Retina display is a marketing term developed by Apple to refer to devices and monitors that have a resolution and pixel density so high that a person is unable to discern the individual pixels at a normal viewing distance. Apple’s Retina Display made its debut on 2011’s iPhone 4, which featured a screen resolution of 960 x 640 pixels four times the number of pixels as the iPhone 3. The new Retina display was well received and greatly improved the viewing experience.
While the resolution and number of pixels are important, it is ultimately the pixel density that makes the Retina display live up to its claim of making individual pixels imperceptible to the human eye at a normal viewing distance. Pixel density is measured in pixels per inch (PPI). For example, the first retina display on iPhone 4 had a PPI of 326, while the iPhone 3 had a PPI of only 163. Apple has continued to innovate, and its newest iPhone the iPhone 11 Pro has a PPI of 458.
Now, almost every device with a screen that Apple produces is equipped with Retina display. As Apple continues to create new devices, new marketing terms for Retina display have been introduced.
- Retina Display: iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 5C, Apple watches
- Retina HD Display: iPhone 6, 6S, 7, 8, SE
- Super Retina HD Display: iPhone X and iPhone XS
- Liquid Retina HD Display: iPhone XR and iPhone 11
- Super Retina XDR Display: iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max
- Retina 4K Display: 21-inch iMac
- Retina 5K Display: 27-inch iMac