Here’s the list Phil Schiller put up while declaring the iPhone 7’s display the best on any smartphone:
- 25% brighter display
- Wide color gamut
- Cinema standard
- Color management
- 3D Touch
Brightness: Let’s start from the top. The iPhone 7’s display is 25% brighter than the display found in the iPhone 6s. So how bright is it? According to AnandTech, max brightness in nits:
- iPhone 6s Plus: 582
- iPhone 6s: 567
So, if the iPhone 7’s display brightness is 25% brighter:
- iPhone 7 Plus: 582 + 146 = 728
- iPhone 7: 567 + 142 = 709
That’s pretty bright. We’ll see what AnandTech, DisplayMate and other publications say when they get their hands on the iPhone 7 and measure max brightness.
Wide Color Gamut: Apple put a “(P3)” after “wide color display” on the iPhone 7 specifications page. What’s P3? I had to look it up. According to Wikipedia, “DCI-P3 or DCI/P3 is a common color space for digital movie projection from the US-American film industry.” (DCI stands for Digital Cinema Initiatives, a joint venture composed of major motion picture studios to establish a standard architecture for digital cinema systems.) DCI-P3 covers 85.5% in CIE 1931 or 86.9% in CIE 1976. What does that mean? DCI-P3 covers about the same color space as Adobe RGB, which is wider than Rec. 709. Rec.709 is often associated with sRGB and DCI-P3 covers about 25% more color — especially with red and green — than sRGB. The second bullet point — “Wide color gamut” — and the third bullet point — “Cinema standard” — mean pretty much the same thing: the wide color gamut is the cinema standard DCI-P3. I guess budding filmmakers can use an iPhone 7 and not worry about inaccurate colors.
Color Management: With the release of iOS 9.3 Apple integrated OS X’s ColorSync color management technology into iOS. The first product to make use of ColorSync was the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. ColorSync’s job is to make sure colors are accurately reproduced on the iPhone 7.
3D Touch: Not much needs to be said about 3D Touch, but I don’t know of any other smartphone brand that has implemented three dimensional touch on their displays.
So is Phil Schiller right? Is the iPhone 7 display the best? That depends on how we want to define best, but when it comes to a wider color gamut and making sure those colors are color managed for accuracy the iPhone 7 might actually be the best. But that’s a fairly narrow definition. I’m going to wait for some benchmark results.