Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

LCD vs. OLED vs. AMOLED: Understand the Differences

Smartphones have become an essential part of our daily lives, going beyond mere communication devices. When purchasing a smartphone, most people consider factors like screen size, battery, operating system, and memory. However, one crucial aspect that often goes unnoticed is the type of screen a smartphone uses. Today, we will delve into the three major screen types – LCD, OLED, and AMOLED – to help you make an informed decision.

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

LCD, short for Liquid Crystal Display, has been around for quite some time and remains a popular choice among smartphone manufacturers. This display technology utilizes liquid crystals illuminated by a fluorescent backlight.

Working of LCD

There are two main types of LCD displays commonly used in smartphones:

  • TFT LCD: This type of LCD is popular among smartphones, providing better image quality compared to earlier LCD displays. However, it consumes more power, which affects battery backup.

  • IPS LCD: Found mostly in high-end devices due to its relatively higher cost, IPS LCD offers better viewing angles and consumes less power compared to TFT LCD displays.


  • Better display visibility under direct sunlight
  • Consistent power consumption, unaffected by the color on the screen


  • Blacks appear gray, resulting in lower contrast
  • Comparatively lower picture quality
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Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED)

OLED, or Organic Light Emitting Diode, is a thin-film display technology that utilizes organic material to emit light when an electrical current passes through it. OLED displays provide better blacks and consume less power when displaying darker colors since OLEDs remain off unless individually electrified.


There are two main types of OLED displays:

  • PMOLED (Passive Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode): Utilizing a simple control scheme, PMOLED displays control each row in the display sequentially. Although easy and cheap to produce, PMOLED displays are less efficient and have a shorter lifespan. These displays are typically found in smaller screens up to 3 inches.

  • AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode): Driven by a TFT (Thin-Film Transistor), AMOLED offers no size restrictions and works on the same principles as OLED displays. AMOLED displays use an active matrix of OLEDs deposited on a TFT plane, which functions as switches for each pixel and includes a storage capacitor for larger displays.

Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED)

AMOLED, or Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode, represents an advancement from OLED technology. AMOLED incorporates TFT technology, where an active matrix of OLEDs is deposited on a TFT plane that activates upon receiving electrical currents. Each pixel in an AMOLED display typically contains two TFTs – one to control the charging of storage capacitors and the other to provide a steady voltage of current to the pixel.

Schematic of an active-matrix OLED display


  • Thinner and more flexible compared to LCD displays
  • Faster refresh rate
  • No size restrictions
  • Higher contrast ratio
  • Lower power consumption when displaying darker colors
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  • Poor display visibility under direct sunlight due to the absence of a backlight
  • Higher power consumption when displaying brighter colors
  • Organic material used has a shorter lifespan

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which display type is better – LCD, OLED, or AMOLED?

A: While LCDs have been in use for a significant period, AMOLED displays are considered the latest innovation. AMOLED is essentially an improved version of OLED, so it surpasses OLED in terms of performance. When comparing LCD to AMOLED, the latter offers better picture quality, faster refresh rates, higher contrast, more brightness, higher resolution, better viewing angles, and is more flexible and lightweight.

Q: Are there any downsides to AMOLED displays?

A: The primary drawback of AMOLED displays is their poor visibility under direct sunlight. However, this issue is being addressed by the recently released Super AMOLED display technology. Overall, the advantages of AMOLED displays far outweigh the disadvantages.


When choosing a smartphone, considering the type of display can significantly impact your overall experience. LCDs have been around for a while, while AMOLEDs represent the cutting-edge technology in the market. While both LCD and AMOLED displays have their pros and cons, AMOLED surpasses LCD in terms of overall performance. It offers better picture quality, faster refresh rates, higher contrast, more brightness, higher resolution, and better viewing angles. Make an informed choice by taking into account the advantages offered by AMOLED displays.

Eireview is committed to providing unbiased insights into the latest technology trends and innovations in the extractive industries. Stay up to date with us to make informed decisions in this ever-evolving field.

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