Here we go again: Samsung to ship two versions of Note 3 – AMOLED and LCD (rumor)

by: Bogdan PetrovanJune 27, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note Note 2 aa 1600

If this report sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve heard it before. Back at the beginning of the year, it was rumored that Samsung would use LCDs instead of AMOLED displays for the Galaxy S4, or use both technologies and ship multiple variants of the phone. As it turned out, Samsung managed to muster enough Full HD AMOLED panels for the GS4, though it did use an LCD display on the Galaxy S4 Active, probably to offset the costs of ruggedizing the device.

Now, it’s time for the Galaxy Note 3 to go through the same rumors. According to the Korean publication Daum, Samsung is considering using liquid crystal displays, at least for a part of the Galaxy Note 3 production.

The alleged reasons are the limited AMOLED production capacity and the fact that AMOLED displays no longer offer Samsung a branding benefit. Let’s take a closer look.

First, Samsung Display’s AMOLED production capabilities may well be overbooked. The 5-inch Galaxy S4 is selling very well (despite rumors of a sales slowdown and misjudged demand), and ensuring supplies of AMOLED panels for the Galaxy S4 is the top priority for Samsung. Then, there are the OLED TVs that Samsung has begun to commercialize. The 55-inch and larger TV sets definitely take their toll on Samsung Display’s capacity. In short, it’s entirely plausible that Samsung Display hasn’t been able to scale up its AMOLED production as fast as Samsung Electronics has been able to sell smartphones, tablets, and TVs.

The second reason to use LCD alongside AMOLED would be brand recognition, or better said, lack of thereof. According to Daum, the Galaxy brand is already strong enough to eclipse the absence of AMOLED technology, which has long been one of the unique selling points of Samsung’s high-end devices. In other words, customers will flock to buy the Note 3 anyway, AMOLED or LCD.

If this pans out, Samsung is reportedly going to use LCDs made by Sharp, the troubled Japanese display maker in which the Korean giant has a minority share.

We’ll see how this turns out for Samsung. Minorities can be very vocal, and I am sure that many fans would be disappointed to get an LCD display instead of the vivid AMOLED.

What display technology do you prefer and why?

  • Kevin Lupo

    I have to say, I’d be rather disappointed to only be able to receive the Note 3 with an LCD. It honestly would affect my consideration to buy to the point that I most likely wouldn’t. I upgrade devices for what the word states, to upgrade…not take a step back. And LCD is a step back from AMOLED and you won’t catch me spending my hard earned dollars on a device that’s a step backwards; hence the reason I have no Apple products (Yep, couldn’t resist the stab there).

    However I’m sure Samsung will get something worked out for it. I can’t fathom them allowing one of their flagship phones exit the factories with LCD. That’s a way to ruin the excellent name they’ve established for their Galaxy line.

    • I think it would be a mistake to drop AMOLED. It’s one of their unique features, at a time when Android phones are increasingly the same on the inside.

    • mobilemann

      AMOLED to LCD isn’t a step back, depends on the LCD tech. It’s a differentiating factor though, and those screens look great with movies and games.

      I wouldn’t be excited, but it’s a trade off. At least you can see your phone outside.

      • Kevin Lupo

        This is true, but I still consider it a step back. This is strictly from my POV. I like the vibrant colors that AMOLED offers and the better battery performance. True, you’d have a better time seeing it outdoors but I’ve honestly never had THAT hard of a time seeing my screen.

        It’s a preference really, but I fully see your side of it and there are definitely pro’s and con’s to it. To be honest, I’d have to see the device and really mess with it. I’d be turned off if it was an LED screen but I’d still look at it and play with it and in the process of actually playing with the device, I may decide I like it.

        We’ll see when it’s released!

        • mobilemann

          “This is true, but I still consider it a step back. This is strictly from my POV.”

          fair enough then, but i’m fairly sure in general, AMOLED displays consume more power than traditional LCDs. (at least traditionally this has always been the case)

          but it’s true, proof is in the pudding, and sammy has put a ton of money into the tech; so like you said, we’ll see.

          • MasterMuffin

            depends on what you mean with generally, darker stuff is better for AMOLED and lighter for LCD.

    • Lamont

      I agree 100%. A LCD would seriously hinder my decision to purchase the Note 3. I love the way SAMOLED pops. I’ve have owner at least 5 Samsung phones and the main reason was their screens are always so vibrant. Their LCD screen would have to blow me away to get me to buy one. But then again, every other phone would have an LCD too. LAME.

  • Rayan

    And , people talk about android fragmentation! -_-

  • beboo

    no way It”ll be AMOLED like always

    • simpleas

      I strongly prefer samoled but samsung makes the best lcds as well so idc lol.

  • abdulrahman

    Both Amoled and LCD panels have their pros and cons

    Amoled offers fantastic colour reproduction

    While LCD offers higher brightness

    • spade

      u r correct, based on my own experience, amoled failed on bright sunny day…even on full brightness.

      • SeraZR™

        +1 there

      • SeraZR™

        +1 there

  • Josh Johnson

    good my S4 active’s screen is SO much better than the S4 I had. Night and day

    • Jaun Lombard

      I actually want to know how the S4 Active’s LCD screen match up to the HTC One, Xperia Z and S4!

      • Josh Johnson

        I own a HTC One and I had a S4. The HTC One has the better screen (see my youtube channel for comparison joshuadjohnson22) but the S4 active is pretty darn close. I can honestly say that after using the S4 Active my HTC One has just been collecting dust. The 5 inch screen makes it better IMO than the HTC One. It is my fav phone right now and makes me wonder why Samsung is still putting OLED displays in their phones if they are so good at LCD.

    • kascollet

      Did you really have both devices already ?
      Is the LCD much brighter ? How are contrast/colors/blacks ?

      • Josh Johnson

        Yes I have owned both devices. The LCD is brighter and looks great. I compared it side by side and there is no contest. My dad has the S4 and when he saw the active in person he ordered the active for himself. It is awesome. It has more natural colors and just looks grea :)

        • kascollet

          OK. Thanks !

  • Wibbly

    I might me interested ONLY if it has LCD. AMOLED sucks for me, as

    1. I’d rather have truer colours to see photos with

    2. A major application of my phone is GPS Navigation in my car = high brightness on display for long periods with some static elements displayed on the screen. This isn’t a good use model for AMOLED and would expect to get screen degrdation MUCH faster than with LCD

    • jamesnmandy

      you’re worried about the wrong thing, I have been using SAMOLED Samsung devices for years now, Fascinate, Charge, GSIII…and never had a single screen issue and use the crap out of it, including as a dedicated GPS unit and real time OBDII monitor in the car.

  • Jaun Lombard

    It a good read about the investment Samsung made in AMOLED before they even made a Smartphone!

  • xtriker360

    It looks like the note one! And the note 2 and the galaxy s3… Well you get the point. :(

  • EvenInTheDarkestHour

    As long as he screen is as stunning as promised by this line, I haven’t a real preference between the two (each with strengths and weaknesses). It would be kinda nice to see the screen clearly (er, anyway) in sunlight.

  • icyrock1

    I’d prefer a LCD display, actually. They have a longer life span than Amoled.

    • Lifespan is not an issue with me. By the time, say 3 years my amoled screen deteriorates – my phone will be obsolete. Nobody would take it as a gift even if the screen was still good.

  • zisihao

  • francis

    As an advice: Better stick on the AMOLED because the other has this TRILUMINOS + Bravia 2. My bet for the match up for this year

    • Actually, I’m curious about the pen technology sony used with that 6.4″ note rival.

  • freedomspopular

    If like to see them ship one version with their standard “cheap plastic,” and one with an all-metal build. That way those of us who want removable battery and AD card support can continue to do so, and those who want a “premium” build can get what they want.

    Though I realize this is a pipe dream as the logistics of that would be a nightmare.

  • Barend Stapelberg

    AMOLED’s white is dirty and colours over-saturated. Putting an HTC One X next to a Note 2 clearly shows LCD is crystal clear…

  • Brian Dong Min Kim

    If they drop AMOLED I’m not buying that shit.
    LCD has horrible colors.
    Colors never pop out.

  • Ryan

    I truly hope Verizon gets the LCD version this time. I tried the S4, to replace my iPhone 5 but I just couldn’t get over how dim the AMOLED screen was compared. People seem to go on and on about the great colors of AMOLED, but they need to understand that they are “over saturated” colors, not “accurate” color reproduction. LCD wins hands down there if properly calibrated and no contest on brightness.

    I went to AT&T the other day to just put my hands on the Active and I was blown away. Finally I was holding a phone with a screen that would replace my iPhone 5, but alas, I’m not leaving Verizon coverage and super LTE speeds just to get the phone I want.

    So here’s to the LCD version going to Verizon…..please!

  • nishantsirohi123

    It is a stupid debate LCD or AMOLED being better
    the comments are laughable and equally annoying to read.

    while i do not like the unnatural colors of AMOLED, but the unlit pixels for black are great for energy efficiency, the point is we have had LCDs in every device right from the first color screen phones
    it was Samsung that brought it out with the S2
    and when comments go … LCD sucks and “i only prefer AMOLED”
    really…since like what ….. 2 years perhaps

    So stop acting condescending

    like the isheep who say things like “retina display” when the truth is that the iphone 4 and 4s resolution is close to the qHD resolution

  • nishantsirohi123

    They can have the US version with LCD and international one with AMOLED

    although i doubt Samsung would do this
    this just might be a rumor so lets not get b***hurt on this one so quickly

  • Blowntoaster

    Please Sammy, for the love of Android, ship them with AMOLED’s, and a cranked up and better optimized Octa chip (in the international version) I’ve been waiting patiently for the new Note, as a replacement for my S3.
    That’s why I love the Samsung devices and could not get to the point of swapping my S3 for a Nexus 4. From chips, to display to Touchwiz, all made by Sammy, they all work for me and make you as an owner, proud to own a Sammy device.

  • Roberto Tomás

    personally I like AMOLED, but I could almost forgive them for shipping an LCD variant for countries whose patent system Samsung hasn’t reasonably penetrated, just like they use Qualcomm in a different part of these systems.
    What I won’t accept is when Youm comes out, if they continue to offer a “second best” variant for those other countries .. I don’t want to have to purchase LCD when thin film OLED hits.