The iPhone 5’s rather astonishing in-cell Retina display: Thoroughly analyzed

“When Apple rolled out the iPhone 5, they announced that it had a full sRGB gamut, which the new iPad almost achieves and would be a substantial improvement over the 4 and 4S displays,” Chris Heinonen reports for AnandTech. “The slight increase in screen resolution and size means we are looking at a new panel than the previous generations used as well, with the new panel being speced at 800:1 contrast ratio and 500 nits of brightness.”

“I don’t have a 4S to test, but used my iPhone 4 that was bought on launch day and has been in use since then for comparison. Numbers were run using CalMAN 5 software, and an SpectraCal C6 colorimeter that was profiled from an i1Pro spectrometer,” Heinonen reports. “All readings are the average of 3 measurements from the C6, except for very dark readings where 10 measurements were taken for more accuracy.”

Heinonen reports, “The iPhone 5 display is a whole quantum leap better than the display on the iPhone 4. Contrast levels and light output have both been increased, and color performance is astonishing. The full sRGB gamut is present here, and color errors are remarkably low for a even a high end desktop display. While many were hoping for a move to OLED or some other screen innovation, this really is a huge step up that is very easy to quantify. To put this in perspective, in the past few years I’ve reviewed probably 30-40 different displays, from PC monitors, to TVs to projectors. Not a single one, out of the box, can put up the Gretag Macbeth dE numbers that the iPhone can, and perhaps one projector (which listed for $20,000) can approach the grayscale and color accuracy out of the box.”

Much more, including copious test results, in the full article – recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]

Related article:
DisplayMate: Apple’s iPhone 5 offers best smartphone display we have tested to date – September 24, 2012


  1. I own the iPhone 5 and it is a remarkable device. It is a major advancement in technology, manufacturing, and style. It has another attribute, thoughtfulness. It makes using what is often complicated technology seem natural.

    1. Then you want a camera with unmanageable screen size that happens to have the best cel phone on the market rather than a perfect phone with the camera and screen size more important than the phone itself. Even the best compact cameras up to, say, the Canon GX1 has less than a 4″ screen. And doesn’t have a phone.

      The scientific benchmarks this as the best phone camera now available. The screen size is irrevelant.

    2. Give me a screen i can use one-handed and fits nicely in my pocket over any “mine is bigger than yours” blowhard screen that has no feature over mine other than that it “goes to eleven.”

      I am more than happy with the 3.5″ retina screen on my iPhone 4, thank you very much.

    3. Failing which Droid will continue to take on market share. No doubt the iP5 will sell well to the converted but how well will it do in terms of halting the Android growth if in fact display size is the derivative that drives the consumer’s purchase decision.

      1. No, Apple will simply remain the number one phone sold, with updates that everyone can get as soon as they’re available AND that goes back YEARS in compatibility.

        IOS 6 runs on the 3GS!! Many Android phones of the same year are forever stuck at version 2 or something.

  2. The screen is noticeably clearer and brighter. The 5 is light, fast and the size fits perfect. Contrary to the maps complaints, I found maps much leaner and easier to use. It is very accurate in my area. Improved over google maps in St. Louis area.

    1. Your a asshole. You get mad if someone has a different phone. My s3 blows away your piece of shit. Your all grabbing at straws. Name one thing your iphone does that android cant.

  3. My wife and I were in an Apple store yesterday so we compared the screens of her iPhone 4 and my iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 was similar to my 4S in color, whereas the 4 was noticeably bluer.

    Boy is that iPhone 5 lighter in weight!

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