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Home / Tips and Tricks / OLED vs. LCD: What You Need to Know About Displays Before You Choose an iPhone XS or XR «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

OLED vs. LCD: What You Need to Know About Displays Before You Choose an iPhone XS or XR «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

The new iPhone X R X S and X S Max has all buzzed. But at first glance, the X R and XS look very similar in almost every way. So, what's the difference? It comes down to the "Liquid Retina" LCD screen of the XR against the "Super Retina" OLED display of the XS. How do they compare and why does it matter which new iPhone is pre-ordered?

This discussion is nothing new – the now discontinued iPhone X was the first of Apple to show an OLED display, while the iPhone 8 and 8 also came with the standard LCD that we got used to. All the points below can also be applied to these iPhones, except for the missing Touch ID.


OLED technology has increasingly found its way into consumer tech products in recent years. If you were about to go to Best Buy, there is a good chance that any smartphone or TV you pick up will have an OLED display. But what is it and is it better than LCD?

To keep it simple, when your display is OLED, each pixel on the screen emits its own light. This means that black areas of the screen do not need to be turned on at all, which both saves power and simply can not match the contrast of other displays.

LCD, on the other hand, requires a general backlight, so even if you fill the screen with a black square, you will still see light from the phone.

Nexus 6P with AMOLED screen (left), iPhone 6 with LCD screen (right). Both devices display an OLED test image at full brightness in a dark room

For this reason, can not hide the notch on the X R with background images like the X S – on these wallpapers runs a black stripe on the iPhone. This strip does not appear in OLED displays and hides the score effectively. However, XR's LCD screen will still emit some light through the black areas and do nothing to hide the notch.

Picture by Dallas Thomas / Gadget Hacks

The big drawback of OLED displays, however, is their sensitivity to burn-in or afterimages when taking pictures once on the screen, are now visible when using the device. This often occurs with menus and other items that appear on the screen for a long time, but so far this has not been a common problem for iPhones.

XR Display vs.. XS Displays

Let's talk about the resolution. The X S has a resolution of 2436 x 1125, while the X S Max has a resolution of 2688 x 1242. However, these two displays have the same pixel density of 458 PPI. so effective, these ads are equally sharp.

The LCD on the X R on the other hand, has a resolution of 1792 x 898 with a pixel density of 326 PPI, though its display is four-tenths of an inch larger than the XS. If you were to keep these ads against each other, you could see that the X S or X S have sharper representations than the X R

the X S and X S Max HDR or high dynamic range displays. HDR displays can leverage HDR content to give your movies, TV shows, and even YouTube videos deeper and more vivid colors. The X R does not have an HDR display, so you'll miss that added benefit.

We still can not compare the brightness or color temperature between the displays because Apple does this. This information may not be published. This is usually not a problem, except that third parties can not test the ads because the iPhones have not yet been released.

Keep going at this point – if you're looking for the sharpest, most vibrant display possible, your new iPhone, you'll choose an XS.

So, is the X S better?

To be clear, there are some differences between the X R and XS other than their ads, but also a surprising number of similarities. Which new iPhone you choose should not come to what appears to be "better", at least not until you have compared all the other features. You may be surprised if you compare the prices …

Also check out our comparison below for this article to get a complete picture of the X R Vs. X S and X S Max.

Cover picture of Apple

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