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Here's why the Xiaomi Mi 10T series uses LCD instead of OLED

Xiaomi has a few rather interesting reasons for opting for LCD over OLED.

Published onOctober 20, 2020

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro home screen hero shot
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority
  • A Xiaomi executive has explained why it opted for LCD tech on the Mi 10T series.
  • The representative reckons that a great LCD screen is better than a lower quality OLED panel.
  • They also asserted that OLED panels can cause eye strain.

The Xiaomi Mi 10T series might be one of the most impressive 5G phone families for the price. The Mi 10T and Mi 10T Pro in particular pack top-notch Snapdragon 865 silicon, ultra high resolution main cameras, and big batteries for a starting price of €449 (~$530).

Xiaomi has also brought a 144Hz LCD screen to the Mi 10T series, as opposed to a high refresh rate OLED screen seen on rival high-end phones. Now, a Xiaomi executive has elaborated on the decision to go with LCD in an interview with TechRadar.

“It is better to have a high-quality LCD, the best of the best LCD, versus a middling sort of AMOLED,” Xiaomi product marketing manager Daniel Hoang Desjarlais was quoted as saying.

We’re not quite sure whether consumers and enthusiasts would pick a high quality LCD over a middling OLED panel though. We previously asked readers whether they’d choose a high refresh rate LCD screen over a 60Hz OLED display, and over 70% were in favor of the OLED option. There’s more to quality than merely the refresh rate, but it certainly suggests a strong preference for OLED over LCD in general (especially with high refresh rates on OLED anyway).

The Xiaomi executive also pointed to eye strain as a reason to opt for LCD tech though.

Another reason to opt for LCD?

OnePlus DC dimming feature
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

“There are issues with AMOLED and certain peoples’ eyes — I think it’s like 10% of the population, when looking at an AMOLED display, experience very heavy eye strain,” added Hoang Desjarlais.

Display website OLED-info suggests that pulse width modulation (PWM) on OLED screens causes eye strain and headaches in some people, also citing a mysterious 10% figure. PWM is used to control brightness on many OLED panels and can result in noticeable flickering in some situations (e.g. low brightness).

The likes of HUAWEI, OnePlus, and Xiaomi have however moved to adopt DC dimming as an alternative to PWM on their OLED-toting phones (as seen in the image above). This solution reduces flickering, especially at low brightness. In other words, brands can still offer OLED panels on their devices and curb the main apparent cause of eye strain and headaches while using these devices. So we have to believe that other factors like pricing are also to blame for the adoption of LCD panels in the Mi 10T series.

Going flat versus curved

Hoang Desjarlais also elaborated on why they opted for a flat screen rather than a curved panel, noting that the majority of users preferred the former option.

“I’ve done quite a bit of polling and user research on this,” the executive was quoted as saying, “60% of users prefer the flat edge, or flat displays.”

This is understandable, as there are a few drawbacks to curved panels. One downside is the increased chance of damage when dropping the phone as there’s simply more exposed glass. Another potential drawback is that apps and content don’t always take the curved screen into account, resulting in buttons and other interactive content in an awkward place. Finger and palm rejection is another issue to worry about on some phones, as you might accidentally interact with the screen when you didn’t mean to.

Nevertheless, consumers can always opt for the POCO F2 Pro if they want an affordable Xiaomi flagship with an OLED panel. Which one would you choose? Let us know by taking the poll below!

Do you prefer the POCO F2 Pro or Mi 10T Pro?

4047 votes

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