According to DisplayMate, the iPhone 5's four-inch Retina display is the best smartphone screen ever.
In exhaustive testing that saw the device pitted against the Samsung Galaxy S III and its predecessor, the iPhone 4, the latest Apple smartphone trumped them both handily.
The iPhone 5 uses a liquid crystal display with in-plane switching, while the Galaxy S III relies on an organic light emitting diode screen. And while they were highly comparable in many categories—the Galaxy's 306 pixels per inch isn't far off the Retina's 326—the iPhone 5 was awarded superior colour saturation for images, "excellent calibration," an "essentially perfect" colour gamut, and greater battery life with the display at maximum brightness.
DisplayMate also noted that Apple only really hyped the new size of the iPhone 5 screen even though it features several additional enhancements over previous models.
"The display on the iPhone 5 is a significant improvement over the display on the iPhone 4. Apple has uncharacteristically understated how much better the display is on the iPhone 5," writes author Dr. Ray Doneria, the president of DisplayMate. "In every category that we measure, the performance of the iPhone 5 display has improved over the iPhone 4, sometimes by a bit and sometimes by a lot." He cites three "major display enhancements": screen reflectance, contrast rating for high ambient light, and colour quality and accuracy.
The study concludes: "Based on our extensive lab measurements the iPhone 5 has a true state-of-the-art accurate display ... It is the best smartphone display we have seen to date."
Apple relied on Samsung for previous iPhone displays. The iPhone 5's screen, however, uses components made by LG Display and Japan Display. While this has managed to produce a decidedly superior screen, it's a reason behind the smartphone's supply shortfall.