The State of the Art iPhone6 Plus LCD

Mobile Display – Apple’s new iPhone6 Plus LCD represents mobile display state of the art, in a technology that dominates mainstream mobile devices. The panel is a new 5.5″ diagonal IPS AMLCD using an LTPS backplane that matches or breaks new records in virtually every display performance category according to the recent report released yesterday.

In his latest Mobile Technology Display Shoot-Out, Dr. Ray Soneira put the new iPhone6 Plus LCD through its paces concluding, “The iPhone 6 Plus is the best performing Smartphone LCD we have ever tested… [and] has raised the bar for top LCD display performance up a notch”. How Apple gets there is discerned through extensive testing and rigorous measurements with nothing left to chance, as Soneira explains exactly what this new display quality frontier looks like. Here’s the view from the LCD technology front line courtesy of and the work of the good Doctor.

According to Soneira, new benchmark standards were set by the iPhone6 Plus LCD in seven of the ten display quality measurements including:

  1. Peak Brightness (566 cd/m2)
  2. Screen Reflectance (4.6%)
  3. True Contrast Ratio at 0 lux (1451)
  4. Contrast in high ambient light (123)
  5. Most accurate (pure logarithmic power-law) Intensity Scale and Gamma
  6. Most accurate Image Contrast (std. gamma 2.22)
  7. Smallest Variations with Viewing Angle for Brightness, Contrast Ratio and Color

The iPhone6 Plus LCD performs well but does not break LCD performance records in:

  1. Resolution (1920 x 1080 versus 2560 x 1440 found in the rival Galaxy Note4)
  2. Pixels Per Inch ppi (401 ppi versus 538 ppi)
  3. Absolute Color Accuracy (3.1 JNCD versus 2.1 JNCD)

Soneira notes that since testing began in 2006, the iPhone6 Plus LCD was only the second display ever to achieve “very good” to “excellent” ratings in all categories, (without the LCD Achilles heel of brightness variation with viewing angle). This alone is impressive. Apple is able to leverage the current LCD technology strengths that include a higher peak brightness (with “high” average picture levels as opposed to “lower”) and no variation with the average pixel level. The recent use of quantum dots to increase color gamuts, small color shifts with viewing angle, higher power efficiency (high picture levels), plus the force of market share dominance worldwide.

By way of contrast, rival OLEDs that are emissive displays, offer significant advantages of their own and continue to give the more dominant LCD technology strong competition. Soneira said these advantages include: high peak brightness with “lower” average picture levels, high screen resolution (increased pixel density) easier to achieve, perfect blacks and infinite contrast ratios (emissive display), wide color gamuts, smaller brightness shifts with viewing angle, better screen uniformity, faster response times, no display motion blur, plus higher power efficiency with lower average power levels.

Finally, beyond speeds and feeds it is delivery of a high performing display to the market that matters to the end user. Soneira makes the point that Apple consistently exceeds its display specifications, delivering identical overall calibration in brightness, contrast ratio, color gamut, intensity scale etc. due to its “…detailed automated factory calibration performed on every individual display at the factory”. In display industry POM (process and operations management) there may be no equal.

Beyond the frontier, Displaymate sees next generation displays focusing more on display quality in higher ambient light, a more realistic representation of how mobile displays are used every day. This can come in both LCD and OLED Panels by measuring ambient light levels, and then compensate reflected light glare and image wash-out with what Soneira calls automated real-time modification of color gamut and intensity scales. And according to Soneira, the future state of the art belongs to those who look to high ambient light performance. –Steve Sechrist

For the record, here’s the full spec of all three Apple iPhones including the ground breaking iPhone6 Plus LCD :