The evolution of displays: the journey from LCD to AMOLED

The evolution of displays: the journey from LCD to AMOLED
If you want to know about the importance of a certain component, look at whether its size grows compared to others. If we take smartphone screens, they are now dominating devices, now often replacing any other physical or capacitive screens. Our smartphone is rapidly becoming our screen with a chip hooked to it.

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.

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26 Comments

1. wendygarett unregistered

For some reason I prefer SLCD from Sony and OLED from Sharp...

22. loken

Posts: 462; Member since: May 09, 2012

Hmm wonder why sony dont put sLCD on their phones..

24. wendygarett unregistered

sony prefer sharp display :)

25. loken

Posts: 462; Member since: May 09, 2012

oh.. okk

26. randomguest

Posts: 20; Member since: Jun 26, 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: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 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: Jul 20, 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: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 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: Jul 20, 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: Jun 26, 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 unregistered

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: Jul 20, 2012

That is not true, since the human eye is not able to detect the difference.

18. serious9010

Posts: 254; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

*the difference between 342 ppi (sony) and 330 ppi (apple)

21. randomguest

Posts: 20; Member since: Jun 26, 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: Oct 19, 2011

Not quite. 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: Jan 15, 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: Apr 10, 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: Oct 17, 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: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 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: Oct 07, 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: 1919; Member since: Dec 07, 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: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 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: 418; Member since: May 04, 2012

The best one for me is LG's True HD IPS displays. Just. plain. stunning.

23. Schuler2828

Posts: 59; Member since: Jul 04, 2012

I have a display and I can read things on it end of story.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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