LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

LCD means Liquid Crystal Display. Its name refers to the array of liquid crystals illuminated by a backlight, and their ubiquity and relatively low-cost makes them a popular choice for smartphones and many other devices.

LCDs also tend to perform quite well in direct sunlight, as the entire display is illuminated from behind, but does suffer from potentially less accurate color representation than displays that don’t require a backlight.

Within smartphones, you have both TFT and IPS displays. TFT stands for Thin Film Transistor, an advanced version of LCD that uses an active matrix (like the AM in AMOLED). Active matrix means that each pixel is attached to a transistor and capacitor individually.

The main advantage of TFT is its relatively low production cost and increased contrast when compared to traditional LCDs. The disadvantage of TFT LCDs is the higher energy demands than some other LCDs, less impressive viewing angles and color reproduction. It’s for these reasons, and falling costs of alternative options, that TFTs are not commonly used in smartphones anymore.

IPS stands for In-Plane Switching and it is a further improvement on TFT LCDs. It delivers better color reproduction and, most notably, improved viewing angles compared to TFT-LCDs. It does this by using two transistors for each pixel combined with a more powerful backlight. The downside is that they require more power than other types of non-LCD display. They still generally use less power than a TFT display though.


Retina is another technical term used by Apple to refer to their high-resolution IPS-LCD backlit LED screen displays commonly used by the iPhone 4. The reason why this technology is named Retina is because the pixels cannot be identified by the naked eye thus making the image quality super sharp.

OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode)

Well, this is a newer Smartphone display that has elevated the touchscreen technology to a new level. With initials that stand for Organic Light Emitting Diode, the OLED consist of a carbon-based organic material that is sandwiched between two layers of sheets namely the anode and cathode. These two layers are then sandwiched between two glass plates at the top and bottom (seal and substrate).

When the screen of an OLED Smartphone is touched, the two conducting sheets send the respective commands to the OS at a faster pace leading to a blazing fast response time. This Smartphone technology produces exceptional bright colors and wide viewing angles making it the best for high-end Smartphone devices.

AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode):

Another type of Smartphone display that has gained popularity among most mobile phone manufactures is the AMOLED. A name that simply stands for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode, these screen displays have the properties of OLED screens only that they’re more upgraded to improve quality and response time.

AMOLED screens display images with brilliant colors and a high level of brightness and sharpness. Designed to offer lots of other brilliant quality feature, the AMOLED Smartphone display has rapidly gained popularity in the Smartphone world making it the preferred screen display for most top of the range Smartphones.


This advanced technology was developed by Samsung to feature in some of their top of the range Smartphones. An advanced version of the AMOLED display, the Super AMOLED mobile phone display consists of a touch response layer placed on the top display itself to improve response time and image quality. Since the display is super thin, this Smartphone technology consumes less battery power making it the perfect option for most expensive Smartphones such as the Galaxy S series.

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