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November 6, 2017

DisplayMate: iPhone X Has the ‘Most Innovative and High Performance’ Smartphone Display Ever Tested

by John_A

As it does for each iPhone launch, DisplayMate has released a display shoot-out for the iPhone X, praising Apple’s technology in areas like the higher resolution OLED screen, automatic color management, viewing angle performance, and more. According to DisplayMate, the iPhone X has the “most innovative and high performance” smartphone display it has ever tested. DisplayMate also congratulated Samsung Display for “developing and manufacturing the outstanding OLED display hardware in the iPhone X.”

iPhone X matched or set new smartphone display records in the following categories: highest absolute color accuracy, highest full screen brightness for OLED smartphones, highest full screen contrast rating in ambient light, and highest contrast ratio. It also had the lowest screen reflectance and smallest brightness variation with a viewing angle.

New Aspect Ratio and Higher Resolution

The iPhone X’s 5.8-inch OLED display includes a taller height to width aspect ratio of 19.5:9, 22 percent larger than the 16:9 aspect ratio on previous iPhone models (and most other smartphones). Because of this DisplayMate noted that the iPhone X also has a new 2.5K higher resolution with 2436×1125 pixels and 458 pixels per inch.

The iPhone X’s display resolution provides “significantly higher image sharpness” than can be analyzed by a person with normal 20/20 vision at a 12-inch viewing distance. DisplayMate said this means that it’s now “absolutely pointless” to increase the display resolution and pixels per inch of the iPhone any further, since there would be “no visual benefit” for users.

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!

Viewing Angle

DisplayMate noted that the iPhone X saw a smaller percent decrease in brightness at a 30-degree viewing angle when compared to LCD smartphones, also earning “Very Good” to “Excellent” ratings for categories related to color shifts with viewing angles.

While Smartphones are primarily single viewer devices, the variation in display performance with viewing angle is still very important because single viewers frequently hold the display at a variety of viewing angles. The angle is often up to 30 degrees, more if it is resting on a table or desk. While LCDs typically experience a 55 percent or greater decrease in Brightness at a 30 degree Viewing Angle, the OLED iPhone X display shows a much smaller 22 percent decrease in Brightness at 30 degrees. This also applies to multiple side-by-side viewers as well, and is a significant advantage of OLED displays. The Color Shifts with Viewing Angle are also relatively small. See the Viewing Angles section for the measurements and details.

Color Accuracy and Automatic Color Management

iPhone X supports two industry standard color gamuts: the sRGB / Rec.709 color gamut used for “most current consumer content,” and a new wide DCI-P3 color gamut found in 4K Ultra HD TV sets. The DCI-P3 — also found in the iPhone 7 last year — is 26 percent larger than the sRGB / Rec.709 gamut, and the iPhone X can automatically switch to the proper color gamut for displayed image content ranging in the wide DCI-P3 color space with an ICC profile.

DisplayMate said this results in images that automatically appear with “the correct colors, neither over-saturated or under-saturated.” In total, the publication said the iPhone X has the “highest absolute color accuracy of any display we have ever tested,” with a display that is “visually indistinguishable from perfect.”

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.

Ultimately, DisplayMate mentioned that what makes the iPhone X’s display truly impressive is something called “Precision Display Calibration,” which it says transforms the OLED hardware “into a superbly accurate, high performance, and gorgeous display.” More in-depth analysis of the iPhone X’s OLED screen can be found in DisplayMate’s shoot-out right here.

Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: DisplayMateBuyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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