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Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
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Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Display test

This device has been retested in the latest version of our protocol. This summary has been fully updated. For detailed information, check the What’s New article
OTHER AVAILABLE TESTS FOR THIS DEVICE

We put the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max through our rigorous DXOMARK Display test suite to measure its performance across four criteria. In this test results, we will break down how it fared in a variety of tests and several common use cases.

Overview

Key display specifications:

  • 6.7 inches AMOLED Retina XDR
  • Dimensions: 159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25 mm (6.30 x 3.02 x 0.32 inches)
  • Resolution: 1290 x 2796 pixels, (~460 ppi density)
  • Aspect ratio: none
  • Refresh rate: 120 Hz

Scoring

Sub-scores and attributes included in the calculations of the global score.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
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display
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164

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Pros

  • Readable in most tested conditions, including outdoors
  • More vivid colors in photos
  • Strong frame drop performance

Cons

  • A strong orange cast impacts color rendering and skin tones in photos and videos when True Tone is activated
  • HDR10 videos lack contrast in midtones compared to its predecessor

The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max display performance stood out in the video, color, and touch categories. The device’s readability was above average, held back due to low brightness in low light and a strong drop in luminance when outdoors.

The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max was readable in most conditions, including outdoors, with an impressive 2260 nits measured on a 20% average picture level (APL) white pattern. However, brightness dropped drastically at higher APLs, reaching only 1100 nits at 80% APL (similar to web page APL), meaning the device is more suited for viewing photos than web pages outdoors. Further, the 15 Pro Max is still tuned for only 2 nits in low-light conditions; although this is suitable for a middle-of-the-night kind of environment, users may need to manually adjust the brightness in other conditions. The 15 Pro Max has improved screen uniformity, with only a slight shadow on the sides of the device’s Dynamic Island that can be visible on dark backgrounds.

The device’s colors without True Tone were natural under 830 lux, although Display-P3 content desaturates under intense ambient lighting. On the other hand, sRGB colors appear more saturated under low-light conditions and when High Brightness Mode is activated.

When held at an angle, the 15 Pro Max’s colors remained quite stable.

In video, the device adapted its peak and overall brightness in low-light and indoor conditions very well to provide a satisfying HDR10 experience. Contrast, as seen with the tone curve, was generally well-managed in indoor viewing conditions, although dark details could be slightly too bright in low-light conditions. The screen had low brightness, however, when viewing in SDR indoors and in low light.

As with its still photo color rendering, the colors in SDR videos on the iPhone 15 Pro Max were more saturated than what is standard under dark lighting conditions, and HDR10 videos had an orange cast that adversely affected the rendering of skin tones only when True Tone was on. Finally, midtones on the 15 Pro Max had a flatter appearance than on the 14 Pro Max.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max achieved an almost perfect frame drop performance, with one or no frame drops in video playback.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max’s performance for touch was identical to that of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, with high reactivity and smooth interaction. The reactivity of most flagships measures around 60 ms to 70 ms, and in that regard, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is no exception.

Test summary

About DXOMARK Display tests: For scoring and analysis, a device undergoes a series of objective and perceptual tests in controlled lab and real-life conditions. The DXOMARK Display score takes into account the overall user experience the screen provides, considering the hardware capacity and the software tuning. In testing, only factory-installed video and photo apps are used.  More in-depth details about how DXOMARK tests displays are available in the article “A closer look at DXOMARK Display testing.”

The following section focuses on the key elements of our exhaustive tests and analyses performed in DXOMARK laboratories. Full reports with detailed performance evaluations are available upon request. To order a copy, please contact us.

Readability

144

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

164

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
How Display Readability score is composed

Readability evaluates the user’s ease and comfort of viewing still content, such as photos or a web page, on the display under different lighting conditions. Our measurements run in the labs are completed by perceptual testing and analysis.

Luminance under various lighting conditions
This graph shows the screen luminance in environments that range from total darkness to outdoor conditions. In our labs, the indoor environment (250 lux to 830 lux) simulates the artificial and natural lighting conditions commonly seen in homes (with medium diffusion); the outdoor environment (from 20,000 lux) replicates a situation with highly diffused light.
Contrast under various lighting conditions
This graph shows the screen’s contrast levels in lighting environments that range from total darkness to outdoor conditions. In our labs, the indoor environment (250 lux to 830 lux) simulates the artificial and natural lighting conditions commonly seen in homes (with medium diffusion); the outdoor environment (from 20,000 lux) replicates a situation with highly diffused light.
Photo EOTF
The Electro-Optical Transfer Function (EOTF) defines how bits are converted into luminance out of the display. Gray levels (horizontal axis) represent the different shades from pure white (100% gray level) to pitch black (0% gray level). The standard for still images follows a 2.2 gamma. The flatter the curves, the harder it is to perceive differences between consecutive shades. This phenomenon is more frequent under intensive lighting conditions (20,000 lux) in the low gray level regions.
Photo EOTF
The Electro-Optical Transfer Function (EOTF) defines how bits are converted into luminance out of the display. Gray levels (horizontal axis) represent the different shades from pure white (100% gray level) to pitch black (0% gray level). The standard for still images follows a 2.2 gamma. The flatter the curves, the harder it is to perceive differences between consecutive shades. This phenomenon is more frequent under intensive lighting conditions (20,000 lux) in the low gray level regions.
Photo EOTF
The Electro-Optical Transfer Function (EOTF) defines how bits are converted into luminance out of the display. Gray levels (horizontal axis) represent the different shades from pure white (100% gray level) to pitch black (0% gray level). The standard for still images follows a 2.2 gamma. The flatter the curves, the harder it is to perceive differences between consecutive shades. This phenomenon is more frequent under intensive lighting conditions (20,000 lux) in the low gray level regions.
Luminance vs Viewing Angle
This graph presents how the luminance drops as viewing angles increase.

Readability in an indoor (1000 lux) environment
From left to right: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Honor Magic5 Pro
(Photos for illustration only)


Readability in an outdoor (20 000 lux) environment
From left to right: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Honor Magic5 Pro
(Photos for illustration only)


Readability in a sunlight (>90 000 lux) environment
From left to right: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Honor Magic5 Pro
(Photos for illustration only)
Average Reflectance (SCI) Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
4.8 %
Low
Good
Bad
High
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Honor Magic6 Pro
SCI stands for Specular Component Included, which measures both the diffuse reflection and the specular reflection. Reflection from a simple glass sheet is around 4%, while it reaches about 6% for a plastic sheet. Although smartphones’ first surface is made of glass, their total reflection (without coating) is usually around 5% due to multiple reflections created by the complex optical stack.
Average reflectance is computed based on the spectral reflectance in the visible spectrum range (see graph below) and human spectral sensitivity.
Reflectance (SCI)
Wavelength (horizontal axis) defines light color, but also our capacity to see it; for example, UV is a very low wavelength that the human eye cannot see; Infrared is a high wavelength that the human eye also cannot see). White light is composed of all wavelengths between 400 nm and 700 nm, i.e. the range the human eye can see. Measurements above show the reflection of the devices within the visible spectrum range (400 nm to 700 nm).

Uniformity
This graph shows the distribution of luminance throughout the entire display panel. Uniformity is measured with a 20% gray pattern, with bright green indicating ideal luminance. An evenly spread-out bright green color on the screen indicates that the display’s brightness is uniform. Other colors indicate a loss of uniformity.
PWM Frequency Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
240 Hz
Bad
Good
Bad
Great
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Honor Magic6 Pro
Displays flicker for 2 main reasons: refresh rate and Pulse Width Modulation. Pulse width modulation is a modulation technique that generates variable-width pulses to represent the amplitude of an analog input signal. This measurement is important for comfort because flickering at low frequencies can be perceived by some individuals, and in the most extreme cases, can induce seizures. Some experiments show that discomfort can appear at a higher frequency. A high PWM frequency (>1500 Hz) tends to be less disturbing for users.
Temporal Light Modulation
This graph represents the frequencies of lighting variation; the highest peak gives the most important modulation. The combination of a low frequency and a high peak is susceptible to inducing eye fatigue.

Color

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Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

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Google Pixel 8
How Display Color score is composed

Color evaluations are performed in different lighting conditions to see how well the device manages color with the surrounding environment. Devices are tested with sRGB and Display-P3 image patterns. Both faithful mode and default mode are used for our evaluation. Our measurements run in the labs are completed by perceptual testing & analysis.

White point color under D65 illuminant at 830 lux