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How important is display resolution to you?

Apple iPhone XR

Smartphones continue to get better and better, tweaking the formula and improving upon what’s come before. Processors, the amount of RAM offered, speakers, and displays. Just the nature of things, and here we are in 2018 and we’ve got a ridiculous number of smartphones out there that are impressive in their own way.

What actually matters to you when comparing these devices, especially if you’re looking to spend some money and buy a new handset, should really only matter to you. What someone else wants in their device might not be the exact same thing you do. And even if you’re both interested in the best possible camera, you may not even agree with someone which phone has that.

And then maybe you don’t want “the best” of something, just because it exists.

That decision may be getting a bit easier these days, too, with smartphone prices shooting up into the $1,000 range. It may be worth taking a bit more stock of what you actually want and need from your smartphone. Not necessarily what you might do with it, but what you actually do with it on a regular basis.

That’s what I’m running into today. I’m not even really sure why, but this morning I was second-guessing my purchase of the iPhone XS Max. A friend of mine had told me that I should go with the blue iPhone XR because, for one, it’s not as expensive (and maybe saving money isn’t a bad thing?), and because it’s blue. And I want a blue iPhone. At the time I just said that I couldn’t go back to an LCD screen, because OLED. And maybe that’s still true on some level.

But honestly? I probably could go back to an LCD screen and be perfectly fine with it. Because while it’s great that the iPhone XS Max supports HDR and has a sharp resolution, I don’t really need any of that. I don’t watch full-length movies on my phone. I actually barely watch movie trailers or music videos on it. Sure, I’ll watch video shared on social media, but even then it’s not like it’s long enough to warrant the HDR support or increased resolution.

Apple’s Phil Schiller recently said, “If you can’t see the pixels, at some point the numbers don’t mean anything. They’re fairly arbitrary,” in an interview. I know that made a lot of people scoff and call him out, but I don’t think he’s wrong. Is there a difference in quality between the OLED panel and the LCD panel in the iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR? Of course. But I’m just not thinking it’s worth the price difference anymore.

I’ve said for a long time that the camera is the most important part for me when I’m looking for a phone. That means I’m basically switching between iPhones and Pixel smartphones, and I’m fine with that. But I think I’m starting to realize that I don’t want, or need, the sharpest displays anymore just because I don’t really take advantage of it.

But, what about you? Is the screen resolution on your smartphone one of the most important aspects of your handset these days? Let me know!

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