The less expensive Apple Watch Sport may offer the best display performance of all models, according to an extensive study carried out this week.
The DisplayMate site has surmised that while the sapphire crystal covering the standard and Apple Watch Edition models offers far greater protection, the additional screen glare brings it down a notch or two in terms of performance.
Meanwhile, the Apple Watch Sport display is constructed from the same Ion-X strengthened glass as featured in the iPhone 6, which reflects less ambient light and offers greater visibility.
The site, known for its in-depth and highly scientific review methods wrote: “Sapphire reflects about twice as much ambient light as glass (due to fundamental principles of physics and optics).
“Since any reflected ambient light decreases image contrast and color saturation, displays with sapphire can’t perform as well as the lower reflectance glass in ambient light.”
The site found the sapphire crystal Apple Watches had reflectance of 8.6 per cent, while the materials used to craft the Apple Watch sport screen registered at 4.6 per cent when tested on the iPhone 6.
So, if you’re looking for visibility over protection, the Apple Watch Sport is a slightly better option right now, according to DisplayMate. Of course, the sapphire crystal provides a more durable display that may be more practical considering the investment required to snap up an Apple Watch.
However, it won’t be long until smart watch users can enjoy the best of both worlds. The site says an enhanced sapphire will soon be available that “delivers both high scratch resistance and low reflectance.”
Read more: Apple Watch Sport vs Apple Watch: What’s the difference?
Overall, DisplayMate was high in praise for Apple’s efforts with the first generation Apple Watch, claiming it to be an “excellent smart watch display.”
“The key element for a great smart watch is its display,” wrote Dr Raymond Soneira, “and Apple has done a great job with the OLED display on the Apple Watch. It provides very nice, pleasing and accurate colors and picture quality, and is a very good side-by-side match to the iPhone 6. It is very nicely implemented and an Excellent Smart Watch Display!”