS Ventures in 2017, with several key ideas underpinning the firm’s investment thesis: after his experience at Acceleprise, he decided to concentrate on the enterprise from a slightly different angle than most early-stage VC establishments.
The second part of his thesis was to concentrate on secondary markets, which meant looking beyond the popular startup ecosystem centers and investing in areas that didn’t typically get much attention. To date, SaaS Ventures has made investments in 23 states and Toronto, seeking startups that others might have overlooked.
“We have really phenomenal coverage in terms of not just geography, but in terms of what’s happening with the underlying businesses, as well as their customers,” Gutman said. He believes that broad second-tier market data gives his firm an upper hand when selecting startups to invest in. More on that later.
Beta Technologies’ Alia, which debuted Friday, draws inspiration from the ultra-efficient Arctic tern. The craft may one day transport organs for transplants.
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In this video, Hanapin’s Mary Hartman and Dan Rocklin discuss what they’re excited for in 2020, their resolutions, and their hot takes on overrated strategies.
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Berlin-based femtech startup Inne is coming out of stealth to announce an €8 million (~$ 8.8M) Series A and give the first glimpse of a hormone-tracking subscription product for fertility-tracking and natural contraception that’s slated for launch in Q1 next year.
The Series A is led by led by Blossom Capital, with early Inne backer Monkfish Equity also participating, along with a number of angel investors — including Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise; Tom Stafford, managing partner at DST; and Trivago co-founder Rolf Schromgens.
Women’s health apps have been having a tech-fuelled moment in recent years, with the rise of a femtech category. There are now all sorts of apps for tracking periods and the menstrual cycle, such as Clue and Flo.
Some also try to predict which days a women is fertile and which they’re not — offering digital tools to help women track bodily signals if they’re following a natural family planning method of contraception, or indeed trying to conceive a baby.
Others — such as Natural Cycles — have gone further down that path, branding their approach “digital contraception” and claiming greater sophistication vs traditional natural family planning by applying learning algorithms to cycle data augmented with additional information (typically a daily body temperature measurement). Although there has also been some controversy around aggressive and even misleading marketing tactics targeting young women.
A multi-month investigation by the medical device regulator in Natural Cycles’ home market, instigated after a number of women fell pregnant while using its method, found rates of failure were in line with its small-print promises but concluded with the company agreeing to clarify the risk of the product failing.
At issue is that the notion of “digital contraception” may present as simple and effortless — arriving in handy app form, often boosted by a flotilla of seductive social media lifestyle ads. Yet the reality for the user is the opposite of effortless. Because in fact they are personally taking on all of the risk.
For these products to work the user needs a high level of dedication to stick at it, be consistent and pay close attention to key details in order to achieve the promised rate of protection.
Natural contraception is also what Inne is touting, dangling another enticing promise of hormone-free contraception — its website calls the product “a tool of radical self-knowledge” and claims it “protect[s]… from invasive contraceptive methods”. It’s twist is it’s not using temperature to track fertility; its focus is on hormone-tracking as a fertility measure.
Inne says it’s developed a saliva-based test to measure hormone levels, along with an in vitro diagnostic device (pictured above) that allows data to be extracted from the disposable tests at home and wirelessly logged in the companion app.
Founder Eirini Rapti describes the product as a “mini lab” — saying it’s small and portable enough to fit in a pocket. Her team has been doing the R&D on it since 2017, preferring, she says, to focus on getting the biochemistry right rather than shouting about launching the startup. (It took in seed funding prior to this round but isn’t disclosing how much.)
At this stage Inne has applied for and gained European certification as a medical device. Though it’s not yet been formally announced.
The first product, a natural contraception for adult women — billed as best suited for women aged 28-40, i.e. at a steady relationship time-of-life — will be launching in select European markets (starting in Scandinavia) next year, though initially as a closed beta style launch as they work on iterating the product based on user feedback.
“It basically has three parts,” Rapti says of the proposition. “It has a small reader… It has what we call a little mouth opening in the front. It always gives you a smile. That’s the hardware part of it, so it recognizes the intensity of your hormones. And then there’s a disposable saliva test. You basically collect your saliva by putting it in your mouth for 30 seconds. And then you insert it in the reader and then you go about your day.
“The reader is connected to your phone, either via BlueTooth or wifi, depending on where you are taking the test daily… It takes the reading and it sends it over to your phone. In your phone you can do a couple of things. First of all you look at your hormonal data and you look at how those change throughout the menstrual cycle. So you can see how they grow, how they fall. What that means about your ovulation or your overall female health — like we measure progesterone; that tells you a lot about your lining etc. And then you can also track your fluids… We teach you how to track them, how to understand what they mean.”
As well as a contraception use-case, the fertility tracking element naturally means it could also be used by women wanting to get pregnant.
“This product is not a tracker. We’re not looking to gather your data and then tell you next month what you should be feeling — at all,” she adds. “It’s more designed to track your hormones and tell you look this is the most basic change that happens in your body and because of those changes you will feel certain things. So do you feel them or not — and if you don’t, what does it mean? Or if you do what does it mean?
“It builds your own hormonal baseline — so you start measuring your hormones and we go okay so this is your baseline and now let’s look at things that go out of your baseline. And what do they mean?”
Of course the key question is how accurate is a saliva-based test for hormones as a method for predicting fertility? On this Rapti says Inne isn’t ready to share data about the product’s efficacy — but claims it will be publishing details of the various studies it conducted as part of the CE marking process in the next few weeks.
“A couple more weeks and all the hardcore numbers will be out there,” she says.
In terms of how it works in general the hormone measurement is “a combination of a biochemical reaction and the read out of it”, as she puts it — with the test itself being pure chemistry but algorithms then being applied to interpret the hormonal reading, looping in other signals such as the user’s cycle length, age and the time of day of the test.
She claims the biochemical hormone test the product relies on as its baseline for predicting fertility is based on similar principles to standard pregnancy tests — such as those that involve peeing on a stick to get a binary ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’ result. “We are focused on specifically fertility hormones,” she says.
“Our device is a medical device. It’s CE-certified in Europe and to do that you have to do all kinds of verification and performance evaluation studies. They will be published pretty soon. I cannot tell you too much in detail but to develop something like that we had to do verification studies, performance evaluation studies, so all of that is done.”
While it developed and “validated” the approach in-house, Rapti notes that it also worked with a number of external diagnostic companies to “optimize” the test.
“The science behind it is pretty straightforward,” she adds. “Your hormones behave in a specific way — they go from a low to a high to a low again, and what you’re looking for is building that trend… What we are building is an individual curve per user. The starting and the ending point in terms of values can be different but it is the same across the cycle for one user.”
“When you enter a field like biochemistry as an outsider a lot of the academics will tell you about the incredible things you could do in the future. And there are plenty,” she adds. “But I think what has made a difference to us is we always had this manufacturability in mind. So if you ask me there’s plenty of ways you can detect hormones that are spectacular but need about ten years of development let alone being able to manufacture it at scale. So it was important to me to find a technology that would allow us to do it effectively, repeatedly but also manufacture it at a low cost — so not reinventing the whole wheel.”
Rapti says Inne is controlling for variability in the testing process by controlling when users take the measurement (although that’s clearly not directly within its control, even if it can send an in-app reminder); controlling how much saliva is extracted per test; and controlling how much of the sample is tested — saying “that’s all done mechanically; you don’t do that”.
“The beauty about hormones is they do not get influenced by lack of sleep, they do not get influenced by getting out of your bed — and this is the reason why I wanted to opt to actually measure them,” she adds, saying she came up with the idea for the product as a user of natural contraception searching for a better experience. (Rapti is not herself trained in medical or life sciences.)
“When I started the company I was using the temperature method [of natural contraception] and I thought it cannot be that I have to take this measurement from my bed otherwise my measurement’s invalid,” she adds.
However there are other types of usage restrictions Inne users will need to observe in order to avoid negatively affecting the hormonal measurements.
Firstly they must take the test in the same time window each time — either in the morning or the evening but sticking to one of those choices for good.
They also need to stick to daily testing for at least a full menstrual cycle. Plus there are certain days in the month when testing will always be essential, per Rapti, even as she suggests a “learning element” might allow for the odd missed test day later on, i.e. once enough data has been inputted.
Users also have to avoid drinking and eating for 30 minutes before taking the test. She further specifies this half hour pre-test restriction includes not having oral sex — “because that also affects the measurements”.
“There’s a few indications around it,” she concedes, adding: “The product is super easy to use but it is not for women who want to not think ever about contraception or their bodies. I believe that for these women the IUD would be the perfect solution because they never have to think about it. This product is for women who consciously do not want to take hormones and don’t want invasive devices — either because they’ve been in pain or they’re interested in being natural and not taking hormones.”
At this stage Inne hasn’t performed any comparative studies vs established contraception methods such as the pill. So unless or until it does users won’t be able to assess the relative risk of falling pregnant while using it against more tried and tested contraception methods.
Rapti says the plan is to run more clinical studies in the coming year, helped by the new funding. But these will be more focused on what additional insights can be extracted from the test to feed the product proposition — rather than on further efficacy (or any comparative) tests.
They’ve also started the process of applying for FDA certification to be able to enter the US market in future.
Beyond natural contraception and fertility tracking, Inne is thinking about wider applications for its approach to hormone tracking — such as providing women with information about the menopause, based on longer term tracking of their hormone levels. Or to help manage conditions such as endometriosis, which is one of the areas where it wants to do further research.
The intent is to be the opposite of binary, she suggests, by providing adult women with a versatile tool to help them get closer to and understand changes in their bodies for a range of individual needs and purposes.
“I want to shift the way people perceive our female bodies to be binary,” she adds. “Our bodies are not binary, they change around the month. So maybe this month you want to avoid getting pregnant and maybe next month you actually want to get pregnant. It’s the same body that you need to understand to help you do that.”
Commenting on the Series A in a supporting statement, Louise Samet, partner at Blossom Capital, said: “Inne has a winning combination of scientific validity plus usability that can enable women to better understand their bodies at all stages in their lives. What really impressed us is the team’s meticulous focus on design and easy-of-use together with the scientific validity and clear ambition to impact women all over the world.”
Twitter takes down ‘a large number’ of Chinese-language accounts ahead of Tiananmen Square anniversary
Twitter has suspended a large number of Chinese-language user accounts, including those belonging to critics of China’s government. It seems like a particularly ill-timed move, occurring just days before thirtieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4.
“A large number of Chinese @Twitter accounts are being suspended today,” wrote Yaxue Cao, founder and editor of the U.S.-based publication China Change. “They ‘happen’ to be accounts critical of China, both inside and outside China.”
Cao then went on to highlight a number of the suspended accounts in a Twitter thread.
Among the accounts suspended are some prominent, long-time Chinese-language tweeps: @Sasha_Gong, @wmeng8. Both live in the US. More accts have been suspended than I can keep up. @Twitter @twittersecurity @TwitterForGood pic.twitter.com/QCDa6yRu1K
— Yaxue Cao (@YaxueCao) June 1, 2019
The Chinese government reportedly began cracking down late last year on people who post criticism on Twitter. The author of that story, The New York Times’ Paul Mozur, has also been tweeting about the takedowns, noting that “suspensions seem not limited to accounts critical of China” and that it appears to be “an equal opportunity purge of Chinese language accounts.”
In response, Twitter’s Public Policy account said it suspended “a number of accounts this week” mostly for “engaging in mix of spamming, inauthentic behavior, & ban evasion.” It acknowledged, however, that some of the accounts “were involved in commentary about China.”
“These accounts were not mass reported by the Chinese authorities — this was a routine action on our part,” the company said. “Sometimes our routine actions catch false positives or we make errors. We apologize. We’re working today to ensure we overturn any errors but that we remain vigilant in enforcing our rules for those who violate them.”
Per @Twitter’s explanation, it’s cleaning up CCP bots but accidentally suspended 1000s anti-CCP accts. That doesn’t make sense. 1 thing twitter needs to look into is if this process was abused by some1 on its payroll. A dark thought but not implausible. @Policy @twittersecurity
— Yaxue Cao (@YaxueCao) June 1, 2019
By this point, the deletions had attracted broader political notice, with Florida Senator Marco Rubio declaring, “Twitter has become a Chinese govt censor.”
And while Cao acknowledged Twitter’s official explanation, as well as help she’s received from the company in the past, she said, “Per @Twitter’s explanation, it’s cleaning up CCP bots but accidentally suspended 1000s anti-CCP accts. That doesn’t make sense.”
As you may have gathered from our review of Samsung’s Galaxy S10, it’s a very solid phone with lots of advanced features. But one thing that’s especially difficult to test is the absolute quality of the display — which is why we leave that part to the experts. And this expert says the S10’s screen is the best ever on a smartphone.
Ray Soneira has tested every major phone, tablet and laptop series for many a year, using all the cool color calibration, reflectance and brightness measurement and other gear that goes with the job. So when he says the S10’s display is “absolutely stunning and Beautiful,” with a capital B at that, it’s worth taking note.
OLED technology has advanced a great deal since the first one I encountered, on the Zune HD — which still works and looks great, by the way, thank you. But originally it had quite a few trade-offs compared with LCD panels, such as weird color casts or pixel layout issues. Samsung has progressed well beyond that and OLED has come into its own with a vengeance. As Ray puts it:
The Absolute Color Accuracy on the Galaxy S10 is the Most Color Accurate Display we have ever measured. It is Visually Indistinguishable From Perfect, and almost certainly considerably better than your existing Smartphone, living room HDTV, Tablet, Laptop, and computer monitor, as demonstrated in our extensive Absolute Color Accuracy Lab Measurements.
The very challenging set of DisplayMate Test and Calibration Photos that we use to evaluate picture quality looked absolutely stunning and Beautiful, even to my experienced hyper-critical eyes.
Make sure you switch the phone’s display to “natural mode,” which makes subtle changes to the color space depending on the content and ambient light.
And although he has enthused many times before about the quality of various displays and the advances they made over their predecessors, the above is certainly very different language from, for example, how he described the reigning champ until today — the iPhone X:
Apple has produced an impressive Smartphone display with excellent performance and accuracy, which we cover in extensive detail below. What makes the iPhone X the Best Smartphone Display is the impressive Precision Display Calibration Apple developed, which transforms the OLED hardware into a superbly accurate, high performance, and gorgeous display, with close to Text Book Perfect Calibration and Performance!!
High praise, but not quite falling all over himself, as he did with the S10. As you can see, I rate smartphone displays chiefly by the emotional response they evoke from Ray Soneira.
At this point, naturally, the gains from improving displays are fairly few, because, to be honest, not many people care or can even tell today’s flagship displays apart. But little touches like front and back sensors for ambient light detection, automatic calibration and brightness that take user preferences into account — these also improve the experience, and phone makers have been adding them at a good clip, as well.
No matter which flagship phone you buy today, it’s going to have a fantastic camera and screen — but if you like to see it all in black and white, read through the review and you’ll find your hopes justified.
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