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Apple dismisses concerns about the iPhone XR’s 720p display

The iPhone XR has only just gone up for pre-order, and Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, is doing everything he can to convince consumers to buy it.

In an interview with Engadget, Schiller addressed what is arguably the handset’s biggest shortcoming (on paper, at least) − its 720p display.

Read more: Best smartphone

The XR features a 6.1-inch, 1792 x 828 LCD display, with a pixel density of 326ppi. That’s not a particularly sharp display, especially for a mobile that costs £749 for the 64GB model, £799 for the 128GB model, and a whopping £899 for the 256GB model.

While pixel density isn’t the be-all and end-all of a good smartphone display, it’s hard to ignore the fact that multitudes of significantly cheaper Android handsets have long been equipped with significantly sharper displays.

Schiller, however, believes that most users won’t be able to tell the difference between the iPhone XR’s screen and sharper mobile displays.

“I think the only way to judge a display is to look at it,” he said, adding that Apple’s calls the screen a ‘Retina display’ because it believes people can’t discern individual pixels unless they press their faces up right against the glass.

He continued: “If you can’t see the pixels, at some point the numbers don’t mean anything. They’re fairly arbitrary.”

We’re yet to get our hands on the XR, so it’s impossible for us to agree or disagree with Schiller’s claims, but it’s safe to say we weren’t exactly blown away by the screen on the iPhone 8, which is smaller, at 4.7-inches, but has the same 326ppi pixel density as the XR.

Read more: iPhone XR vs iPhone XS

“It’s still an IPS LCD panel; if you want the perfect blacks and more vivid colours of OLED, you’ll have to plump for an iPhone X or an Android device,” Max Parker wrote in our review.

“The resolution can make photos look slightly grainy, but it remains one of my favourite displays for colour reproduction, and the support for the DCI-P3 wide colour gamut makes a huge difference in supported content. It also excels for use in super-sunny conditions – an area in which OLEDs often suffer.”

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