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What is a Liquid Retina display? Everything you need to know about Apple’s screen tech

If you’re looking to pick up an Apple device, you may have come across the term ‘Liquid Retina’. But, what does it mean?

Liquid Retina and Liquid Retina XDR screens can be found across Apple’s smartphone, tablet and laptop lines. Here’s everything you need to know about them. 

What is a Liquid Retina display? 

Liquid Retina is what Apple calls its Retina displays that are built upon LCD (or Liquid Crystal Display) technology. 

A Retina display is any screen with a pixel density high enough that Apple has determined your eyes won’t be able to make out individual pixels at a “normal” viewing distance. The idea is to describe a screen that is smoother and more natural-looking than a non-Retina display. 

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Apple has introduced several variations on the Retina display over the years, including Retina HD, Retina 4K, Retina 4.5K, Retina 5K, Retina 6K, Super Retina HD and Super Retina XDR – as well as Liquid Retina and Liquid Retina XDR.

The name Liquid Retina simply refers to any Apple product with an LCD screen that has a high pixel density. A Liquid Retina XDR display is a higher resolution take on Liquid Retina that employs smaller mini-LEDs for a brighter image, with XDR standing for ‘Extreme Dynamic Range’. 

However, neither is as bright as the Super Retina XDR display found on the iPhone 13, which swaps out the LCD technology for OLED. OLED also brings along additional benefits, like deeper blacks and a longer battery life. 

Where can I find Liquid Retina displays?

Liquid Retina displays can be found on the following products: 

While Liquid Retina XDR displays appear on the below devices: 

It’s important to note that Retina and Liquid Retina are trademarked Apple terms. This means that, just because a non-Apple device doesn’t carry the Retina name, that doesn’t mean the display can’t rival that of Apple products. 

You’ll want to look at specs like the size of the display and pixel density to get an idea of how competing displays compare to Liquid Retina ones. It also helps to take a look at the screens in person to decide which looks best to your eyes.

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