DisplayMate: iPhone X Display is the ‘Best Performing Smartphone Display’ With A+ Rating

BY Evan Selleck

Published 6 Nov 2017

Apple iPhone X

DisplayMate has been a go-to source for display testing for years, using in-depth processes to gauge how well a display stacks up, especially against competitive companies.

Throughout the year, Samsung has been raking in the attention with its latest smartphone lineup, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8. But it looks like Apple is here to take the crown from both parties, not only earning the “highest ever A+ grade” from the Galaxy S8, but also the “Best Performing Smartphone Display” award that was given to the Galaxy Note 8 earlier this year.

Apple was able to accomplish that with its first-ever OLED display in an iPhone, courtesy of the iPhone X which officially went up for sale on Friday, November 3. The publication notes that the switch from LCD to OLED is worthwhile on its own from a production standpoint, but to make such an impressive display right out of the gate is also impressive. And while Samsung did manufacture the display, Apple has made it obvious that it implemented its own changes, which, based on these tests, appear to have worked out in the company’s favor.

“Based on our extensive lab tests and measurements the iPhone X becomes the Best Performing Smartphone Display that we have ever tested, earning DisplayMate’s highest ever A+ grade. The iPhone X is an impressive display with close to Text Book Perfect Calibration and Performance!”

The testing procedure includes making note of all the known elements, including the 5.8-inch’s display resolution of 2436×1125 and a pixel per inch count of 458. It supports mobile High Dynamic Range from both HDR10 and Dolby Vision sources, and has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9.

Interestingly enough, DisplayMate says it’s “absolutely pointless” to increase the display resolution and pixel per inch count, on the iPhone display. The reason being is that the display already offers “significantly higher image sharpness” than what can be perceived by a human’s eyes with 20/20 vision at a viewing-distance of 12 inches. To increase the PPI or even the resolution at this point means there wouldn’t be any visual benefits for those using the devices.

“As a result of its larger display size and larger Aspect Ratio, the iPhone X has a new 2.5K Higher Resolution Full HD+ display with 2436×1125 pixels and 458 pixels per inch, with 2.7 Mega Pixels, 32% more than an HDTV. The display has Diamond Sub-Pixels (see below) and Sub-Pixel Rendering with 458 pixels per inch (ppi), providing significantly higher image sharpness than can be resolved with normal 20/20 Vision at the typical viewing distances of 12 inches or more for Smartphones, so the display appears perfectly sharp. As a result, for Smartphones it is absolutely pointless to further increase the display resolution and pixels per inch (ppi) up to 4K (3940×2160 pixels) for a silly marketing wild goose chase into the stratosphere, with no visual benefit for humans!”

One of the primary reasons Apple’s iPhone X display is getting such praise is its color accuracy and the automatic color management that goes into that. The newest flagship iPhone supports two of the leading industry color gamuts (sRGB and DCI-P3). The former is used for the majority of existing consumer content, while the latter is used entirely for 4K Ultra HD content. The iPhone X can automatically switch between the two depending on the content that the display is showing.

The ultimate goal for Apple, and the perceived end result, is neither “over-saturated or under-saturated colors,” which the iPhone X achieves. The OLED display is capable of showing the highest absolute color accuracy in any display that the publication has ever tested.

“Most Smartphones and Tablets generally provide only one to up to several fixed Color Gamuts. The iPhone X has Automatic Color Management that automatically switches to the proper Color Gamut for any displayed image content within the Wide DCI-P3 Color Space that has an ICC Profile, so images automatically appear with the correct colors, neither over-saturated or under-saturated. Color Management with multiple and varying Color Gamuts are a very useful and important state-of-the-art capability that all manufacturers will need to provide in the future.

The Absolute Color Accuracy of the iPhone X is Truly Impressive as shown in these Figures. It has an Absolute Color Accuracy of 1.0 JNCD for the sRGB / Red.709 Color Gamut that is used for most current consumer content, and 0.9 JNCD for the Wider DCI-P3 Color Gamut that is used for 4K UHD TVs and Digital Cinema. 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 any mobile display, monitor, TV or UHD TV that you have.”

The full test can be found through the source link below. If you’re curious about the technical side of the OLED display in the iPhone X, it’s certainly worth a read through.

It is impressive that Apple has managed to beat Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 in the test, even though the Korean company is the one supplying the OLED displays for iPhone X.

What do you think of the iPhone X display? Are you impressed?

[via DisplayMate]