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



1. rtimi26

Posts: 42; Member since: Mar 16, 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.

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

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)

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).

3. Taaars73 unregistered

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

5. zerglisk

Posts: 544; Member since: Feb 09, 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.

13. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

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

24. taaars73 unregistered

it did earlier..I think they caught it.

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.....!

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.

4. Taaars73 unregistered

On any device other than galaxy s

6. Totoro unregistered

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

7. rafael.roque

Posts: 78; Member since: Jul 03, 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").

9. icesick06

Posts: 30; Member since: Nov 03, 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.

12. shayan

Posts: 159; Member since: Sep 09, 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.

14. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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?

16. icesick06

Posts: 30; Member since: Nov 03, 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.

19. rafael.roque

Posts: 78; Member since: Jul 03, 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 ;-).

20. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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.

21. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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 :-)

23. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

25. rafael.roque

Posts: 78; Member since: Jul 03, 2010

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

26. rafael.roque

Posts: 78; Member since: Jul 03, 2010

Let's just agree to disagree ok?

27. shayan

Posts: 159; Member since: Sep 09, 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.

28. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

8. jtucker1987

Posts: 89; Member since: May 06, 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.

22. NobularNation unregistered

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

10. phoneguru26 unregistered

NERDS!! I love it

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.

15. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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.

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