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Super Retina vs. Liquid Retina — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 22, 2023
Super Retina refers to OLED displays used in some Apple devices, offering deep blacks and high contrast. Liquid Retina denotes Apple's advanced LCD displays, boasting color accuracy and True Tone.
Super Retina vs. Liquid Retina — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Super Retina and Liquid Retina


Key Differences

Super Retina and Liquid Retina are terms coined by Apple to describe their advanced display technologies. The Super Retina display is characterized by its use of OLED technology, which means it can achieve true blacks by turning off individual pixels. This results in a high contrast ratio and vibrant colors. On the other hand, Liquid Retina pertains to a cutting-edge LCD technology that Apple employs. This technology offers a wide color gamut, impressive color accuracy, and the integration of Apple's True Tone technology.
Despite being distinct technologies, both Super Retina and Liquid Retina displays emphasize delivering a visually stunning experience to the user. Super Retina, with its OLED base, offers a pronounced advantage in terms of contrast, making dark scenes in videos or photos appear more detailed. Liquid Retina, while being an LCD, surpasses many traditional LCDs by offering greater color accuracy and smoothness, thanks to its advanced engineering.
One might wonder about the applications of Super Retina and Liquid Retina in Apple's product lineup. Typically, Super Retina is found in higher-end models like the iPhone X and beyond, while Liquid Retina graces devices such as the iPhone XR or certain iPad models. This distribution is not just a matter of cost but also concerns like battery life and specific device requirements.
From a user's perspective, choosing between Super Retina and Liquid Retina may come down to personal preferences and device needs. While Super Retina is lauded for its deep blacks and energy efficiency in dark modes, Liquid Retina garners praise for its true-to-life colors and its responsiveness. Regardless of the choice, Apple's aim with both technologies is to ensure a premium visual experience.

Comparison Chart

Technology Base



Higher due to true blacks
Not as high as OLED but advanced for LCD

Typical Devices

Higher-end iPhones (e.g., iPhone X)
IPhone XR, certain iPads

Energy Efficiency

Efficient in dark modes
Generally efficient

Color Representation

Vibrant colors
True-to-life colors, True Tone

Compare with Definitions

Super Retina

Efficient energy consumption in darker modes.
Thanks to Super Retina, the dark mode on my device lasts longer.

Liquid Retina

Provides a responsive and visually pleasing experience.
Gaming is immersive on my device, thanks to the Liquid Retina technology.

Super Retina

Found in premium Apple devices.
Users admire the sharpness and clarity of the Super Retina on their devices.

Liquid Retina

Represents a leap in LCD engineering.
Liquid Retina offers smoother visuals compared to traditional LCDs.

Super Retina

Known for deep blacks and high contrast.
With Super Retina, movies come alive, especially in dark scenes.

Liquid Retina

Boasts color accuracy and True Tone technology.
Liquid Retina ensures my photos appear true-to-life every time.

Super Retina

Delivers vibrant colors and true depth.
Photographs appear stunning on the Super Retina screen, making memories vivid.

Liquid Retina

Apple's advanced LCD display technology.
The Liquid Retina on my iPhone XR makes colors pop beautifully.

Super Retina

An OLED display technology used by Apple.
The iPhone X was the first to feature the Super Retina display.

Liquid Retina

Used in selected iPhones and iPads.
The latest iPad I purchased has a Liquid Retina display, enhancing my viewing experience.

Common Curiosities

Which display offers deeper blacks?

Super Retina, due to its OLED nature, offers deeper blacks.

Which devices typically feature Super Retina displays?

Premium iPhones like the iPhone X and beyond often have Super Retina.

Is True Tone technology exclusive to Liquid Retina?

No, but Liquid Retina prominently features True Tone for color accuracy.

How does Liquid Retina differ in technology?

Liquid Retina uses advanced LCD technology.

Is Liquid Retina found on any iPad models?

Yes, certain iPad models feature the Liquid Retina display.

Is the Liquid Retina superior to all other LCDs?

It's among the most advanced LCDs, especially in Apple's lineup.

Can I differentiate the displays with a naked eye?

It might be challenging, but keen observers might note the deeper blacks on Super Retina.

Do both displays support HDR content?

Yes, both Super Retina and Liquid Retina support viewing HDR content.

What is the primary technology behind Super Retina?

Super Retina is based on OLED technology.

Between the two, which is more energy-efficient?

Super Retina, especially in dark modes, due to OLED's ability to turn off pixels.

How do the color profiles differ between them?

While both are vibrant, Super Retina is known for vivid colors, and Liquid Retina is praised for true-to-life colors.

Is the term "Liquid Retina" an indication of liquid display technology?

No, it's a marketing term by Apple to describe its advanced LCD.

How do the touch response rates compare?

Both offer smooth and responsive touch experiences, but specific response rates may vary based on the device.

Are there any concerns about screen burn-in with Super Retina?

OLED displays, like Super Retina, can be prone to burn-in over time, but Apple has implemented measures to minimize this risk.

Which is more cost-effective for Apple to produce?

Liquid Retina, being LCD-based, is generally less expensive than OLED-based Super Retina.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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