Apple fudging new iPad Pro HDR capabilities
One of the areas Apple’s new iPad Pro models have received high praise is the quality of their Pro Motion displays. The second-generation LCD Pro Motion display continues to support refresh rates up to 120Hz, but gets the “Liquid Retina” display tag that Apple has given the LCD display in the iPhone XR. As with the first generation Pro Motion display, Apple claims that you can watch HDR movies from the iTunes Store on the device.
Naturally, one would be forgiven for thinking that your fancy new iPad Pro supports HDR, which its iPhone X/s smartphones do. However, Apple doesn’t list HDR as one of the features of the iPad Pro display in its tech specs. So what gives? A chat I had with Gareth Beavis, UK Editor in Chief at TechRadar has yielded some answers.
It is true that you can watch HDR movies on the iPad Pro; the problem is they are not actually screening on your device in HDR. They are actually outputting in EDR (Extended Dynamic Range), which is one step below HDR. In effect, the color gamut on the iPad Pro supports the necessary color range for HDR, but not the brightness. To gain HDR certification, the iPad Pro would need to produce 700 nits of brightness; it only produces 600 nits. It's better than SDR, but it is certainly not HDR.
So while it is true that you can playback HDR movies on your iPad, you are not viewing them in true HDR. Sounds like a bit of a fudge (and a potentially misleading one at that) to us.