iPhone XR has been highly scrutinized by fans and the media for not having a 1080p display or above. Competing phones commonly have display resolutions of 1080p, 2K or even 4K. But does the resolution have an actual impact on usage and display quality? Jonathan Morrison, the same YouTuber behind the iPhone XS/Pixel 2 selfie experiment, ran an interesting blind test between Pocophone F1 and iPhone XR, to see which display users prefer.
Jonathan Morrison’s blind test is really interesting. Although people have been quick top blindly call out iPhone XR for its lower-than-HD-resolution display, Apple had claimed that it has the best LCD display in the world. To conduct the test, Jonathan put iPhone XR and Pocophone F1 in a specially designed box. This was done to hide the branding, notches, and anything that can help identify either phone. This was followed by playing Planet Earth 2 on a loop and asking viewers to point out which phone is the iPhone XR.
Both phones have an IPS LCD panel and a 6.1-inch display. Pocophone has a resolution of 1080 x 2246 pixels (~403 ppi density) while iPhone XR has a resolution of 828 x 1792 pixels (~326 ppi density). One unique feature that is part of iPhone XR is True Tone. It significantly improves the viewing experience by adjusting the display’s colors based on the environment. Johnathan turned this feature off to put it on par with Pocophone.
On paper, Pocophone F1 sounds like a clear winner. However, out of the 21 participants in the test, 21 picked the iPhone XR as the better display. They all said that the picture was a lot cleaner and clearer. It is interesting to note that early in the video, they all thought the iPhone XR was being pitted against the iPhone XS.
The viewers took time to see both display from various viewing angles since they were not aware which phones are part of the test. It was interesting to see that, in a blind test, the participants never knew they were picking a phone that was highly criticized for not having a 1080p display. A few days ago, Phil Schiller spoke in an interview about iPhone XR’s LCD display and how after a certain pixel-per-inch count, it doesn’t matter how far you go. The iPhone XR uses a Liquid Retina display which gives it an edge over the Pocophone.
Apple has really mastered the art of delivering perfect color accuracy, hue, saturation, and other elements of having a great display on an LCD panel with the iPhone XR.