Apple Retina vs Liquid Retina vs Super Retina: The differences


Oddly enough, the question of what the difference between the iPhones and iPads screen types has been discussed for a long time, but in all that time there is no consensus on the difference between Apple Retina and Liquid Retina or Super Retina. So we decided to write a clear explanation of this question to help people understand the differences.

What is Liquid Retina display?

Apple Retina, Liquid Retina, Super Retina, and Retina HD are commercial screen type names, introduced by Apple. They were introduced primarily for marketing purposes and they don’t reflect any strict technical parameters, that’s commercial names first of all, not a technology. Similar names are made up by different device brands (not just Apple), the purpose of all these names is simple – show that the device has some futures on a subconscious human level.

If we speak about Retina, Liquid Retina, Super Retina, and Retina HD: these names are Apple Inc. trademarks registered in the U.S. and other countries. You can see the complete list of Apple Inc. trademarks here.

Difference between Liquid Retina vs Super Retina vs Retina

  • Apple Retina is the first name for the Apple screens their main feature is the resolution higher than HD. The screens are made using classic LED technology. By the way, taking into account that Apple devices are high-end ones, the screens are also of fairly high quality. Apple uses IPS technology, so such screens have a good brightness ratio and viewing angles. But if speak in technical terminology that’s IPS LED screens.
  • Apple Liquid Retina is a second commercial name given to IPS LED screens. This name was given to some devices in order to highlight them between other devices.
  • Super Retina differs from the two previous screen types by its technology. While Retina and Liquid Retina screens are made with LED technology, Super Retina screens are OLED ones.
Liquid Retina vs Retina vs Super Retina

How good is Liquid Retina display? Liquid Retina myths

There are a lot of myths about Liquid Retina displays around the Web. Of course, we don’t mean that Liquid Retina displays are bad, but we just mean that you should distinguish myths from reality:

  • Retina displays have a very high pixel density. On the one hand, that’s true. However, there’s a marketing trick behind such a statement. In fact, any display with a high screen resolution will have a high pixel density.
  • Liquid Retina displays have a very high pixel density that creates a paper-like effect. We already explained the pixel density marketing trick, but you should also understand that IPS displays can’t be paper-like, as any display can’t replicate the paper structure. Due to a high screen resolution, the picture is really very clear, but describing it as ‘paper-like’ is a marketing trick.
  • Retina is a display specifically designed by Apple for its products. This statement is also half-true. Apple relies on components supplied by Samsung, LG, and BOE. There’s a part of Apple technologies behind these displays, but the main technologies were developed by the suppliers.

Is Liquid Retina display good for eyes?

I can’t say it’s good for eyes, as almost any device can be harmfull for your sight if used too long. However, Liquid Retina display (as well as any other display used in Apple devices) is of better quality than cheap displays, so it’s better for your eyes than phones or tablets with cheap displays due to higher resolution and better picture quality.

Is Liquid Retina bad?

Well, in this article I don’t mean that Liquid Retina/Retina/Super Retina are bad displays, we just tried to explain the difference and demystify some of their features. Of course, if compared to a cheap screens, Apple displays are much better. But if we compare them with other flagman-displays, there would be almost no differences (at least the only difference is what a particular person likes better), so you should keep this in your mind.

Also, you can check out this article about Liquid Retina Display explained and you can ask your questions in the discussion as well, I will try to answer any questions ASAP.

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