Unveiling the Visual Showdown: HEIC vs. PNG - Which Reigns Supreme?


After decades of unrivaled dominance of PNG, we have recently witnessed the appearance of more new formats, such as HEIC, that are challenging this position. Naturally, users will be curious about file format differences when there is another format introduced in addition to the most popular and highly compatible one - PNG. After all, PNG has existed for as long as we can remember.

Most people have concluded that the HEIC format is the beast in image file formats. But is it true? Is HEIC better than PNG? Read this HEIC vs. PNG post to have a better understanding. We'll show you the key differences between the HEIC file format and PNG, the pros and cons, the better file format, and much more. Keep reading.


Part 1. HEIC vs. PNG: Overview

We will introduce what HEIC and PNG are, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of these two in this part. Let's learn about them one by one together.

1.1 What Is HEIC File Format?

HEIC (High-Efficiency Image File) is an image format innovated by Apple on iOS 11 and later to reduce images' size and preserve storage space. Generally, users will not be bothered with the format of pictures on their devices. But, there might be challenges while transferring HEIC image files from an iPhone to a computer.


* Occupy a small storage space compared to the PNG and produces top-notch image quality.

* Feature live videos on iPhones, which is only possible due to HEIC.

* A helpful tool that uses non-destructive photo editing.

* 16-bit color images supported.

* Advanced features like multiple images in one file.


* Not compatible with non-Apple devices.

* Not supported on popular web browsers or social media apps.

1.2 What Is PNG File Format?

PNG (Portable Network Graphic) is a high-quality graphic format that's easily viewed on different graphic programs, web browsers, and image viewers. It's the most popular file format for web designers because of its capability to handle all graphics in any background. It's not affected by patents, meaning you can open PNG files and make changes using any editing software.


* Lossless compression allows a file to contain more color and details.

* Support on most web browsers.

* Open source file format that can be edited using any editing tool.

* Transparency or semi-transparency supported.

* Many colors are supported, 16 million in total.


* Occupy more space due to lossless compression.

* Unfit for printing purposes since it doesn't support CMYK color models.

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Part 2. HEIC vs. PNG: Key Differences

PNG and HEIC are the two most common image file formats for storing and displaying digital images. However, these image file formats have distinct characteristics and are suitable for various purposes. Here's a concise comparison between PNG and HEIC:

2.1 Image Quality

The HEIC format retains the image quality even at the highest compression levels. It mainly uses advanced compression techniques and captures rich graphics depth, which makes it a great format for images and photos.

PNG provides good image quality without data loss because of its lossless compression. Therefore, it's specifically suited for images with sharp edges and graphics.

Even though the image quality of these two file formats is quite similar, the HEIC file format is far much better as the image quality will be maintained.

2.2 File Size Quality

HEIC is known to have a higher compression efficiency. It provides small file sizes while retaining good image quality.

PNG uses lossless compression, which implies that the quality of images will remain intact but can lead to large file sizes. The large file size may affect website loading times and consume a lot of storage space.

If you want a balance in image quality and file size for your photos, HEIC will be an efficient option.

2.3 Supported Platforms

PNG is compatible with multiple platforms, such as Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. So it will be easier to view the PNG files on any device.

Conversely, HEIC, being a new format, is encountering compatibility problems with some platforms. It isn't easy to open or view HEIC files, particularly on Android and Windows.

Therefore, PNG is the best format since it's supported on most platforms. You will not have any challenges opening and viewing your images on Windows or Android.

2.4 Flexibility

HEIC format provides greater flexibility than PNG format because it can keep not just a simple image file but many images. In addition, HEIC includes the file and any of its metadata. On the other hand, PNG format will only store a single image file.

2.5 Usage

HEIC format is often used for photos taken on modern smartphones where the balance between file size and image quality is required. PNG is mostly for pictures with sharp details, icons, logos and graphics, and images that need transparency.

Further Reading:

5 Ways to Batch Convert HEIC to JPG in 2023

11 Best HEIC to JPG Converters on Windows and Mac

Part 3. HEIC vs. PNG: Which Is the Better File Format?

PNG and HEIC are two file formats with notable differences. A better file format will solely depend on your specific needs and preferences.

The PNG has existed for many decades, and HEIC is a newly introduced format by the MPEG.

HEIC provides superior compression, producing small file sizes as compared to PNG. Besides, HEIC offers advanced functions like transparency and many images in single files, which aren't available in PNG. PNG is widely compatible with various systems and devices, while HEIC may need a specific tool for compatibility.

Overall, neither HEIC nor PNG is inherently better than the other. The choice depends on your specific project requirements, goals, and priorities. Evaluate factors such as image quality, file size, compatibility, transparency needs, and the devices/platforms your audience uses to determine which format best suits your needs.

Part 4. How to Change HEIC to PNG

Want to turn HEIC into PNG? Though there are numerous tools online to help convert HEIC image files to PNG, they aren't the best. First, you need to upload the files to the website, which is risky. Besides, you cannot convert multiple files at once. So if you've many large files to convert, using these tools is time-consuming because they rely on an internet connection, and conversion can get disrupted at any time.

Therefore, a better option is to use Coolmuster HEIC Converter. It can guarantee security for your files and also produces quick results. Coolmuster HEIC Converter makes the conversion of HEIC to PNG swift and, more importantly, safe. In addition, the quality of converted images will be retained effectively.

Coolmuster HEIC Converter offers a very convenient way to turn many HEIC files into PNG on a Windows computer, regardless of the number of HEIC files you need to convert. HEIC Converter makes the conversion process swift because it supports batch conversion. You just need to add your files to the tool and start the conversion process. You can also convert a group of photos simultaneously without limitations. Click the download button below to try it for free.

Part 5. FAQs on HEIF vs. PNG

Q1. How does the compression of HEIF compare to PNG?

HEIF typically employs more advanced compression techniques, such as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) compression, which is also used in video compression. This allows HEIF to achieve significantly smaller file sizes while maintaining higher image quality compared to PNG. However, the level of compression can vary, and there might be cases where PNG produces smaller files, especially for simpler images.

Q2. Which format is better for image quality?

In general, HEIF can offer better image quality at smaller file sizes compared to PNG. This is due to its use of more efficient compression algorithms. However, the perceptual difference might not be significant for all types of images, and factors like the content of the image, the viewer's screen, and personal preferences can influence the perceived quality.

Q3. Which format supports transparency, PNG or HEIF?

Both PNG and HEIF support transparency. PNG is well-known for its ability to handle transparency effectively, making it a popular choice for images with transparent backgrounds. HEIF also supports transparency through an alpha channel, allowing images with varying levels of opacity to be stored.

Q4. Which format is more widely supported?

PNG has wider support across various platforms, software, and web browsers. HEIF, being a relatively newer format, might have limitations in terms of compatibility, especially with older software and devices. However, HEIF support has been increasing, and more devices and software have been adopting it over time.

Also Read:

HEIF vs. HEIC: What Are Them & What You Should Know About Them

HEIC Format on iPhone: What Is an HEIC Image?


If you've been wondering how HEIC and PNG differ, you now have your answers. This post has outlined the key differences between HEIC and PNG. HEIC is a modern file format that focuses on achieving higher compression efficiency while maintaining image quality. Therefore, it is useful in this aspect as compared to PNG. However, the HEIC file format encounters compatibility issues where users cannot open or view its files on certain platforms and systems. All in all, the best image file format will depend on your personal needs.

If you want to convert HEIC to PNG, Coolmuster HEIC Converter is a noteworthy tool worth your time and effort. With it, you can convert your HEIC to PNG without limitations.

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