The evolution of displays: the journey from LCD to AMOLED
No wonder then that the quality of a device is hugely judged by its display. We’ve gone from monochrome screens with miniature sizes on huge devices, to smaller and thinner phones with screens taking up nearly the whole front side.
We’ve gone from monochrome to millions of colors and from no touch to multitouch support on capacitive displays. But most importantly, we’ve started actively adopting a new type of display technology, and expect the first devices with flexible screens in the coming years. But before making that leap into the future, let’s see how display technology evolved and where it stands now.
The evolution of displays
2. Passive matrix LCD
The most common passive matrix technology is Color Super-Twisted Nematic, or CSTN. Such screens suffer from issues like ghosting, which is basically when a quick change in images occurs and the last image is still visible as a ghost on top of the current one. Contrast and color depth are also far below the current standard.
3. Active matrix LCD
4. TFT LCD
5. In-Plane Switching (IPS) LCD
6. Super LCD (S-LCD)
All of the features of a Super LCD screen are refined in Super LCD 2, the current successor technology.
That alone makes OLED displays more power efficient. The first devices with OLED displays started arriving around 2008.
AMOLED displays retain the fantastic contrast of OLED screens and their power efficiency.
9. Super AMOLED
Super AMOLED screens don’t use the standard RGB pixel arrangement, but go for PenTile RGBG scheme. This means there are less subpixels compared to the standard RGB RGB arrangement.
10. Super AMOLED Plus, Advanced, HD
Super AMOLED Advanced is a term coined by Motorola that stands for a brighter S-AMOLED screens with higher (but non-HD) resolution.
Finally, HD Super AMOLED displays are all those where the resolution goes above 720x1280 pixels.
1. wendygarett (unregistered)
For some reason I prefer SLCD from Sony and OLED from Sharp...
22. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)
Hmm wonder why sony dont put sLCD on their phones..
24. wendygarett (unregistered)
sony prefer sharp display :)
26. randomguest (Posts: 20; Member since: 26 Jun 2012)
They do use laminated displays. It's TFT, but their "Reality Displays" have no air gap and improved colors. Also they have Bravia Engine. God knows why they name them like that :P
2. andro. (Posts: 1955; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
Screen advancements have been rapid recently and thank god for that! Just wait till Samsung have a 1080p super amoled plus screen soon,it will as brick tamland says "make u cream"!
4. serious9010 (Posts: 254; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
Apple is amazing at setting new trends... this one led to better displays in all phones. Before, manufacturers didn't even bother the resolution or ppi.
5. andro. (Posts: 1955; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
Yes they did,the LG arena and Sony x1 for example were class leaders in their times and the manufacturers made much fuss about the screens resolutions,that was 3-4 years ago and these screens still have a very high ppi by current standards today. Ppi only became a cool word after apple used it repeatedly to try drum sales from ifans for its eye 'retina' screen which ironically is actually an LG screen.
7. serious9010 (Posts: 254; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
Samsung and others would never have (or atleast not so soon) increase the effort put into displays had it not been for Apple. Besides, you can't conclude that ppi is not relevant saying it's only important for "ifans" (the term you use to degrade users that you don't even know personally and consequently shouldn't judge).
20. randomguest (Posts: 20; Member since: 26 Jun 2012)
That's not true. Mobile displays were obviously in constant development before the iPhone 4, and the OG Motorola Droid had a FWVGA(854x480) screen on a 3.7 size, when the iPhone of the time only had a HVGA 480x320 screen, unchanged from the first iPhone. Moto just didn't market that well. All Apple did was get the latest screen tech availble(yes, from LG displays) under exclusivity contract and market the hell out of it with a trendy name. The strategy has been repeated with the iPad and Macbook lines, as they like the iPhone all had less resolution than what the competition was offering(1024x768 vs 1280x800, 1440x900 vs 1920x1080) (yes i know they offer more, but even the base res Macbook Pro is much more expensive than a competitor model with 1080p) and then just doubled it. They have no doubt contributed to emphasizing resolution importance in consumer tech, but they are not the first or only ones, and not responsible for the R&D that led to the innovations in displays themselves.
9. Aaron_R96 (Posts: 198; Member since: 22 Jan 2012)
Yeah that's true about ppi, its just funny how Sony then went and beat them at their own game with Xperia S S-LCD screen at 342 ppi, unlucky apple.
17. serious9010 (Posts: 254; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
That is not true, since the human eye is not able to detect the difference.
18. serious9010 (Posts: 254; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
*the difference between 342 ppi (sony) and 330 ppi (apple)
21. randomguest (Posts: 20; Member since: 26 Jun 2012)
Wow, didn't know about the X1 and LG Arena, 311 ppi is very impressive for it's time, even if it was only across 3 inches. If only Sony, LG or whoever came with the innovation had come with the "retina" name before :P
14. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
The original Droid had great color accuracy as well as a decently high PPI.
I'm pretty sure I read an article here about the quality of it and how the iPad (3) just barely beat it..
6. TheLibertine (Posts: 484; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)
Still prefer IPS (new iPad, Transformer series) displays over Super AMOLED. Reasons:
- More natural, but, as you can see on the iPad, saturated colors. AMOLEDs often tend to overkill colors.
- Energy consumption. My Galaxy Note has quite poor battery life, especially when displaying white. My brothers iPod Touch is much better in this regard. Even with low brightness, it costed me 5 percent to write this post.
- Transformer Primes Super IPS mode shows what brightness these screens are capable of. Reading in the sunshine is no problem.
8. CharlieAtInfinity (Posts: 253; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
Not to mention the screen burn you get on a AMOLED screen.. 6 months and i already have battery icon burn in.. can easily see black spot on white background!! Using Galaxy Note!
10. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
I'm sorry for you. I have had a N8 with Amoled for almost 20 months and none of problems mentioned above.
11. andro. (Posts: 1955; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
Screen burn can happen,I've seen maybe about 5 phones come back for repair with it. Considering the thousands of phones we've sold with amoled its happened to about 5 its a very rare occurance
12. wendygarett (unregistered)
That because you are using nokia, we are talking about sammy here :)
15. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)
I've had my Galaxy Nexus since launch day and no burn in issues here, same for my girlfriend...
Granted, I change my nav bar icons and notification bar enough that it may have an impact on this.
19. JC557 (Posts: 1103; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)
If you've seen the display phones at various stores you can see the burn in on light colored backgrounds. Usually the phone shuts the display off or goes into a screen saver mode to prevent this but I'm guessing the display models don't.
13. sorcio46 (Posts: 395; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
Galaxy Note user and i don't have any kind of these problems :-).
Waiting for Full-HD super AMOLED :D
16. OpTiMuS_BlAcK (Posts: 411; Member since: 04 May 2012)
The best one for me is LG's True HD IPS displays.
Just. plain. stunning.
23. Schuler2828 (Posts: 56; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)
I have a display and I can read things on it end of story.