DisplayMate: Apple’s iPhone X has the most color accurate display we’ve ever measured; it is visually indistinguishable from perfect

“Switching from LCDs to OLEDs is a major engineering and manufacturing challenge, so I was eager to test and evaluate the new OLED iPhone X,” Dr. Raymond M. Soneira reports for DisplayMate. “The result: Apple has produced an impressive Smartphone display with excellent performance and accuracy, which we cover in extensive detail below. What makes the iPhone X the best smartphone display is the impressive precision display calibration Apple developed, which transforms the OLED hardware into a superbly accurate, high performance, and gorgeous display, with close to text book perfect calibration and performance!!”

“The absolute color accuracy of the iPhone X is truly impressive,” Soneira reports. “It has an absolute color accuracy of 1.0 JNCD for the sRGB / Red.709 color gamut that is used for most current consumer content, and 0.9 JNCD for the wider DCI-P3 color gamut that is used for 4K UHD TVs and digital cinema. 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.”

Apple's iPhone X has the most innovative and high performance smartphone display that DisplayMate has ever tested
Apple’s iPhone X has the most innovative and high performance smartphone display that DisplayMate has ever tested

The iPhone X matches or sets new Smartphone display performance records for:

• Highest Absolute Color Accuracy for any display (0.9 JNCD) which is visually indistinguishable from perfect.
• Highest Full Screen Brightness for OLED Smartphones (634 nits).
• Highest Full Screen Contrast Rating in Ambient Light (141).
• Highest Contrast Ratio (Infinite).
• Lowest Screen Reflectance (4.5%).
• Smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle (22%).

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iPhone X. Far more than just a notch above. 😉


  1. And yet if you look at the fAndroids, they’re all using the 1200 nits number on the Samsung Note 8 as higher… not realizing that it can only display 1200 nits @ peak brightness when only 1% of the screen is lit up… but in regular use is in the mid 400s.

    Don’t let Android users get away with saying the Samsung Note 8 is brighter. Hold them to the fire!

  2. I love that you can now joke about the iPhone X being “more than just a notch above.” Great line! I know you guys are bothered by the notch, but most people are not (less than 18%), as you can see from the poll of over 10,000 users on 9to5mac. In fact, I like how it sets it apart from all other phones. And I too never even notice it anymore. I hope Apple uses the same design on the next iPad Pro, and uses every possible space for display. Can’t wait.

    1. Well said Sir, MDN finally give up on their hysteria and take a far more logical, sensible and indeed amusing stance. Or maybe they just picked up on the fact people don’t just follow them like sheep and can judge matters for themselves. Which will bring even more tears to the eyes of the PC cronies on here.

  3. WOW. This is a remarkably detailed report, without going into the dangling viscera of color theory. Bravo!

    Bravo as well to Apple, who nailed the optimum quality possible with current OLED technology! I’m astounded! My favorite bits are to use of incident ambient light to adjust the display color temperature as well as the use of color profiles (aka ColorSync). Despite the limitations of additional blue with increased viewing angle and the potential of “burn-in”, the is as professional as anyone can expect from a mere smartphone!

    IOW: I’m tempering my complaints from this past week. (‘Hi!’ To my *DING*bat pals!) I can hardly wait to see this tech applied to the iPad Pro!

    MEANWHILE: Today it was published that the fingerprint resistant coating on Google Pixel 2 phones is rubbing off, resulting in further degradation of its already compromised screen quality. Great going, again, Google! 😛 😱😭🤢🤮

    1. The problem I have with any reports like this is the hyperbole.

      The DCI specification for 4K Digital Cinema (4096×2160, which is *NOT* the same as UHDTV) is for 12 bits per each of three colors per pixel. This is not DCI-P3 as the article states. Depending on how it is done it is closer to REC. 2020. If they are going to claim it is 0.9 of 4K Digital Cinema they need to test it to REC. 2020.

      Apple’s implementation is 8 bit at the screen. Apple does some great software scaling to go from 10 bit or 12 bit to get to 8 bit to give a *apparent* 10 or 12 bit visualization, but it is not the same.

      Yes, the iPhone X displays I’ve seen are amazing. They just are. However, making claims that just don’t hold up only hurts the argument the authors are trying to make.

    1. Easily shot down, by pointing out the review is based upon objective measurements, and that they are free to test the displays and compare their measurements. The key is not that Samsung didn’t make excellent displays for their own OLED phones, but that Apple has calibrated their displays perfectly. As any photographer knows, you need a calibrated workflow from camera to monitor to printer to ensure accurate images. Calibration used to be very very hard and expensive. Apple clearly pays attention to detail and has included screen calibration into their production, and they are being justly applauded for it.

      1. Indeed there is a lot more to a display than simple generic screen technology. Apple has clearly, as to be fair Google has with its Pixel cameras to make the most of the specific hardware they are playing with.

        One thing I do find funny and backs Apple’s decision to wait on OLED screens, is the fact that whereas the ‘Press’ were falling over themselves with the supposed superiority of OLED they now seem far more interested in focusing on some of its disadvantages like situated colours and burn in.

        As I say as much of this flipping seems to go on at the very moment Apple enters a new sphere of technology, its a good job they took their time to get it absolutely right or at least a hairs breath of it. They certainly don’t get the leeway that the likes of Samsung and Google do, or even that easily forgotten underachiever Microsoft.

        Now lets hope they can apply the same focus on detail on certain other products that they deem less ‘sexy’ it seems.

  4. FWIW, I really dislike the X screen, having used it for a couple of days now. The color shift happens on the slightest change in angle, and is extremely distracting. It’s especially bad in warm, dimmer lighting, like, say a bedroom with only a bedside light on. I frankly can’t believe people think this is a great display. Even now, as I type this, based on the way I’m holding the phone, the top part has a red hue and the bottom part of the screen is greenish. Terrible.

    1. Seems strange its not been mentioned elsewhere even at this early stage. Will be interesting if such apparent irregularities are seen by others as time passes. Might be worth getting it checked out just in case its not intrinsic.

      1. I’ve got a Genius Bar appointment for day, but I’m not optimistic. My wife’s X shows exactly the same problem, though it does not appear to bother her as much as it bothers me. A friend who has one says he doesn’t see the issue, though I haven’t seen his screen to be able to compare. I’m hopeful that both my wife and I just got bad phones (we got them from AT&T–maybe they were just part of a bad lot?), but I doubt it.

        Also, FWIW, I think the True Tone display exacerbates the issue. True Tone introduces more red into the display in indoor lighting, which makes the bluish-green off-axis color shift more noticeable. Without the color shift, I’d say that True Tone is freaking great.

      2. Back from the Genius Bar! We looked at 3 different X displays, and they were all a little different. Mine was easily the greenest of the bunch, when looking at them dead-on. The genius could see what I could see, but it’s too early in the release cycle of the phone, and so they can’t replace the screen yet. It’s still entirely unclear whether this is a bad display, or just the way OLEDs operate. I suspect the latter to be the case. She suggested I try turning True Tone off for a while and see if the effect is as noticeable, and if in two weeks things are still really bad, I should bring the phone in and they could replace the screen (though, again, not sure that will solve anything).

    2. Hairbo, your iPhone is working just the way Apple designed it. Be thankful that it hasn’t exploded like a phosphorus grenade during recharging. Count yer blessings, my man.

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