It seems like only a short time ago DisplayMate crowned the Samsung Galaxy S5, but the bar keeps being raised.
Specifically, Dr. Raymond Soneira has conducted extensive and detailed testing of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and have concluded that the latter is “the Best performing Smartphone LCD display that we have ever tested.” With a higher-density screen, very low reflectance, exemplary viewing angles and accurate colours, the iPhone 6 Plus exceeded even Soneira’s high expectations, though it doesn’t quite match the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for overall excellence, as Samsung’s combination of a high-resolution panel, accurate OLED calibration and great brightness makes it the “top performing Smartphone display.”
According to DisplayMate, Apple has not only improved the resolution of the iPhones 6, but has considerably bumped up the colour sRGB accuracy and contrast ratio, while maintaining industry-leading metrics like reflectance and viewing angles. The iPhone 6 comes close, according to Soneira, but has fewer than half the pixels of the 6 Plus, so overall fidelity is considerably lower.
As for the future of LCDs, Soneira points to adaptability as a key metric: “The most important improvements for both LCD and LCD mobile displays will come from improving their image and picture quality and screen readability in ambient light, which washes out the screen images, resulting in reduced image contrast, color saturation, and color accuracy. The key will be in implementing automatic real-time modification of the display’s Color Gamut and Intensity Scales based the measured Ambient Light level in order to have them compensate for the reflected light glare and image wash out from ambient light.”
It’s likely no coincidence that the two companies with the deepest pockets in mobile, Apple and Samsung, are the ones consistently outperforming the competition by obtaining, or manufacturing, the highest-quality display panels. Samsung seems to have the lead here, likely because they are so effectively vertically integrated, but Apple’s buying power keeps it close behind.