Stop the fake news! Apple’s iPhone X OLED display is not just like any other Samsung offering

“If you’ve read a number of reviews about Apple’s iPhone X, at some point you may have discovered that the new OLED display Apple utilizes is made by Samsung,” Mark Reschke writes for T-GAAP. “What you may also have been led to believe is the display for iPhone X is no different than any other OLED display, and certainly nothing different than any other display Samsung manufactures. Sadly, that’s not even close to accurate.”

“It is true that Samsung manufactures Apple’s iPhone X OLED display,” Reschke writes. “That point alone brings with it a lot of assumptions, or misguided information, and it should really stop. It’s sloppy journalism to say the least.”

“Apple spends billions on display RnD and its related partnerships, pushing the technology forward. Samsung acts as a contract manufacturer which can stamp out Apple’s design specification en mass,” Reschke writes. “Apple further snuffs out OLED issues with its own individual sub-pixel level display calibration and manufactures its own display driver. Of course Apple went even further, adding in HDR and a TrueTone technology, keeping the display looking near color temperature perfect to your eye, no matter what lighting conditions you are in. Apple delivers all this additional technology, and it goes beyond just a stamped display. The entire screen, from its nit (brightness) characteristics, size, viewing angles, to how it is driven with software, is all due to Apple.”

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

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s a capacity and yield quality issue. It’s also why it took for long for Apple to move to OLED – nobody outsells iPhone, so there was previously no way to get enough quality OLED displays amassed to meet Apple’s demand.

When you see outlets stating the iPhone X’s display is the “same” as those found on Samsung phones, you can attribute it to mistaken assumptions if you like, but the information is readily available, so the outlets’ intent must also be questioned.

Apple individually calibrates every single iPhone X unit before it leaves the factory. And Apple’s OLED iPhone X’s feature TrueTone. Those are two big reasons, among others, why Apple’s iPhone X displays are particularly special vs. other Samsung-made OLED screens.MacDailyNews, November 13, 2017

“Apple’s version of an OLED screen is manufactured by Samsung, but is not an off-the-shelf Samsung part. It’s a custom-built, diamond-pattern OLED array that was built to Apple specifications and driven by an Apple display driver. This screen is not comparable to screens found in Samsung devices on a variety of levels.” – TechCrunch, October 31, 2017

DisplayMate: Apple’s iPhone X has the most color accurate display we’ve ever measured; it is visually indistinguishable from perfect – November 8, 2017


  1. OMG. Just got this thing. Space grey. Freaking gorgeous.

    Then I turned it on.

    And the screen.


    I think I actually gasped.

    Better than I thought it could be. Still randomly pressing the home button, lol, but getting used to it. Reachability makes it a lot easier to use the bigger screen (coming from a 6).

    There is a noticeable shift from warm to bluish when tilting the phone (even slightly), but this pretty much goes away if you turn off truetone. Right now, I’m preferring True Tone setting and stopped noticing the shift in hue.

  2. Also…Apple included a black image for wallpaper. I moved all apps to the right, leaving the primary “home screen” just black space. It’s oddly black. Feels like you could get sucked into it..3Dish. Like..if you were, let’s might get caught staring into it for hours 😉

  3. Sorry, but the display is mediocre. It is completely inconsistent with a lot of blotchy areas. The sides of the display also seem to have a pinkish hue. The brightness of the display is the same as my 6 Plus. On the positive note, the colors are more vivid than my 6 Plus.

    Not only is the display mediocre, but so is the rest of the phone (at least my phone):

    Other Cons:

    1) The sound is tin-like, but louder than my 6 Plus. It also makes a crackling noise after certain sounds. The speakers don’t even need to be on full volume for the sound to crackle.

    2) The screen size is muuuuuch smaller than an iPhone 6 Plus. The X might be taller, but much, much narrower. This is particularly evident when watching videos in landscape mode. If the video is full-sized then parts of the video are cropped out. It looks terrible and is completely unacceptable.

    3) Apps don’t look good. Instagram looks like absolute crap, even though it has been modified to fit the X. The content area is way too small on Instagram, while the navigation areas are oversized. Other apps have black bars, which basically turn the phone into an iPhone 8.

    4) The notch is a nuisance, but not as bad as I thought it would be.

    5) Face ID is a complete train wreck. It works maybe 20% of the time. It especially doesn’t work while trying to use the device in bed. The X needs to be held at a certain distance for Face ID to work; too far or too close and it will not work.

    6) The new gestures are both good and bad. The bad – closing apps is a pain in the ass, swiping down to envoke control center is a joke, and trying to shorten the UI and then reaching for control center is still a kludge.

    7) Videos, shot even in 4K at 60 FPS indoors with low light, are very grainy and look worse than my ancient iPhone 6 Plus.

    8) Charging time is still way too long. It took me 2 hours and 25 minutes to fully charge using an iPad charger. With the gear provided it I heard it takes 3 hours to fully charge an X.

    9) The X is much smaller than my 6 Plus, but it seems like it is slightly heavier. It also seems very fragile, like fine crystal – don’t want to drop it.

    The Good:

    1) The fit and finish is the best they have ever done. It’s a gorgeous device.

    2) Low light video shot outdoors at sunset is muuuuuch better than my 6 Plus. I don’t know why the indoor low light on the X looks bad.

    3) The battery lasted 8 hours of use (day 2), which is about 2-3 hours more than my constantly used, 3-year-old 6 Plus.

    4) The speed of the X blows the 6 Plus out of the water: websites are blazing fast, and Siri is instant.

    5) I like the feature when notifications on the lock screen are blank, but populate with information once the device recognizes my face. The problem is, Face ID rarely works to make it an awesome experience.

    6) I like the swipe-up gesture to get to the home screen and the scroll at the bottom of the phone to get to a previously used/opened app.

    Conclusion: I’m going to return the phone and try to get a new one. I’ve been reading about the screen issues and many posters are saying it is common to have these issues with OLED screens. If this is the case, then OLED is not reading for prime time, and I can’t believe Samsung customers have put up with this crap for all these years.

    When this phone is replaced I will have to go into the store to make sure the screen(s) aren’t bunk. If I can’t find a phone with a decent screen, or if Face ID doesn’t work on a new phone, or if the sound still crackles, then I will ask for my money back.

    1. You should return if you indeed having those issues. I’ve only had mine for an afternoon, but Face ID hasn’t failed once. It’s almost too good as I started to accidentally unlock it just by walking by and glancing down. Working perfectly for safari auto fill. Camera is stunning. I am an amateur photographer that is accustom to manual settings on expensive gear.

      1. I thought Face ID would get better after a couple days of machine learning, but no dice: it has to be held at an exact distance and angle.

        The camera is an excellent sunset. I took some sunset pics and a couple of videos with no filters tonight. Touching the screen where the sunset was located made the sunset colors more acurrate and more vivid than any phone I’ve ever used.

        I can live with the grain on low-light, indoor video, but I’ve seen some X video taken outdoors with very little light and there is not nearly as much grain. So, it’s probably a bad sensor, unless those videographers did some type of post processing to reduce the noise.

          1. Nope, sorry dude. I’ve been commenting and railing against Android for a few years on this site. At least on my phone, Face ID is terrible, especially laying in bed (pillow propping up my head against a headboard). To get Face ID to unlock the phone I have to exactly hold the phone about 18 inches to 24 inches (don’t have a ruler near me) at about a 30 degree angle above my head to get Face ID to work. It is incredibly annoying.

            I have even tested Face ID standing and the failure rate better, but still bad at about 40%. While standing and unlocking the device has to positioned almost in the same manner every time for it to unlock the phone. Standing and unlocking is not as stringent as laying in bed though.

            For me, Touch ID, not Face ID, is soooooooooo (I can’t add enough o’s) much easier and convenient.

            I’m a tech guy and Face ID is difficult to use. I can’t imagine older people or people in a hurry dealing with this…

            1. “Lying sack of Android Pubes”, is correct I think. And noooooooo (I can’t add enough o’s) you are not a Tech person. Otherwise you would have known how to set up face ID properly……….not that this requires any sort of special Tech expertise.

            2. Look troll, everyone here knows you’re lying. You are literally the first person I’ve heard of that finds Face ID doesn’t work great. It’s possible your iPhone X is broken in some way, but it’s more likely you’re a lying Apple troll.

    2. I can say that FaceID has worked for me perfectly. It’s the best thing ever! My screen is gorgeous. This phone is the best phone I’ve ever touched. It’s simply awesome. If any reader is on the fence, don’t believe the haters. Dive in the water is perfect.

    3. I’ve had my iPhone X for a week and a half and FaceID has not failed once. It makes no sense that yours fails so often. 20%? Absurd. Mine works fine in bed and in total darkness. It’s worked at 3″ and at 3 feet.

      My sound is superb, nowhere near “tinny” nor is there any “crackle” no matter what volume it is set at.

      And “you heard it takes 3 hours”??? No it takes less time to charge with a wired charger than with a wireless charging.

      You really don’t have an iPhone X, do you?

  4. I’m a huge Apple fan, but Apple has been behind in cell phone display technology for many years.
    Wonderful if Apple is ahead at this point, but I don’t expect it will be for long. Within a year the iPhone X screen will likely look dated compared to competitive offerings and unfortunately it will still have a notch.
    Soooo Apple fanboys, gloat while you can. Apple “markets” great displays, but rarely are they at the forefront for long and their dated displays then seem to stick around forever.
    When it comes to value particularly in the stand alone display arena (monitors), there are arguable better offerings.

    1. Suuuuure, Bill. You’re such a huuuuge fan… but you just have to list a bunch of supposed negatives (‘I don’t expect’, ‘will likely’, ‘seem to’, ‘arguably’) AND sneer while doing it.

    2. Apple has been a leader in LCD cell phone display technology for years. The iPhones have always been at the top in that regard. Samsung jumped into OLED early as a differentiating move from Apple, and with initially poor results. After a few years the OLED displays improved, but many people continued to prefer The iPhone LCD displays.

      Apple is only moving to OLEDs now that the technology has improved after years of development. If Apple’s display compares poorly to contemporary Android phones, then something is screwed up, because no other cell phone vendor takes as much care with display quality as Apple. In some cases, people are jacking the brightness of their Android displays up to very high levels. The displays will age much more quickly as a result. The iPhone X has the brightest default maximum of any OLED phone based on all of the specs that I have seen.

      1. It really is amusing just how ignorant of even the most basic facts most trolls are. On a related but different issue its equally amusing how the disadvantages of OLED are only now being bandied around by the press now that Apple has started using them.

        But back to the actual article it really is actually rather annoying that so much of the press and tech hacks so lazily do Samsung’s bidding. No one suggests that the A series chips are just TMSC chips though I did notice that when they were made by Samsung a few actually suggested they were Samsung chips especially in the early days. So I guess that sentence answers my own question as to why an Apple designed screen would just simply be put down to Samsung. Must be so frustrating for those who truly created it and why asap as with the silicon the sooner it is produced elsewhere the better.

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