What is Apple’s Retina XDR display? The iPhone and iPad tech explained

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XDR displays are bachelor on all sorts of Apple products, from desktop monitors to the iPhone. Simply what is an XDR display?

Despite featuring in many of its products, Apple hasn’t explained what an XDR display is all that well. We’ve put together this guide to help you sympathise Retina XDR and its the unlike versions across Apple’s product lines.

What is Apple Retina XDR display?

If you’re familiar with HDR – or High Dynamic Range – y’all may take guessed that the XDR in Retina XDR stands for ‘Extreme Dynamic Range’.

Where HDR improves the contrast on displays (bright whites, deep blacks), Apple uses a different backlighting method to push dissimilarity to the extreme. At least, that’s what Apple tree says.

Take the 2022 Pro Display XDR monitor. It uses a large number of individually calibrated blue LEDs to grade the backlight. Apple then applies its own algorithm to modulate each LED based on the content, using custom lenses and reflectors to control the light. The Retina XDR display on this model can patently maintain g nits of total-screen brightness and a peak of 1600 nits. For comparison’s sake, Apple tree says a standard desktop display is capable of around 350 nits.

What is Super Retina XDR?

Apple brought its XDR tech to the iPhone in 2022 with the Super Retina XDR screens found on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The company has continued to use the tech with its iPhone 13 series.

Super Retina XDR is the successor to Super Retina, a display that featured on the iPhone X. It has a dissimilarity ratio of 2,000,000:1 – twice that of the previous Super Retina screens (both displays support Dolby Vision and HDR10 standards).

Unlike the screen on the Pro Display XDR, the Super Retina XDR OLED displays don’t require a backlight, with lite instead emitting through each pixel for a thinner brandish.

What is Liquid Retina XDR?

In 2022, Apple tree launched the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th gen), introducing another version of XDR – Liquid Retina XDR.

The biggest divergence between XDR and Liquid Retina XDR is the back end applied science. Liquid Retina screens employ over 10,000 mini-LEDs spread beyond 2,500 individually controlled dimming zones, offering the same i,000,000:i dissimilarity ratio and 1600 nits pinnacle brightness seen on the iPad Pro’due south Pro Display XDR screen.

The mini-LEDs are 20% smaller than standard LEDs, which
in theory
should let the iPad to avoid the blooming outcome constitute on typical local dimming systems. That’southward non always the case and blooming can notwithstanding occur with some content.

XDR displays are available on all sorts of Apple products, from desktop monitors to the iPhone. But what is an XDR display?

Despite featuring in many of its products, Apple tree hasn’t explained what an XDR display is all that well. We’ve put together this guide to help yous sympathize Retina XDR and its the unlike versions across Apple’s product lines.

What is Apple Retina XDR display?

If you’re familiar with HDR – or High Dynamic Range – you may have guessed that the XDR in Retina XDR stands for ‘Extreme Dynamic Range’.

Where HDR improves the contrast on displays (bright whites, deep blacks), Apple uses a different backlighting method to push contrast to the extreme. At least, that’s what Apple says.


Take the 2022 Pro Display XDR monitor. It uses a large number of individually calibrated bluish LEDs to course the backlight. Apple then applies its ain algorithm to modulate each LED based on the content, using custom lenses and reflectors to command the low-cal. The Retina XDR display on this model can obviously maintain g nits of full-screen brightness and a height of 1600 nits. For comparing’s sake, Apple says a standard desktop display is capable of around 350 nits.

iphone 13 smaller notch

What is Super Retina XDR?

Apple tree brought its XDR tech to the iPhone in 2022 with the Super Retina XDR screens found on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The visitor has continued to employ the tech with its iPhone xiii serial.

Super Retina XDR is the successor to Super Retina, a display that featured on the iPhone Ten. It has a contrast ratio of ii,000,000:ane – twice that of the previous Super Retina screens (both displays back up Dolby Vision and HDR10 standards).

Different the screen on the Pro Brandish XDR, the Super Retina XDR OLED displays don’t require a backlight, with light instead emitting through each pixel for a thinner brandish.

iPad Pro 2022 showing the Safari browser and Spotify

What is Liquid Retina XDR?

In 2022, Apple launched the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th gen), introducing some other version of XDR – Liquid Retina XDR.

The biggest difference between XDR and Liquid Retina XDR is the back stop technology. Liquid Retina screens use over 10,000 mini-LEDs spread across 2,500 individually controlled dimming zones, offering the same ane,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 1600 nits peak brightness seen on the iPad Pro’s Pro Display XDR screen.

The mini-LEDs are xx% smaller than standard LEDs, which
in theory
should let the iPad to avoid the blooming effect plant on typical local dimming systems. That’s not always the instance and blooming can however occur with some content.

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