What is Super Retina XDR? The iPhone screen tech explained

Looking to pick up a new iPhone? Here’s everything you need to know about the Super Retina XDR screen technology found on a number of Apple phones. 

Read on to learn all about Super Retina XDR, including what it is, how it differs from Super Retina and where you can find it. 

What is Super Retina XDR? 

Super Retina XDR is Apple’s name for its OLED screens with Extreme Dynamic Range. This display type can currently be found across its iPhone line and first appeared on the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max in 2019. 

Before Super Retina XDR, Apple used Super Retina screens (these can be found on the iPhone X, XS and XS Max). 

Where both Super Retina screens leverage OLED technology and High Dynamic Range (HDR) for deep blacks and bright whites, only Super Retina XDR displays take advantage of this extended Extreme Dynamic Range for a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1 – twice that possible with Super Retina. 

Super Retina XDR displays support a range of major HDR formats, including HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG. They also feature the DCI-P3 colour space for a wide colour gamut and True Tone to automatically adjust the colours based on the ambient light colour and brightness in your environment. 

The use of OLED makes the display thinner and more energy efficient than the iPhone screens that came before it. Apple has also taken steps to limit the effects of burn-in, which can be an unfortunate side effect of OLED. 

“We’ve engineered the Super Retina and Super Retina XDR displays to be the best in the industry in reducing the effects of OLED “burn-in”. This includes special algorithms that monitor the usage of individual pixels to produce display calibration data. Your iPhone uses that data to automatically adjust the brightness levels for each pixel as needed to reduce visual effects from “burn-in” and to maintain a consistent viewing experience”, writes Apple on its website

Which devices have a Super Retina XDR display?

You can find Super Retina XDR displays on the following iPhones: 

We’d also expect to see the display type on the iPhone 14 series if Apple doesn’t decide to update it this year.

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