Following its detailed reports on displays used in the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, today DisplayMate published a scientific analysis of color accuracy for the six best mobile displays. Despite winning overall for some categories in the test, Apple’s new entries, the iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2 end up at the bottom of the list overall.
The comparison included the iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 Plus, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, and the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Tab 2 from Samsung.
The test ranked the devices in four categories— Entire Color Gamut, Facial Skin Tone Colors, Organic Colors, and Blue Region from Cyan to Magenta Colors— in order to determine an overall color accuracy score. While Apple’s devices performed well for Skin Tone and Organic Color Accuracy categories and ranked second place, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2 come in last behind Samsung and Microsoft devices for best overall color accuracy.
Its seems likely that Apple has concentrated on the important Red to Green part of the Color Space, which includes both the Skin Tone and Organic Colors. On the other hand, both the iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2 are in last place for the Full Gamut Color Accuracy. This is partly the result of an over saturated Blue primary that distorts almost the entire Blue Region, which accounts for about half of the half of the entire Color Space and increases the Average Color Error, and also partly due to the less accurate bluish White Point.
As for the winners, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 took the top spot in all categories, while the Galaxy Tab 10.5 and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tied for second overall:
1. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the winner in Absolute Color Accuracy, coming in first place in all categories for its Basic Screen Mode setting.
2. The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 are tied closely for overall second place.
DisplayMate also notes that the iPhone 6 includes color accuracy performance “very similar” to iPhone 6 Plus, so it isn’t included. The Samsung devices, which offer several screen modes, were set to their basic default mode for the test.