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The iPhone XS Max was awarded best smartphone display by DisplayMate

Published Sep 24th, 2018 8:00PM EDT
iPhone XS Max display review
Image: Apple Inc.

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DisplayMate Technologies, a long-running company that does its own evaluations on consumer electronics displays, has published its evaluation of the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. DisplayMate’s Raymond Soneira, the President of DisplayMate and the author of the evaluations on new devices, is effusive about the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max’s screens.

Granted, DisplayMate regularly talks up every new smartphone display, whether it comes from Apple, Samsung, or LG. But nonetheless, Soneira showed a measurable improvement in a number of statistics from the iPhone X to the iPhone XS Max, despite the new phone having a bigger screen that is harder to manufacture.

It would be more surprising if the iPhone XS Max didn’t get the award for best smartphone screen ever — given the improvement of technology every year, we expect the quality of screen displays to take a leap forward every 12 months, just like we do for processors or most other components. But Soneira’s analysis is capable of showing us exactly where the changes are:

The Absolute Color Accuracy of the iPhone XS Max is Truly Impressive as shown in these Figures. It has an Absolute Color Accuracy of 0.8 JNCD (Just Noticeable Color Difference) for the sRGB / Red.709 Color Gamut that is used for most current consumer content, and 0.8 JNCD for the Wider DCI-P3 Color Gamut that is used for 4K UHD TVs and Digital Cinema, which are both Visually Indistinguishable From Perfect, and very likely considerably better than any mobile display, monitor, TV or UHD TV that you have.

Note that to obtain this High Absolute Color Accuracy both True Tone and Night Shift need to be Off because they change the White Point of the display from the 6500 K Standard, which then changes the Absolute Color Accuracy throughout the Color Gamut. See this Figure for an explanation and visual definition of Just Noticeable Color Difference JNCD and the Color Accuracy Plots with 41 Reference Colors showing the measured display Color Errors. See the Color Accuracy section and the Color Accuracy Plots for measurements and details, and also this regarding lots of Bogus Color Accuracy Measurements.

The color accuracy isn’t the only thing that Soneira highlighted, either. Compared to the iPhone X (or all other smartphones) the XS Max has the best brightness, as well as a higher 2688 x 1242 resolution. If you want all the details about how it’s the best phone display ever made, Soneira’s full report is complete with more graphs, tests, and scores than you could ever want.

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.