there really are big difference in screen quality

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by PDE, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I've had an iphone with LCD model 5755136 and I just got an iphone for my girlfriend that has LCD model 7451392. I'm quite surprised what a big difference there is. My iphone has a brighter display with much crisper whites and good grays, while hers is slightly dimmer with whites that are warmer/yellowish and browner grays. Maybe mine shows an overly cool color, but to me it's much more pleasing and crisp. When I only look at hers, it looks fine, but when they're together, mine seems much better.

    Do we know who manufactures the different models?

    the 5-series is to the right, 7-series to the left on the photo.

    Attached Files:

  2. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    Have you tested for the negative black issue on the new ones?

    These displays have some serious issues. Have to try to forget about it and enjoy the phone.
  3. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    It doesn't seem to have the negative black issue, though because it's not as bright as mine both light and darker colors don't look as good. What I like the least about it is the lack of crisp white - it reminds me of some of the SR macbook pro LED displays with their off-white, yellowish, warm tone. When on their own they look fine, but as soon as you see a good one, you realize that your eyes have adapted and that the other was not good.

    Yeah, not much can be done I guess. Too bad. Are they even using the 5-series displays anymore??
  4. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Not doubting you (and the difference is interesting to a certain extent in its own right), but I have to say - so what? No-one ever claimed they were SWOP-certified colour-managed displays: you say yourself that hers looks fine on its own. Really, what more can you ask for than that?
  5. CD3660 macrumors 68040


    Jun 6, 2007
    Cheshire, United Kingdom.
    I have a 7 series screen, but it looks just like your 5 series in the photo.
  6. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    yeah, maybe it doesn't matter, but why should she have an inferior screen when I have a good one? They cost the same. They're really not comparable and unfortunately the picture doesn't show that. If Apple can't ensure that screens have similar color balance/brightness/contrast, they need to think of a way to change their sourcing so that they get manufacturers who are up to snuff. Sure, these displays are not as important as the desktop displays or laptops displays, but those too have similar problems with very inconsistent quality because of the use of many different brands of display. It's a lottery and it shouldn't be when the products are too expensive. We know that Apple has among the highest profit margins in the industry - maybe they should think of focusing a little more on consistency of quality too, even if margins come down slightly.

    I just don't think customers should ever have to think about whether they will get a 'good' screen or 'bad' screen when they're all paying the same top dollar.

    That's all.

    Apparently there are several models of 7-series displays too, some better than others. Happy yours looks like my 5-series. I wish my gf's 7-series did too!
  7. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    i feel like we're talking about BMWs :p
    That's why you wait for rev b of things
  8. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    DFW, TX
    I'm sure you did ... but did you turn off the auto brightness feature and set the brightness equal to each other?
  9. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Well, you did say hers looks fine in isolation previously! It sounds more like you just prefer the look of your screen to hers - what you have to ask from a QC point of view is whether hers (taken in isolation) is of acceptable quality, if it is then it's irrelevant whether it looks the same as yours or not.
  10. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005

    If I had only seen hers, I probably would have felt that the whites were a little off, but acceptable. I would say it's an ok screen. When I saw my screen and didn't compare it with others, I felt it was great with crisp whites, good contrast and, as a whole, excellent quality. Individually, they're both fine (whatever 'fine' means: acceptable, ok, nice ), but when compared side by side, one is clearly a superior quality display while the other is inferior. It's not only my preference (though in part of course it is), but whites are supposed to be white and grays gray - not off-white and slightly brownish gray. It all depends on what your expectations are - to me, iphone displays should be roughly the same and they're not.

    I am perhaps particularly sensitive to these very issues because I dealt for a very long time with a similar problem with the MBP SR displays - though there you have the ability to calibrate it which you don't have on the iphone. If I could calibrate the iphone display, I'm pretty sure I could improve it a lot.

    Yes, both displays were on brightest. Unlike my iphone, hers look quite a bit worse when the brightness is turned down. Mine is just dimmer, but dimming hers makes the off-whiteness particularly prominent.

    Didn't mean to start a debate about this - just feel that it's strange that they are so different and perhaps needed to rant a little since I wanted my gf to have the best for a pre-christmas present. Now, I don't want to show her mine again because I fear she'd see the difference! I'd give her mine, but the chrome is all scratched at this point....
  11. infosprt macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    Temecula, CA
    I have noticed the same thing between iPhones and between the iPhone and iPod touch.

    I agree, the quality of the display should be the same. I don't understand why Apple permits screens with significantly different quality to be sold.
  12. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    cheaper screens = lower production costs = higher margins...
  13. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    cheaper screens = lower production costs = higher margins = happy stockholders = unhappy customers = fewer units sold long term = higher production costs = lower margins = unhappy stockholders =demands for higher margins = lower quality = unhappy customers = the end BOOOOOM!
  14. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    I have the EXACT OPPOSITE of the situation you have. My 5 series is really light, and the 7 series is darker and clearer.
  15. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    DFW, TX
  16. TurboSC macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2007
    lol seems about right. But I think Apple has done a great job with the product thus far, I've returned my earlier phone that had battery problems with no trouble.
  17. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I have to agree that Apple has done an amazing job with the iphone - it's the best first generation computer/technological product I've used with remarkably few problems. Pretty impressive. But that's why it's really regrettable that they couldn't get better uniformity with their displays. As always with displays, it's all very difficult to reach any kind of objective evaluation since people have different expectations, opinions, preferences etc, but I think that when you place a high quality screen next to a lesser screen, most people would know which is which.

    My girlfriend absolutely loves her iphone! I mean, she normally couldn't care less about technology, but she'd giddy about this one, even with the screen that I consider inferior. If she saw mine, she probably would notice that something is different if she had just used hers, but she also most likely wouldn't really care or think about it. Only people like myself with too much time on my hands to be picky and demanding would think more about it and want to do something about it.
  18. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    My screen is similar to the one on the left and i kinda prefer it. The one to the right seems to have a blue hue to it
  19. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Can't really see a problem with either of them - they just look like they're set to different color temperatures with the one on the left being warmer than the one on the right
  20. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    It's interesting how people see colors differently. The picture doesn't do it justice, but to me the left has too much of a yellowish hue - whites are off-white and grays are more brownish. The right one may be a little too cool, but whites are definitely white on it and gray is gray which gives it (in my mind at least) a crisp, sharp look compared to the warmer, more murky feeling of the other one.

    There is no answer to this, but it would be nice if Apple could try to minimize differences in the the iphone displays OR provide some sort of simple calibration software which obviously goes against the simplicity principle of the phone.
  21. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I think you're probably right. I started this thread because I felt that the left iphone had an inferior display, when my perception probably does have more to do with color temperature than with the actual quality of the display, though the 5-series seems brighter too. The problem is that we can't change the color temperature so what we see is what we're stuck with. If I could change it to make it slightly cooler, I'd probably be fine with it.
  22. Martin C macrumors 6502a

    Martin C

    Nov 5, 2006
    New York City
  23. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    just dial *3001#12345#* and then check under 'versions' where it will tell you the model number...
  24. wjanoch macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2007
    Seeing Colors?

    Color is, as any descent photographer can tell you, very subjective. The camera that took the picture of those iPhones has a white balance (even if it's automatic) and other features that affect how it represents colors (dark background vs light background in JPG compression, etc...).

    Color, as any hardware store can tell you, can be calibrated to match, within a certain tolerance.

    Tolerance is the issue being drummed heavily here. How closely should one screen be expected to match another? I can assure you that Apple is well aware of the tolerances on their screens, including iPhone screens.

    Reasons may exist to explain why Apple would be willing to release screens with such a wide range of tolerance. For instance, they may have wanted to make sure that they didn't sell out everywhere and miss out on revenue. Like it was mentioned above, the quality is still good, it's just not equal across the board.

    Lesser quality on all phone might have been a good way to even the playing field w/o having supply issues. It's easier to make a great screen look like a good one than to make a new screen to replace a good one, I'm glad they didn't go that route (I don't think they did anyway).

    Maybe it was a temporary issue that Apple has already resolved. We don't have any official word on this do we?

    Maybe it's a fluke? It's possible this is an example of a screen that is beyond the tolerance specks and just got through QA on a Friday or Monday (bad days for manufacturing anywhere). Again, we don't have any way to know the tolerance range. I also suspect that we don't have any way to test it (as opposed to eyeballing it).

  25. PDE thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    Indeed, tolerances. I got yet another iphone yesterda, this one with a 7-series display (but not the same as the above) and it is closer to the 5-series than the other one. I don't expect colors to be accurate on this display, but whites should be white and thus far only the 5-series seem to display snow as white rather than slightly off-white. I looked in the store and that was my conclusion their too. I could immediately spot a 5-series display.

    Luckily iphone owners don't all sit together and compare phone screens. If they did, there would be more fuss about the differences.

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