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Types of Displays in Mobile Phones

  • Last Updated : 28 Dec, 2020

While buying a mobile phone we might have heard these words – IPS LCD display, TFT LCD display, OLED display, Super AMOLED display, etc. We often get confused as to which is the best. So, let us explain each of the displays.
Displays are mainly categorized into three types –

  1. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
  2. LED (Light Emitting Diode)
  3. Retina

These are explained as following below.

1. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) :
LCD means Liquid crystal display. In the LCD display, there is a light in the background of pixels which is called a backlight that provides light to the pixels for projecting the content. If there is no light in the background we could not able to see the content which is displaying on the screen. There are a few types of LCD panels. In the LCD panel, we have CCFL backlighting which means Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp. These are explained as following below.

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  • Twisted Nematic (TN) –
    Twisted Nematic displays are widely used in computer monitors in some industries. These displays are commonly used by gamers for a better experience. Because they are inexpensive and faster response.



    Limitations :

    1. Poor quality screen
    2. Low contrast ratio
    3. Poor color reproduction
    4. Poor viewing angles 
  • Vertical Alignment (VA) –
    The vertical alignment panel falls under the middle of the TN panel and IPS panel. This display has better viewing angles and better color reproduction as compared to the TN display.

    Limitations :

    1. Slower response time 
  • Advanced Fringe Field Switching (AFFS) –
    This type of display used for commercial purposes in cockpits. AFFS display is extremely quality of LCD display as of now because they have good color reproduction, best viewing angles than the IPS panel and TN panel. It also minimizes color distortion.

    Limitations :

    1. Consumes more power 

As for mobile displays, we mostly see these three displays in LCD –

  • TFT LCD Panel –
    Thin Film Transistor display is the cheapest display in LCD. In this display, every pixel is attached to a capacitor and transistor. The main advantage of this display is the high contrast ratio and very cheap to build by the way we see this type of displays in budget mobiles below 10K price.

    Limitations :



    1. Poor quality
    2. Poor viewing angles
    3. Poor sunlight visibility 
  • IPS LCD Panel –
    In-Plane Switching is the most popular display between the 10k to 20k price range in mobiles. By the way, this is the best display on LCD. They are very much the best than the TFT display. This display can produce better viewing angles, best color reproduction, and direct sunlight visibility.

    Limitations :

    1. Consumes more power 
  • SLCD Panel –
    Super LCD is the marketing term of HTC. Generally, it is also a type of IPS LCD but there is a slight change. In the IPS LCD display, there is some gap between the outer glass and the touch sensor. In the SLCD display, there is no gap between the outer glass and touch sensor.

2. LED (Light Emitting Diode) :
In the place of CCFL, we use LEDs. In LCD display we use CCFL as backlighting and in the LED display we use LED bulbs as backlighting.

Advantages :

  • Consumes Very less power.
  • Best color reproduction.
  • Best viewing angles.
  • No limitations for aspect ratios.
  • Better contrast levels.
  • Best sunlight visibility.
  • True black colors.

Disadvantages :

  • Costly to build.

There are so many types of LED displays. Generally, we may see these two displays in the flagship category mobiles. they are, OLED and AMOLED displays. Technology is almost the same, but OLED is developed by a company named LG, and AMOLED is developed by a company called Samsung.

  1. AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) –
    This technology completely belongs to Samsung. They took patients also. The main function of the AMOLED display is the individual pixel act as an LED bulb. Which means they do not require backlighting. This technology helps in power saving and projecting true black colors. The pixels stop projecting light when the video has black color.

    The black portion in the video is projected like a true black color. So, it saves power when the content has black color. And we could enjoy true black colors. The main difference between AMOLED and Super AMOLED is like IPS LCD and SLCD. AMOLED has a gap between the glass and touch sensor. Super AMOLED has no gap between the glass and touch sensor (negligible gap).

  2. OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) –
    This technology belongs to LG. LG took patents on the OLED panel. It is like the LGs trademark. This display is also like an AMOLED display. OLED has a series of organic thin-film between two conductors. When the current is applied, light is emitted. These are more efficient than LCD displays.


3. Retina Display :
Retina display is the trademark of the company named APPLE. Actually, the retina display is an IPS LCD display only. APPLE modified the IPS LCD display and renamed it. In retina display, we can more PPI (Pixel per inch) than IPS LCD displays. It is not a separate technology. It is a modification of the IPS LCD display. We can see retina displays in apple mobiles.

Which is the best display?
Obviously, AMOLED and OLEDs are the best displays in the world.

Advantages of AMOLED and OLED Displays :

  • Best quality.
  • Best color reproduction.
  • Best sunlight visibility.
  • True black colors.
  • No limitations for aspect ratios.
  • Best viewing angles.
  • Best contrast levels.
  • Best battery backup.
  • Disadvantages of AMOLED and OLED displays.
  • Screen burning issues.
  • Very costly to build.
  • Easily damages in contact with water. Proper sealing should be done.

Disadvantages of AMOLED and OLED Displays :

  • Screen burning issues.
  • Very costly to build.
  • Easily damages in contact with water. Proper sealing should be done.
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