With the new generation of iPhones on sale this week, we’re seeing Apple’s idea of the best technology for a smartphone hitting peoples hands. In the new phones, there’s faster WiFi, better processors, and a new all-metal design.
The biggest change comes from the screens which are bigger and better, with the 4.7 inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus packing more pixels in than any other iPhone before them,.
But is it enough? Do the changes put the new iPhones on par with the competition, or has Apple lagged behind — even slightly — with regards to established big phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2, HTC One M8, and LG G3?
We’re grabbing our microscope and putting the new Retina HD screens to the test below.
Our test for pixel peeping is simple, and we’ve done it before. You can see it in previous coverage, used in a piece on Apple’s Retina versus the competition, as well as testing which flagship is the best from this year.
In it, we sample an icon or a webpage across all of the smartphones and crop the image down to a specific 450 pixels, pairing it with a little bit of code that makes it possible for you to drag a slider left and right to see how the pixels look in between two devices.
This time, we’ve chosen a specific webpage on GadgetGuy and let the stock web browsers render it as they would. We need to note that while we can get close recreation between the devices, there are issues between font rendering in the different browsers and the microscope pressing on the screen which can change the colour.
That said, it’s as close a pixel peep as we can get, and it will show the difference in clarity on the technologies, especially as you can try dragging the slider between each phone’s pixel test. Ultimately, this will let you see the differences in an interactive form of journalism.
So let’s start with the iPhone 6…
The first test is an obvious one: Apple iPhone 6 versus Apple iPhone 5S.
While the iPhone 6 has a bigger screen, it’s more or less the same pixel quality, with Apple sticking with the 326ppi value the company once said Retina represented, but increasing the size. The resolutions check out, mind you, with the very specific resolution of 1334×750 on the iPhone 6 coming in at 325.61, near the 325.97 of the iPhone 5/5S/5C’s 1136×640, nearly identical and both close to 326ppi when rounded up.
This is, for the most part, Apple’s whole Retina argument displayed, with 326 being the maximum amount your eyes can see, and when viewed normally, the pixels are hard to peep, indeed.
But what about other phones?