Silver iPhone 6 6 Plus side by side

It’s official: the iPhone 6 Plus has raised the bar for LCD display performance up by a notch and earned itself the title of the Best Performing Smartphone LCD display “that we have ever tested”, as per a detailed display shootout conducted by DisplayMate Technologies, a professional video calibration equipment producer.

Note that the benchmark did not take into account OLED screens from Samsung, which use a different display technology from the Retina HD screen on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In terms of the best overall smartphone display, which includes both LCD and OLED technologies, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 with its Super AMOLED display still comes on top, leaving the iPhone 6 Plus with the “Best Performing Smartphone LCD display” designation.

The iPhone 6 also has “a very good display” which is somewhat held back by its lower resolution and pixel count compared to the iPhone 6 Plus.

Taking the handsets through its in-depth series of Mobile Display Technology Shoot-Out Lab tests, DisplayMate was able to determine that the new iPhones stick with a full 100 percent sRGB Color Gamut, measuring “a nearly perfect” 99 percent sRGB Color Gamut for the iPhone 6 and 101 percent for the iPhone 6 Plus, “both impressively accurate”.

Both handsets have very accurate intensity scales with a Gamma of 2.22, though a slightly bluish white point with a color temperature of about 7,300K, which DisplayMate says is “still (marginally) Very Good” and also “somewhat better” than the iPhone 5.

The displays also sport high brightness and low reflectance, making them more suitable for reading under high ambient lighting, each providing over 550 nits, “among the brightest that we have ever measured for a Smartphone, and considerably higher than the Full HD LCD Smartphones that we tested in 2013”.

It’s interesting that Apple is one of the few remaining manufacturers to actually provide display specifications such as brightness and contrast ratio.

That both iPhone displays have almost identical brightness, contrast ratio, color gamut, intensity scale and overall calibration was not lost on DisplayMate, which attributes this to the “detailed automated factory calibration performed on every individual display at the factory”.

iPhone 6 display color

In terms of the measured absolute color accuracy (2.6 JNCD for the iPhone 6, 3.1 JNCD for the iPhone 6 Plus), both have been rated “Very Good”, meaning they’re very “likely considerably more accurate than your living room TV”.

Make sure to check out the DisplayMate website for a bunch of performance stats and tables comparing the Retina HD screens to the rest of the pack.

Some of the display technologies Apple developed for the new iPhones include a dramatically thinner display assembly, Dual Domain pixels, Improved Polarizers (so the colors don’t shift when looking at the screen through sunglasses) and Photo aligned IPS, an improved variant of standard In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology of prior iPhones.

iPhone 6 (display assembly 001)
From top to bottom: the cover glass, polarizer, IPS screen and backlight

Those technologies allow for a higher contrast ratio, wider viewing angles and more accurate color reproduction overall compared to the previous-generation Retina screens.

As a reminder, the iPhone 6 features a screen resolution of 1,334-by-750 pixels at the same 326 pixels per inch density as the iPhone 4/4s/5/5s, enough to render 720p HD (1,280-by-720 pixels) content natively.

The iPhone 6 Plus features a full HD screen boasting a resolution of 1,920-by-1,080 pixels, making for pixel-perfect accuracy in terms of full HD content reproduction. And at 401 pixels per inch, it’s also significantly sharper than the iPhone 6 display.

These facts have probably led Apple to come up with the new “Retina HD” moniker to designate the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus displays.

iPhone 6 display innovation

After conducting a barrage of CPU, GPU and battery benchmarks, the reputable hardware review site AnandTech has found that both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus leave Android competition in the dust in terms of CPU and battery performance.

In the GPU department, however, the iPhone 6 Plus was found to perform just a hair slower than the iPhone 5s due to the increased pixel count and the fact that the handset renders everything in the 2,208-by-1,242 resolution and then automatically downsamples images to fit the five-inch 1,920-by-1,080 pixel resolution screen.

This is necessary because iOS “cannot easily adapt to arbitrary resolutions and display sizes,” the site wrote.

To learn more about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus display technologies, check out a nice overview by my colleague Timothy Reaves or explore the Retina HD section on Apple’s website.

[DisplayMate]

  • George Kunnath

    got the right one

  • Maxim∑

    “but its not 2K so it sux”-android fanboy

    • Star Lord

      Seriously,I don’t know why they run after bigger the better. They won’t be able to distinguish between 1080p and 2k.

    • SkyFall

      Its 2k but it downscales to 1080p. Once a jailbreak is available and activates the quad hd you’ll see all the Android fanboys shut their mouths.

      • #Yussef van de Dag!

        What the hell ur talking about bro?

      • SkyFall

        The iPhone 6 Plus has a resolution of 1242 × 2208 (2k) but it downscales it to 1080p.

      • #Yussef van de Dag!

        mate, 1920 x 1080 401ppi

      • SkyFall

        IT downscales the display to 1920 x 1080p. The display by default is a 2K display (1242 × 2208). Heres a link:

        http://www.paintcodeapp . com/news/iphone-6-screens-demystified

      • They scaled it down because they could care less about boasting a 2k display.

      • DevXav

        Wow.. Thats cool!
        Thank you for the heads up!

        When Android fanboys start talking shit, I just know what to tell them..

    • Tim Farris

      im not an android fan i will give you 8 reasons

      1 its generic ( this means that google can’t control the hardware so it can be unstable )

      2 its riddled with malware and viruses and piracy even on google play ( look up pits a free app that allows you to download and update any app you got on your device found in google app store)

      3 after you gain root access to (root) you can unroot but… you can’t hide the fact that you rooted and there is no safety if you mess it up on an iPhone if you jailbreak ( the same as rooting for android ) i mess up i just put the phone in DFU mode and restore the phone fixing any issues i would have

      4 android is know for not allowing OTA updates even on the latest devices and on the devices that do you have to wait for your manufacturer to release the update if they ever do meaning if you got a samsung phone you must wait for a samsung OTA

      5 android is pushing carrier apps that eat up storage and I’ve seen everything from maxed internal storage preventing you from picture access to a complete system crash on a samsung galaxy s5

      6 if your in trouble and don’t know who to call what do you do use apple care plus its a no brainer if you have an android good luck getting help because there are so many different types that literally takes a google search to figure out how to do something thats literally built in and normally you need to pay to get help not for apple to see whats wrong and help you learn its completely free

      7 android users say that the reason they don’t switch is because of no removable storage might i direct you to the iExpander google it i don’t wanna put the link in the page and have to wait for the verify process so just google it its a bit pricy but well worth the cash i used it for one day and went from 16GB to 32GB of storage with the external micro SD and there is no need to get the easy to break android cable out you can use the 30 pin dock connector even on a 5s i don’t know if they got the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cases yet but still you gotta look at it its worth the look if storage is the only reason and if a removable battery is the reason i can stop you there to all you do is remove the 2 bottom screws and unscrew the battery but that voids your warranty you would say no it won’t if you use a OEM replacement or have apple replace it and its easy to get it i did it servile times on a iPhone 4 GSM model

      8 the music app is not confined to the music you put on it nor is it easy to sync music to i can say you can put any song from any source on it but… i gotta say i’d rather have a app that keeps my app sounds away from my music app i use that app a lot and don’t need a minecraft pocket edition zombie sound going off in the middle of my work day a few mor things that leak is photos apps can’t seem to keep pix to them selves so any photo viewer will show all photos from all apps really annoying

      sorry for My bad grammar I was typing really fast

      • #Yussef van de Dag!

        cool story mate

      • Tim Farris

        thx

      • Tim Farris

        you can’t read that and tell me one of thous hasn’t happened to you o and apple role out battery dead location report so if the device dies it reports location android docent have that

      • #Yussef van de Dag!

        u wot mate ?

      • smtp25

        Main reason LAG. seriously I have the S4[work phone], (ipad 3 and iPad air), still got my 4S. S4 lags all the fricken time, try openning the camera app quickly to take a picture , waiting ages for the keyboard to pop when you go in a text field.. so slow all round

      • Jonathan

        I’d like to know your average WPM. 😛
        (Words Per Minute)

      • hab ibyo

        It is hard to breack (soft brick) ios devices android are just like insectes even if u push them hardlly they die forever sory for bad english

      • Nathan

        There are so many safety measures on iOS, even when jailbroken. It’s impossible to brick an iPhone because there’s always DFU mode.

      • Niclas

        Not impossible, but damn hard and nearly impossible if you’re not a dev.

      • Jack Wong

        I gotta take a screenshot of your post, they are all true.

        I really don’t see anything wrong with iTunes, it backup my phone contents, I still have the pictures from my iPhone 2G on my 5s, and it will carry on to the 6 on this weekend.

      • Sean Foege

        I appreciate your straightforward writing: however the music storage is insanely easy on android: plug in, browse to music folder on computer, copy and paste or drag and drop. No management, no online verification. Your music from your computer, copied.

    • iPodDroid

      Because iSheep are any better….

    • X-47B

      It’s obvious you didn’t read the article before posting. Let me make it clear for you.

      We recently gave the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 our overall Best Smartphone Display award, and for the time being that continues for all of the reasons originally mentioned there. In particular, for implementing Color Management to provide multiple Color Gamuts, and then using the Color Management to provide the Highest Absolute Color Accuracy for Standard (sRGB/Rec.709) consumer content of any Smartphone or Tablet display that we have ever measured.

      • Did you read the article?

        The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the current Best Mobile LCD Displays and the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 are the current Best Mobile OLEDs Displays.

      • Sean Foege

        who cares what kind of display it is technically?? Best is best and this says the Note 4 has the best display. This was a biased article made just so they could display the headline “Iphone has best display” but then in the subtext it says it doesn’t, it just has the best in a catergory

      • Maxim∑

        People are skeptical on displaymates review on the Note 4. As AMOLED by default should/cannot meet sRGB standards as well as LCD. Colors are over saturated on all AMOLED screens (not a bad thing) but it makes me not take that review seriously. Plus Samsung paid them for the review (not a rumor, fact)

  • Tim Farris

    unless your gonna ship me one post something worth looking at I’m tired of the over tested iPhone 6 post its just a phone its nice to see that its really good but i want info on things that the public wouldn’t know unless we here it from you

    • iBanks

      It’s not just an phone. It’s an iPhone. – 

    • Bugs Bunnay

      I wouldn’t have known unless I read an article like idb :p they basically did the info gathering about my phone for me otherwise I wouldn’t have known i’m holding a piece of art that just looks pretty.

  • SkyFall

    Well if only it didn’t downscale to 1080p. I bet it would have been even better. Oh well thats why people jailbreak to get the max out of their iDevices.

    • #Yussef van de Dag!

      u even know what ur talkin about mate ?

      • SkyFall

        OMFG i f*cking explained you 3 f*cking times. The Hardware AKA the display of the iPhone 6 PLUS HAS 1242 × 2208 PPI AKA Pixels Per Inch. The SOFTWARE DOWNSCALES THE RESOLUTION TO JUST 1080p, MEANING THAT THE IPHONE 6 PLUS HAS A 2K DISPLAY BY DEFAULT.

      • Anthony Snyder

        No its not. That would cost Apple more cash and decrease their margins.

      • SkyFall

        Actually it is. Sentry, Surenix have stated that while the display seems crisp, at times the downscaling is visible. Also Sentry has tweeted rants a few times about the downscaling of the6 Plus.

      • Alberto Espinal

        What?

    • Tim Farris

      no the reason to jailbreak is to run unsigned code aka steal and run non authorized stuff about 90% of the crap on cydia is used in apple branded iOS updates don’t believe me just look for your self excuse my lingo

      • SkyFall

        Thats pretty much what i meant by saying max (to max it with features).

    • jp2002

      They downscale so that the OS doesn’t lag. its the same case with macbook pro with retina display too. Ive heard it could be changed if the underlying OpenGL is changed. I believe thats the reason why metal is being developed as replacement to openGl.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    I have to admit. I held it outside in direct sunlight walking down the side walk, bright as a bright day can be and let me tell you, it’s amazing. I can see everything on my screen. holy cow

    • Rowan09

      I’ll check tomorrow when I get my Plus. This was definitely an issue on the other models.

    • Merman123

      I can also vouch for this. My plus looks amazing under sunlight thanks to the improved polarizer in the new Retina HD screen.

    • Dakotah Smack

      I work on a ranch and i can see everything on my Iphone 6 with out turning the brightness to 100%!!! i love it.

  • Fanboy 

    This really bothers me, I do NOT want a phablet, the 4.7″ is perfect for me. But that means I had to settle for a “lower quality” product. They should have increased PPI to match the 6+ in my opinion.

  • jack

    a 5.5″ *phone* is just too much

    • Antzboogie

      Not for me, lol.

    • blastingbigairs

      Then don’t buy one.

  • iPodDroid

    Really? Because from my time hands on with the device, it looked like a typical Retina Display. :/

    • Anthony Snyder

      Go into the sunlight with one and you’ll notice the difference.

      • iPodDroid

        I wish, I don’t have one

  • Khalid Salim

    I quote him “In terms of the best overall smartphone display, which includes both LCD and OLED technologies, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 with its Super AMOLED display still comes on top, leaving the iPhone 6 Plus with the “Best Performing Smartphone LCD display” designation. ” lol Note 4 is on top guys..

    • Dan

      Of course not. That’s not possible.

    • Rowan09

      It does have a higher resolution. I read an article about the Note 4 screen and it doesn’t win in all the tests, with colors it definely won because Samsung’s screens are over saturated.

    • Sean Foege

      iphone fanboys read headlines, not context. Similar mindset to people who buy iphones: “it’s cool and fashionable, I don’t care how it works, i read one headline that says it’s best”

  • Rupinder S

    The screen is nice, but the phone is ridiculously big for my hands lol

    • I wanted the Plus but after holding it I was like ‘No’.

  • Joyreaddy

    Really informative blog, which you have shared. I agree with your points. This is the best LCD display performance iPhone. Thanks for shared auspicious write with us. Whether you are looking iPhone replacement parts at wholesale rate so try Bulk Repair Parts.

  • PartyPooper17

    Not any more it isn’t! My 6 plus screen is impossible to see in bright sunlight after upgrading to iOS 9. I used to be able to see my screen with my driving glasses on which cut out 87% light transmission in bright sunshine. Now I can’t see my screen without my glasses on. It’s pathetic that Apple has meddled with the maximum brightness just to be able to say they’ve improved the battery life. Who cares about battery life when you can charge every night, anyway?