DisplayMate: iPhone 7 Boasts ‘Best LCD Display Ever’

BY Evan Selleck

Published 19 Sep 2016

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Unboxing

The march of progression continues, as DisplayMate has put the newest display from Apple, featured in the newest flagship, the iPhone 7, through its paces.

The publication has been teasing the results of its tests ever since the handset was released, and now the results are finally in. Apple’s executives were certainly ecstatic about the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus’s display when they were unveiling the handsets earlier in September, and it appears that was for good reason. According to DisplayMate, the iPhone 7 display is “Truly Impressive,” and even easily wins the “Best LCD Display Ever” award up to this point.

In DisplayMate’s shootout, featuring the iPhone 7’s display, the results showcase a display that is a “major upgrade over the iPhone 6,” with notable additions, tweaks, and more that are all designed to make the viewing experience better. That includes adopting new technologies, including the DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut — which is found in newer 4K UHD televisions. The iPhone 7 also includes support for the smaller sRGB / Rec.709 gamut. The tests show that Apple has implemented these color gamuts to make color accuracy, “visually indistinguishable from perfect.”

This means the iPhone 7 has a display that, according to the publication, is a “major competitive advantage” when put up against rival displays in other smartphones. What’s more, that praise extends to other displays, too, including the aforementioned 4K UHD screens, as well as monitors, and other devices with high-end displays, saying that the iPhone 7’s display “very likely considerably better than any mobile display, monitor, TV, or UHD TV.”

It’s worth noting that the display’s brightness is also the highest the publication has ever tested, measuring in at 602 cd/m2 (nits). However, the screen can actually go up to 705 nits when Automatic Brightness is enabled:

“On the iPhone 7 the Maximum Screen Brightness can go much higher when Automatic Brightness is turned on, so that users can’t permanently park the Manual Brightness slider to very high values, which would run down the battery quickly. High Screen Brightness is only needed for High Ambient Light, so turning Automatic Brightness On will provide better high ambient light screen visibility and also longer battery running time.”

Screen reflectance also put the iPhone 7 in another record-setting category, with the screen measuring in at 4.4% reflectance — a record low for smartphone displays up to this point. Apple has another display, though, which reaches 1.7% screen reflectance, which is measurably better, and that’s equipped in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Measuring in Contrast Ratio, DisplayMate found that the iPhone 7’s display has a record-breaking result when compared to other IPS LCD displays. The contrast rating shows a record high of 137 to 160 in high ambient light.

Here are the noteworthy upgrades for the iPhone 7’s display:

  • The iPhone 7 has 2 Standard Color Gamuts, following in the footsteps of the innovative iPad Pro 9.7 that was introduced earlier in 2016. Most mobile displays only support a single Color Gamut, including all previous iPhones. The iPhone 7 has both the traditional smaller sRGB / Rec.709 Color Gamut that is used for producing most existing consumer content for digital cameras, TVs, the internet, and computers, including photos, videos, and movies, and the new wider DCI-P3 Color Gamut, which is 26 percent larger.
  • The iPhone 7 has the same wide DCI-P3 Color Gamut as 4K UHD TVs, so it will be able to accurately display all of the new 4K TV and video content. Since the iPhone 7 has a Retina Display it doesn’t need the 4K resolution because it already appears perfectly sharp at its normal viewing distances.
  • The new wider DCI-P3 Color Gamut is really a big deal – it is what makes 4K UHD TVs deliver noticeably better color and picture quality than 2K Full HD TVs, which is why consumers are upgrading their TVs, and why they will want to upgrade their mobile devices up to DCI-P3.
  • Only three manufacturers currently have the new wider DCI-P3 Color Gamut on their Smartphones or Tablets, so it is a major competitive advantage. Other manufacturers will need to play catch-up fast.
  • We measured a very high Peak Brightness of 602 cd/m2 (nits), the Highest Peak Brightness that we have measured for a Smartphone for all Average Picture Levels APL, including Full Screen White.
  • When Automatic Brightness is turned On, the iPhone 7 produces up to an impressive 705 nits in High Ambient Light, where high Brightness is really needed – the Highest Peak Brightness for a Smartphone for any Average Picture Level APL, including Full Screen White.
  • The wider Color Gamut and much brighter display significantly improve screen readability and usability in high ambient light, which along with battery running is one of the most important issues for consumers.
  • The Absolute Color Accuracy of the iPhone 7 is Truly Impressive as shown in these Figures. It is the most color accurate display that we have ever measured. It is Visually Indistinguishable from Perfect, and is very likely considerably better than on any mobile display, monitor, TV or UHD TV that you have. So photos, videos, and online content and merchandise will appear correct and beautiful.

You can check out the full report through the source link below.

[via DisplayMate]