This year Apple actually launched three phones, like last year. But we got two different lineups, the XS and XR. iPhones still have the best chips, the A12 Bionic, but they still lag behind in displays, specially when they are compared to the likes of Samsung.
It was only last year that they moved to OLED displays with the iPhone X. Whereas Android flagships have them for quite sometime now. The new iPhone XS models actually have a OLED display with a resolution of 2436×1125 and a ppi of 458. These are fairly decent display specs for a flagship phone.
Coming to the iPhone XR, this is where we have a big problem, one which nobody seems to be talking about. The iPhone XR only has a 828p display, with a resolution of 1792×828. That’s only a mere 326 pixels per inch.
So in simpler terms, the iPhone XR is actually incapable of running Full HD YouTube videos or any kind of Full HD video for that matter. Many people online are touting the iPhone XR as revolutionary due to it’s lower price, but it’s still a phone that costs over 700$ US. On top of that there are thick bezels all over the screen.
Theoretically Apple is offering the XR at a cheaper price, but I don’t think they have lowered their profit margins because of it. Display adds a significant amount to a phone’s manufacturing cost, so Apple is saving a lot of money by packing in a very inferior display.
Even budget Android phones priced as low as 200$ pack in a 1080p display in 2018. Full HD displays have been the industry norm from a long time. The OnePlus 6 for example has a Full HD+ OLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels, that’s about 401 pixels per inch.
Display resolution is a very important factor, higher resolutions make the text look sharper and video content look crispier and more detailed. The phone’s screen is where you will be looking at for anything you do, so it’s really a big part of the experience of a smartphone.
Apple defines the iPhone XR display technology as “Liquid Retina”, but a phone with a ppi of 326 won’t look very nice. iPhone XR is not a budget device coming in at 750$ US, you are better off buying the iPhone XS or the iPhone X if you absolutely want a Apple smartphone. Consumers have to look past marketing gimmicks and make smart purchases, the iPhone XR doesn’t seem to be one for now.