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  • popko - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Chris, under directly sunlight when out doors, how would you rate the screen of iPhone 5 when comparing it to the HTC One X and the Samsung G S III? Reply
  • cheinonen - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Really, my phone came yesterday, and I regret to say I've been outside very little in the past 36 hours. I'll try to give it a test tomorrow since it's actually sunny in Portland and see what it looks like. I have no basis for comparison to the Galaxy or the One X. The only phones I've owned the past 4 years have been the iPhone 3G, 4, and 5. I've spent perhaps 15 minutes with an Android based phone in total. Reply
  • EnzoFX - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Yeah, with this stuff kind of detail was available in all Smartphone reviews. For comparison purposes. Color/calibration is something that would probably be lost on certain fanboys that purely tout larger screens and faster ghz... Reply
  • Exodite - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    While true it's also likely to be lost on the vast majority of smartphone users.

    The only complaints I've ever heard regarding any smartphone screen was regarding sunlight readability, though at least that should have improved on the iPhone 5 compared to the previous generation with the higher brightness.

    Color gamut and accurate color representation however, those are features that are likely to be lost on most people.
  • aggrobot - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I don't entirely disagree. I think the reason why people don't have many complaints about the screens is that they continue to improve with each and every generation. Things color gamut and accurate color representation may indeed be lost on most people, but the end result - a great display, isn't. I'm glad apple raised the bar, and I'm really excited to see how Samsung responds. AMOLED displays have really shown a lot of progress and the display on that GS3 looks great also. I have an iphone 5, and I can only imagine how great something like this would look at the size of the GS3. That would be one nice fargin' screen. Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    It's not wrong to think that the experience and initial wow factor out of the box actually matters.

    The number of people who care about calibration or brightness on a mobile device is even smaller than those who care about it on their $2000 TV
  • AEdouard - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Since the maximum brigthness level is very high and the contrast ratio very good, it should be fine in sunlight. Even if the screen is reflecting light it ahoukd be ok. The iphone 4s worked well in this situatiin and had lower specs.

    It should work just as well as the One X and better than the GS3.
  • BC2009 - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    The two things that matter in sunlight are brightness and glare. From these test we can see that brightness is improved. The folks at DisplayMate say that glare has improved, but I have been hard-pressed to find a comparison review against the One X, which was widely touted as the remaining champion in IPS LCD displays on a mobile device. The DisplayMate review does include the GS 3 though.

    See the link for DisplayMate's article here:
  • blanarahul - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Uh, Chris the Gamma Target graphs are tagged wrong.

    I mean the first Graph is of Gamma Target 2.2 but it is marked Gamma Target sRGB.
    The second graph is of Gamma Target sRGB but it is marked Gamma Target 2.2
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    A very detailed review. It would be great if you could do a similar complete analysis of other competing smartphones.

    DisplayMate did a comparison between the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III and found the Galaxy S III to be poorly calibrated.
  • cheinonen - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Brian does the majority of the smartphone reviews, and the only ones I have on hand are what my wife or I own, which means an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 5. If I can manage to get a loaner S III from someone, I'll run the same tests on it with the same patterns. Reply
  • bill4 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    who cares, if i look at my gs3 versus a friends iphone screen, it's obvious the gs3 wins hands down. Phone displays should be built around how they look to people's eyes that use them, and not some lab geek calibration testing, and GS3 wins.

    Especially given how terrible the iPhone LCD looks because it does not have true blacks like OLED, only grays.

    appears to me apple is chasing irrelevant metrics, and the ultra apple biased media such as anand is only too happy to oblige.

    Not saying it's an irrelevant metric, but remember when Android phones were all 800X480 and had a higher PPI than iphone 640X360 at the time? and not one single site EVER mentioned it (certainly Anandtech never did)? Then Apple comes out with the Retina display and has an edge in the PPI spec for a while, and suddenly sites like Anandtech act like PPI is the most important thing in display when they never gave a crap about it until Apple had an edge? Hell even now that Android phones have higher res again by and large, you see less talk about PPI. So the less Apple wins a spec, the less Anand talks about it, and vice versa.

    Yeah, same idea.
  • doobydoo - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    You don't get to just say 'it's obvious the gs3 wins hands down', that means nothing.

    Any fanboy can say precisely the reverse. That is why independent and objective review sites like this exist.

    I'm also pretty sure every single site which compared phones pointed out the higher resolution at the time of Android phones.

    For your info - Apple still has the edge in PPI terms over most phones. The Samsung Galaxy S3 isn't even comparable because it doesn't even use full pixels - it has a PenTile display which actually has fewer sub pixels than iPhone 5's smaller screen.

    The reason the conversation moved to PPI was because phones reached a point (through Apple) where an increase in resolution wouldn't affect what the consumer would see, so there is no benefit to increasing the resolution past that point. You can only measure that with PPI because resolution doesn't take into account screen size.
  • bill4 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    No they didn't. No site ever even mentioned the word "PPI" til Apple had the advantage. EVER. LOL.

    And LOL, I can tell you're a fanboy it just oozes in your post. The whole "your eyes cant see beyond retina anyway" was proved to be marketing BS by many technical websites. Stop believing everything your great king Apple hands down to you from on high.

    sub pixels are not pixels btw. But I must say the whole pentile/non pentile thing is super overblown anyway, mostly because Apple doesn't use pentile so tech sites attack it. If Apple was using pentile displays the tech sites would not mention it's deficiencies.

    Just pick up a GS3, the screen is spectacular, the end. Mainly, the fundamental edge OLED has is true blacks and contrast, which obviously is much better than the iPhone 5 in contrast ratio.

    See, we can always pick certain specs where each side wins. So what?

    Anyways, the reasons I would never buy an iPhone are the garbage stale fisher price OS, the small screen, and Apple's locked down nature/no file browsing/itunes bullshit.

    It amazes me Apple has 100 billion in the bank and their OS looks like Fisher Price designed it at this point. Yeah, it was cutting edge, 5 years ago...

    Anyways I own a lot of Apple stock, I hate the company, but I can also see online they have millions of fanboys that you that irrationally buy their products no matter how poor they are. But lately the stock has been falling (dont worry, I already have a huge profit lol), and the iPhone 5 sales of 5 million initially were considered disappointing. Just to show you and Anandtech that Apple is faltering despite your best efforts.
  • Trypticon808 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Do you even lift? Reply
  • tuxRoller - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    While I'm not sure I agree with rest of your post I do think you are right about the PPI issue. Basically with each major Apple launch they tout a new feature. Said feature is well known to "real" geeks, but is new to technorati so it gets bandied about constantly as reasons why the product they've chosen to speak their identity is superior to another. Some examples are: unibody, back-illuminated sensor, multi-touch, "retina"/ppi, etc.
    Now we can expect sRGB gamut to be a new one to add to the list.
    Of course, prior to this announcement we didn't hear that the iphone screen didn't cover the gamut. Nor, prior to the iphone 4 did we hear that the previous iphone didn't carry BSI sensors.
    So, what will be the next must have feature?

    BTW, none of these things are bad. It's great they are encouraging people to demand more from their products. I simply wish they would do so between versions.
  • wicktron - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    First, what's with Android users proclaiming that any Apple user is some sort of zealot that follows some sort of religion? What makes Android users any different? I really don't understand fanboyism.

    Second, if these metrics are so irrelevant, why are so many Android fans so enamored when an Android device gets X-inches larger, or has Y-GHz processor and Z-GBs of RAM?

    Metrics and standardized, unbiased testing provide a level of quantitative measure that can't be done based solely on empirical and qualitative analysis.

    You and I can disagree on what's better to us based on personal opinion and preference, whereas hard numbers cannot be disputed.


    With that said, here's my thought on a SGS3 screen: It's nice due to the fact that colors are over saturated. The downside is that images look completely unnatural because the colors and contrast just scream at you.

    Personally, I'd much rather have pinpoint accurate colors and razor sharp text. I can see and share photos the way they were meant to be portrayed.
  • TechDenzo - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Completely agree with this post. This is logic.

    Also I can say as a previous owner of a SGS2 (good phone) the screen was great. Resolution was terrible (800x480) but the colours were great for a Amoled.

    SGS3 though is disgusting. The screen looks like its constantly draped in blue/green, which to me looks cheap and tacky, not saturated like the SGS2 screen.

    This could be due to the Pentile, Im not sure, but its blatantly obvious how bad it is, and they dont even have to be side by side.

    ONE X to me has a much nicer screen than SGS3.
  • TechDenzo - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Sorry but your post doesnt make any sense.

    You think if Apple used Pentil matrix displays no one would say anything?

    2 things:

    1. Apple dont use Pentile displays.

    2. I stopped reading your post after that cause I knew it would subjective rubbish.
  • doobydoo - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    'No they didn't. No site ever even mentioned the word "PPI" til Apple had the advantage. EVER. LOL.'

    Perhaps you should re-read what I said, specifically:

    'every single site which compared phones pointed out the higher resolution at the time of Android phones'

    Note that I wasn't referring to PPI. I later explained why PPI became more relevant.

    The limit of human vision perception has been validated by numerous world renown eye experts, which back up the scientific basis behind Apples claims at the time.

    'sub pixels are not pixels btw'

    I know, I didn't say they were. A true pixel has 3 sub pixels. The PenTile display in the SG3 has 2 sub pixels per pixel, which is why the quality is lower despite them still claiming more pixels.

    'If Apple was using pentile displays the tech sites would not mention it's deficiencies.'

    Sorry, but they most definitely would.

    'Just pick up a GS3, the screen is spectacular, the end'

    I've picked up both an SG3 and an iPhone 5 - and the iPhone 5 screen looks crisper and the colours look more natural to me.

    As for all your 'fisher price' rant after that, it's just uninformed nonsense from an angry Android fanboy.
  • uhuznaa - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Of course nobody ever mentioned PPI before the iPhone 4, but a lot of people talked about resolution and pixels.

    I don't know what's more irrational: The obsession with pixels and resolution and how many buttons and controls and widgets you can cram onto a screen or an obsession with making things look smooth and crisp with still having just a few things shown.

    The GS3 screen is spectacular, but not very good. I find it rather gaudy actually.

    (Note that I have neither an iPhone 5 nor a Samsung Galaxy.)
  • darkcrayon - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Just to pick out one of many ridiculous things in your comment- You claim that "Apple doesn't use PenTile tech" so sites attack it... If you paid attention you'd have noticed that even when comparing PenTile Samsung displays with other non-Pentile (Super AMOLED Plus) Samsung displays, people have noticed and commented on the difference. If there were no difference, why would Samsung even use both technologies? Does the "Plus" not mean better? :)

    It's amazing the whining over anything from Apple that is highly rated. The fact you included your "informed" (note the quotes) reasons why you don't have an iPhone in an article describing the display tech says a lot. It's like your techno feelings are hurt by excellent color accuracy in a phone display.
  • darwinosx - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    It's obvious to all that you are a particularly immature teenage boy who knows very little about about iOS or Android. Nor do you own any Apple stock. Go troll and lie elsewhere. Like an Android forum. Reply
  • Gsletta - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    So you prefer blacker blacks and shitty color reproduction as opposed to lighter blacks and near perfect color reproduction?
    Sounds like a Samsung fanboy to me.
  • aggrobot - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Calm down, sir. This review is simply an objective review of the iphone 5 display. Not once is your screen mentioned in any positive, or negative way. No need to turn it into an android vs ios argument. No one is saying your screen sucks. If a positive review about a screen you do not own offends your sensibilities, you may want to reconsider your perspective a little.

    I'm glad you love your GS3 screen. It does look really good and its nice and large. It's not the only kid on the block though. I own the iphone 5, and I recommended the GS3 to a good friend. Side by side the gs3 wins in terms of screen real estate. It's really great for viewing web pages with the added space, and the colors are pretty lush and vibrant. My own personal experience differs from yours. The iphone 5 screen, although smaller, displayed colors much better, and text was far easier to read. My own experience with the AMOLED displays is that they push green and reds a little too much. That makes photos really pop, but its not very accurate.

    My hope for the AMOLED screens is that this raises the bar and makes a great display even better.
  • eanazag - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    No site mentioned PPI because there really wasn't any product differentiation. Phones were using the same quality screens when resolution was equal. Apple ends up being an oddball by using higher PPI on lower resolution screens. At the end of the day the screens look nice.
    To me the brightness going up is huge for daylight visibility. It is extremely useful, I would like to see the battery hit it takes though.
  • labrats5 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    We interrupt your broadcast to bring you this service announcement: don't feed the trolls. You accurate, well reasoned response only serves as fuel. Sure, your could offer any number of reviews of Android phones at the time that specifically sited their higher pixel density over the iPhone as an advantage (like, say, this one: but don't waste your time arguing with people over the internet when you could be doing any number of things that are more personally rewarding, such as thanking Chris for yet another excellent and professional review.

    Thank you, and now back to your regularly scheduled program.
  • aktariel - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    The GS3 "wins' because the colors are -over-saturated, not because the screen itself is better. The GS3 is also PenTile, which doesn't have the same fidelity for text and color reproduction that LCD does.

    So yes, it does have deeper blacks, but it also has fits over white screens, because those chew battery like nobody's business. The iPhone does the best it can all around, and most of the time you're not going to be looking at all black everything anyway, so the advantage is minimized.

    The answer to "Who cares?" is the folks at AnandTech, people like myself who care about accuracy rather than saturation, and not you.
  • Fleeb - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    "is the folks at AnandTech, people like myself who care about accuracy rather than saturation, and not you. "

    So that include techy people like me who in addition does hobby photography. Anybody else looking at pictures in Facebook never really complained that the color gamut of the display is off by a bit.
  • aktariel - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    "You" was a reference specifically to the original commenter; if you care about accuracy for your hobby photography, you might appreciate the iPhone 5's display. Reply
  • krazyfrog - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Speaking of deeper black, Samsung always suppresses the deeper grays on their displays. This saves a bit of power and also makes the black levels look impressive. What you lose however is detail in the darker areas. Watch a movie with dark scenes and all you'll see is black. The developer of the doubleTwist alarm app for Android explained this in his blog post and how he had to work around it. LCD does much better in this regard. I'd rather see all the details than suppress them to make the blacks look unnecessarily blacker. Reply
  • Mitch89 - Sunday, October 14, 2012 - link

    I had an Galaxy S II for a few months and the crushed blacks made it really poor for watching movies. Any dark scenes were next to impossible to watch, you could barely see anything.

    Compare that to the iPhone 4S/5 or the HTC One X, which look great displaying dark scenes.

    The One X's 4.7" IPS display really is gorgeous, and to my eyes is far nicer than the GSIII
  • EnzoFX - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Exactly. Trash like him don't even know the meaning of good color. Fanboys on the other spectrum are no better than the apple fanboys they make up in their heads. Reply
  • EnzoFX - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Wow you are retarded. Completely biased on the other spectrum, yet most people here are not as biased on the other side as you think. People can be objective. You clearly aren't able to.

    For someone who clearly hates the iPhone, you sure are pathetic enough to measure all phones by it. If it's not for you GTFO. Simple right?

    No I am not even going to respond to the garbage you posted, it's just so completely wrong and irrelevant and retarded... etc...
  • SlyNine - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Thank you for the dumbest comment. I love my GS3, but even I can tell the colors are off a bit (over saturated). Glad I will never have to watch a movie at your house, I can only imagen what settings you have your TV set too! Reply
  • chinedooo - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I can only think of two phones that have a higher ppi than the iphone. The rezound and lumia 920 Reply
  • CyberAngel - Monday, October 15, 2012 - link

    The rezound and lumia 920
    have they been tested like this already?
    Nokia claims they have the best black
    is that true?
    I care more about bright sun light readability than anything else
    even the older phones look good to me
    if I can read the screen also in direct sun light

    nice to know the the new iPhone has good colors...
  • FATCamaro - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    GS3 is PenTile mess, with fewer subpixels and a horribly green tinge. Look at them side by side, the GS3 is crap comparatively. Reply
  • moogleii - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Weird, I hear just as many opposite opinions. The photographers and designers in my circle say the S3 looks way over-saturated, and my programmer self has to agree. Looks like a permanent photoshop filter is enabled. I'd much rather have something closer to the sRGB standard, which is what Apple has done.

    But "who cares." Clearly, everyone is biased except for you.
  • Pubert - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    "...if i look at my gs3 versus a friends iphone screen, it's obvious the gs3 wins hands down."
    Which iPhone? The iPhone 5's display is distinctly better than the iPhone4s.

    FYI, the GS3's pentile display has 1/3 the number of subpixels.
    Having seen them both side-by-side there is simply no comparison.

    The displays have been compared in a lab. The gs3 display has nowhere near the quality (nor calibration) that the iPhone5 has:

    Mayhaps you are trying to justify buying that black, plastic brick in your pocket? ;)
  • amdwilliam1985 - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    thank you for your reply, it gave me hope that i'm not the only person who dislike like apple and reads anandtech.

    back to the topic, i agree with most of your points. forget the lab result, most people i know prefers my "fake" and over saturated color in galaxy s phone over their stale/washed out color in iphones. show them the same movie played with galaxy s phone and in iphone and anyone who isn't.blind will pick galaxy s phone due to the amazing true black colors.

    don't worry about iphone's temp dominance, people will see its boriness and move on. i used to own an 3gs, it was one of the best phone at its time, but all recent ones are just plan boring. i recently travelled to hong kong, at least half of the population has moved on from iphones. wonder where samsung got their 10 million galaxy note sale? look at hong kong, there's gotta be 3 millions on the street at any given moment, not kidding. just take a peak in their subway. they have 3g signal in the subway, which helps to pointing to their large screens for viewing pleasures.

    also back in the usa, i used to see all my friends with iphone, then i started using the first non-iphone, and now there are a quarter of us using galaxy phones. i believe the tread will continue.

    when i saw anandtech tech's more than 2x performance increase from 4s to 5, i was impressed. but after seeing 4s and 5 side by side in real life test, no one i know can tell a difference. i was embarassed by my friend who ask me to show the improvement (in real life task) and i can't.

    here's another sign of apple losing dominance, my girlfriend, she used to be a die hard iphone user, having used 3gs, 4 and 4s. when she saw what iphone 5 did. she said 4s will be her last iphone. she's looking at galaxy note series, the s pen is the deciding factor.

    by the way, i am still in hong kong, and for the past 2 days, i saw telecomm stores selling galaxy note 2. at first i thought it was fake chinese knock offs. because i didn't see any usa news agency covering it, the earliest note 2 sale date is october 1st in uk. i played with note 2 in a few stores and i am convinced it's real. jelly bean, s pen and model number n7100 are the hints.

    sorry for the spelling mistakes and grammar, i typed this entire post on my galaxy s3.
  • Zink - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Why is this iPhone 4 so much dimmer than theirs? Reply
  • cheinonen - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    It could be a sample difference, or age, but that is what mine measured on maximum brightness with Auto Backlight turned off. I used the same patterns for each phone, copied straight from Dropbox into the Photos application. Reply
  • zanon - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Chris, thank you very much for the pithy yet thorough review. It's genuinely heartening to see the march of display improvements continue after so many years of relative stagnation, and I hope to see that extend to both notebooks and desktops sooner rather then later. First we saw high DPI, the most immediately obvious and natural physical boost to a screen. With that "done" (further improvements face diminishing returns) actual screen quality (gamut, contrast etc) is the next obvious step, but one I wasn't sure would actually happen. I'm glad the work was put into this display, and that AT is here to investigate it.

    Regarding blue though:
    The grayscale has a very noticeable blue shift that can be seen in the numbers

    Sounds like the backlighting is standard gallium-nitride LED tech. The emission spectrum there, even with standard phosphor, has a extremely strong blue spike with the phosphor then showing a smear across the rest, with a bit of a hump around yellow-green IIRC. Tighter band filtering improves gamut, but it also means more light thrown away (which in turn means heat and wasted power). It'll probably take some more basic level changes to take it any farther, either via specific OLEDs or GaN modifiers like Nanosys' proposed quantum dot films. I'll be looking forward to seeing what Apple and other players choose to go with next in the 2013/2014 revisions of their displays, and I hope it spreads everywhere sooner rather then later. Really exciting stuff.

    Long term of course some sort of HUD tech is probably the end game and the next disruptor, but it'll be quite a while before good old flat panels go away even then.
  • cheinonen - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    A blue shift is very common in displays, from TVs that you buy to computer monitors. When viewed alone, and not beside an actual calibrated display, the presence of blue makes the display appear to be brighter and whites to be whiter, though they are actually blue tinted. All vendors have the ability to make a display that doesn't have a blue tint to it, but they often choose not to because to the average consumer, it's going to stand out more and most people have no idea what a calibrated, neutral image would look like.

    I'd really like to get a display that is this well adjusted, but OLED based (and RGB OLED, not Pentile) as you can have the true, infinite contrast ratios as well as the accurate colors. The issue is that most people shipping OLED displays right now are blowing out the colors to make them appear really vibrant because they can, and there is no real way to adjust them back to being nice and natural looking.
  • EnzoFX - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I too am glad for the push, and that Apple is leading the way in Smartphones. I can't help but think this kind of tech pushes they do is to keep their profit margins heh. Otherwise, other phone manufacturers wouldn't do it, because they can't rely on those margins.

    This push however does seem to be lead in the smartphone space. Take Retina, it is just now trickling to laptops. It'll be a while until we see it on Desktops, granted this is due to yields, so maybe not a good example.
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    "I'd give it a Gold Award on the basis of it's performance"

    basis of it is performance? Fails to make sense..
  • cheinonen - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Not factoring in other things, such as price, ergonomics, inputs, input lag, and other things that would merit consideration for a desktop LCD. Just on performance alone, it would be Gold level quality is what I am trying to convey. Reply
  • solipsism - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    He's annoyingly stating how it's (it is) should be replaced with its. Reply
  • ssiu - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I wonder if iPod Touch 5 really has an identical display as iPhone 5, or will it be inferior in some yet-to-be-clarified way. Reply
  • A5 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I'm sure it'll be the B-stock while all the A/A+ stuff goes into the iPhone. I'm still a little upset it didn't get the A6 CPU, too. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I suspect that will be the case too. When the last one got a Retina display, it wasn't the IPS one in the iPhone, it was significantly worse, just a TN panel. With the price difference between the two I bet the display is worse in some way, maybe the displays that were discarded from iPhone production. Reply
  • kmmatney - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I have a 4S and my son has a 4G iPod touch. Even though the touch display is TN, is still VERY good. For the most part, you can only tell the difference when looking at the displays from an angle. Straight on, they look pretty similar. I'm interested as to what the new iPod touch will have this time around. Reply
  • thunng8 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    The 5G ipod touch is an IPS display. According to Apple, they list the exact same specs for the ipod touch 5G as the iphone5:

    4-inch (diagonal) widescreen display with Multi-Touch IPS technology
    Retina display
    1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch
    800:1 contrast ratio (typical)
    500 cd/m2 max brightness (typical)
  • bse8128 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Argh. No matter how often this phrase is used, a quantum leap is still very, very small. Reply
  • doobydoo - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Yes but a quantum leap is not about the distance travelled, it's specifically about the behaviour of missing 'steps' which one would assume to be necessary to achieve the end goal.

    In quantum physics, that refers to sub atomic particles moving from one place to another without going through any of the points in between.

    In product development, it refers to phone technology moving from one level to the next without going through any of the levels in between - almost like missing a generation.

    That's why it has come to be understood as a large leap forward.
  • Alucard291 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Its a shame in that sense that ip5 doesn't do anything at all like a quantum leap. Doesn't move technology forwards, doesn't use any -new- tech.

    Yes I know you being you will now go on about A6. Yes but A6 really isn't anything new. Its not even using the fastest ram available.

    Yes its faster than the competition at the moment but the competition is about half a year old now already and half a year is still quite a long period for mobile microchips.

    Just improves on the previous version just enough as to put itself barely ahead of the competition for a short while. In some things not even ahead.

    Sad thing - apple hasn't done "the magical quantum leap" thing for a very long time now.

    Which is amusingly enough why the presentation got yawned at and then reviews magically (pun intended) tried really hard to find something exciting in a phone with low quality manufacturing, a small screen and (to me) most importantly a somewhat lacklustre battery.
  • doobydoo - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    I was just talking about the phrase 'Quantum Leap', I wasn't saying anything about the iPhone.

    As for the phone itself, I think it is quite impressive to simultaneously achieve 3 counter-intuitive specs:

    1 - Thinnest / Smallest / Lightest (which is why the battery has low capacity, by the way)
    2 - Fastest
    3 - Long battery life (in the Podcast Anand mentions it beats the iPhone 4S which was superior to the SG3) - even more impressive given the low capacity of the battery.

    Whether or not you would describe that as a Quantum Leap or not is clearly down to your own interpretation. I very much doubt we'll see something as small, as fast, with as long battery life within the next 6-12 months.

    We'll no doubt see some faster phones, some phones with longer battery life, and some thinner phones. But I doubt we'll see the combination of all 3.
  • Alucard291 - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    And here we go again. Using subjective values as achievements.

    Its a small phone. After even my SGS2 (yeah 2 year contracts you know how it is :) - although actually I don't want to change it its the nicest phone design I've had yet) it feels like a toy phone. SGS2 was supposed to be a toy phone compared to 4S due to it being thinner and lighter.

    Is it an achievement? Subjective. The screen on IP5 by the by is tiny. Even after SGS2. Is it a bad thing? Again subjective.

    Does it even matter except for the sake of "we maed teh thinnestest phone ever" phrase for the slideshow? Especially since it was a lie anyway.

    I'm not the kind of a person to listen to podcasts but my sources suggest that under "normal use" the batter life is pretty much the same as 4S. Does it matter again? Nope since "a little bit better" or "a little bit worse" is the same from my standpoint.

    What I mean by "better battery life" is: 2x 4x 10x not 1.05x. If apple did the "we gained 10% performance but battery life went up 100%" then even I (and that's a big one) would think about that phone.

    But as it stands its a phone for people who didn't yet ruin their eyesight with a tiny screen, somewhat better performance than that of phones from half a year ago and slightly better battery life.

    Conversely I very much doubt we won't see something faster, thinner and with a bigger/better battery life in 6-12 moths (yes at the same time). And best thing is? We can't prove each other wrong until that time passes ^^
  • darkcrayon - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    It's an achievement to have this kind of performance and battery life in this form factor device. I don't know how "subjective" that is... Obviously if they made the device thicker and/or really large in other dimensions it would be much easier to get good battery life and performance (see: 3rd generation iPad for an extreme example, or the current crop of Android phones for a less extreme one). Reply
  • Alucard291 - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    By really thick and/or large you mean like the 4s then? :)

    Because that was a brick with exactly the same battery life as 5. So yeah a year went past. They used better tech process in chip manufacturing, reducing size and power drain and thus basically keeping the battery life almost identical to 4s.

    To be honest if it was "better" engadget - the apple sponsored webby - would have long published a review praising it, since they still haven't I'll trust my sources

    Great achievement? Nah.

    Especially since they paid for the size and weight with quality of the build and quality of the materials. And lack of unibody of which they were so proud previously - that probably helped too :)
  • serversurfer - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Actually, when Engadget did their "standard battery rundown test " on the iPhone 5, they got 11h15m of battery life.

    This compares with 11h25m for the RAZR Maxx, and 8h for the iPhone 4S.

    I would call a 41% improvement in battery life over the previous model "better," but maybe that's just me. /shrug
  • jefffeely - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link


    I had to stop reading half way through (the review, not the thesaurus).
  • mavere - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    It's a technical review with technical terms. Other than that, there's literally no fancy prose or liberal wordplay.

    I apologize it's not Dr. Seuss.
  • Biln3 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Does all this really matter that much on a tiny 4" screen? No one is gonna be doing anykind of serious graphical work on these things. Ofcourse better screens are better to have, it just seems weird to me. Reply
  • André - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I agree, we should move back to a monochrome 1-line display, like we used to have in calculators and still have.

    That's the way forward!
  • darkcrayon - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I could see it mattering for some things. Imagine clothes shopping from your phone and the color blue of that knit sweater on the screen is the same color when it comes in the mail ;) Reply
  • steven75 - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    The smartphone has become the most commonly used camera for those that have them.

    Accurately displaying what you just took a picture of seems pretty dang useful regardless of the display size.
  • cheinonen - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    To me the main thing is that it can help push the idea of an accurate display into the minds of consumers and that they then might start to want it for other products. It may start with a phone, and then move to a tablet, and then move to laptops or monitors after that. Most people have no idea what a calibrated display is, or even knowledge of the concept, so if this makes people more aware of it and the differences it can make, then it only helps going forward in my opinion. Reply
  • Pazz - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    QC cannot be measured from just one piece. Assuming that all other devices will exhibit the same degree of screen performance is naive.

    I take, for example, that there is significant discussion on mac rumours slating the standard of the iphone 5 finished product with regards to poor anodisation, chips in the bezel, scratches from sealed units etc
  • KitsuneKnight - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    The author mentions that at the start of the last paragraph: "I don't know if they are having the displays individually adjusted after they are assembled, or if the quality control is very strict, or if I just got a really remarkably lucky sample."

    Hopefully for their full iPhone 5 review (assuming there's going to be one big one) they'll have run additional 5's through these tests. Even if not, other sites will be conducting similar tests, so you could get a feel by looking at a number of reviews.
  • cheinonen - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    My wife has an iPhone 5 as well so I will try to run these tests on her phone if I get a chance, but that means being able to have her phone on me for a few hours so I can't do it while she's at work or anything else. Reply
  • mavere - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    The guy from DisplayMate posted an analysis of the 5's screen a couple days back. He found the quality to be as exceptional as Chris did. Reply
  • serversurfer - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    According to the dude over at DisplayTech, the reason the color accuracy is so good is because, like the new iPad, the displays are actually being calibrated at the factory by Apple. (Yes, I know it's really Apple's proxy doing the testing, pedants, but thanks.)

    So yes, all of the iPhone 5 displays should be just as good as the one Chris tested.
  • kenyee - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Even if you find out it's bad, it'll force Samsung to calibrate it better :-)
    It does have amazing blacks and colors though I have no doubt some colors are too vibrant.
    And at the resolution of the GS3, pentile doesn't seem to's pretty much invisible at normal distances...
  • dot_color - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Great review, it really is an amazing display- for ANY type of device.

    We also measured an iPhone 5 with our spectroradiometer (more accurate for gamut comparisons than a colorimeter) and had a slightly different color gamut result. We found the display was extremely close but just short of full sRGB coverage:

    Also took a look at color filter spectrum to break down, color by color, how Apple was able to make this big improvement in saturation.
  • cheinonen - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    In the name of more precision, here are my xyY values for WRGB readings:

    W: 0.307,0.326,52.8
  • dot_color - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    Very close to what we have, though we clearly took these measurements at different system brightness levels:

    W: 0.3067, 0.3292, 86.81
    R: 0.6358, 0.3341, 17.04
    G: 0.3063, 0.6055, 61.51
    B: 0.1487, 0.0635, 8.04

    In terms of area, that's 99.7% of sRGB in CIE1931 and 98.2% in 1976. Its also 73.9% of Adobe in CIE1931 compared to ours at 73.6%

    Tiny bit wider gamut than ours. Interesting to measure more of these but this is actually very good process control as far as color filters go I'd say.
  • cheinonen - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    I tried to pick as close to mid-brightness as I could. I usually run it much dimmer than that. Since the sRGB standard specifies 80 cd/m2 for a luminance level I could use that, but that is very dim for most people I'd imagine. Perhaps 200 cd/m2 like with monitor reviews is the way to go to standardize. Reply
  • ven - Monday, October 01, 2012 - link

    just a question, aren't these credits should go for the display manufactures(in this case i think it is LG) ? yes, it is a apple device but nobody mentioned about the actual company who is responsible for such a quality screen. Reply
  • MacTheSpoon - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    I know Apple only wants people to think about sRGB with this phone, but given that this site usually reviews screens in terms of the higher AdobeRGB gamut, how does it fare on that score? Reply
  • dot_color - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    We found it had around 73% of Adobe RGB Reply
  • JNo - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    "Wrapping up, the iPhone 5 display is a whole quantum leap better than the display on the iPhone 4."

    quantum leap = the smallest possible change possible to a system e.g. a quantum of light is the smallest, indivisible unit of light you can have. So you're basically saying that the iphone 5 display is identical. Virtually zilch progress.

    It's one of the most common misconceived phrases in the English language so that's ok but technology is based on science so for a tech site to be propagating this mis-usage of the phrase is unfortunate I think.

    /pedantic mode over
  • doobydoo - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    See my previous comment about why Quantum Leap as a phrase is sound. Reply
  • xxmattxx - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    How does iPhone 5 screen compare to the HTC One X. The One X screen is significantly better then the Galaxy SIII Reply
  • cheinonen - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    We're working on trying to get numbers for both of those now. Given what I've seen in other reviews so far, I'm going to guess the dE values for saturations and Gretag Macbeth will be much worse on both, and have no idea on grayscale or gamut numbers. This is just a guess until we can test them, however. Reply
  • xxmattxx - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    The One X will likely fall somewhere in between the iPhone 4S and 5 in testing, Many reviews of the One X praised its screen. Some said it was better then the 4S some said it was about the same.

    I have had the chance to compare the screen of my One X to my friends iPhone 5. First off they both screens look excellent however the iPhone 5's most obvious win is in color saturation however colors on the One X still look very good. The iPhone 5 also has a higher maximum brightness, Blacks look to be very close. stuff like contrast and color accuracy i cant test however i would give the iPhone 5 an edge but both do an excellent job. Overall both screens look great and you cant go wrong with either, but i would give the win to the iPhone 5 for its brightness and color saturation.

    I cant say much about the SIII other than it will fail miserably in color accuracy.

    I look forward to your testing.
  • royalcrown - Saturday, September 29, 2012 - link

    Whether it is the best screen in the world or not, it's too damn small, the tiny increase in height = meh. I own an Iphone 4 btw so I don't hate APPL. I'd just as soon it was bigger as I have big thumbs and use a lot or apps such as vnc stuff. Reply
  • darkcrayon - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    Well if you are VNC-ing into a system with a 16:9 display, which unfortunately (for desktops/laptops) is becoming more and more prevalent, then the iPhone 5 will give you more screen space for your remote session. Reply
  • Becherovka05 - Saturday, September 29, 2012 - link

    Apple made a big flaw in the design of this phone. Its got a cpu/gpu that's close to 100mm^2 and 4g and bigger screen but they made the battery only marginally bigger. The problem with this as everyone knows that 4g will drain battery if it does not have full signal. I know some of the current battery problems are due to software crashing but this does not overcome the hardware flaw. Even tho I didn't like S Jobs as a human, he would not of produced a phone with this many flaws. Who wants the fastest phone that last 4 hrs of use or you have to put into airplane mode. On top of that putting a extended battery on the bottom of the phone will make it look super long. I hope for all the people that got a iphone 5 that apple can do something to fix this maybe offer free case with extended battery and a software fix.
    But this screen looks great, its the best screen on a 4" phone. It is a matter of personal taste as high contrast is nice to look at as well, and some people do like a larger screen. Personally I think the phones are getting too big. Razr M looks good to me.
  • darkcrayon - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    You can turn LTE off if your signal is poor.
    There will be extended battery cases just like previous iPhones that make the device thicker, but not longer.

    I don't know what these other "so many flaws" are but it's certainly a better device in every way than the 4 or 4S.
  • Becherovka05 - Sunday, September 30, 2012 - link

    In a way your right most of the "so many flaws" I was talking about are software related and will get fixed. Things like wifi problems and some of the battery problems and maps...
    I think its a bit of a shame they were so keen to get the thinnest phone in the world they didn't just increase the battery to a better size. But being that thin a extended battery probably wouldn't hurt. Look at the Razr M, its so well balanced for a budget price.
    It is a better phone than the 4S otherwise, less prone to screen breaking (it can happen tho) better screen size and quality, amazing speed of the cpu/gpu.

    PS I dont think LTE is the only reason why they should of made a larger battery, its a much bigger CPU/GPU, and a bigger screen at higher resolution
  • Gsletta - Monday, October 01, 2012 - link

    Much bigger CPU/GPU how? the A6 is smaller than the A5 and with the new screen tech I bet it offset the extra 0.5" in terms of battery usage Reply
  • Becherovka05 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Woops your right.. I obviously misread wiki Reply
  • CyberAngel - Monday, October 15, 2012 - link

    I hope the red flash on some photos is also software related
    and not due to physical color filters
    The LTE is not penta band
    so it's working only in England (EE only) and one operator in Germany
    the rest of Europe only has a 3G iPhone 5 <doh>
    Also if you want to TALK to your frend while browsing the net (or iNet)
    the iPhone 5 drops to 3G also in the US of A <doh^2>

    I'm really waiting for the iPhone 5S/6
    (and the iOS upgrade to fix the maps/WiFi bugs/live tiles or iWidgets/etc)
    It looks to me that now that Jobs is gone the jobs at Apple are soon gone
    since the quality just isn't the same as before
    the display specs are nice anyway!!!
  • AppleRules123 - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    Apple are geniuses for making this product of absolute brilliance. Good work on their behalf! Reply
  • bagodonuts - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    Does anyone know how to make the screen for the iphone 5 full screen in landscape mode? The advertisement said it would fill up the entire screen when you watch videos and I've watched many videos on youtube and they all have blocking and do not fill up the screen as promised.

  • TteeOH - Sunday, November 04, 2012 - link

    Excuse me ,can u tell me ur production week of this iPhone 5 (the device that u run the test)

    Mine is week 42(October) and compared to my retina iPad ,iPhone 5 seems to hv a yellow tint problem.

    btw the link for check is
  • drewbyty - Friday, December 07, 2012 - link

    How did you run the color checker charts on your iPhone? Is there an app that will get these patches on your device? Reply
  • Lieuchikaka - Thursday, June 02, 2016 - link

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