The screen is one of the most important and important parts of any smartphone. Display is something you interact with dozens of times a day. It’s your window to the apps and tools that make up a smartphone. Screens have gotten incredibly good over the years, but they still fall into two types.
Every smartphone today has one of two types of screens: AMOLED or LCD. These screens are very different, but both have advantages. AMOLED is what you’ll mostly find on Samsung phones and some other devices. Most smartphones, including the iPhone, have an LCD screen. So what’s the difference between the two? Let’s go check it out.
AMOLED stands for “Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode”. These screens are made of a very thin layer of polymers that light up when electrical current is supplied. There are two main advantages with AMOLED. Due to their design, AMOLED panels can be very thin and do not require backlighting.
You’ve probably heard that AMOLED displays have “pure blacks”. Indeed, the black pixels are not illuminated by a backlight. There is literally no light coming from the black pixels. The result is vivid colors with high contrast. AMOLED displays can be more energy efficient because not all pixels are illuminated.
LCD stands for “Liquid Crystal Display”. These displays are much more common to see. The TV and laptop probably have LCD screens. As the name suggests, the LCD screen is literally made up of liquid crystals. But that does mean it requires double glass panels and backlighting. LCD screens are not as thin as AMOLED.
Since the LCD screens are backlit, the black pixels are also slightly illuminated. The colors are not that vivid and the contrast is not that high. The advantage of the LCD screen is that the colors generally appear more realistic. You don’t see a lot of “pure black” colors in the real world.
A common term accompanying LCD screens on phones is “IPS”, which stands for “airplane switching”. IPS offers wider viewing angles than other types of LCD screens, which is why it is preferred for smartphones.
AMOLED and LCD both have their respective advantages and disadvantages. Many people prefer the vivid colors and pure black of AMOLED displays. Pure black is especially beautiful if you often look at your phone at night. However, the color on AMOLED displays (especially Samsung phones) is unrealistic.
LCD screens often appear duller and quieter than AMOLEDs because they don’t have the same level of contrast. This is actually a good thing if you want the colors to look more realistic. Another thing to compare is the energy consumption. AMOLED displays do not require backlighting. The LCD screen displays yes. This makes AMOLED displays slightly more energy efficient. You can use a pure black background to save power because the pixels are not illuminated.
LCD screens tend to appear bluer, while AMOLED screens tend to appear more yellow. This is another reason why AMOLED is generally better for your eyes. Blue light is what keeps you awake at night. LCD screens usually have color temperature settings to drop blue, but you will never be able to achieve pure blacks.
Who is the best?
It’s impossible to say that one screen is better than the other. Not all LCD screens are the same, just like not all AMOLED screens are the same. Ultimately, it depends on user preferences. Some people love the punchy color of AMOLED, others hate it. The same can be said for LCD screens.
People will discuss what superior technology is, but at the end of the day, all that matters is what is best for you. The good news is that there are great options for both. Samsung produces excellent AMOLED displays. LG and HTC have phones with great LCD screens. Android is all about choice, so pick the one you like best and enjoy it. Do you prefer AMOLED or LCD? Why?