iPhone X Fine Print Quantifies Just How Great It Will Be for Movies

Apple has bundled something special with the iPhone X.


The iPhone X is an impressive piece of technology, but one of its most notable features is hard to spot. The $999 smartphone went up for pre-orders on Friday and it’s possibly movie buffs who will benefit most from its hidden talents. In the iPhone X fine print, Apple refers to the new screen as a “Super Retina Display,” and there’s a good reason for that.

What is Super Retina Display?

Nuzzled in the specs sheet, there’s a reference to a 1,000,000 to one contrast ratio. It sounds impressive, especially considering the iPhone 8 Plus that launched earlier this month only has a 1,300 to one contrast ratio. But what exactly does that mean?

This number basically tells you how bright a screen can get versus how dark it can get. It means that blacks will appear darker, and whites brighter. A higher ratio is better because it means images will pop, with bright colors and dark spots that appear black instead of grey.

In fact, the iPhone X is capable of displaying blacks that appear entirely black. This is thanks to the OLED screen, which replaces the usual LCD screen found on every other iPhone. This technology, popular on Android devices, enables screens to switch off areas that aren’t displaying anything.

All this means that the iPhone X is capable of producing some stunning images. The phone officially supports playback of high dynamic range content, with support for both the Dolby Vision and HDR10 standards. These standards enable moviemakers to play up to these high contrast ratios, by offering pictures that seem far more vibrant than a regular TV set.

Netflix has already updated its iPhone app to support HDR, which means if you have a premium subscription for your 4K TV at home, you’ll be able to see a visible difference to movies on the go. Searching “HDR” on the app should bring up movies updated to support the feature.

Watch Netflix explain HDR’s effect on movies below:

It’s not just the screen that makes the phone ideal for movie fans. Alongside the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, the X now includes support for FLAC audio files, which unlike MP3 and other standards don’t strip away quality in a “lossy” format. Any movies loaded onto the phone with a FLAC soundtrack will now work flawlessly.

It all sounds impressive, but with supplies looking low for the launch period, it’s going to be a while before people get their hands on one.

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