iPhone X Super Retina HD gets A+ from DisplayMate: "best performing smartphone display we ...

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in iPhone edited November 2017
In evaluating the new iPhone X display, Dr. Raymond M. Soneira of DisplayMate called it the "most innovative" and "best performing smartphone display we have ever tested," noting in particular its leading absolute color accuracy, the highest full screen brightness for an OLED smartphone, highest full screen contrast rating in ambient light and highest contrast ratio, with the lowest screen reflectance and smallest brightness variation with a viewing angle.


OLED now ready for use in a premium phone

In its iPhone X Shootout, DisplayMate described iPhone X's new OLED as "the most anticipated display" ever, given Apple's history in delivering products with LCD panels delivering the industry's leading color accuracy. Outside of Apple, OLED panels have historically struggled with color accuracy.

In 2012, the firm contrasted iPhone 5 with Samsung's OLED Galaxy S III, and noted that latter had lots of problems with "distorted and exaggerated colors," including "Green being a lot more saturated than Red or Blue, which adds a Green color caste to many images. Samsung has not bothered to correct or calibrate their display colors to bring them into closer agreement with the Standard sRGB / Rec.709 Color Gamut, so many images appear over saturated and gaudy."

Samsung's early OLED panels for Galaxy also suffered lower battery life. "Running Time on battery is less than the iPhone 5 due to the lower power efficiency of OLEDs, even given that the Galaxy S III has a much larger battery capacity and much lower Brightness." Outside of Apple, OLED panels have historically struggled with color accuracy

Last year, DisplayMate stated that the iPad Pro LCD delivered the highest absolute color accuracy for both its color gamuts, the lowest screen reflectance for any mobile display, the highest peak brightness for any full-size tablet for any picture level, the highest contrast rating in ambient light and the smallest color variation with viewing angle. It also stated iPhone 7 delivered "record absolute color accuracy, which is visually indistinguishable from perfect."

However, with improvements in OLED technology advancing in some areas over LCD, "the big question was when, not if, manufacturers would begin switching to OLED displays," DisplayMate stated. "For Apple, the transition was particularly difficult because it needs hundreds of millions of OLED displays, and Samsung Display was the only company manufacturing them in high volume." The firm pointed out that iPhone X's move to OLED involved "a major engineering and manufacturing challenge."

Samsung OLED panel with Apple specifications, calibration, controller, management

In its latest evaluation of iPhone X, DisplayMate wrote, "First we need to congratulate Samsung Display for developing and manufacturing the outstanding OLED display hardware in the iPhone X," adding "but what makes the iPhone X the Best Smartphone Display is the impressive Precision Display Calibration that Apple developed that transforms the OLED hardware into a superbly accurate, high performance, and gorgeous display."


DisplayMate iPhone X Shootout


One of the reasons Apple's iPhone X can deliver better color than Samsung's own phones is that iOS provides system-wide color management, something Google has only recently added to Android O (which few phones have). Additionally, iPhone X panels are "individually calibrated at the factory for both color and contrast accuracy," DisplayMate noted.

The firm also noted iOS features including Night Mode, True Tone, and new support for Mobile HDR (high dynamic range), a specification that expands the color, contrast, and brightness for playing back theatrical content.

DisplayMate also reported that iPhone X "has a record high Full Screen Brightness for OLED Smartphones of 634 nits, which improves screen visibility in high Ambient Light. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 can produce up to 1,240 nits, but only for small portions of the screen area (Low Average Picture Levels) - for Full Screen Brightness the Note8 can produce up to 423 nits with Manual Brightness and 560 nits with Automatic Brightness only in High Ambient Light. For small portions of the screen area the iPhone X can produce up to 809 nits (Low Average Picture Levels). On its Home Screen the iPhone X produces an impressively bright 726 nits."

On the other hand, the firm offered a dim portrayal of screens from Samsung and other makers that seek to stand out simply by offering higher resolutions.

"Some clueless reviewers have been pining for 4K 3840x2160 Smartphones, which would require more than triple the pixels, memory, and processing power of the 2436x1125 display on the iPhone X, but there would be no visual benefit for humans," DisplayMate observed.

iPhone X OLED viewing angles

One thing that has historically been a problem for OLED panels is its intrinsic issues with shifts in brightness, color and contrast observed a wider viewing angles. In our iPhone X review, we noted a bluish shift at extreme viewing angles.



DisplayMate called the iPhone X display "very good" in angle-related brightness changes; "outstanding" in handling contrast, "very good" in dealing with white point and primary color shifts and "excellent" in color shifts for primary mixtures.

Samsung's OLED mobile displays have performed better than screens built by LG, used in devices including Google's Pixel 2 XL, which suffers from a variety of problems in addition to color shifts. However, even the Samsung display used in Google's smaller (HTC-built) Pixel 2 appears to have issues, as in our experience the preview image shown in the camera app delivered wildly unrealistic colors, with an overall artificial yellow cast that looked particularly bad next to an iPhone X.

It appears the additional effort and engineering time that Apple invested in selecting the best suppliers, performing its own internal calibration, developing its own color management and creating its own display controller have resulted in a better OLED display than any Android licensee is capable of developing on its own, or even in collaboration with their platform vendor, Google.
watto_cobra
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    Wow, this is quite shocking.  I've been using the X since Friday, and the one thing that bothers me the most is the blatant color shift that happens whenever I don't view the phone straight on.  Even if I turn the phone ever so slightly, the display turns a very cool bluish tint.  This is most noticeable when white is the primary color being displayed on the screen, such as a web site.  Pictures and video is less noticeable.  It's a bit annoying and not something I would expect in a $1200 product.  It's the one thing that may lead me to returning the phone at the end of the week and going back to my 7+. 

    I will say though, that the screen does far exceed the 7+ when viewing at an angle and looking at brightness. When I compare the two, and hold at an angle, the X's screen is much brighter and is barely a difference than when looking straight on.  On the 7+, the screen gets very dim as the viewing angle increases.  So OLED definitely has that going for it. 
    supadav03cornchipargonautwilliamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 31
    rattlhed said:
    Wow, this is quite shocking.  I've been using the X since Friday, and the one thing that bothers me the most is the blatant color shift that happens whenever I don't view the phone straight on.  Even if I turn the phone ever so slightly, the display turns a very cool bluish tint.  This is most noticeable when white is the primary color being displayed on the screen, such as a web site.  Pictures and video is less noticeable.  It's a bit annoying and not something I would expect in a $1200 product.  It's the one thing that may lead me to returning the phone at the end of the week and going back to my 7+. 

    I will say though, that the screen does far exceed the 7+ when viewing at an angle and looking at brightness. When I compare the two, and hold at an angle, the X's screen is much brighter and is barely a difference than when looking straight on.  On the 7+, the screen gets very dim as the viewing angle increases.  So OLED definitely has that going for it. 
    I haven’t received my X yet, 2 more weeks, but I have read several reviews that corroborate your statement. I’ve heard that an angle as small as 15 degrees can start to produce the blue tint on the screen. I’ve never used any product with an OLED screen so i’ll have to wait until the phone is in my hand to make a final judgement but it doesn’t sound great. If this is a common issue with OLED, then why the clamoring from everyone for Apple to make the switch? What are the big benefits over LCD beyond black levels? 
  • Reply 3 of 31
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,591member
    Can you imagine h ow BAD it is on Android phones? Like anything, there are Pro's and Con's to OLED, just like there is for LED and other tech. Yet it looks like Apple hit it out of the park in making the best OLED display out there.
    edited November 2017 magman1979watto_cobraRacerhomieXjahblade
  • Reply 4 of 31
    It’s a testament that reinforces Apple’s product quality. 

    Go AAPL, GO!
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 31
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,068member
    Its great that the iPhone X beats the Pixel 2/2 XL hands down on the display when Pixel 2/2 XL essentially ties with its single lens camera compared to the the X's and iphone 8plus's dual lens camera.   Google likes to imply that they are just smarter with their "algorithms", but I think its more likely just their bigger sensor size...  1.4 µm pixel pitch for the Pixel 2 vs  1.22 µm pixel pitch for the iPHones.   If I remember correctly when Apple went from the 8 MP (1.5 µm)sensor in the iPhone6 to the 12 MP (1.2 µm) sensor in the iPhone 6S Apple's camera needed to work against high end Android phone cameras where previous years their image quality was better hands down.   Maybe next year we will see Apple kick up the sensor and pixel size.  till then Apple's display will reign supreme.   Google if they had been smart would have stuck with LCD and not embarressed themselves with the 2XL screen.   HAHA.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 31
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,822member
    supadav03 said:
    rattlhed said:
    Wow, this is quite shocking.  I've been using the X since Friday, and the one thing that bothers me the most is the blatant color shift that happens whenever I don't view the phone straight on.  Even if I turn the phone ever so slightly, the display turns a very cool bluish tint.  This is most noticeable when white is the primary color being displayed on the screen, such as a web site.  Pictures and video is less noticeable.  It's a bit annoying and not something I would expect in a $1200 product.  It's the one thing that may lead me to returning the phone at the end of the week and going back to my 7+. 

    I will say though, that the screen does far exceed the 7+ when viewing at an angle and looking at brightness. When I compare the two, and hold at an angle, the X's screen is much brighter and is barely a difference than when looking straight on.  On the 7+, the screen gets very dim as the viewing angle increases.  So OLED definitely has that going for it. 
    I haven’t received my X yet, 2 more weeks, but I have read several reviews that corroborate your statement. I’ve heard that an angle as small as 15 degrees can start to produce the blue tint on the screen. I’ve never used any product with an OLED screen so i’ll have to wait until the phone is in my hand to make a final judgement but it doesn’t sound great. If this is a common issue with OLED, then why the clamoring from everyone for Apple to make the switch? What are the big benefits over LCD beyond black levels? 
    IMO, the color shift isn't that bad. Other OLED phones such as the Galaxy Note 8 do the same thing. Besides black levels, OLED screens have a much higher contrast ratio compared to LCD. With incredible black levels and high contrast ratio, the picture quality is so much better. The difference is pretty big looking at your photos on the iPhone X compared to other iPhone's. Sure, there is some color shift but the trade off for OLED is well worth it. I would rather have the vibrant, crystal clear display of OLED versus LCD. The display on the iPhone X is pretty amazing. 
    edited November 2017 ben20watto_cobrawilliamlondonAvieshek
  • Reply 7 of 31
    As an iPhone X owner can I accept the award? :#
    watto_cobrajahblade
  • Reply 8 of 31
    Never liked Displaymate regardless of their ratings. That said, this must be driving the haters nuts.

    How can a Samsung made display perform better in an iPhone than a Samsung device? The answer is simple. iOS has color management and Apple calibrated their displays.
    watto_cobraRacerhomieXargonautSolijahblade
  • Reply 9 of 31
    19831983 Posts: 973member
    More and more I'm starting to regret not waiting for an iPhone X (I was sucked into all the manufacturing delay rumours) and going for the 8 Plus instead...which is a great phone of course. But it doesn't have that (apparently) great OLED display and shiny SS frame, both of which remind me of my loved Watch. And after using my 8 Plus's camera, I also miss not having the X's OIS on telephoto too.
    edited November 2017
  • Reply 10 of 31
    BluntBlunt Posts: 158member
    Wow, visiting the DisplayMate site feels like your at least fifteen years back in time. Horrible site.
    Because of it's graphical roots Apple has allways been into color management which is way more complicated then most people think it is. 
    argonautnetmageAvieshek
  • Reply 11 of 31
    I've owned every iPhone since the beginning, and the iPhone X is my second favorite after the 2007 original model.
    Both are innovative and disruptive in wonderful ways.
    Steve would be proud regardless of the notch.
    radarthekatnetmageAvieshek
  • Reply 12 of 31
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,179member
    So remind me: why were people screaming for OLED again?
    monstrosity
  • Reply 13 of 31
    Blunt said:
    Wow, visiting the DisplayMate site feels like your at least fifteen years back in time. Horrible site.
    I know. I hate it when a site loads almost instantly, I can simply read my content, there are no floating social bars following me around wanting me to share the site and pinch to zoom simply works. Don’t even get me started on the fact the website doesn’t continuously auto re-format every time I move around the page.

    yea.  I so disliked web pages 15 years ago before web programmers figured out how to make them almost unusable to read content. 
    goodbyeranchelectrosoftunphocusuraharanetmageAvieshek
  • Reply 14 of 31
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,166member
    rattlhed said:
    Wow, this is quite shocking.  I've been using the X since Friday, and the one thing that bothers me the most is the blatant color shift that happens whenever I don't view the phone straight on.  Even if I turn the phone ever so slightly, the display turns a very cool bluish tint.  This is most noticeable when white is the primary color being displayed on the screen, such as a web site.  Pictures and video is less noticeable.  It's a bit annoying and not something I would expect in a $1200 product.  It's the one thing that may lead me to returning the phone at the end of the week and going back to my 7+. 

    I will say though, that the screen does far exceed the 7+ when viewing at an angle and looking at brightness. When I compare the two, and hold at an angle, the X's screen is much brighter and is barely a difference than when looking straight on.  On the 7+, the screen gets very dim as the viewing angle increases.  So OLED definitely has that going for it. 
    supadav03 said:
    rattlhed said:
    Wow, this is quite shocking.  I've been using the X since Friday, and the one thing that bothers me the most is the blatant color shift that happens whenever I don't view the phone straight on.  Even if I turn the phone ever so slightly, the display turns a very cool bluish tint.  This is most noticeable when white is the primary color being displayed on the screen, such as a web site.  Pictures and video is less noticeable.  It's a bit annoying and not something I would expect in a $1200 product.  It's the one thing that may lead me to returning the phone at the end of the week and going back to my 7+. 

    I will say though, that the screen does far exceed the 7+ when viewing at an angle and looking at brightness. When I compare the two, and hold at an angle, the X's screen is much brighter and is barely a difference than when looking straight on.  On the 7+, the screen gets very dim as the viewing angle increases.  So OLED definitely has that going for it. 
    I haven’t received my X yet, 2 more weeks, but I have read several reviews that corroborate your statement. I’ve heard that an angle as small as 15 degrees can start to produce the blue tint on the screen. I’ve never used any product with an OLED screen so i’ll have to wait until the phone is in my hand to make a final judgement but it doesn’t sound great. If this is a common issue with OLED, then why the clamoring from everyone for Apple to make the switch? What are the big benefits over LCD beyond black levels? 
    I’ve now seen this in the store, and it’s not nearly as bad as on the new Pixel, which I’ve also seen. In fact it’s better than in Samsung’s own new screens, but not by as much.

    my 7+ doesn’t change color that much, but at angles it does lose brightness at least as quickly. But the X screen otherwise does look better. I’m really itching to buy one, but it’s an in between year for us.
    netmagemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 31
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,196member
    steven n. said:
    Blunt said:
    Wow, visiting the DisplayMate site feels like your at least fifteen years back in time. Horrible site.
    I know. I hate it when a site loads almost instantly, I can simply read my content, there are no floating social bars following me around wanting me to share the site and pinch to zoom simply works. Don’t even get me started on the fact the website doesn’t continuously auto re-format every time I move around the page.

    yea.  I so disliked web pages 15 years ago before web programmers figured out how to make them almost unusable to read content. 
    I'm pretty sure his issue isn't that it loads fast but that the text formatting makes it harder to read. There's a reason that Reader View doesn't make text look like DisplayMate's website.
  • Reply 16 of 31
    supadav03 said:
    rattlhed said:
    Wow, this is quite shocking.  I've been using the X since Friday, and the one thing that bothers me the most is the blatant color shift that happens whenever I don't view the phone straight on.  Even if I turn the phone ever so slightly, the display turns a very cool bluish tint.  This is most noticeable when white is the primary color being displayed on the screen, such as a web site.  Pictures and video is less noticeable.  It's a bit annoying and not something I would expect in a $1200 product.  It's the one thing that may lead me to returning the phone at the end of the week and going back to my 7+. 

    I will say though, that the screen does far exceed the 7+ when viewing at an angle and looking at brightness. When I compare the two, and hold at an angle, the X's screen is much brighter and is barely a difference than when looking straight on.  On the 7+, the screen gets very dim as the viewing angle increases.  So OLED definitely has that going for it. 
    I haven’t received my X yet, 2 more weeks, but I have read several reviews that corroborate your statement. I’ve heard that an angle as small as 15 degrees can start to produce the blue tint on the screen. I’ve never used any product with an OLED screen so i’ll have to wait until the phone is in my hand to make a final judgement but it doesn’t sound great. If this is a common issue with OLED, then why the clamoring from everyone for Apple to make the switch? What are the big benefits over LCD beyond black levels? 
    As small as 15 degrees is when you tilt the display to look at it at 15 degrees, not if you shift 15 degrees from the normal. The benefit over LCD is brighter pixels because pixels are illuminated by themselves, not by a separate layer. With LCD, when you boost the brightness contrast goes away because blacks and other darker areas too are illuminated. This is not the case with OLED, because when you boost the brightness pixels just emit more light, and those are just colored pixels, not black ones. When I've got the first time an LCD screen with my iBook I was surprized by the lack of the contrast button and that annoyed me much comparing it to a CRT display. LCD has no contrast button whilst the OLED is like having an always "on" implicit contrast "button".
    edited November 2017 repressthis
  • Reply 17 of 31
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,196member
    Never liked Displaymate regardless of their ratings. That said, this must be driving the haters nuts.

    How can a Samsung made display perform better in an iPhone than a Samsung device? The answer is simple. iOS has color management and Apple calibrated their displays.
    Apple got to choose the display specs and level of accuracy for the physical device, which means Apple is willing to pay more for a better, more consistent product. I have a cleaning staff come into my home but for all I know there home is a mess. I wouldn't automatically assume that there home is as clean or more clean than mine. With Samsung, even with the same model they switch up specs quite dramatically between countries and regions. This is surely partly because sources components is tough, but they may also know that some markets are more concerned with this type of testing than others.
  • Reply 18 of 31
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,368member
    k2kw said:
    Its great that the iPhone X beats the Pixel 2/2 XL hands down on the display when Pixel 2/2 XL essentially ties with its single lens camera compared to the the X's and iphone 8plus's dual lens camera.   Google likes to imply that they are just smarter with their "algorithms", but I think its more likely just their bigger sensor size...  1.4 µm pixel pitch for the Pixel 2 vs  1.22 µm pixel pitch for the iPHones.   If I remember correctly when Apple went from the 8 MP (1.5 µm)sensor in the iPhone6 to the 12 MP (1.2 µm) sensor in the iPhone 6S Apple's camera needed to work against high end Android phone cameras where previous years their image quality was better hands down.   Maybe next year we will see Apple kick up the sensor and pixel size.  till then Apple's display will reign supreme.   Google if they had been smart would have stuck with LCD and not embarressed themselves with the 2XL screen.   HAHA.
    It's not tying the X, but the 8+ and even that, as someone into cameras is very highly arguable especially if you take in all uses.

    I see a lot of bullshit from Android sites being then propagated all over the net.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,368member
    Soli said:
    Never liked Displaymate regardless of their ratings. That said, this must be driving the haters nuts.

    How can a Samsung made display perform better in an iPhone than a Samsung device? The answer is simple. iOS has color management and Apple calibrated their displays.
    Apple got to choose the display specs and level of accuracy for the physical device, which means Apple is willing to pay more for a better, more consistent product. I have a cleaning staff come into my home but for all I know there home is a mess. I wouldn't automatically assume that there home is as clean or more clean than mine. With Samsung, even with the same model they switch up specs quite dramatically between countries and regions. This is surely partly because sources components is tough, but they may also know that some markets are more concerned with this type of testing than others.
    Well, its simple, if Samsung's display unit can make much more money serving Apple than Samsung, well they'll give Apple their best stuff and most attention.
    By all regards, seems Apple is paying way way more than Samsung for those displays so the business unit would be crazy not to take advantage of this.
  • Reply 20 of 31
    uraharaurahara Posts: 153member
    Can someone please order from worst to the best these qualities:

    "very good" in angle-related brightness changes;
    "outstanding" in handling contrast,
    "very good" in dealing with white point and primary color shifts and
    "excellent" 
     in color shifts for primary mixtures. 
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