iPhone 7 display sets performance record, but it's still not the best around


The iPhone 7 is in many ways Apple’s best iPhone yet, and now it can lay claim to a record-setting screen as well.

The folks over at DisplayMate put together an extensive report about the iPhone 7’s display performance, finding it to be one of the best mobile displays it has ever tested.

The iPhone 7’s screen shows significant improvement across the board from that of the iPhone 6, the research firm writes

DisplayMate cites color accuracy, peak brightness, high contrast ratios, great viewing angles and low screen reflectance as reasons for awarding the iPhone 7’s display an “A” grade.

iPhone 7 display

“It is by far the best performing mobile LCD display that we have ever tested, and it breaks many display performance records,” writes DisplayMate. “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.”

According to the firm, Apple took what it learned from the iPad Pro 9.7 display and offers two color gamuts on the iPhone 7: sRGB, which is an older standard, and the new DCI-P3 color gamut that’s 26% larger than sRGB.

This means the iPhone 7 “will be able to accurately display all of the new 4K TV and video content,” though DisplayMate notes the screen resolution is far from 4K. However, the iPhone 7’s Retina Display resolution is good enough at normal viewing distances that you won’t be able to see any individual pixels.

Great LCD display, but OLED still wins

The iPhone 7’s display is undoubtedly impressive, but how does it stack against its main rival, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7?

Displays for both phones received an “Excellent” and “A” rating, but DisplayMate bestowed the Note 7 with “The Best Smartphone Display” award, citing some advantages of Samsung’s OLED technology.

“LCDs are a great cutting edge high performance display technology for Tablets to TVs, but for handheld Smartphones, OLED displays provide a number of significant advantages over LCDs,” DisplayMate notes. Those advantages include “being much thinner, much lighter, with a much smaller bezel providing a near rimless design.”

Galaxy Note 7 display
The Galaxy Note 7 is still DisplayMate’s top choice for a smartphone display

All this allows OLED displays to be manufactured into flexible and curved designs, plus provides perks for fast response time, better viewing angles, and always-on display modes.

The Galaxy Note 7’s display also offers the DCI-P3 color gamut for displaying accurate cinema content, as well as being extremely bright in high ambient lighting, which is useful for outdoor viewing.

DisplayMate speculates that rumors of Apple moving to an OLED display for its next iPhone could be a possibility because of the improvements in brightness, efficiency and flexibility of design.

DisplayMate sees improved image quality in bright ambient light as the next battleground for display dominance in future phones, a battle Apple and Samsung are sure to go head-to-head on.

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