iPhone 7's 'Best LCD Display Ever' Marks 'Major Upgrade Over iPhone 6'

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DisplayMate Technologies has declared iPhone 7 has the "best LCD display" it has ever tested, calling it "truly impressive" and a "major upgrade" over the iPhone 6 based on a series of advanced viewing tests and measurements.

iPhone 7 achieved the highest color accuracy, peak brightness, and contrast rating in bright light of any smartphone display, the highest contrast ratio of any IPS LCD display, and the lowest screen reflectance of any smartphone display.

Apple's latest flagship smartphone also has image contrast and intensity described as "visually indistinguishable from perfect," and the smallest color variation when viewing the screen at an angle of any smartphone display.

Color Accuracy and Power Efficiency

iPhone 7 has two color gamuts, including a new 26% larger DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut, as found in 4K TVs, and a traditional, smaller sRGB / Rec.709 gamut. DisplayMate said both gamuts have been implemented with absolute color accuracy that is "visually indistinguishable from perfect," which is "truly impressive" and a "major competitive advantage" over other smartphones.

DisplayMate said the iPhone 7 has "the most color accurate display" that it has ever measured, adding that the smartphone's display is "very likely considerably better than any mobile display, monitor, TV, or UHD TV" that consumers have. In technical terms, the iPhone 7 has a "Just Noticeable Color Difference" (JNCD) rating of 1.1, which is the best result of any smartphone it has ever tested.

Despite having a much wider color gamut, the iPhone 7's display is 7% more power efficient than the iPhone 6's display.
Wide Color Gamut LCDs like the iPhone 7 instead use specially tuned Red and Green phosphors to optimally transform the light for the chosen saturated Red and Green primaries, which improves their light and power efficiency.
Brightness

The measured peak brightness for the iPhone 7 is 602 cd/m2 (nits), the highest of any smartphone DisplayMate has ever tested.

The measurement increases up to a record 705 nits when Automatic Brightness is turned on under brightly lit conditions.
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.
Contrast Ratio

DisplayMate said the iPhone 7 has a record-breaking contrast ratio among IPS LCD smartphone displays.
The iPhone 7 has a measured Contrast Ratio of 1,762, which is Very Good for a mobile display, and the highest we have measured for any IPS LCD display. It is also 26 percent larger than the 1,400 that Apple lists as Typical. However, Contrast Ratio is only meaningful in low ambient light, which is seldom the case for mobile displays.
iPhone 7 also has the highest contrast rating (137 to 160) in high ambient light of any smartphone.

Reflectance

DisplayMate said iPhone 7 has 4.4% screen reflectance, which is a record low among smartphones it has ever tested.

However, the iPhone 7 doesn't come close to the record low 1.7% screen reflectance of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which has a special anti-reflective coating.
Unfortunately, AR coatings still can't be used with smartphones, which have much higher abrasion and scratch issues than tablets and other touch screen displays because they are small enough to be carried in pockets and bags that have all sorts of scratchy things inside. A number of companies are working on technologies that can produce both low screen reflectance and high abrasion and scratch resistance [...] but it's challenging and also has to be cost effective. Since peak brightness can't keep increasing due to battery power limitations and thermal issues, developing a low reflectance screen will be the key to improving display performance in high ambient light.
Viewing Angle

DisplayMate said the iPhone 7 has "excellent viewing angle performance" with no visually noticeable color shifts. The display had the smallest color variation when viewed at an angle, earning a JNCD rating of 2.1 or less.
With its Dual-Domain Pixels, the iPhone 7 Contrast Ratio remained close to 1,000 at 30 degrees for both the Portrait and Landscape modes, which is the highest we have measured for LCDs. However, all LCDs do have a strong decrease in Brightness (Luminance) with Viewing Angle, and the iPhone 7 showed (as expected) a 55 percent decrease in Brightness at a modest 30 degree Viewing Angle.
DisplayMate shared more in-depth analysis in its iPhone 7 vs. iPhone 6 display shootout.

Article Link: iPhone 7's 'Best LCD Display Ever' Marks 'Major Upgrade Over iPhone 6'
 

kevinkyoo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
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I've seen it in person. The color accuracy, brightness, etc. are improvements, yes. But after you see/use a 1440p display from any other high-end phones in the market today, it really makes you anticipate that much more for the next iPhone.
 

SandboxGeneral

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Sep 8, 2010
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Apple's latest flagship smartphone also has image contrast and intensity described as "visually indistinguishable from perfect,"
Interesting choice of words there. Who determines what is and isn't "perfect"? Seems more like a subjective point of view to me. Not to take away from the stunning display that they're touting, but I think essentially calling it perfect is a bit much.
 

randymac09

macrumors regular
Aug 18, 2014
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My iPhone 7's display is considerably warmer and less brighter than that of my 6S. The difference is very obvious when I hold both phones side by side. Is anyone else noticing this with their phone as well?
I did notice it is a bit warmer. However, it is definitely brighter than the 6 I was using. Can't speak for the 6s. I wonder if the warmer tones are more 'accurate' than previous displays?
 

Kajje

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Dec 6, 2012
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However, the iPhone 7 doesn't come close to the record low 1.7% screen reflectance of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which has a special anti-reflective coating.
Not that I had any bad experiences with reflectivity but what could be the reason Apple didn't include this coating on the iPhone? They seem to do have the technology.
 

Zirel

Suspended
Jul 24, 2015
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I've seen it in person. The color accuracy, brightness, etc. are improvements, yes. But after you see/use a 1440p display from any other high-end phones in the market today, it really makes you anticipate that much more for the next iPhone.
At arm's lenght, it doesn't matter if it has 1440p or 1080p, everything above 280-300 dpi looks the same.
 

zrherda88

macrumors newbie
May 30, 2014
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Interesting choice of words there. Who determines what is and isn't "perfect"? Seems more like a subjective point of view to me. Not to take away from the stunning display that they're touting, but I think essentially calling it perfect is a bit much.
I could be wrong but I am pretty sure they are measuring it based on how it displays color and accuracy of colors. I do not know the scale but lets say that 10.0 was perfect, the iphone must rate at a 9.999 or something close. Correct me if I am wrong though anyone who knows what they actually mean, but I took it to mean that there testing has established that X measurement is perfect and the new iphone is very close.
 

nfl46

macrumors 604
Oct 5, 2008
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"Better" in what exactly, other than blacks?
Here you go: http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_Note7_ShootOut_1.htm

It's very descriptive and answers your question in more than one way.

OLED displays provide a number of significant advantages over LCDs including: being much thinner, much lighter, with a much smaller bezel providing a near rimless design, they can be made flexible and into curved screens, plus they have a very fast response time, better viewing angles, and an always-on display mode. Many of the OLED performance advantages result from the fact that every single sub-pixel in an OLED display is individually directly powered, which results in better color accuracy, image contrast accuracy, and screen uniformity.