Smartphone display LCD VS OLED: Where is the difference?

We often hear various phone screens, such as notch screens and full-screen screens, but there are always two types of screens: LCD and OLED. So, how do choose the time to buy a new phone?

What is LCD and OLED

LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display, which is very common and generally available in homes. It does not support self-illumination, needs a backlight, and can only emit white light. To project the three primary colors, it is necessary to use a layer of the color filter to color them.

OLED is the abbreviation of organic light-emitting diode, which is an organic self-luminous material with its light-emitting function. When there is an electric current, these organic materials will emit light, projecting the three primary colors of red, green, and blue light.

When the black interface is displayed, the screen and the black panel of the phone are almost integrated. OLED can be further divided into AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) screens and Super AMOLED screens.

The difference between LCD and OLED

Imaging effect

Imaging effect
Photo by Mitya Ivanov on Unsplash

Since the LCD has a backlight layer, the LCD can emit light by refracting light, and the color saturation is not very high, so the display effect is relatively natural. As a result, looking at the LCD screen is not easy to get tired, so it can protect the eyes.

On the other hand, OLED can make each pixel project three primary colors of light for self-luminescence, so the display effect is more vivid. However, since the OLED screen cannot guarantee that each sub-pixel has the same light-emitting effect, it is prone to the burn-in screen.

Thickness

LCD screens are thicker and cannot be bent, which also determines that mobile phones with such screens will have larger bezels, such as iPhone 11. OLED is thinner and more flexible.

Manufacturers are trying to increase the screen share of smartphones, hoping to hide as many components as possible under the screen, such as screen fingerprints and cameras.

And the function of OLED coincides with the development of full screen, so now more and more mobile phones adopt OLED screens.

Price

Due to the maturity of liquid crystal technology, there are many applications. Whether it is the price of low-end machines or mid-to-high-end machines, the price of LCD screens is relatively low. On the other hand, OLED-based mobile phones are always flagship products, so the price will be slightly higher than LCD mobile phones.

Contrast

Contrast also means black performance, which is the biggest shortcoming of LCD screens, because the liquid crystal layer cannot be completely closed. When the LCDs are black, part of the light will pass through the color layer. Therefore, the black of the LCD screen is a mixture of white and black.

Life

Since LCD uses inorganic materials and OLED uses organic materials, the life span of OLED is not as long as that of LCD.

Energy consumption

Due to the different lighting modes of the panels, in the same black screen mode, the OLED will not emit light, and the LCD will emit black light. Since LCDs will display color effects, color filters are needed, which will cause the overall light efficiency to drop by more than 67%.

In addition, the light value function of LCD is based on the premise of polarized light, which in turn leads to a 50% loss of brightness. It is said that LCD uses no more than 15% of backlight brightness and 85% of energy is wasted. Therefore, the power consumption of OLED is higher than that of LCD.

Is buying a mobile phone with an OLED screen the best choice

In the above comparison, we can see that OLED has great advantages over LCD, including better contrast, black performance, wider color gamut, lighter, thinner, bendable, etc. According to 2020 estimates, more than half of smartphones will use OLED displays.

However, LCD is still the most mature technology in display screens, which is the most mainstream choice on the market, and the price is acceptable. Even eye irritation will become smaller.

For example, in March 2018, Samsung launched the S9 with the latest AMOLED screen, while Apple released the iPhone XR using LCD in November. Through actual comparison, it is found that the screens of these two phones are very similar in actual use.

In the above comparison, we can see that OLED has great advantages over LCD, including better contrast, black performance, wider color gamut, lighter, thinner, bendable, etc. According to 2020 estimates, more than half of smartphones will use OLED displays.

So far, it can be said that Apple, Huawei, and Samsung have adopted the best methods in mobile phone technology, quality control, and screen quality. The actual display and optimization techniques of the screen are excellent. The naked eye cannot distinguish any defects at all.

Therefore, when buying a new smartphone, we should pay attention to practicality, not new terms or common functions. Everyone should choose according to their preferences. And it is not wise to judge the quality of a mobile phone solely based on whether it is an OLED screen.

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