The displays in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are obviously larger than their predecessors, with higher resolutions and—in the case of the 6 Plus—higher pixel densities, as well. They're still LCDs based on in-plane switching (IPS) technology, and their pixel counts and densities are at least in the ballpark with leading Android phones, though some of those products sport even higher resolutions.
iPhone 6 Plus
|Display type||IPS LCD||IPS LCD w/dual-domain pixels|
|Contrast ratio (typical)||800:1||1400:1||1300:1|
|Max brightness||500 cd/m²|
|Color gamut||Full sRGB standard|
Here's a look at the iPhone 6 Plus up close. You can move your mouse over the thumbnail to see a pop-up window with a close-up photograph. Mobile users, just tap the thumbnail to load the full image and pinch-zoom to your heart's content.
That's a ton of detail. I suspect most folks won't be able to pick out individual pixels with the naked eye.
The most notable changes in the new iPhone displays, though, have to do with pixel quality rather than pixel count. Contrast ratios, or the differences between dark and bright pixels, have nearly doubled compared to the prior generation. The new displays also adopt dual-domain pixels, in which subpixel alignments are skewed slightly in interleaved rows. The effect of this arrangement should be better off-angle viewing with less color shift.
Those explanations sound fine in theory, but in person, the impact is dramatic. Under the bright lights at the Apple store, I asked my son to hold his shiny new OnePlus One up next to the 6 Plus for comparison. Then I felt sorry for the boy. The brights are so much brighter and darks darker on the 6 Plus that it's kind of silly. (The iPhone 6's display is similar, just a bit smaller.) The 6 Plus was unquestionably the finest mobile display I'd ever seen—until I got a glimpse of the OLED display in the Galaxy Note 4. Man, the competition in this space is bonkers.
We can easily measure the improvement in contrast with a colorimeter.
Although the new iPhones' white levels are similar to the iPhone 5's, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus displays achieve deeper black levels at the same time.
All of these phones are capable of displaying essentially the entirety of the sRGB color gamut, as advertised.
Both of the new iPhones come out of the box with a color temperature closer to the 6500K standard than my old iPhone 5. By contrast, the OnePlus One registers a relatively cool ~8700K average temperature, which is pretty far from expectations.
Color accuracy has improved compared to the iPhone 5, as well, with lower overall delta-E for the new displays and no major weaknesses.
True to their billing, the new iPhone displays also excel at off-angle viewing, with relatively little loss of contrast and almost no perceptible color shift. I've never seen anything quite like it.
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