DisplayMate: iPhone XS Max Has Best Smartphone Display Ever

iPhone XS Max has the best smartphone display ever, according to display testing and calibration firm DisplayMate Technologies.


iPhone XS Max has a number of notable improvements over the original iPhone X, including higher peak brightness and better color accuracy, and matches or sets smartphone display records in a number of areas, according to Dr. Raymond M. Soneira, President of DisplayMate Technologies.

For example, DisplayMate says the iPhone XS Max has a peak full-screen brightness of up to 660 nits for the sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts, which improves screen visibility in high ambient lighting conditions. By comparison, the iPhone X achieved a peak full-screen brightness of 634 nits in its year-ago tests.

DisplayMate measured the iPhone XS Max's screen reflectance to be 4.7 percent, close to the lowest that it has ever measured for a smartphone. As a result of this high brightness and low reflectance, the iPhone XS Max has one of the best contrast ratings in high ambient light on any smartphone it has ever tested.

DisplayMate provides an extensive overview of the iPhone XS Max display, concluding that it is a "very impressive top tier smartphone display."
Based on our extensive Lab Tests and Measurements the iPhone XS Max receives our DisplayMate Best Smartphone Display Award, earning DisplayMate's highest ever A+ grade by providing considerably better display performance than other competing smartphones.
DisplayMate's iPhone XS Max OLED Display Technology Shoot-Out article is a worthwhile read for anyone looking for comprehensive analysis and testing of the iPhone XS Max display. DisplayMate has been a provider of display calibration software for consumers and technicians since 1991.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS

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DisplayMate: Samsung Galaxy S9 Beats iPhone X With ‘Best Performing Smartphone Display’

The OLED display on the Samsung Galaxy S9 is the best smartphone display on the market, according to lab analysis by DisplayMate. The screen on Samsung's latest handset showed consistent Top Tier display performance and became the first display to receive All Green ratings in all of DisplayMate's lab test and measurement categories.

Based on our extensive Lab Tests and Measurements, the Galaxy S9 has an Impressive Display that establishes many new Display Performance Records, earning DisplayMate’s Best Performing Smartphone Display Award, and receiving our highest ever A+ grade.
Last year, DisplayMate praised the iPhone X as having the "best performing smartphone display" on a smartphone. It also congratulated Samsung – Apple's iPhone X screen supplier – for developing and manufacturing the "outstanding" OLED panel, but said that it was actually the Apple-developed "Precision Display Calibration" that made the biggest difference, since it transformed the OLED hardware "into a superbly accurate, high performance, and gorgeous display".

However, the Galaxy S9 has now knocked iPhone X off the top spot in DisplayMate's rankings, matching or setting new smartphone display records in several categories including highest absolute color accuracy, highest peak display brightness, largest native color gamut, highest contrast ratio, and lowest screen reflectance. Yet despite all that, the 3K 2960x1440 panel in the S9 is said to have the same power efficiency as the one found on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8.

DisplayMate found that the color accuracy of the Galaxy S9's 5.8-inch display is "visually indistinguishable from perfect", thanks to a record-setting high absolute color accuracy of 0.7 JNCD, which is "almost certainly better than your existing smartphone, living room 4K Ultra or HDTV, Tablet, Laptop, and computer monitor". The 2,960 x 1,440 display, with 570 pixels per inch, also set a new reflectance score record with a 4.4 percent reflectance level, which measures display readability in bright conditions.

DisplayMate concluded by emphasizing the "tremendous performance advantages" that OLED displays now have over LCDs, which it said secured OLED as "the definitive premier display technology for Top Tier Smartphones in the foreseeable future over the next 3-5 years". Out of the three new iPhones Apple is rumored to be introducing later this year, two are said to be OLED models measuring in at 5.8 and 6.5 inches, and one is a 6.1-inch lower-cost LCD model. All three are expected to feature Face ID and edge-to-edge displays.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the 5.8-inch model will have a display with 458 pixels per inch, indicating the same 1,125 x 2,436 resolution of iPhone X, while the larger "Plus size" 6.5-inch model will offer 480 to 500 pixels per inch. Bloomberg has said the larger model will feature a screen resolution of 1,242 x 2,688, which would put it closer to the pixel density of the 5.8-inch display.

Apple is reportedly sourcing the majority of its OLED displays for the 2018 iPhone lineup from Samsung, but LG Display could provide displays for the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone, and Apple could also tap Sharp and Japan Display for extra supply.

Related Roundups: iPhone X, 2018 iPhones
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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

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 2436x1125 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 2436x1125 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 (3940x2160 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 X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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