There’s an amazing feature of the iPhone 7 that few people talked about before its release, and few reviewers have covered after its rollout. That feature? The iPhone 7’s display.
In fact, DisplayMate Technologies, a company that produces display calibration and optimization software, tested and measured the iPhone 7 through a variety of methods, and found that the device set eight new records for smartphone display performance, according to ZDNet.
“Neither Apple nor the early reviewers have said much about the iPhone 7 display, but it is truly outstanding and the best LCD display we have ever tested,” DisplayMate President Raymond Soneira wrote in a blog post.
The iPhone 7 scored the highest in color accuracy, contrast in bright light, peak brightness ratings of any smartphone display since DisplayMate began testing. The phone also vaulted to the top in highest contrast ratio and lowest screen reflectance of any phone display, according to MacRumors.
Additionally, Cupertino’s latest flagship has image contrast and intensity that has been called “visually indistinguishable from perfect.” It also has the smallest color variation among any smartphone when the screen is viewed at an angle, Cult of Mac reported.
Part of the reason why the iPhone 7’s display scores such high marks in testing is that it uses two color gamuts: the standard sRGB/Rec.709 gamut — which is traditionally used in most consumer technologies like cameras and computers — and the new DCI-P3 wide color gamut that is used in 4K UHD TVs. Both gamuts were implemented with astounding color accuracy. DisplayMate even went so far as to say that the iPhone 7’s LCD screen is “very likely considerably better” than any display, monitor, TV or even UHD TV that consumers currently have, MacRumors reported.
As far as display brightness goes, the iPhone 7 again set the record. The measured peak brightness for the Cupertino-designed smartphone was 602 cd/m2. It also jumped to a record 705 cd/m2 when Automatic Brightness was enabled in brightly lit conditions. By default, the iPhone 7’s screen won’t hit its highest brightness setting manually, because it would drain the phone’s battery very quickly. But if the mode is turned on, the phone will automatically hit peak brightness in environments with high levels of ambient light, DisplayMate wrote in its review.
The phone’s contrast ratio is also a record-breaker among IPS LCD displays. The iPhone 7 has a measured contrast ratio of 1,762 — which is 26 percent larger than the 1,400 that Apple says is typical. This is especially meaningful in low-light conditions, but the iPhone 7 also has the highest contrast ratio in bright conditions as well — scoring a 137 to 160 ratio.
In screen reflectance, the iPhone 7 measured a record low of 4.4 percent for smartphones. Even though that’s not as low as the iPad Pro, that’s only because the iPad has a special anti-reflective coating that cannot be used on devices that are likely to be in abrasive or scratching conditions — like a purse or pocket.
And in viewing angle performance, the iPhone 7 again stole the record. According to DisplayMate’s testing, the iPhone 7 has no noticeable color shifts when the phone was viewed at angle — earning it a 2.1 JNCD rating.
And although Apple seems to have reached the peak of LCD display perfection, the iPhone 7 may be the last phone to use it. Many rumors theorize that Apple will be moving its smartphones to OLED screen technology in 2017.