iPhone 5 has best mobile display
DisplayMate: iPhone 5 has undisputed best display

26 Sep 2012 | Rasmus Larsen |

The display in the new iPhone 5 is not just one of the first to use in-cell touch technology, the screen is also the best display of all smartphones, according to DisplayMate. Dr. Raymond Soneira has carried out an impressive in-depth analysis of the display and a comparison to the displays in iPhone 4 and Galaxy SIII.

iPhone 5 has best mobile display

FlatpanelsHD has already explained the display technology in the iPhone 5 and we later explained in details how modern touch technology is evolving with in-cell and on-cell technology.

iPhone 5-skζrm
The LCD display in iPhone 5 is the undisputed best display in any smartphones, says DisplayMate

In an analysis, DisplayMate has compared the iPhone 4, iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy SIII and carried out an extremely thorough review of the displays’ characteristics. iPhone 5 handily beats both the iPhone 4 and the Galaxy SIII. The PenTile OLED display in the Galaxy SIII also receives some harsh words – but also shows potential.

The iPhone 5 is praised for its calibration, color reproduction, reflections level (which is the best on the market), picture detailing, power consumption and brightness (in daylight). It is of particular interest to us to note that it is the first mobile display to comply with the sRGB color gamut – and it does so close to perfection. Earlier LCD panels in smartphone were not able to cover the entire sRGB gamut why colors also appeared slightly paler and less saturated.

DisplayMate comparison of the iPhone 4, iPhone and Galaxy SIII, Click to enlarge

Samsung's OLED display overshoots the sRGB gamut by a wide margin. Colors are too saturated and the display can therefore appear “comic book like” and “gaudy”. In addition, the OLED display receives harsh criticism for its PenTile pixels that affects text reproduction and sharpness. However, the OLED display also outperforms the iPhone 5 LCD display in other areas such as black reproduction (and therefore contrast ratio).

The iPhone 5 fails to impress in only two areas; color temperature, which is around 7500 Kelvin. The goal is – FlatpanelsHD use the same goal in our review - 6500 Kelvin. The variation means that the display is slightly too bluish. The second area is the drop in brightness when viewing the screen from an angle (viewing angles).

DisplayMate comparison of the iPhone 4, iPhone and Galaxy SIII, Click to enlarge

Only beaten by iPad 3 – could become a great TV

Raymond Soneira’s conclusion is clear: iPhone 5 has the best display of any smartphone and it is a big improvement over the iPhone 4. If tablets are included only the iPad 3 has better picture performance. Soneira also sees great potential in Samsung's OLED displays but Samsung must first move past PenTile pixels and focus more on calibration and color gamut consistency. Brightness must also come up and power consumption down.

Raymond Soneira concludes by saying that if Apple can transfer the same screen technology, color calibration and dedication to detail to the potential Apple flat panel TV, Apple will have good cards on their hands.

The full analysis can be found here. We can highly recommend it. DisplayMate also has other interesting comparisons on the site.

Dr Raymond Soneira has a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics and is the owner of DisplayMate that helps the industry to improve display and picture quality. DisplayMate has prominent electronics giants as customers and also produces equipment for display testing, calibration and measurement.

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