Even though Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) lifted the curtain off the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X (pronounced "ten") at its special event on Sept. 12, there's one thing about two of the models -- iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, in fact -- that remains unanswered.
In Apple's press release announcing the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, the company clearly said that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have "New Retina HD displays."
The company touted the addition of its True Tone display technology as a key improvement to the displays in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, over the displays in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. However, I remain skeptical that these displays are truly "new."
What did Apple say?
In the press release, Apple talked about the addition of True Tone to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which is clearly a feature new to the iPhone. (Though it doesn't require a new display panel design, it requires adding light sensors to measure the color temperature of the surrounding light.)
However, the other features that Phil Schiller talked about during the launch of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were high color accuracy, the use of wide color, and 3D Touch capability.
Well, the displays on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were both highly color-accurate, and they both supported the wider DCI-P3 color gamut that the displays on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus support. And, of course, both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus support 3D Touch, a feature that debuted in late 2015 with the launch of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
Further, in perusing the tech specs section for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus on Apple's website, the rated contrast ratios of the displays as well as the rated brightness levels were identical to those of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
Are these new displays?
The displays on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus may very well be new. When third-party display measurements come in, they could show substantial improvements in color accuracy in both the sRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces, and they may even show fuller coverage of both spaces (though the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus displays come very close to covering 100% of both the sRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces).
But, as I said, the displays on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were already great. Per tests by NotebookCheck.net, the iPhone 7 Plus display offered a contrast ratio of 1591 to 1 (better than the rated 1300 to 1), a color error of just 1.4 (the closer to zero, the better), and a grayscale error of just 1.3 (again, the closer to zero, the better).
It also covered 99.83% of the sRGB color space and shipped with the white point at 6667K (very close to the "perfect" value of 6504K).
The truth is that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were nearly as good as you could get in terms of LCD (liquid-crystal display) image quality; I would be, quite frankly, stunned if the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus delivered legitimate improvements in color or grayscale accuracy.
If they do, we'll know that these are truly "new" displays. If they don't, then Apple marketing them as "new" would seem a bit much.