iPhone XR Am I the only one who prefers the XR screen over the X/XS?

Stuey3D

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Original poster
Jul 8, 2014
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Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Hi all.

So I’ve been into my local carrier store to have yet another look at the iPhone XR as I am planning to trade in my X for an XR in January when my contract allows.

Now I’ve looked at the screens of the X and the XR closely and I’ve gotta say I actually prefer the Xr’s Screen over my X.

First of all the tone of the screen appears more nuetral with True Tone on and off, I held both phones right next to each other and brightness to the maximum and compared. With True Tone on the XR looked brilliant white whilst my X looked a warm yellowish tone, and with True Tone off the XR barely changed whilst my X went a cold clinical blue tone (this was also the same on the XS next to it)

At maximum brightness the XR seemed easier on the eyes, my X and the XS felt quite harsh and painful and both seemed to have what I can only describe as a shimmering effect when tilted. Then again I also believe than I may be sensitive to PWM which might explain this.

With regards to text I always have my iPhones set to the minimum text size for maximum data on the screen and the XR seemed perfectly legible, the text seemed slightly bolder but I guess that’s the larger pixels. However the text didn’t appear fuzzy to my eyes and I appreciated the amount of extra content on the screen that the XR had.

As for colours the XR did a fine job with the colours but the OLED was slightly and only slightly more vibrant to my eyes. The red text in the music app seemed slightly deeper and richer on my X over the XR but it was very very slight.

With regards to black levels that is obviously the XR’s weakness and at maximum brightness on the Apple looping screen saver you could see a slight glow to the blacks, however they still appeared black and not a manky grey colour which was very impressive.

The bezels whilst they are slightly bigger they aren’t bad at all, the girl in the shop said they made her angry but when I showed her the 2 together she couldn’t explain why they made her angry. Yes they are slightly thicker but they aren’t ugly and I’m glad they are there rather than Apple having a non uniform ugly chin like the android models. Plus my X is in a heavy duty black case which basically gives it bigger bezels than the XR anyway, so when I put an XR in a case I doubt it will make a huge difference in real useage.

All in all I can’t wait to get an XR and I think the screen is absolutely fantastic and unless you are pixel peeping at the X/XS/XR right next to each other you aren’t gonna be disappointed with the XR.
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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I was just involved in another thread where a member was saying the XR display is ‘unacceptable’, ultimately, I don’t believe that to be true. I think the XR display is more than adequate, and some are under the impression that it should be an OLED panel, when plenty of other members really can’t even see major differences between the LCD and OLED display.

The most important factors about the XR display is that it’s vibrant and the colors are accurate, to me, that’s what the consumer cares about.
 

Stuey3D

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I was just involved in another thread where a member was saying the XR display is ‘unacceptable’, ultimately, I don’t believe that to be true. I think the XR display is more than adequate, and some are under the impression that it should be an OLED panel, when plenty of other members really can’t even see major differences between the LCD and OLED display.

The most important factors about the XR display is that it’s vibrant and the colors are accurate, to me, that’s what the consumer cares about.
Oh for sure I totally agree, and personally I for one am glad that there exists an LCD model as I do believe the screen of my X is making me sick.

The last few months I’ve been getting eye pain and couldn’t figure out what was causing it, then I stumbled upon a forum here about PWM and it then occurred to me that the iPhone could be the cause of it as it was always in the evening that the pain would come on which is when the PWM is at its most harsh with the brightness of the phone being low.

Plus I think I’ve confirmed this too as I was playing my Nintendo switch in a pitch black bedroom the other night at a decent brightness with no problems at all, yet if I’d been using my iPhone my eyes would start stinging.

That’s part of the reason why I’m counting down the days till trade in time.
 
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Rick America

macrumors member
Sep 1, 2007
52
8
I agree with OP. I went back and forth comparing the XR and XS for weeks and finally decided to go with the XR yesterday. What decided for me was the screen --- I found I liked the XR display better (to my eyes)...text, pictures, and video I thought looked better (or no different) from the XS. My only concern was size of XR (width actually( given that I was coming from a 5S. So far, so good!
 

Stuey3D

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i think the reason they didnt go with a 1080p screen is that they would have had to do all sorts of weird scaling tricks like they did with the old plus series and it was just easier and more efficient to just use 2x Retina which is that weird 828p resolution that it currently is. The only other option would've been to go the full amount of pixels that a XS Max has and with the lower screen size would've been a higher PPI than the top of the range phone.

I for one aren't bothered that it isn't 1080p as it will save on processing which saves on battery and also for media you can get away with a 720p version which will save bandwidth and data costs too.

Also goes back to the old comparison of would you rather a high quality 720p TV or a cheaper not as nice 1080p version, or would you rather a decent 1080p TV over a cheap and nasty 4K set.

For me if the display is good enough, has good colour, good brightness, and doesn't look blurry and nasty then everything else is just a number on a spec sheet
 

Raist3001

macrumors 65816
Mar 5, 2012
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Right behind you
I for one aren't bothered that it isn't 1080p as it will save on processing which saves on battery and also for media you can get away with a 720p version which will save bandwidth and data costs too.
For the price, it should bother folks.

Also goes back to the old comparison of would you rather a high quality 720p TV or a cheaper not as nice 1080p version, or would you rather a decent 1080p TV over a cheap and nasty 4K set.
We already had great 1080p displays from apple on their flagship phones. Based on your example, you traded your great 1080p display for a great 720p display for more money.

For me if the display is good enough, has good colour, good brightness, and doesn't look blurry and nasty then everything else is just a number on a spec sheet
Then why put a 1080p display at all in previous flagship phones if 720p is good enough?
 
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Stuey3D

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For the price, it should bother folks.


We already had great 1080p displays from apple on their flagship phones.


Then why put a 1080p display at all in previous flagship phones if 720p is good enough?
They had a 750p screen in the 6/7/8 standard phones and that was good enough for 326PPI.

Personally I only believe they put a 1080p screen in over a 8-900p (whichever 2x retina would've been) was as a selling point on paper rather than a usability thing and they didnt have the tech or it would've been cost prohibitive to put a 3x retina display in .

The old plus series used to have to render everything at 3x retina then downscale to the 1080p screen and if I recall correctly the original 6 performed better than the 6+ because of that, which was then fixed in later phones by clocking the SOC slightly higher and adding more RAM. Then there is the odd weird graphics artefacts that people noticed when watching a native 1080p video then bringing interface elements up (something I forget if its the video or the interface) went blurry for a second or so according to reports either way the 1080p didnt fit Apples retina scheme exactly and was shoehorned in.

Thats why I think the XR makes sense as its a simple 2x of the same base resolution as the Max which is 3x which means devs dont have to create apps for 3 different resolution systems and it allows Apple to use less RAM for the same performance which saves money on building the thing.


As for the price thing, all the iPhones this year are significantly overpriced the XR should've been around £600-650 the XS should be £750 and the XS Max should be £850, but Apple likes them some profits so thats the way things are unfortunately.

For me if I could stand to use Android I'd get a OnePlus for value for money, but I really dont like android. I have a works Samsung thing and its not very nice at all to use.
[doublepost=1542297500][/doublepost]
Well clearly not as there is a post above yours saying they prefer the XR screen too.
 
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timeconsumer

macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2008
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They had a 750p screen in the 6/7/8 standard phones and that was good enough for 326PPI.

Personally I only believe they put a 1080p screen in over a 8-900p (whichever 2x retina would've been) was as a selling point on paper rather than a usability thing and they didnt have the tech or it would've been cost prohibitive to put a 3x retina display in .

The old plus series used to have to render everything at 3x retina then downscale to the 1080p screen and if I recall correctly the original 6 performed better than the 6+ because of that, which was then fixed in later phones by clocking the SOC slightly higher and adding more RAM. Then there is the odd weird graphics artefacts that people noticed when watching a native 1080p video then bringing interface elements up (something I forget if its the video or the interface) went blurry for a second or so according to reports either way the 1080p didnt fit Apples retina scheme exactly and was shoehorned in.

Thats why I think the XR makes sense as its a simple 2x of the same base resolution as the Max which is 3x which means devs dont have to create apps for 3 different resolution systems and it allows Apple to use less RAM for the same performance which saves money on building the thing.


As for the price thing, all the iPhones this year are significantly overpriced the XR should've been around £600-650 the XS should be £750 and the XS Max should be £850, but Apple likes them some profits so thats the way things are unfortunately.

For me if I could stand to use Android I'd get a OnePlus for value for money, but I really dont like android. I have a works Samsung thing and its not very nice at all to use.
The 6/6s/7/8 all have a 4.7” screen. The smaller the screen the lower resolution you can get away with. At 6.1” it’s just too low of a resolution for me. Other than that, I love everything about the phone.

If this was an Android phone with that low of a resolution, it would be considered a low end device. Apple gets away with this, don’t get me wrong it’s an excellent phone but for the price it needs a higher resolution display. Of course this is only my opinion.
 

Stuey3D

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The 6/6s/7/8 all have a 4.7” screen. The smaller the screen the lower resolution you can get away with. At 6.1” it’s just too low of a resolution for me. Other than that, I love everything about the phone.

If this was an Android phone with that low of a resolution, it would be considered a low end device. Apple gets away with this, don’t get me wrong it’s an excellent phone but for the price it needs a higher resolution display. Of course this is only my opinion.
Well you must have far better eyes than I do and mine are fairly decent and I didn't see any pixelation/blurriness on the XR, as I said in my opening post side by side with an X/XS the text looked a little bolder but it wasnt bad. I think people are blowing the resolution thing out of the water because of the price Apple charges, which to be honest I've said in the post above is too expensive but thats the price you pay for the iOS ecosystem and its still far cheaper than the XS.

I personally dont think resolution is as big a deal as lots make it out to be, hell Sony released a 4K experia phone which didnt really sell well and nobody else bothered to follow suit. Samsung etc put high res displays in their phones but by default set them to a lower resolution out of the box to save battery life and increase performance.

Also Apple highly tunes the display so its high quality, there is a thread on here about a youtuber who did a blind test with a low end but 1080p android phone and everyone chose the XR which goes back to my TV comparison above with the high quality 720p set vs the low quality 1080p set.
 
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thadoggfather

macrumors G4
Oct 1, 2007
10,835
7,686
Hi all.

So I’ve been into my local carrier store to have yet another look at the iPhone XR as I am planning to trade in my X for an XR in January when my contract allows.

Now I’ve looked at the screens of the X and the XR closely and I’ve gotta say I actually prefer the Xr’s Screen over my X.

First of all the tone of the screen appears more nuetral with True Tone on and off, I held both phones right next to each other and brightness to the maximum and compared. With True Tone on the XR looked brilliant white whilst my X looked a warm yellowish tone, and with True Tone off the XR barely changed whilst my X went a cold clinical blue tone (this was also the same on the XS next to it)

At maximum brightness the XR seemed easier on the eyes, my X and the XS felt quite harsh and painful and both seemed to have what I can only describe as a shimmering effect when tilted. Then again I also believe than I may be sensitive to PWM which might explain this.

With regards to text I always have my iPhones set to the minimum text size for maximum data on the screen and the XR seemed perfectly legible, the text seemed slightly bolder but I guess that’s the larger pixels. However the text didn’t appear fuzzy to my eyes and I appreciated the amount of extra content on the screen that the XR had.

As for colours the XR did a fine job with the colours but the OLED was slightly and only slightly more vibrant to my eyes. The red text in the music app seemed slightly deeper and richer on my X over the XR but it was very very slight.

With regards to black levels that is obviously the XR’s weakness and at maximum brightness on the Apple looping screen saver you could see a slight glow to the blacks, however they still appeared black and not a manky grey colour which was very impressive.

The bezels whilst they are slightly bigger they aren’t bad at all, the girl in the shop said they made her angry but when I showed her the 2 together she couldn’t explain why they made her angry. Yes they are slightly thicker but they aren’t ugly and I’m glad they are there rather than Apple having a non uniform ugly chin like the android models. Plus my X is in a heavy duty black case which basically gives it bigger bezels than the XR anyway, so when I put an XR in a case I doubt it will make a huge difference in real useage.

All in all I can’t wait to get an XR and I think the screen is absolutely fantastic and unless you are pixel peeping at the X/XS/XR right next to each other you aren’t gonna be disappointed with the XR.

Clean TT and lack of extreme tint shift off axis (panel dependent of course sure there’s probably bum LCD’s too) are definitely perks. And lack of PWM. And bigger screen/scaling more to xs max than x.

I understand where you’re coming from

Oled wins on videos and blacks and colors (I still have my x It’s jailbroken, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I have considered trading it in to apple for a standby gift card since Xr has been my daily driver) but for my use it has caused me to re evaluate.
 
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kre62

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Jul 12, 2010
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Hi all.

So I’ve been into my local carrier store to have yet another look at the iPhone XR as I am planning to trade in my X for an XR in January when my contract allows.

Now I’ve looked at the screens of the X and the XR closely and I’ve gotta say I actually prefer the Xr’s Screen over my X.

First of all the tone of the screen appears more nuetral with True Tone on and off, I held both phones right next to each other and brightness to the maximum and compared. With True Tone on the XR looked brilliant white whilst my X looked a warm yellowish tone, and with True Tone off the XR barely changed whilst my X went a cold clinical blue tone (this was also the same on the XS next to it)

At maximum brightness the XR seemed easier on the eyes, my X and the XS felt quite harsh and painful and both seemed to have what I can only describe as a shimmering effect when tilted. Then again I also believe than I may be sensitive to PWM which might explain this.

With regards to text I always have my iPhones set to the minimum text size for maximum data on the screen and the XR seemed perfectly legible, the text seemed slightly bolder but I guess that’s the larger pixels. However the text didn’t appear fuzzy to my eyes and I appreciated the amount of extra content on the screen that the XR had.

As for colours the XR did a fine job with the colours but the OLED was slightly and only slightly more vibrant to my eyes. The red text in the music app seemed slightly deeper and richer on my X over the XR but it was very very slight.

With regards to black levels that is obviously the XR’s weakness and at maximum brightness on the Apple looping screen saver you could see a slight glow to the blacks, however they still appeared black and not a manky grey colour which was very impressive.

The bezels whilst they are slightly bigger they aren’t bad at all, the girl in the shop said they made her angry but when I showed her the 2 together she couldn’t explain why they made her angry. Yes they are slightly thicker but they aren’t ugly and I’m glad they are there rather than Apple having a non uniform ugly chin like the android models. Plus my X is in a heavy duty black case which basically gives it bigger bezels than the XR anyway, so when I put an XR in a case I doubt it will make a huge difference in real useage.

All in all I can’t wait to get an XR and I think the screen is absolutely fantastic and unless you are pixel peeping at the X/XS/XR right next to each other you aren’t gonna be disappointed with the XR.
100% agree. The XS and X are non starters for me due to their yellowish screens, PWM flickering, and color shift off axis. I can't believe how many people think those are good screens.

I'll take the easy on the eyes, pure white LCD of the XR any day over those other phones.
 

Sugadaddy

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Aug 28, 2010
220
143
I went from XS Max to XR.

I miss the OLED contrast, but not the PWM and blue shift with the slightest angle change. Most of my usage is browsing, email, messaging, so all white backgrounds. OLED gets crappy battery life on white screens, I'd have trouble going 2 days with the XS Max and can go 3 days on the XR.
 

Stuey3D

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Jul 8, 2014
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100% agree. The XS and X are non starters for me due to their yellowish screens, PWM flickering, and color shift off axis. I can't believe how many people think those are good screens.

I'll take the easy on the eyes, pure white LCD of the XR any day over those other phones.
It's not just me who has noticed this then, some others have said the XR has a yellow tint to the screen but both the display models in store looked pure white to me, compared to the X/XS which dramatically shifted from warm to cold when True Tone was toggled.

Is it PWM flickering I am seeing when I said that I noticed the X/XS had a bit of a shimmer when especially when tilted?
 
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AppleWes

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Oct 9, 2013
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I went from XS Max to XR.

I miss the OLED contrast, but not the PWM and blue shift with the slightest angle change. Most of my usage is browsing, email, messaging, so all white backgrounds. OLED gets crappy battery life on white screens, I'd have trouble going 2 days with the XS Max and can go 3 days on the XR.
100% same here. Tried MAX, but after a week I just couldn't comfortably use the screen. XR has been a great change along with battery life.
 

raylo32

macrumors member
Nov 9, 2018
71
25
Interesting... I just compared compared my 6S to a coworkers XS on the texting screen. The white background on the XS looked terrible IMO, a very warm almost yellow white whereas my 6S LCD looked pure white.... and the text looked sharper. Strange, I saw an XS at Best Buy that had great white background and extremely sharp text. Maybe it had TrueTone off? I dunno. I am going to have to go back and try them again, including the XR. On the positive side for the XS the text was noticeably bigger as were the keyboard button and button spacing.... as compared to my 6S.
 
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kre62

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Jul 12, 2010
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It's not just me who has noticed this then, some others have said the XR has a yellow tint to the screen but both the display models in store looked pure white to me, compared to the X/XS which dramatically shifted from warm to cold when True Tone was toggled.

Is it PWM flickering I am seeing when I said that I noticed the X/XS had a bit of a shimmer when especially when tilted?
Theres always variation in Apple display panels. Some are more yellow than others. The XR seems to have one of the lowest rates of bad yellow panels. The XS Max seems to have the highest rate I've seen. So someone who said the XR was yellow may have gotten a rare bad one. I know my first XR panel was bad, but got a perfect one on my next swap. Usually its 5-7 swaps to get a good one.

PWM flickering is a hacky thing OLEDs do to make it look like the screen is dim when it really isnt (e.g. if you turn the brightness down). It flickers the screen really fast and murders your eyeballs. Its cheap tech to save $$. Apple OLEDs have the worst of all worlds: PWM flickering, Pentile display (missing subpixels), the worst color shifting of any oled, and yellow tints. It's a complete dumpster fire.
 
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Shanghaichica

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Apr 8, 2013
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I was just involved in another thread where a member was saying the XR display is ‘unacceptable’, ultimately, I don’t believe that to be true. I think the XR display is more than adequate, and some are under the impression that it should be an OLED panel, when plenty of other members really can’t even see major differences between the LCD and OLED display.

The most important factors about the XR display is that it’s vibrant and the colors are accurate, to me, that’s what the consumer cares about.
My only issue with the Xr display was that for the price it wasn’t 1080p but LCD is fine. The display on the 7 plus was excellent. The panels on the 6 and 6S plus were nice too but the 7 plus was beautiful.
[doublepost=1542304959][/doublepost]Yes some people prefer LCD to OLED. A bit like people preferring LCD to plasma for TVs back when plasma TVs were a thing.
 
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Stuey3D

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Theres always variation in Apple display panels. Some are more yellow than others. The XR seems to have one of the lowest rates of bad yellow panels. The XS Max seems to have the highest rate I've seen. So someone who said the XR was yellow may have gotten a rare bad one. I know my first XR panel was bad, but got a perfect one on my next swap. Usually its 5-7 swaps to get a good one.

PWM flickering is a hacky thing OLEDs do to make it look like the screen is dim when it really isnt (e.g. if you turn the brightness down). It flickers the screen really fast and murders your eyeballs. Its cheap tech to save $$. Apple OLEDs have the worst of all worlds: PWM flickering, Pentile display (missing subpixels), the worst color shifting of any oled, and yellow tints. It's a complete dumpster fire.
Yeah I only learnt about this recently which perfectly explains the eye problems I’ve been having the last few months, some nights it seems like Tyson has punched my eye sockets so I end up taking paracetamol and going to bed early. This usually happens in an evening where I’d be using my phone at lower brightness settings, it also probably explains why I have to have the brightness slider up slightly when in a pitch black room rather than all the way to the bottom like it was on my old 6S+

Also by contrast I played my Nintendo Switch in a pitch black room the other night with no such eye strain, whereas the iPhone would cause stinging in the eyes after a little while of use in the same conditions.

The iPhone X is a good phone, but if I’m being honest I’m looking forward to trading it in for an XR in January.