AMOLED vs LCD: differences explained

by: Robert TriggsFebruary 8, 2016

The Note 5 has physical keys, while the LG V10 uses on-screen

Mobile display technology is firmly split into two camps, the AMOLED and LCD crowds. Both are based on quite different underlying technologies, leading manufacturers to tout a number of different benefits depending on which display type they’ve opted for.

Let’s find out if really there’s a noticeable difference between these two displays technologies, if there is what sort of differences we can expect, and if the company marketing hype is to be believed.

Technology explained – AMOLED

We’ll start alphabetically with AMOLED, although to be a little broader we should probably start with a little background about OLED technology in general.

It’s hidden in the name, but the key component in these display types is a Light Emitting Diode (LED). Electronics hobbyists will no doubt have played around with these little lights before, but in a display panel these are shrunk down dramatically and arranged in red, green and blue clusters to create an individual pixel that can reproduce white light and various colors. The arrangement of these subpixels can alter the performance of the displays slightly.

The structure of an organic light emitting diode.

NovaLED The structure of an organic light emitting diode.

The O part in OLED stands for organic. Simply put, there are a series of thin organic material films placed between two conductors in each LED, which is then used to produce light when a current is applied.

Finally, the AM part in AMOLED stands in for Active Matrix, rather than a passive matrix technology. This tells us how each little OLED is controlled. In a passive matrix, a complex grid system is used to control individual pixels, where integrated circuits control a charge sent down each column or row. But this is rather slow and can be imprecise. Active Matrix systems attach a thin film transistor (TFT) and capacitor to each LED. This way, when a row and column is activated to access a pixel, the capacitor at the correct pixel can retain its charge in between refresh cycles, allowing for faster and more precise control.

Active verses passive matrix OLED displays.

ksgvo Active verses passive matrix OLED display designs.

One other term you will encounter is Super AMOLED, which is Samsung’s marketing term for a display that incorporates the capacitive touchscreen right into the display, instead of it being a separate layer on top of the display. This makes the display thinner.

The major benefits from OLED type displays comes from the high level of control that can be exerted over each pixel. Pixels can be switched completely off, allowing for deep blacks and a high contrast ratio. Being able to dim and turn off individual pixels also saves on power. The lack of other layers on top of the LEDs means that the maximum amount of light reaches the display surface, resulting in brighter images with better viewing angles.

The use of LEDs also means that these displays can be very thin, making them ideal for mobile devices. Furthermore, the lack of a rigid backlight and innovations in flexible plastic substrates has already produced early generation flexible OLED based displays, which are very promising for wearables and creating new form factors for other gadgets.

lg g flex 2 unboxing aa (16 of 31)Related: LG Display to invest one billion in flexible OLED panels5

Technology Explained – LCD

LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display, and reproduces colors quite differently to AMOLED. Rather than using individual light emitting components, LCD displays rely on a backlight as the sole light source. Although multiple backlights can be used across a display to help save on power consumption, but this is more of a requirement in larger TVs.

Scientifically speaking, there’s no individual white light wavelength. White light is a mixture of all other visible colors in the spectrum. Therefore, LCD backlights have to create a pseudo white light as efficiently as possible, which can then be filtered into different colors in the liquid crystal element. Most LCDs rely on a blue LED backlight which is filtered through a yellow phosphor coating, producing a pseudo white light.

The spectral content of a single "white LED" is different to producing white light from three RGB LEDs.

Power Electronics The spectral content of a single “white” LED is different from producing white light from three individual RGB LEDs.

LCD LayersThe really complicated part comes next, as light is then polarised and passed through a crystal element. The crystal can be twisted to varying degrees depending on the voltage applied to it, which adjusts the angle of the polarized light. The light then passes through a second polarized filter that is offset by 90 degrees compared with the first, which will attenuate the light based on its angle. Finally, a red, green, or blue color filter is applied to this light, and these sub-pixels are grouped into pixels to adjust colors across the display.

All combined, this allows a LCD display to control the amount of RGB light reaching the surface by culling a backlight, rather than producing colored light in each pixel. Just like AMOLED, LCD displays can either be active or passive matrix devices, and you’ll often see active TFT LCD displays in mobile phones.

Showdown: Super AMOLED vs LCD

LCD and OLED pixel structures are considerably different, leading to different visual results.

provideocoalition LCD and OLED pixel structures are considerably different, leading to different visual results.

This wide variation in the way that light is produced has quite a profound difference to the user experience. Color gamut is often the most talked about difference between the two display types, with AMOLED providing a greater range of color options than LCD, resulting in more vibrant looking images.

OLED displays are known for additional green and blue saturations, as these tend to be the most powerful colors in the subpixel arrangement and very little green is required for white light. Some observers find that this extra saturation produces results that they find slightly unnatural looking. LCDs typically tend to overcompensate further into the reds, with more subdued greens. Although not possessing quite such a wide gamut, LCD displays typically offer a very close match to the Standard FBG color gamut profile used by image and video media.

BlackBerry Priv Gamut
Galaxy Note 5 Gamut
LG V10 Gamut

A closer examination of actual smartphone displays reveals that color gamut can vary quite considerably even between the same types of display. The graphs above show that even though the BlackBerry Priv and Galaxy Note 5 share an AMOLED display from the same manufacturer, they produce quite different gamut profiles, while the LCD backed V10 is different further still. The inclusion of multiple display profiles and different manufacturer calibration targets partly explains these differences, so few displays are ever exactly alike.

Color accuracy is also another notable difference, particularly when it comes to whites. Our own testing of some of the best Android smartphones last year revealed that OLED based displays produced very accurate results, while LCD displays resulted in a slight blue tint. This isn’t so surprising though, given that LCD displays are based on a filtered blue backlight.


The Z5 Premium and LG V10 (LCD) show a notable blue tint on whites compared with the Priv and Note 5 (AMOLED).

As we mentioned before, the lack of a backlight and filtering layers also weighs quite heavily in favour of OLED over LCD. LCD displays often suffer from light bleed and a lower contrast ratio as the backlight doesn’t switch off even when pixels are supposed to be black, while OLED can simply switch off its pixels. LCD’s filtering layer also inherently blocks some light and the additional depth means that viewing angles are also reduced compared to OLED.

One downside of AMOLED is that different LEDs have different life spans, meaning that the individual RBG light components eventually degrade at slightly different rates. As well as the dreaded but relatively rare burn-in phenomenon, OLED display color balance can drift very slightly over time, while LED’s single backlight means that color balance remains more consistent.

Picking a winner

There are some pros and cons to both technologies and some reasonable user preferences between the different color and contrast profiles. Although the prevalence of multiple display modes available in modern smartphones makes this somewhat less of an issue these days. However, the falling production costs and additional benefits of OLED displays makes them likely to be the technology to watch going forwards, with cheaper LCD units filling the gap in budget segments of the market.

Major display manufacturers, such as LG Display, are betting big on OLED technology for the future, making major investments into additional production facilities. The AMOLED panel market is expected to be worth close to $30 billion in 2022, more than double its value today. Not to mention the as yet untapped market potential in flexible displays.

That said, developments in Quantum Dot LCD displays could narrow the performance gap between LCD and OLED, so certainly don’t count LCD out of the race just yet.

Are we addicted to smartphones? Or is it not really that bad for most of us?See also: Quantum Dot vs OLED, which is the better display?25
  • MasterMuffin

    All you need to know: a good AMOLED > any LCD >:P

    • T4rd

      Indeed.. it’s the only thing I really miss on my M8. I wish HTC could go back to using AMOLED, but I think the last phone they were able to use it in was the Droid Incredible and even then they switched over to LCD half way through its life cycle.


        nope. the last amoled htc is htc one s. the worst phone i ever had. now my sister has it and it crashes a lot, very often. I used cleanmaster, formated it, i will put cyanogenmod. F**k HTC ridght in the pu*sy

        • Marc Perrusquia

          You mean old HTC. My friend has the one s and it isn’t that bad, ya it lags but it’s a midranger that’s several years old.

        • SaRPeR

          HTC One A9 also has AMOLED display and HTC One M10 is said to come with 1080p AMOLED display.

          • Ismail Akram

            M10 will have 5.2″ WQHD AMOLED display not 1080P. A9 have 1080p AMOLED…

      • Anonymousfella

        Where will HTC get a good supply of AMOLEDs? Samsung wont give them the good ones…they’ll probably end up being worse than the ones in moto x or nexus6…

        • T4rd

          Wherever Moto gets them from I guess. I would still take the quality of the Moto X / N6 AMOLED over any newer LCD. They’re not bad at all other than the potential burn-in issues I’ve seen so far.

          • Marc Perrusquia

            Moto gets them from Samsung. Samsung is only supplying other OEMs with their older generation displays though, which is painfully obvious on the moto x and nexus 6.

          • jtaylor991

            What is with everyone trashing the N6 display? Some people have had some burn in issues, oh well. If I put on a full screen white background theres very light “tan lines” where the buttons at the bottom would be but that’s it.

            For the issues to meet up to the hype with the color accuracy stuff, red would have to be orange and blue would have to be violet for people to be this up in arms about it…

          • Oli72

            Totally agree. My Nexus 6 is a beast phone overall.

          • Marc Perrusquia

            Everyone’s trashing it because newer gen amoleds available on Samsung’s flagships don’t have it anywhere near as severely. The fact that were seeing such widespread burn in so early doesn’t help either. The fact that other aspects of the display such as max brightness and battery efficiency are lacking compared to pretty much every other flagship display on the market is also really annoying. That’s why the display is considered so poor. Overall it’s a good phone but in my opinion this is the first Nexus in 3 years that isn’t the best phone of the year. I think they would of been better off sticking with an lg panel preferably the same type as in the 6 plus, that thing gets insanely bright, and is very efficient. That would of helped with the nexus 6’s subpar battery life, low brightness, and improved performance. At least enough to help make for Google’s poorly implemented encryption.

          • Anonymousfella

            The screen quality isn’t as good as Note 4 or S5. Samsung kept all the good ones for themselves

        • Marc Perrusquia

          Samsung makes almost every ones amoled panels. Moto got theirs from Samsung. They reason Motorola’s were lacking compared to Samsung’s flagships was that Samsung only supplies OEMS with their older generation amoleds and keeps the latest generation ones exclusive to their flagships.

          • Anonymousfella

            They have 90% of the market of AMOLED production. Complete monopoly.

          • Marc Perrusquia

            To be fair they easily make the best amoled panels on the market.

          • Anonymousfella

            I agree. They have a monopoly because they make the best ones!
            Similiar to Google in that way, monopoly in search because they offer better search than bing ,yahoo etc.

          • Svnjay

            They can use OLEDs like Sony.

        • Ismail Akram

          I agree, but have to find out how M10 AMOLED is.

    • zubairali

      There is no doubt on that AMOLED is far far better than anyother Screen technology.

  • Bala

    amoled ftw ;) especially with the progress done in recent years… loving my note 4 screen just for gorgeous amoled screen

    • Maxim∑

      AMOLED FTW *only on the Note 4/S5 or higher. Displays on the Nexus 6, Moto X and Turbo all look pretty bad compared to the current gen panels

      • TheGCU

        AMOLED on the Note 3 is still a great screen.

        • antianalfabet

          Nope, thats the reason i never liked Note 3 display, PenTile sucks on Note 3, it makes everuthing blury.

          • TheGCU

            Then sucks to be you. I’ve never had any blur on my Note 3. Not worth upgrading to the 4 just for the screen, and nothing uses the extra resolution anyway, so I’m not missing anything.

          • Marc Perrusquia

            It’s noticeable when held next to a nonpentile display.

          • antianalfabet

            QHD fixes the amoled pentile screen problem, so Note 4 is the way to go.

          • Marc Perrusquia

            The note 4 still has a pentile matrix, just a newer generation. Coupled with the quad HD 515ppi panel I can’t tell it’s pentile anymore.

          • antianalfabet

            QHD hides amoled pentile screen problems.

          • Marc Perrusquia

            That’s what I said. But it’s not just the QHD, the newer AMOLEDhas an improved pentile layout, Erica Griffin has a good post somewhere about it, for a more articulate explanation look there.

          • Stallione

            Note 3’s display is amazing! Unless you are a grand dad type who sniffs on the display looking for pixels. Its very fluid, smooth and color-blending. I have no problems viewing even way smaller curvy letters while browsing, dont see any pixelated letters.
            Note 4’s QHD doesnt mean a damn thing in real life usage (despite I like the N4 as much as) Even Joshua said its impossible to see any difference in real life, in their comparison.
            Its best (maybe only) purpose is to work with the Gear VR, where u place is very near to your eyes.
            P.S. checkout the Note 1’s display for pixels… but thats the evolution.

          • stfu

            That’s where you’re wrong. The note 4’s qhd is loads better than the note 3’s 1080p display and only a blind or incredibly dense person will not be able to see the glaring difference. Which one are you?

          • Stallione

            Thats where you’re paranoid. In real use no one needs to nor will go ‘find’ a note 4 and compare and cry that it’s display is better, despite I myself has seen the note 4, but display is NOT different at a glance. Call whatever you want but thats the idea of so much people including compare reviewers. Although it certainly is better is specs (it has to be as the newer model)
            Unless someone who has no other job but OCD to go sniff on it, rather than using the magnificent piece of modern technology to fulfill your day to day needs. Which one are you?

          • antianalfabet

            Between Note 3 display and other LCD display panels offered by other smartphones, i have choosed LCD for its elegant pixel arrangement, and its very noticable campared to Note 3`s display.

            BTW my next display panel its probably going to be OLED.

          • Stallione

            That is true. My LG Optimus n LG smart tv both has IPS LCD and their colors are very vivid and bright. AMOLED is rathet soothing but with experience is does save some power over LCD. (With black themes n all its quite recognizable)

          • Jake

            Yeah, the Note 3’s AMOLED display wasn’t all that good. I love the display on my Note 4 and my old SGSII, which rocked a Super AMOLED Plus display and is still works like a dream today.

        • Ingen Ting

          Indeed it has to be. I owned the original Note and I thought that screen was very nice indeed! Those complaining must have eye issues and need functionality of the new screens to compensate or they are just plain trolling imho.
          The Note series all have great screens and they obviously get some improvements for each model, just like everything else :)

      • Jakob West

        I agree with TheGCU, the screen on my Moto X(2014) and Note 3 are great.

        • Jawiir

          AMOLED on SGS3 still great till now.

      • JJameson

        You do realize all of the displays above are current gen diamond sub-pixel pentile amoled manufactured by Samsung don’t you? The only differences are minor changes to calibration and size.

      • Ingen Ting

        I disagree. I owned the original Samsung Note and the screen quality was superb! Those newer ones of course look even better, but I thought the first one looked so good.. I found it hard to improve it.. at least by a lot.. (and yes btw my eyesight is normal and fine, not colorblind or anything).

    • www

      I do enjoy seeing the burns into the touchscreens.

      • TheGCU

        What are you doing that you’re burning in you screen? If the widgets I’ve had on my homescreen for 6+ months haven’t burned in, then nothing will.

        • elma

          on screen buttons..

        • MasterMuffin

          Virtual keys and status bar

        • ThatDevGuy

          I use one app for about 1.5 hours every day while commuting and after 2 years my SGS3 has burn in. On a white screen the app can be seen as a yellowed image. Ok 2 years isn’t that bad but my next phone will not be AMOLED.

          • Hung Solo

            My iphone 3gs (july 2009) that my kids use now as media player still has a great screen…unless you side by side with the latest and greatest. And it will still go toe to toe with any midrange android phone. I still can’t believe the legs on that phone. I guess now we know why apple hasn’t bothered with amoled.

          • voice of reason

            Apple uses an amoled.

      • Андрей Карасев

        My note 2 got burned in after 1 year and 1 week (carhome app buttons can be visible on white background). 1 week after ending of the warranty. I like samsung note series, but I will never buy anything with amoled/oled screen.

        • SaRPeR

          Where i live, we have 2 years warranty for every phone and any other electronic devices.

  • Janek Laansalu

    mastermuffin do u actually do anything else than sitting here reading absolutely everything ? they should hire you lol.

    • Android Developer

      They already publish what he says sometimes…
      So, why not?

    • Dr Varun

      I actually thought that he worked for AA until I read your post ! :’)

    • ag

      I actually come to AA to read his comments more than the articles :)

    • Droid Man

      who is mastermuffin?

  • Wjdzm

    AMOLED. Period.

    • tralalalalalala50

      If you like black backgrounds and use the phone in dimly lit areas (amoled is much dimmer than lcd)

  • woodsonmh

    I have both galaxy 8.4 and 10.4 with amoled. I love the displays and they are performers. they are worth the extra money hands down.

  • diveek

    More of this types!

  • Nabeel

    AMOLED is the Thing…Must Kill LCD…:P………. R.I.P LCD ..

  • Rob King

    AMOLED looks nice until you go outside and then they become unreadable.

    • guest qwe

      This is very very wrong. You can watch a lot of YouTube videos comparing different displays in direct sunlight. The current crop of AMOLED have high enough lumens and the displays are less reflective, which work together to be easier to read in all conditions.

      The Galaxy S5 and Note 4 are by far the clearest to read in direct sunlight when compared to other flagship devices. . . older AMOLED looked bad as did most LCD because they were low lumens.

      • Android Developer

        can you please show the link?

      • mike

        The S5 and Note 4 phones adjust its brightness beyond the normal 100% to accommodate when you’re outside. I’m sure this will speed up pixel degradation and burn in, not to mention put a ding in battery life.

        • guest qwe

          probably true, but who spends enough time with their smartphone in direct sunlight for it to make a difference over the life of the device?

    • br00tus

      You must not be familiar with the amoled in the note 4. Way more viewable than th e lcd in the iPhone 6. Side by side comparison with my friend. And there is now a UV sensor that even goes so far as to changing colors to make it completely readable even in direct sunlight

      • tralalalalalala50

        That lasts about a minute as the pixels overheat…

  • Rear Projection. Screw all of you with your rock-n-roll and Amazon and LSD talk.

    • Davey Everydude

      I love my rear. Not only is it huge and takes up all sorts of space, I got SIX av inputs and it helps keep my basement good and warm!

  • Alicemad

    Amoleds may look nice and punchy until you realize Samsung oversaturates everything thus creating a “fake” neon like image which I don’t like. Also Amoled is not as bright as a good lcd ips which I prefer for outdoor usage. I have yet to see a good sRGB calibrated Amoled to judge it and since almost all Amoled belong to Samsung which they oversaturate I cannot judge them easily. Amoled also has some burn in problems too, although not in all models. For now I prefer a good IPS LCD for the more “true” colours and better visibility outdoors.

    • Terrence Thompkins

      Actually the Note 4 display is probably best for outdoor visibility right now. As far as true colors go you can usually tinker with that in the settings.

      • SomeGuy

        Yea AMOLED are pretty good with the latest generation.. However ‘tinkering with settings’ is not be the answer.. It is like saying ‘tinker with the equalizers’ because the audio processor /headphones are not upto the mark..

        • Terrence Thompkins

          Obviously one may tinker with the settings because you have the options to do so. You can have cinema, photo, and basic. If you like bright colors then fine, if not you can can set it to basic. However the average consumer who buys Samsung phones loves the bright colors so they may never go into the settings to change it anyway.

        • Marc Perrusquia

          The diffrence is that amoled has the capability to scale to all those settings with its wider color gamut LCD based panels just physically can’t match that wide of a gamut. I still personally prefer a well calibrated LCD for now but amoled is the future.

    • Mike_T

      You should try newer gen AMOLED….over-saturation is no longer an issue. Even states so in the article: “The Galaxy Note 4 has the most accurate mobile display currently available”

  • RayanMX

    For me the best will continue to be LCD (IPS in particular) since it does not burn-in nor degrade with use or through UV light exposure.


      UV can’t pass through glass, only through quartz, so i would’t worry about that :D

    • Marc Perrusquia

      It’s rarer but LCDs can get image retention.

      • RayanMX

        Agreed, however on the LCDs the problem is not permanent like on OLED panels.

    • antianalfabet

      LTPS ftw.

  • Rodney

    For now, I would still go with a high-end LCD. But let’s be honest – AMOLED is the future, and it’s almost perfected.

  • Sandy

    Anytime i would Prefer IPS LCD. Just showing oversaturated colours doesnt mean AMOLED is best. i had S4 & G2 i always loved the G2 colours in display, Amoled doesnt sucks but definitely behing ips lcd technology :-)

    • IPhart 6 bendgate

      Do you own a note4? If not, pick one up and then come to the same conclusion you just did, I dare you. Note4 amoled is leading by a mile.

    • Solo

      i HATE when people compare old technology with new ones. if you think that the current samsung amoled screens (note 4) are the same as the one in the galaxy s4, you are in for a surprise.

    • Marc Perrusquia

      You do realize the G2 was notorious for its ridiculously oversaturated display right? It was basically an LCD emulating an OLED display without the benefits of true blacks, and higher energy efficiency while sacrificing LCD’s benefits like more realistic colors.

  • The-Sailor-Man

    Nice try to defend the obsolete LCD technology.
    Just because Apple is still there with LCD keeping high profit margines. LOL
    There is nothing better than good AMOLED display now. Period.
    LCD can NOT compare in anything!!!!!
    Well , as soon as Samsung have possibility to produce enough and the price fall down, Apple will also have AMOLED. Then this advocating articles will change the tune, and this apple’s propaganda will pretend that this article have never existed.
    Pathetic. :)

    • SomeGuy

      Wow!! First AMOLED fanboy!!
      1. Bringing in Apple for no reason
      2. Being delusional enough to think a simple ‘technical’ article comparing amoled vs lcd as Apple propaganda on a site oddly enough named as “Android” Authority..

      Get real man..

      • The-Sailor-Man

        “1. Bringing in Apple for no reason”
        No reason??? LOL
        Bet on, that such articles will disappear the next day Apple start to use AMOLED.
        LCD will be declared , dead!!!! Every day in each article.

        “2. Being delusional enough to think….. Apple propaganda on a site oddly enough named as “Android” Authority..”
        If you grow up, you’d understand , that the “NAME” of the site has NOTHING to do with the real purpose of the site, and who the authors there are.

    • Davey Everydude

      Nope. Did ya read the article? Not a single mention of apple. Or iPhone. Or iPad.

      Before we start wagging the “Pathetic” finger, and before we start pointing the “Uneducated” stick, read the wrticle.

      Then, get a G2, a G3, a Note 3, and a Note 4. (really wanna get into it, find an M7 and an M8) and get a good use out of them. Or as long as the human at your local shop will let you use the devices. But them if you got cash, i guess? But find them, use them, and really look at it.

      Three different platforms, all excelling in the market for the devices that they are, and all pretty fantastic in their own regards. You will see that each has taken a technology, and made for some stellar displays that are great in each of their own respects.

      Now, personally, having been able to use the majority of these, I am still LCD and with LG. Didn’t have to blame apple for anything either.

      Until you can give up an honest opinion, your attention grab apple smack, well, it’s just kinda pathetic.

      • The-Sailor-Man

        “Did ya read the article? Not a single mention of apple. Or iPhone. Or iPad.”
        Did you read my comment? Read it again slowly this time. And the last sentence two times.
        About LG: Do you know that LG also spend a huge money in AMLED displays, too. Why????
        Samsung is still one of biggest and best LCD producer. (now mostly for sale to other OEMs)

        • Davey Everydude

          Samsung also uses Sony cameras in their phones. Get a tear down of a note 4, and you’ll be surprised. Sony.

          The fact that they produce one, but use another is just the nature of business. The materials have to be made, and purchased by someone. The fact that Samsung produces some of those materials, is just smart.

          The last bit of your comment says to me that when samsung can produce the technology cheap enough, apple will have them and this all will be moot. How so? I mean, yes, Apple (despite dropping in the majority market holders position a couple years back) still hold enough weight to change how a market acts and purchases products.

          I can’t see them switching to an AMOLED platform, especially with the retina displays they have put out. Not much of an apple fan, but they do make a pretty hot screen these days. And I don’t think they are going to want to change that. Apple loves having what they do as theirs, and nowhere else.

          Apple doesn’t have the stake in LCD as you would think. The number of outfits producing devices that use LCD screens can do that on their own, i would believe as it is still a product that is used, in demand, and spec’d. It will be a couple of years, and probably a new emerging style of screen to turn this article into a protective piece for LCD. It is going to be around for a while. No matter what Apple might have to say about it.

          I don’t know the whole scope of what goes where from who and so forth but from what I know (not 100% on it all, but you can google it and let me know where I am wrong)…

          Samsung made chipsets for both Apple and HTC. Eventually going to court with Apple over it
          Samsung produced screens for HTC. Wound up in court over it
          Samsung started using Sony sensors in their cameras.
          Now, it is my understanding, it is/pretty much is a sony camera in the note 4.

          Not trying to single out Samsung, but really, they make the best example here.

  • super LCD 3 on my m8’s screen looks gorgerous,so vibrant with full bright and so natural colors viewing

  • Android Developer

    So AMOLED still has screen burn issues?
    What will happen for devices that use it and also the navigation buttons on the screen?

    • Marius Oprisan

      My S2 screen suffered burn-in during first month of use, but can’t say I’ve noticed any burn-in on my S4 after almost 2 years of usage. I guess Note 4 screen is even better. This year I chose LG G3 though and I don’t regret it.

    • The-Sailor-Man

      “So AMOLED still has screen burn issues?”

      According to this article , yes ! That’s what they want you to believe. LOL
      But don’t trust the apple’s propaganda, no matter behind what name hides.

    • TheGCU

      One year with a Note 3 and no burn. Burn’s an old problem that LCD fans use to shit on newer AMOLED screens. Same with plasma TVs. Burn’s not an issue anymore.

      • Android Developer

        Interesting. and you sometimes let the screen turned on with the same content?

  • oled is superior only thing that ruins sony phones is ips screens

    only thing that bothers me with oled is that the color temp feels very warm when i prefer cold feels like a slight yellow tint

  • Живко Јанкулоски

    The first phone with QHD display was Vivo Xplay 3s and not Oppo Find 7…

  • Davey Everydude

    AMOLED is new, but on the gain. We’ve all seen what Samsung has done and it is most definitely one of the finest displays out there. Just look at the Note 3 up to the Note 4. Note 3 has a pretty great display and the Note 4 shows that it gets better. Just the jump from the one to the other, you can see that it is something that will be around for a long, long time, and also stands a good chance to be the way that all manufacturers could follow in the future of devices.

    But, LCD shouldn’t be shunned. We can use LG as a good example of this. The G2 has a great display and was very well received, only to be topped by it’s own successor, the G3, which has been touted as the best display going. It gave the Note 4 a run for its money, and there are some that consider it even better citing that it has a less distorted picture than that of the Note 4.

    This could go on and on, but i think that instead of beating one down over the other, we should just appreciate that there are choice that can be made and that both platforms have proven that they are future compatible. LCD and AMOLED are both doing their thing, and neither has disappointed in the right hands. I for one am excited to see where both technologies will go to improve the displays, and not about to discredit one or the other.

  • Marty

    In my opinion, HTC and Sony use the best LCD tech. Their displays seem to be better looking than any other LCDs. But Sony has its own OLED tech and I can’t fathom why they don’t use it more prominently. It’s possible they can’t produce it as cheaply as Samsung can.

    • rohit choudhary

      Sony makes the most pathetic displays in android space

      • JJameson

        Have you seen the Z3? No? Then shut it. HTC calibrates their displays nearly perfectly to sRGB. LG tends to over saturate the primaries and even secondary colors so that their displays are much closer to traditional OLED in appearance. Sony/JDI takes a middle of the road approach and maintains better blacks than either. Current Samsung pentile OLED tends to have a green tint and clearly has a red chroma defect as the display skews reds specifically, again, heavily towards green. This makes them appear much more orange than what they are supposed to. If I am buying a current gen phone right now for overall display quality, it would be the z3. If I am buying a tablet for the same, it would be the Galaxy tab s 10.5. S Stripe RGB OLED FTW! Tab S 10.5 specifically has the best display available on a portable device. That’s one thing that I just don’t understand about all of these comparisons, Why don’t more people mention the real issue with the reductions in subpixels in a pentile array: color accuracy? It is an issue that clearly can’t be calibrated out. Saturation is only one aspect of color accuracy that people on these forums overemphasize. The same can be said about sharpness, the sharpness reduction due to oled is inconsequential. Again, the only real issue with samsung pentile oled is the over emphasis of green.

      • Marty

        Really? I have two Z Ultras that say otherwise. And I have an M7 and M8 that look just as vivid and colorful as the Ultras and vice/versa.

        • rohit choudhary

          My friend had z1 and another has z2. And I can promise you that the shittiest 1080p display I have seen is on the z1 . Haven’t even seen a Chinese phone that has viewing angles as pathetic as the z1.
          As far as the z2 goes the display is far better than the z1 but I still don’t find it attractive enough. I find my g2’s display superior to any other LCD display out there. Even my 100$ 720p redmi 1s gives better viewing pleasure when compared to the z1

          • Marty

            You mind if I ask where you and your friends bought your Sony devices?

  • Android Developer

    Are there any new types of screens technologies?
    If so, how well do they work compared to LCD and AMOLED ?

    • Javad


      • Android Developer

        But E-ink has a big disadvantage that it cannot refresh itself in the same frequency as the other screens, and it also doesn’t work well with colors (so it’s usually black and white).

        • Javad

          i did’t notice “new” in your previous, sorry.

          • Android Developer

            The only thing I’ve found is improvements to those screens: LTPS and IGZO :

          • Javad

            i think LTPS and IGZO is another methods to manufacture LCDs.

          • Android Developer

            I’m not sure. I think it’s for both.

          • Javad


  • EZY

    AMOLED=burn-in and horible neon-green colors

    • The-Sailor-Man

      It’s 2014 now!

      • EZY

        It is still happening, I saw it on one galaxy device, I think that was note.

        • TheGCU

          Which Note? There are 4. Phone or tablet? Even more Note tablets. For all we know you saw it happen on a Note 1, which is several years old. Try backing your argument with actual facts, not opinions and hearsay.

    • Dr. Hook

      Be in 2014, with a note 3, owned for 1 year and 2 months.

      *#0*# display check shows no burn-in, neon-green is a problem on older sAMOLED, not on the newer ones, also you can fix that on settings>display> professional photo or movie mode

  • pierre

    every year, lg always do well with their screens, the g4, wheather lcd or p-oled will have an amazing screen. this shows that amoled and lcd are both nearly as good as each other. they improve to cover up their shortcoming. samsung won displays this year with oled, lg won it last year with ips lcd. yet it’s still very close.

    • The-Sailor-Man

      From now on LCD will always be “last year” display.

  • Abdele

    Note 2 is still the best :) oh wait its 2014!

  • Pongpat Likitchollatarn

    AMOLED is the best screen I’m using Note3

  • antianalfabet

    LTPS to rule them all.

    • JJameson

      LTPS is a backplane technology like IGZO and a-Si. It is not a panel type. In fact, currently, almost all high end displays use an LTPS backplane, especially OLED as amorphous silicon can’t properly drive the tech. There is a lot more to a display than just the panel.

  • teomor

    If I had to choose between IPS and AMOLED I”d go for the IPS in a heartbeat. They are the most natural looking colors, especially on low brightness, such as reading at night.

  • Its written wrong over there. Oppo Find 7 wasnt the 1st smartphone to feature QHD display. It was G3 the 1st smartphone to feature QHD dispaly.

    • sgsdfdsf

      Both wasn’t. The first QHD smartphone is Vivo Xplay3S.

  • dddd

    You mentioned Vivo, why don’t you ever review one like Vivo Xshot and Vivo Xplay3S ???

  • Meatloafers

    My G2 screen is bad, it shows yellow tints when it is warm and also been reported on some G3. :(

  • William Ma

    The best LCD display is the laminated IPS on the iPhone 6 in terms of accuracy, gamma, color saturation, white point etc. It is THE most accurate and well calibrated LCD with the widest gamut there is. Not sure which manufacturer (Samsung, Sony, Sharp) actually makes it though
    you can argue that the G3’s screen is better but it really only is in terms of resolution, for which returns diminish very quickly past ~300 ppi, and there have been a lot of complaints about haloing and whatnot.

    One thing cannot be debated – AMOLEDs are the future. The same people who declared the iPhone 6 had the best LCD said the Note 4 had the best screen. Already Super AMOLEDs (on the Note 4, for example) are starting to match the best LCDs in what LCDs are best at, and they have always excelled in their own strengths, like contrast. By next year AMOLEDs will be unequivocally better than LCDs, and there won’t be any point in using LCDs.

  • Barend Stapelberg

    Cannot STAND AMOLED.

  • Victor

    Samsung smartphones’ displays look a bit saturated for me.

  • Nazeeb Nazar

    Display purists hate AMOLED for it`s punchy and unnatural colours. LCD produces close to natural colours.

  • rohit choudhary

    even though the display quality of the amoled screens is much superior to that of LCD but the LCD screens are far more sharper when it comes to text or generally anything . Maybe this is because of the subpixels which LCD’s have and AMOLED doesnt

  • I think you’re DAMN wrong: “You’ll find LCD displays in high-end smartphones and tablets, such as the LG G3, HTC One (M8) and Sony Xperia Z line-ups”

    The z line of phones, specifically, z2 and z3 use the Quantum Dots technology and its way way different from how LCD works.

    Read here:

    For those lazy to follow the link, including the author of this article, lemme explain here in simple terms.

    Quantum Dots display tech, which Sony calls Trilluminous display, is based on nanotechnology whereby the size of a nanoparticle determines the color emitted. Thus, depending on the varied size of the particle, we get blue, or green or whatever, or their combination gives white. Filters aren’t part of its formular.

    Quantum dots screens are by far today, the most efficient screen tech made today on the market in the hands of consumers. However, its the most vivid and the only tech today that offers the highest display of colors at their purest levels ever

    That is why xperia z2, for instance, can get up to 10 hours on screen time with extra juice to spare. You hardly get that in any phone using other display tech.

    Please, never ever think the z2 uses LCD. Where did you ever see that written? Please, do you see LCD mentioned on the official website of xperia z2, for instance

    If you followed gsm arena which says the z2 has IPS LCD, trust, you’re all wrong. Do your research well.

    • JJameson

      The panel is still an IPS LCD. Do your research on how quantum dots are or can be implemented between various display types. Any display can use quantum dots. I agree though, it is an amazing tech that I absolutely love on my Z3 and Z2 tablet. I still consider a good RGB oled that doesn’t use quantum dots to be an overall better screen than a good QD-LCD.

      • What we ‘consider’ varies, but facts don’t.

      • What we ‘consider’ varies. Facts don’t. I’ve not made a screen before. Those experts in the screen tech says QD-LED is better than the rest. Not me saying. Let’s go back to research

        • JJameson

          Too bad we aren’t talking about QD-LED or QLED depending on who you ask. We are talking about an LCD with quantum dots enhanced backlight. We have yet to see a commercially available QLED display. All we have seen and will see for a very long time is a Quantum dots enhanced LCD, wherein the usual color filter over the backlight is discarded in favor of QDs in the backlight itself. Again do your research on how this tech is implemented. QD-LCDs are great with a good backlighting scheme, however they still aren’t as good as oled as an overall technology. I do agree, QLED is likely an even better technology than OLED in both fabrication and quality.

    • M3D1T8R

      Great info. I wondered how Sony manages such great battery life. I recently bought my wife a Z2, get 8+hrs SOT on WiFi only without battery saver, amazing. And while I generally tend to prefer OLED for the blacks, I’m still amazed how good the Z2 looks every time I pick it up.

      • JJameson

        Yet much of his post is just dead wrong. Well, that’s a tad unfair. Generally speaking, what he posted about quantum dots is correct, just not their implementation. The energy efficiency of a QD backlight is the real deal though.

  • s2weden2000


  • SaRPeR

    I always prefer AMOLED over LCD.

  • MadLettuce

    When amoled will mature enough so that burn in is no longer constantly in the back of my head, I’ll make the switch from LCD. Until then, I’d rather have a screen that looks the same until I move to another phone, than one that looks absolutely stunning during the first months and then gets the burns.

    • Jokka

      After 3 years of intense use I still get a perfect screen on my Galaxy S2. Great correct colors with movie mode, no dead pixels or burns or anything like that. Only problem since new is low maximum intensity. Not good for sunlight. And this phone still is good as new, even battery lasts for a all day if I am cautious. I will buy very soon a S5 because i find Note 3 and 4 too large for me to use them.

      • MadLettuce

        I’ve had a galaxy nexus for 2 years, used it with auto-brightness the whole time, except for late hours when I turned it all the way down and right now the burn-in is very easy to notice. Not saying that the technology hasn’t evolved, and I would not be surprised if current AMOLED screens would take longer before having this problem, but it was enough to convince me to try something else.

        There’s no way to avoid it. If it doesn’t bother you at all, or you don’t notice it, that’s great and I wish I wouldn’t be bothered by it as well, but the second I see it creeping in it just makes me sad inside. I know the colors are superb, but as aforementioned, I choose the reliability of lcd. At least for now.

  • Brandon Salvesen

    It’s very clear that amoled display is the better technology, look better, brighter and still have high resolution

  • tralalalalalala50

    If you want a phone with bad white color representation and low brightness go for amoled.

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  • Wayne

    Very interesting article. I don’t favour one over the other but the AMOLED display on my SGS3 still rocks as far as I’m concerned.

  • Da Fuq

    Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer a reliable LCD to an AMOLED display, even if it looks better.

  • Kwetsima Maluleke

    AMOLED forever!

  • aditya

    hi,which lasts longer lcd or amoled?

  • Jesus S Aaron Uni Christ Payne

    A Mo Led the way I say ASUS helps me find my Zen as the chosen one. Combine the cross of Christ and Pegasus and you would be my hero Goo you are the bomb YO. Mbombo your the Mother of All bombs, your like the Big Bang. With you ANDROID ARM is like Armageddon Arm of God Age of Eden. It’s I’m my DNA for sure. CHROMATIN

    • Jorell

      Drugs and Jesus don’t mix

  • jambo

    how much samsung paid you for this? :D
    super amoled and most realistic? Really?

  • John

    AMOLED Black levels are remarkably superior to any LCD that I have seen. Crappy black levels have been the Achilles heal of modern LCDs

  • Fakename_Bill

    I like how AMOLED can have parts of the screen be completely dark as if the screen were off while other parts are fully lit. Never seen that from LCD.

  • Paul Ripper

    3 out of 5 amoled based smartphones galaxy s s3 s4 zoom note3 s5 had screen burn in after 13 months of heavy use as satnavs (blaming google maps

  • JaySeeDoubleYou

    I think, in my experience, AMOLED looks better overall, as it has tended to produce more vibrant colors, and more natural, and less digital looking edges to letters and objects. There also seems to be more “depth” to the picture.

    However, putting a technology that will suffer burn-in with static images, especially static white backgrounds in devices guaranteed to have lots of static images and large swaths of static white – such as a cel phone, particularly a cel phone running Android Lollipop…seems to me to be a really unwise and short-sighted idea.

    So, I’m not entirely sure which technology is the betterone overall.

    OLED is clearly better in initial quality, though LCD maintains its quality a thousand times better. So I suppose it depends on how long you plan to keep your phone, how high you keep the brightness, and whether or not you use “anti-ghosting” measures, which is itself nothing more than controlled burn-in, designed to burn evenly to prevent ghosting – though at the cost of slowly “dingying” whites, and an eventual impact on all colors through it.

    I guess OLED is the better “toy”, or ” treat” while LCD is the better “tool”.

    This is said as one who’s new phone, a Nexus 6, is AMOLED, and whose old phone, a Galaxy Note 3 was also AMOLED, but who’s little “Windows 10” tester phone, a Lumia 520, as well as my iPad Air 2 and my wife’s iPhone 6+ are all LCD, so one with devices on both sides of this debate.

  • OldenGrey

    That pic entitled “The new Nexus 6 and Galaxy Note 4 showcase what QHD AMOLED displays can do.” doesn’t prove anything to me. My main concern about a screen is whether it can be read in sunlight or not. My experience has been not.

  • I already knew all this but then I saw Rob wrote the article and decided to read it anways.

  • Daggett Beaver

    Personal preference FTW. It’s always been AMOLED for me, and I don’t expect that to change unless there are some unexpected advances in LCD.

  • bcm

    Well, both my AMOLED devices (Moto X 2014 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7) have issues with the uniformity of specific colors… On the Moto X, there’s a shadowy band at some point on very bright colors, while on the Tab, very dark colors in dark spaces have very gruesome uniformity issues…

  • Adrian

    I’ll never buy a device with amoled, bad experience with burn in.
    So I decided to choose lcd because of the lifespan.

  • Android Developer

    About AMOLED, are the new devices, like Nexus 6P, still having burn-in issues? Especially for navigation bar and status bar?

  • Kody

    Shouldn’t you guys mention what changed from last year’s version to this?

  • 11222

    just replaced my year and a half old S4 with a V10. I was surprised to see the whites on the S4 were yellowish compared to a vibrant white on the V10.

  • 3223

    I actually prefer amoleds now. I just hope they get to overcome the lifespan issue of amoleds. I do love the vibrance of the colors though. My galaxy alpha, although running a pentile amoled on 720p, is very pleasing.

    For those who claim lcd’s don’t have burn in, my moto 360 first gen has a noticeable burn in showing the outline of the charging circle which never goes away. So much for lcd’s having better lifespan. :(

  • balcobomber25

    It all comes down to the quality of each individual display. There are some great looking AMOLED’s from companies like Samsung and LG and some terrible ones. There are some great looking LCD’s from Sharp and JDI and some terrible ones.

  • Rohit Raja

    My friend dropped his moto x and the yellow tint it had grew considerably worse to a point where it sucked. and it costed a bomb replacing it.

  • Romina Stanganelli


  • pickaboo

    Amoled. I love the screen from my S4 than my G4

  • PhazonInfuser .

    AMOLED is the way to go. I love my Galaxy Tab S. Most GORGEOUS SCREEN EVER!!!

  • The Prophet

    Power? AMOLED screen`s “black” pixels showing deep white causes drain if not RAPID depending on Display…
    I`v got 2440p Samsung`s Super Amoled display (S7) and i can say it does not really have drain (that much) but excepted more. I can double SOT of my OPO which had 1080p LCD display but my friend`s Droid Turbo can`t catch up to my older OPO with almost same 2440p Amoled config… so what i mean is that while AMOLED looks great, it costs more for battery too, depending on display oem…

  • ballu

    Clearly a biased article

  • Siddarth Chopra

    I prefer LCD over AMOLED , AMOLED panels just look too unnatural for me , and I really love how LCD remains consistent in color reproduction. I hope HTC never switches to AMOLED screens…LCD forever 😆😝

  • Theracoon

    I wont buy any device with an AMOLED screen becase the refresh rate is too slow causing a strobe effect if you move the screen while looking at it. I am now a Sony fan because their IPS screens are really clear and flicker free.