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Which screen is best: Super AMOLED, Super LCD or Retina display?

Which screen is best: Super AMOLED, Super LCD or Retina display?
Thanks to Samsung's success with the Galaxy S handsets, it has had to keep most of the Super AMOLED  and AMOLED screens it produces. That has left other manufacturers like HTC without the displays it needs to continue production of phones like the Droid Incredible and the Desire. Instead of waiting for Samsung to increase production, the Taiwanese based  firm is replacing the AMOLED screen on many of its phones with Sony's Super LCD display.

Check out the video below to see a comparison between the Super LCD display on an HTC Desire, the Retina display on the iPhone 4 and the Super AMOLED screen on the Canadian version of the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant I9000. To give you some background on each screen, the Desire is 3.7 inches with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. Apple's Retina display comes in at 960 x 640 on the same 3.5 inch sized screen as seen on prior iPhone models. Finally, this variant of the Galaxy S is equipped with a Super AMOLED display that comes in at the same 480 x 800 resolution as on the Desire.

Based on the video, it looks like the iPhone 4's Retina display comes in first followed by the Super LCD display and then the Super AMOLED screen. While staring at a video is not the best way to make this decision, anyone out there have a different order of placement?

Apple iPhone 4 Specifications | Review
HTC Desire Specifications | Review (European version)
Samsung Galaxy S I9000 Specifications | Review (European version)

source: IntoMobile


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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:48

1. rtimi26 (Posts: 41; Member since: 16 Mar 2009)


Super Amoled & Retina Display draw S-LCD Reason is when one actually compares you see that color is better on SAmoled than retina and retina has better sharpness than SAmoled. As for S-lcd it didn't bit Samoled in color nor did it bit retina in sharpness. The best comparison is to have all with the same screen size, then you will see that S-lcd is dead last based on the same resolution as tested above that is. Don't forget that the smallest of the 3 is iphone and that's what makes it sharper but color doesn't necessarrily need size and that's why in the end I pick SAmoled as overall because it's not as grainy as people make it out to be.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 11:52

2. rent (unregistered)


While "best" is a subjective concept I can say that they all are good on their own way. Super AMOLED = the word on contrast, even with the lower pixel density the definition is JUST FINE, so it's not like it is bad on that. Retina display = the excellence on definition, the contrast is excellent though not as much as the super AMOLED. this is the screen for definition adepts. Also has the higher bright possibility. Super LED = the energy efficiency that AMOLED lacks when White content is shown, good contrast. It's up to each one what's more important. Sharpness and definition excellence, super high contrast, or HTC :P

posted on 12 Sep 2010, 18:28

32. subjective? (unregistered)


"Best" is not subjective, there are plenty of ways to measure that scientifically. What should be noted is, in order to determine the best you have to have standards that each test object has to live up to then give the title of "best" to the best in each category. Then you can determine overall which one is better than the other but you could never truly say one is the best because one will always do at least one thing better than the other. But "best" is never subjective just like "good" isn't subjective. For instance: a band that play consistantly out of tune and sync with one another while having terrible lyrics and a terrible melody could in no way be considered good even though every kid that listens to hardcore will tell you otherwise. While you have a band that plays pitch perfect, in sync, never skipping a beat, and having intelligent & sensical lyrics and people would still say they were bad(i.e. Coldplay)

posted on 14 Sep 2010, 05:12

33. GlenDempster (unregistered)


Agree that 'best for a certain purpose' would be more useful - for instance AMOLED has a quick response time so would be good for watching films or playing graphically demanding games (found this helpful article - seems less biased than most!http://www.tangerinesoup.com/phone-reviews/pay-and-display.html ) but AMOLED is less good for text, where LED is king. So guess it comes down to whether your phone is for business or pleasure (and what you choose to do in your leisure time).

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 12:29

3. Taaars73 (unregistered)


Samsung never released the super amoled screen on any device. Htc units only ever had AMOLED displays, fact check before publishing.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 13:27

5. zerglisk (Posts: 544; Member since: 09 Feb 2010)


Yea, hTC never gets to use S. Amoled screen yet. S.amoled is looking way nicer than the regular amoled screen imo when I look at both phones with different type of screens.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 16:02

13. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


This article never mentioned anything about other manufacturers using samoled. Read carefully before making such comments.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 20:16

24. taaars73 (unregistered)


it did earlier..I think they caught it.

posted on 30 Mar 2011, 07:04

40. 007 (unregistered)


@Taaars73-
asshole samsung has realesd its set samsnung wave n galaxy with SUPERAMOLED screen it ws realsd in June 2010....before cmmntng plz find out the facts.....!

posted on 09 Oct 2011, 15:56

43. iReece (unregistered)


That comment was made over 6 months before either of those devices were released.
Before you start trolling, learn to spell and learn to read the time-stamps.

And, Retina Display simply has a larger pixel density. Meaning it is all around good. Try zooming in on something as far as possible on a Samsung Galaxy S, then try again on the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 wins. Sure, films may not be on the iPhone 4's side, but, the difference is hardly noticed.

And, in response to the person who stated the screen size affects the resolution. You sir, are rather mislead. The long-awaited iPad 3 is coming out next year and is said to be featuring the Retina Display. Larger display, better comparison.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 12:30

4. Taaars73 (unregistered)


On any device other than galaxy s

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 13:47

6. Totoro (unregistered)


SuperAMOLED is the best, Retina comes second very closely, SuperLCD is third by a larger margin.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 13:49

7. rafael.roque (Posts: 78; Member since: 03 Jul 2010)


I don't mind comparing screen technologies; what I do mind is Phonearena missinforming their readers...Point and case: There is no such thing as a Retina screen technology; Apple uses screen technology IPS LCD. Apple named it Retina display because of the resolution to size ratio of the screen. In fact, the so call Retina display could only be possible because Apple doubled the 320x480 resolution of previous iPhones while keeping the same screen size(3.5").

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 14:51

9. icesick06 (Posts: 28; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)


Im glad someone knows what theyre talking about. Its so hard to do screen comparisons as it is. To get a true comparison, you need to eliminate to main variables that most screen tests overlook. Screen size and resolution. Get 3 displays with one having Super AMOLED, one SLCD and one IPS LCD. Have all 3 the same screen size and the same resolution. Then you would be able to compare and contrast the true differences in the technology.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 15:29

12. shayan (Posts: 148; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


yeah, retana isn't a new tecnology. and, S-LCD isnt sonys work. Its a joint venture bitwen sony and samsung. and samsung has 50% +1 share of it.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 16:05

14. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


There was nowhere in the article that states that retina display is a new display technology. It's only what Apple called the iphone4's display. So you are wrong of accusing Phone Arena of misinforming their readers. Are you mad that they judged the retina display as the best between the three?

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 16:29

16. icesick06 (Posts: 28; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)


Yes we know that is does not state that the "retina" display is a new display technology. What we are letting people know is that, although Apple might give it a specific name, the display is still a form of LCD technology. Not everyone who reads these articles is going to know that. I embrace all technology, so if you like the retina display, thats fine with me. If you like Super AMOLED or SLCD, thats fine with me too. All people are going to have there own opinions on whats best. It all depends on what works for them.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 17:11

19. rafael.roque (Posts: 78; Member since: 03 Jul 2010)


Just for the sake of arguement, no I am not mad at all. Further you only proved my point because you yourself have been missinformed already... I can't help but feel that you are incapable of reading, understanding, and analyzing this article or my post for that matter. But that's ok, because I'm not perfect either. As it turns out, phonearena itself was missinformed by the original source of the article: Intomobile.com. So in a small way you are right ;-).

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 17:49

20. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


But don't accuse Phone Arena of misinforming their readers that retina display is a new technology. And also, don't prejudge people to be ignorant and not know that retina display is just a name behind IPS LCD technology.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 18:42

21. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


Oh please. It was very clear when you accused Phone Arena of misinforming their readers. Read your fist post again please. Stop making excuses for yourself and just admit your mistake. Like you said, you are not perfect :-)

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 20:04

23. remixfa (Posts: 13936; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


what really kept irking me is the dude kept saying "of course the iphones display is super sharp.. is this ... is that" the man had his mind made up before hand and was trying to ever so slickly convince you that its the best. i have a vibrant, i have seen many iphone4s. Yea, the vibrant doesnt have the pixel density that the iphone 4 has, but the iphone4's display doesnt have nearly the contrast or the color depth that the S.Amoled displays have. Since i dont normally stick my face 3 inches from my phone to read the news, at arms length the resolution difference is minimal, yet the contrast difference is huge. Ill take my S.Amoled display every time. Rent, S.Amoled beats the pants off all other screen tech for battery sipping, as long as there isnt much white on the screen. thats the only time that Amoled comes short. Many apps have a background color change setting so its not really an issue for when u read your news n stuff. the point was already made about the screen sizes, so the test is inneficient at best, biased at worse.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 21:49

25. rafael.roque (Posts: 78; Member since: 03 Jul 2010)


I wonder how long we can keep this up?...

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 21:50

26. rafael.roque (Posts: 78; Member since: 03 Jul 2010)


Let's just agree to disagree ok?

posted on 10 Sep 2010, 00:54

27. shayan (Posts: 148; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


actually, although I like samsung the most among these manufacturers, I had the same order of placement for these screens. I worked with SuperAMOLED and I didnt like the cross formation of pixels. I dont know what they call it, but pixels form a X on a solid color. and I was very pleased with the sharpness of apples ( LGs) retana display. I hardly see any pixle. ( though, it wasnt beyond eyes capability too see them, as they say.) I havent seen any S-LCD displays yet, but Im gonna place it as the seccond one. I was just informing you that S-LCD isnt just sonys work.

posted on 10 Sep 2010, 11:09

28. remixfa (Posts: 13936; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Yea, you can notice the "x" if u want to call it that across straight lines.. its more pronounced on some colors than others for whatever reason.. at regular viewing distance u dont notice it. Of course, the iphone4 is not going to be as noticible, its a half inch smaller screen with a higher resolution and pixel density... lol you can have the "retina" display. its not bad by any means though. i am more of a contrast person. pure blacks and better color representation on a more responcive lower power use screen are better for me. i dont even notice the "XXXX" on my vibrant unless im really looking for it.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 14:33

8. jtucker1987 (Posts: 89; Member since: 06 May 2010)


Retina display only because I saw the samsung fascinate today and do not find that it looks better. It is, however, not far off from the retina display.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 19:23

22. NobularNation (unregistered)


I agree. They both look very alike. I think the distinctino is that the S. Amoled saves the most power.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 15:05

10. phoneguru26 (unregistered)


NERDS!! I love it

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 15:13

11. redwest (unregistered)


Where in the story is the retina display called a technology...its merely the named used by Apple for the display.I think you guys are complaining about nothing.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 16:09

15. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


For me, all 3 screens are very good. Although the iphone's retina display has more advantage because of its more natural looking colors and crispier text. Samsung's samoled display only has the advantage in rendering pure blacks, but then it does not render whites accurately, but rather bluish white. It all boils down to personal preference. I think all of these displays will make any user happy.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 16:34

17. sprintlover (unregistered)


i bet if samsung doubled their resolution like the iphone they wouldnt compare. I've seen the retina and samoled in person and both displays are brilliant but i'd have to say that samoled is better based on aesthetics. The iphone's display is indeed more crisp but i wouldnt imagine any display not being crisp with a resolution that high. It would be best of both worlds if samsung increased their pixel density/resolution.

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 16:38

18. ddlkm (unregistered)


pitch black room is best 2 c the difference between them

posted on 10 Sep 2010, 11:12

29. remixfa (Posts: 13936; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


yea, the SAmoled rules that contest. pure blacks and great color representation. an LCD even the "retina" doesnt display pure blacks.. its more of a dark grey. makes all the difference to me. Ill take slightly lower resolution and great colors over higher resolution and flat colors.

posted on 11 Sep 2010, 21:47

30. clevername (Posts: 1429; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


I'd have to give it to retina display because of resolution. Jobs was right. Most people wont be able to even see the pixels. Sure if u put it close to ur face but most people don't hold their phone right in front of their face. Yes the samoled does truer blacks. Yes black on a samoled is almost as gorgeous as the sharpness of a retina display. It's beautiful. And yes the samoled has colors that "pop" more. Those two areas beat the retina display. No argument. But the color on the retina display is almost just as good. Black are backlit yes and that's why they don look as good. Oled displays actually shut off pixels for black color. So the black is actually an Absence of color. Can't get better black, but the retinas black is far from dark grey. Aside from the resolution, the fact that it has a truer white, not bluish is a huge advantage. Everyone talks about true blacks but fail to mention that almost every phone has bluish whites. A huge thing. The resolution would be different on a different size screen. But fact is there isn't a different screen size. Not with that many ppi. And any other screen 3.5 or smaller has the chance to match and don't

posted on 12 Sep 2010, 01:00

31. dan o (unregistered)


super amoled is the best among the rest... its like looking with your own eyes disregard the fact that it was shot using a digicam but still it looks like im the one peeking at it real time... iphone 4 display or retina what apple flaunts just to go with the game of having great names for displays even though its just a NORMAL LCD they keep on insisting RETINA display to look more sophisticated and luxurious... you know... money is apples wish. SLCD ... another LCD just add SUPER to the LCD hahaha no match for even a normal amoled.

posted on 18 Nov 2010, 15:48

34. Albert (unregistered)


SuperAmoled displays are the best as much as i love iphone and htc phones only a blind couldn't stop noticing the lack of reflection, the superior sharpness the exterme vivid colors and fab contrast of a phone with a super-amoled display. the reason?

so honest and simple, no glass screen to reflect light, no dedicated liquid banged in between to frames (liquid cristal), and finally no layer to catch toutch signal, only two panels simple as that.

posted on 25 Nov 2010, 05:54

35. j (unregistered)


youtube clip he was not on hd on galaxy s and other 2 where it is going to look a little grainy you fu*king retard.

posted on 21 Dec 2010, 16:15

36. Vasanthan (unregistered)


Super AMOLED is the king of all display screens presently available in the market. There is no doubt about it. I find that the above comparison to be a biased one. Retina comes second for sure. But Super LCD is not at all there in the race. However I would love to have a screen that has the contrast ratio of Super AMOLED and resolution of retina. I think that would be ultimate destination of display screens for humans. I mean it cannot get better than that.

posted on 04 Jan 2011, 01:39

37. barrak obama (unregistered)


hey guys! how bout we get some health care reform in here? huh....eh?

posted on 23 Jan 2011, 02:17

38. sony ericsson xperia x10 (unregistered)


I'll choose sony's slcd. Please do not think that super amoled is always the best. And you know what, I really hate apple and Samsung

posted on 26 Mar 2011, 23:49

39. sssdddaaa222 (unregistered)


Ratina is the best, Super LCD is distant second and Super AMOLED is distant last.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 01:05

41. nick (unregistered)


SuperAMOLED z the best, then IPhone's LCD and then SuperLCD.....

posted on 17 Jun 2011, 03:44

42. drgooglib (unregistered)


The Super LCD is the best of the three. I'd put the Super AMOLED at 2nd, and the iPhone retina screen at a distant third.

posted on 14 Mar 2012, 22:38

44. KhrazyMe (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Mar 2012)


http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i9000_galaxy_s_vs_apple_iphone_4-review-500p3.php

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