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    Just How Good is iPhone 7’s Display?

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    Amit Srivatsa
    Amit Srivatsa Oct 1, 2016

    When Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 last month, the focus was on features like the new home button, the jet black finish, ‘new’ design and its drastically improved camera. Team Apple also spent ample time talking about its decision to remove the headphone jack and the new Mario game. But the thing that stood out for me was the new display.

    Apple mentioned that iPhone’s 7 display has a wider colour gamut and the screen is up to 25% brighter than the one on previous generation iPhone. It must be noted that the screen is still LCD based, but the initial reports say that it can give OLED a run for it’s money. That’s a big claim! So let’s dig deeoer and find out just how good the iPhone 7’s display actually is.

    Colour Accuracy and Sharpness

    The iPhone 7 has a 1334×750 pixel resolution with a contrast ratio of 1400:1. That’s similar to the iPhone 6 and 6S. However, with newer, sophisticated technologies like the ‘dual colour gamut’ and a 26% larger DCI-P3 wide-colour-gamut, the iPhone 7 display is a treat for the eyes.

    The Dual Colour Gamut is a technology that enhances colour accuracy. So the vivid colours are reproduced accurately. While the DCI-P3 tech is usually found in 4K TVs, which helps in creating super-sharp images.

    DisplayMate Technologies, a company that analyses displays with sophisticated tools, has stated that the iPhone 7 has “the most colour accurate display [it has] ever measured”, calling it “truly impressive” and a major upgrade over the iPhone 6.

    Brightness, Contrast Ratio & Reflectance

    In the brightness test, iPhone 7 measured a peak brightness of 602 cd/m2 (nits). Not going into any technical explanations, that number is by far the highest that any mobile display has ever recorded. Under brightly lit conditions, it can reach up to a record 705 nits when automatic brightness is turned on.

    In the contrast test too, it secured the highest contrast rating (137 to 160) on any smartphone. So the darks in your pics are not lost and the whites are not washed out or blurred.

    Completing the hat-trick, the iPhone 7 bagged a gold medal in the reflectance test too. The new iPhone showed an impressive 4.4% screen reflectance, which is a record among smartphones. But, it comes nowhere close to the 1.7% reflectance of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which adorns a special anti-reflective coating.

    Viewing Angle

    The wide-colour Retina HD display of the iPhone 7 creates excellent viewing angles in both portrait and landscape modes. This state-of-the-art display has the smallest colour variation while viewing at unusual angles. With such an outstanding performance of the iPhone 7 display, there might be a bunch of journalists, analysts and manufacturers wondering if Apple really needs to switch to an OLED iPhone display by the next year.

    I would like to quote here from the evaluation report of DisplayMate’s president Dr Raymond M Soneira. Speaking of the iPhone 7 display, he said, “It is visually indistinguishable from perfect, and is very likely considerably better than any mobile display, monitor, TV or UHD TV that you have. Steve Jobs clearly always highly valued display performance and loved bragging about Apple displays, so he would definitely be extremely proud of the exceptional performance of the iPhone 7 display, but probably be dismayed at how little public attention Apple has given to their outstanding iPhone 7 display—which provides a major competitive advantage that most consumers and reviewers are not yet aware of.”

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