AMOLED, LCD, Super AMOLED : Ultimate Guide on Mobile Screens
AMOLED, Super AMOLED, TFT, Super LCD - what types of screens are these ? Confused by these terms while deciding to buy a smart phone ? Don’t worry, this guide is all you need. After reading this guide, you will be in a better position to understand what the manufactures are talking about, when they say ,the screen is TFT-LCD or Super AMOLED.
TFT LCD (Thin Film Transistor Liquid Crystal Display) , commonly called LCD, is the most common screen type used in mobile phones. This technology uses Thin Film Transistor technology to improve the display quality. LCD screens requires back light which makes the pixels visible. Some of the Phones using this technology– Samsung Galaxy Ace, HTC Dream, iPhone 2 G and 3G.
Super – LCD ( S-LCD)
Super LCD is an evolved form of TFT LCD technology. It offers excellent image quality and gives more battery life (due to low power consumption). Nickname of Super-LCD / TFT is IPS ( In plane switching). You can see that in the specifications of many phones. It usually says, the Display is Super IPS or simply IPS. Super LCD technology makes text appear clearer.
Popular Phones using this technology – iPhone 3GS, HTC One X.
First and the most important point – This is not LCD. It uses LED technology. The term AMOLED consists of two parts - AM and OLED.
The OLED part of AMOLED, means Organic Light Emitting Diode. Yes, it uses organic compounds to form the electroluminescent material. AM part refers to the Active matrix technology behind the addressing of pixels. Unlike LCDs, AMOLED displays don’t need backlight. Black backgrounds are best suited for AMOLED screens as black turns the pixels off consuming less power. Contrast ratios of AMOLEDs are better than LCDs.
But AMOLED Displays are difficult to view in direct sunlight compared to LCDs, due to their reduced maximum brightness. There is severe shortage of AMOLED displays due to high demand. Certain phones from HTC which was supposed to use AMOLED has been changed to use SLCD due this shortage. There was also a concern
that the organic materials used in AMOLED can degrade over a period of time. This is addressed using the latest technology innovations by various manufactures.
Popular Phones using this technology – HTC Legend, LG E-730, Nokia N9
Super AMOLED is Samsung’s term for AMOLED having an integrated digitizer. This means, the touch screen layer is integrated into the display during the manufacturing itself , rather than overlaying on top later. Super AMOLED solves the problem of viewing difficulty in direct sunlight. It reflects sunlight 5 times less than the normal AMOLED display. Popular Phones using this technology – Samsung Galaxy S series, Samsung S8600 Wave III, Samsung Omnia 7
Super AMOLED Plus
A technology introduced with Samsung Galaxy S II. This technology uses the RGB-RGB pixel arrangement typically found in LCDs. Due to this, the display is more brighter and more energy-efficient than older Super AMOLED displays. Super AMOLED Plus gives sharper and clearer images.The Super AMOLED Plus screens have 1,152,000 subpixels, a 50 percent increase over the 768,000 subpixels in the Super AMOLED display.
Due to this videos, icons, apps photos etc seem more rich and more saturated on an AMOLED Plus. Overall it looks great and more sharp.
Popular Phones using this technology – Samsung Droid Charge, Samsung Galaxy SII, Samsung Infuse 4G.
Hmm, that is a lot of information. But can you answer a simple question : which screen technology best suites me ?
There is NO one word answer to this.
We know AMOLED gives better contrast ratio compared to LCDs. That means, you can watch movies and games better using AMOLED. The color reproduction is far better in AMOLED than LCD’s. Please note that a Super AMOLED Plus is a far more better version of AMOLED.
So If you are going to extensively use your phone for watching YouTube videos, Playing games, Viewing pictures and watching movies – AMOLED (Super AMOLED Plus) is the BEST choice. Super AMOLED or Super AMOLED Plus will be better than plain AMOLED as it is more brighter and is easy to view under direct sunlight compared to AMOLED.
If you are going to read extensively from web using your mobile , problem is different . Most of the text available on web is black text on white background. Hence the AMOLED will consume more power in this case. LCD is more suitable to read text for longer duration compared AMOLED , however minimal that difference may be.
There is also another very important aspect that needs to be considered the viewing angle. It denotes how far away you can be from the center of the screen and still be able to see the image. Super AMOLED Plus has a viewing angle of 180 degrees and Super LCD has an angle of 160 degrees.
Considering all these I am more inclined towards Super AMOLED Plus.
Along with the screen technology, you need to consider the display resolution also before selecting a particular phone model. Higher resolution means the displayed content is sharper. Mobile phones usually comes with QVGA(320 x 200) , HVGA(480 x 320) and WVGA(800 x 480) and qHD(960 x 540) resolutions.
There are also many HD phones available in the market offering a high-resolution of 1280x 800 pixels.
Hope you have enjoyed this guide.