DisplayMate, who has been singing Samsung‘s praises for quite some time now, has something new to chew on. Now that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are out in the wild, it can get its tests running again on the new smartphones from the company that started the whole “Retina” trend. And the results might surprise you.
Despite being ridiculed or criticized for its size, the iPhone 6 Plus ended up with DisplayMate’s crown of “Best LCD Smartphone Display”, beating it smaller brother. It was noted to excel in aspects such as brightness, viewing angles, contrast, and color accuracy. The only area it didn’t break the record was, unsurprisingly, in resolution. That’s not to say that the iPhone 6 falls way behind. It comes close to a second but DisplayMate believes it is hampered by the lower resolution. Although it technically qualifies as HD Retina, it says that Apple could have gone for best instead of setting for just good enough. That, however, might have been an intentional decision to be able to market the iPhone 6 Plus, which it might have felt would be on the losing edge because of its size.
But if you think that DisplayMate was ready to hand over Samsung’s crown, think again. It qualifies that the iPhone 6 siblings are the best LCD smartphone displays, but Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and especially the Galaxy Note 4 remain the best OLED smartphone displays. In particular, the Galaxy Note 4 stands at the very top, thanks to its higher pixel density coupled with the energy efficiency and better color accuracy (Samsung’s Adobe RGB gamut vs. Apple’s sRGB). Despite blanket statements about the benefits of OLED over LCD, there is one use case where LCDs are actually more energy efficient, up to 45 percent even, than OLEDs, and that is in displaying mostly white content, like in black over white text.
There is almost a sad tone in DisplayMate’s coverage of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It recalls how the iPhone 4 was Apple‘s most innovative smartphone when it came to displays. It started the whole Retina craze that got even consumers talking about displays and manufacturers scrambling to improve as well. Sadly, at least according to DisplayMate, the iPhone has fallen by the wayside while its competitors have passed it by, at least in terms of display technology. Apple had about four years of catching up to do and DisplayMate ends on a happy note that it delivered once again. But, of course, while no one discounts the role the display has in a mobile experience, it is only one albeit crucial part of a smartphone, and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus definitely have much more to offer.