The OnePlus 3 features an 'Optic AMOLED' display: here's what it means

It means nothing.

Alright, that's probably a bit too harsh, and our good humored stab at OnePlus marketing may come across as hostile. It really isn't. But the fact is that 'Optical AMOLED', which is how the display is marketed on OnePlus' website, isn't an actual 'thing'. As in, it's not a new technology—at least not one that we've been made aware of. And we sure did some digging. The only reference to an Optic AMOLED display we could find anywhere is in regards to the OnePlus 3.

Obviously, OnePlus did mention a few potential benefits with the panel used with its third flagship:

These all sound great, though experience cautions patience. Once we get the OnePlus 3 in our offices, we'll run our full suite of display tests to determine if OnePlus really has a winner on their hands, screen wise. We're hoping that they do.

To be fair, OnePlus isn't the first manufacturer to employ marketing puffery when it comes to display tech. In fact, just recently, we covered a few common practices that can be potentially misleading. Samsung does something similar by calling its displays Super AMOLED, though they do differ from some AMOLEDs in that that the touch digitizer is glued to the panel. Still, every display supplied by Samsung to third parties is a Super AMOLED display as far as we know, though these partners apparently aren't allowed to market them as Super AMOLED. Just AMOLED.

We reached out to OnePlus for a comment, and they came back to us with the following:


Related phones

  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh



1. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

LOL love the iPA humor. Retina screen = a thing...but Optic AMOLED = marketing.

2. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

Retina is also a marketing term, not a technology. But it actually means something valid. You can read more here:

3. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Probably referring to how the marketing used, as if it were a technology, and touted such by an enormous amount of websites.

7. Iodine

Posts: 1480; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Retina HD involves a thinner panel, improved polarizer, high brightness, higher contrast, much better viewing angles and of course higher resolution in bigger size. Everything needed to incorporate some new technology, then work on putting it all together. Dual polarizer and "optical" oled promising better display quality sounds great, but we are talking about a 400$ phone from a niche company with a new fancy term that nobody ever used - chances are it's just a name of some old tech or a new tech that's not so great as it sounds. We well see in a review.

4. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Super Amoled means something too. It's means your are getting one of samsung's top end Amoled displays calibrated to near perfection with 800nits brightness on adaptive display (something phonearena always fails to mention in its display tests). Yes, maybe they do supply others and restrict them from calling them super Amoled but I'm 100% sure that the displays they give out to others are NOT the same displays you will find in its top end phones.

5. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Why does everyone quotes that mythical 800 nits of brightness when it is pure BS with almost no real-world usage? Only 1% or the screen can reach that brightness when other 99% is black (turned off). Even DisplayMate clearly stays that brightness on all white is barely above 400 nits (405 nits for S7 in basic mode).

8. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

Someone gets it. ;)

19. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

No..... they dont4. You are as likely to have an all black screen as you are to have an all white one. Do you get that?

27. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

But you guys will never get it. You guy dint even know to turn on automatic brightness while doing a display test or at least mention it. Do a favour if you couple of minutes free time, just go read other site's battery test and display test. They r more logical and least biased.

29. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

They did use automatic brightness, check out the comments in the article.

31. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

I read those comments but the author is huge iproduct lover. Seriously, reviews are not strong point of pa. I visit pa often because of the number of news and reading comments (it too fun Lol). I think The amount of favour given to Apple product is the main reason of too much hate present in pa's comment section lol.

32. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Why do you read articles written by "huge iptoduct lovers"?

33. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Why not? :-p I used to attendant classes that I don't like; Wht is ur point lol?

37. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Classes were/are mandatory, using iPhones and/or reading biased news is not. I'm ok with you wasting your time, reading things that are not of interest for you, but stop wasting our time, posting opinions that are irrelevant to us.

38. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

"Irrelevant to us" stop acting like ur a leader or smthing lol. People share their opinion, that's the comment section is for. Besides u r also doing exactly the same thing as I did lol. If u didn't like my comment or is irrelevant to u (like u claimed) then why comment in the first place? U doesn't make any sense at all lol.... But I'm also fine with u wasting ur time:P

40. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I reply to people like you so that people of good faith don't believe bulls*it or biased opinions. iPhones get so much attention because they worth it, so do Samsung phones (if you analyze pa, you'll find way more Android related news and that's only natural). We - the users, no matter what platform we choose - should be happy if users from other platforms are getting features we have gotten for a long time, because all we should care is that our products get better, other products get better also and the companies compete to bring us innovative features.

42. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Lol..i don't hate iPhone or Samsung phones. I don't like trolling. In fact I do consider iPhone as one of the best flagship phone available. I hate this bias to certain brand. Certain writers in PA is clearly giving too much favour toward Apple products. All u need is little common sense to understand that. What's u are actually doing is not protecting "people of good faith " but ur actually protecting biased articles and reviews. (U do know certain companies pay sites don't u? ) No matter who replies or who reads I don't give a damn I will certainly comment if i saw such biasness anywhere. But I believe ur intention was good but misled, so have a good day.. Chill out dude...

10. Iodine

Posts: 1480; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Even LG's 850 nits hold more credibility... But still BS more or less.

11. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

No, the brightness reaches around 530 nits for pure white in auto mode on the S7 and 600 nits for S6. Anandtech tests for 100% APL which means the whole screen is white. Even displaymate states that the brightness is 549 nits in auto brightness for 100% APL and 850 for 1% APL. Get your facts straight. To be honest there is no use viewing a pure white page in daylight. 50% APL would make more sense and in that case the brightness is closer to 650-700 nits.

12. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

I didn't mention Anandtech and their review, I used numbers from displaymate since everyone quotes them as some holy grail of display testing. It clearly states on their site that Galaxy S7 in basic mode hits 405 nits of brightness for all white image. And all white (almost all white is very common use case since most websites have white background. Office documents (Word and Excel) also use white background, movies beside of Nolan's Batman trilogy are often "white heavy", most third party apps have white background.

13. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

Go to displaymate and check again. It states 549-850 nits on auto brightness. That means 549 nits on 100% APL and 850 on 1%. Anamdtech numbers back that claim. The 400 something nits is for manual brightness. I'm not saying you're wrong, you're just misleaded.

15. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

I know what you are saying and I still claim a manual 100% brightness as more important since auto brightness isn't Rec.709 calibrated. With auto brightness you are loosing greatest perk of the screen (perfect color calibration). That is also why i mentioned only Basic mode and not AMOLED photo and Adaptive display.

21. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

I think on a washed out screen in strong daylight people would take higher brightness over colour accuracy any day if the week

28. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

No one gives a flying f**k about color accuracy in daylight. Boosted colors improve readability. Also the boost is even applicable to basic mode. 550 nits boosted is much more readable than regular 550 nits with poor contrast. So it's in even more favour of mine. In ambient light, the colour accuracy is skewed anyway due to ambient light and reflections. So calibrated screen doesn't mean anything. And since you're talking about pure white here, boosted colours won't be visible. Anyway, brightness means little.

20. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Movies white heavy...... lol. Why do you think they battery life is so good watching movies on Amoled screens?

18. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

So you're saying it can't go to 800 nits unless it has an all black screen BUT it can only go to 400 with an all white screen? I'm guessing that people will have an all white screen about as often as they have an all black Screen if you catch my drift. Basically you are using an all white screen to win an argument against an all black screen

23. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

I stated lots of other use case scenarios beyond movies, and movies comment was meant as a joke (hence, Batman trilogy mentioning). Still only cases when I don't have predominantly white screen is gallery (depends on a picture) and video playback (depends on a video). Maybe you do have white/black screen ratio of 50/50 but in most cases I've seen screen is mostly (80% or more) white.

14. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Really? Is that only in S7? S6 tested here shows the nits are pretty low. The highest nits came from 950XL which is 705. No other phone seems to reach that high.

17. Phonehex

Posts: 762; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

Yeah, so now Wikipedia is always true?

22. tedkord

Posts: 17352; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It doesn't, actually. It's just a tech weenie term Apple coined for marketing. The resolution of the human eye at one foot is actually nearly double "retina" display resolutions. It's variable dependent on each individual's vision, of course.

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