The Smartphone Screen – Bold and Beautiful

With the increasing popularity of the smartphones, the tech giants are also investing a lot on the most visual part of our smartphones. YES, the SCREENS. This part is actually utilizing a huge part of the Research and Development fund.

So, In this post let’s try our best to understand the types of screens.


Liquid Crystal Display ( LCD ) :

The oldest screen technology that still prevails in the  market is the LCD display i.e. Liquid Crystal Display. All the technology on a LCD display is at it’s game from the back. The screen basically is illuminated from the back by a light. The advantages of using a LCD display is that it does not utilize a lot of battery. Be it dark themes or bright themes, it utilizes less battery. Also since the screen is illuminated from the back it performs it’s task beautifully in direct sunlight with clear visibility.

The disadvantages of using a LCD screen is that due the back illumination, black appears grayish and less contrast is observed.


Samsung Galaxy S4 Active with an LCD screen


The LCD display is further classified into two other types which are IPS   and TFT.

Thin Film Transistor (TFT ) :

TFT, which stands for Thin Film Transistor uses an Active Matrix( like AM is AMOLED ). In easy words, an active matrix is the one in which each pixel is attached to a capacitor and a transistor. Improving over LCD, it has low cost of production and increased contrast. The disadvantage being it’s high energy consumption, less impressive viewing angles. The colour reproduction is also poor.

Lenovo A1000 with a TFT Display


In Plane Switchng ( IPS ) :

Then we have the IPS display, IPS stands for In Plane Switching. Without going into much technicalities, it roughly involves arranging and switching the orientation of the molecules of the Liquid Crystal layer between the glass substrates. This is done parallel to the glass plates. It has improved viewing angles, consumes less battery than TFT but is much more expensive.

Micromax A250 with an IPS display



Having talked about the LCD display, let us now talk about the latest smartphone screen technologies.

Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode ( AMOLED ) Screens :

AMOLED stands for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode. OLED is basically an organic material that only emits light when current is passed through it or we can say that they are always in ‘off’ mode unless electrified.

This type of display has “purer” blacks, less energy is consumed specifically with black/dark themes. It has really high contrast ratio and a fast refresh rate. Apart from all these advantages, it is more expensive than any LCD technology. The light coloured themes consumes more  energy in AMOLED screens. One of the drawback it that it has less visibility in direct sunlight.

OnePlus 3 with an AMOLED display


One big disadvantage of AMOLED screen is the Screen burns ( or ghost images). These are due to the degradation of the LED because of it being organic.

Observed screen burn in an AMOLED display


Super – AMOLED :

Super AMOLED is just a marketing term given by Samsung to it’s superior display with less thickness and better visibility in direct sunlight accompanied by it’s low production cost. The less thickness is attributed to the fact that in this display, the touch response layer is integrated with the display itself.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with Super-AMOLED display


Retina Display :

Just like Super AMOLED, Retina display is a marketing term used by Apple Inc. for their superior screen technology. Retina display has a high resolution and pixel densities that a human cannot distinguish  the individual pixels at a normal viewing diatance. It was debuted in the smartphone market with the iPhone 4S which has a 960 X 640 pixel screen which is exactly four times the number of pixels (326 ppi ) as the iPhone 4.



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Happy reading!