Apple Watch Display Quality Judged 'Excellent', Calibrated to Match iPhone 6

DisplayMate Technologies has extensively tested the Apple Watch's flexible OLED display and shared the results today based on several categories, including screen reflection, brightness and contrast with ambient light, color gamut with ambient light, and viewing angle variations. Overall, the company found the Apple Watch to have an "excellent smart watch display" with accurate colors and picture quality.

Apple Watch DisplayMate Chart
In a side-by-side comparison with the iPhone 6 display, the display calibration company found that Apple has taken measures to ensure that the Apple Watch display has the same colors, color calibration and color accuracy as the larger smartphone screen. The stainless steel and gold Apple Watches with sapphire crystal displays, however, have much higher reflectance in ambient light and mandatory automatic brightness control to preserve battery life.

"Since the Apple Watch is often used right next to the iPhone 6, Apple has gone to considerable lengths to give them the same colors, color calibration, and color accuracy. The two most significant differences (other than size) are the much higher Reflectance of the Apple Watch with a sapphire crystal (8.2 percent compared to 4.6 percent), and the aggressive Brightness control using a mandatory Automatic Brightness Ambient Light Sensor in order to increase the running time on battery for the tiny watch."

DisplayMate Apple Watch Reflections
The full-length report offers a comprehensive look at the Apple Watch's ion-strengthened and sapphire crystal displays, and reiterates that enhanced sapphire, which lowers the screen reflectance of sapphire to be much lower than glass, will soon be available for use in smartphones, smartwatches and other mobile devices. Additionally, DisplayMate's previous tests of the Samsung Gear 2 and Sony SmartWatch 2 displays provide good comparisons to the Apple Watch.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

UnfetteredMind Avatar
77 months ago
It took me about a day and a half but I am now fully 100% an Apple Watch lover. This thing is just fantastic and as I use it more and more and understand its many functions I am just super pleased. Glad I ordered the Sports too, not too much money and works just fine.

It's a bit like the movie, "Her." Last night when I achieved my activity goal, my Watch dinged me and said, "Congratulations!" and I actually looked at my wrist and said, "Oh, thanks Watch." lol:)

Just don't tell anyone you're in love with your wrist :p
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mgmusicman94 Avatar
77 months ago
I'm starting to feel like the Sport model might be outshining the Steel model in more aspects now. The aluminum is harder and more scratch resistant, and now we know the screen looks better under the Ion-X glass than under the sapphire.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ttss6 Avatar
77 months ago
I'm still happy with the Steel model. Sure its more reflective and can scratch more easily, but I spent the extra $200 for the materials themselves. I've just always wanted a nice quality watch without spending into the $1000s
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chumpy34 Avatar
77 months ago
It took me about a day and a half but I am now fully 100% an Apple Watch lover. This thing is just fantastic and as I use it more and more and understand its many functions I am just super pleased. Glad I ordered the Sports too, not too much money and works just fine.

It's a bit like the movie, "Her." Last night when I achieved my activity goal, my Watch dinged me and said, "Congratulations!" and I actually looked at my wrist and said, "Oh, thanks Watch." lol:)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JustThinkin' Avatar
77 months ago
I care very much about color accuracy.

The Watch is one place I could let it go.



Nevertheless, I appreciate the fact that Displaymate continues to test new devices, and keep awareness of color accuracy high.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RDeckard Avatar
77 months ago
It's going to be really easy to scratch the glass though. AC+ is necessity with the sport IMO.
Actually, the Ion-X glass will be easier to scratch than sapphire, yes -- but I wouldn't say it would be really easy to scratch the glass.

OK, I get that the Ion-X glass will "scratch easily" for those who get their jollies by scratching their watches with sandpaper... But I'm gonna bet most people won't be doing that.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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