DisplayMate Technologies has conducted an extensive test against the Apple Watch’s OLED display and shared there results based on a number of categories, including screen reflection, brightness and contrast, colour gamut, and viewing angle variations.
Overall, the company found that the Apple Watch has an excellent display with accurate colours and picture quality. DisplayMate tested the display with the iPhone 6 and found that Apple has taken measures to ensure that the Apple Watch display has the same colours accuracy as the smartphone’s display.
The tests found that the sapphire displays used on the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition carry some drawbacks over the Ion-X glass used in the Apple Watch Sport. While you still receive the colourful, sharp visuals, the sapphire display reflects almost twice as much light and washes out the picture in very bright conditions.
“We measured the Reflectance of the Apple Watch with a sapphire crystal to be 8.2 percent, (0.5 percent greater than the single surface Reflectance of sapphire in air), indicating that Apple has done an excellent job in optically bonding the sapphire to the OLED display without an air gap. However, the Reflectance of the iPhone 6 with Ion-X cover glass is only 4.6 percent, so the Apple Watch with a sapphire crystal reflects 178 percent of the amount of light reflected by the iPhone 6. We didn’t test the Apple Watch Sport with Ion-X glass, but expect similar results to the iPhone 6.”
Apple is unable to use an anti-glare coating on the display because it would scratch easily, defeating the purpose of a sapphire display. If you are going to be using the watch outdoors, the Apple Watch Sport is currently the best option.
The full report offers an in-depth look at the Apple Watch’s ion-strengthened and sapphire crystal displays and it can be found on DisplayMate’s website.