The idea of a touchscreen came to light in 1965 but didn’t become mainstream until 2007. Since then, mobile screen technologies have significantly advanced. Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed the introduction of high-resolution, foldable, and flexible displays.
So, what are the best mobile screen technologies currently available? Stick around and find out.
Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED), made from thin electroluminescent sheets, is one of the best smartphone displays adopted by premium brands like Samsung and Apple. These displays are purer black and work by releasing light when a current passes through them.
In simple terms, OLEDs are always off until the pixels are powered, thus consuming less energy. Generally, the screens have a quick refresh rate but are less visible in direct sunlight since they aren’t backlit. Nonetheless, lacking a backlight layer makes them more flexible and thinner in size.
Liquid Crystal Displays, or LCD screens, work by lighting liquid crystals using a backlight. It is a popular smartphone choice for its affordability and less manufacturing cost than OLED.
LCD screens were common in old devices like calculators and game toys. With recent technological development, these displays now rely on the Thin Film Transistor (TFT) layer. This tech’s backlight layer causes LCD devices to be slightly thicker and less flexible.
Smartphones with LCD screens are visible in direct sunlight because of the backlight. Therefore you can easily operate your phone, scroll through social media, play casino games or stay updated with the latest happenings in the WSOP main event even when you’re outside, all without any trouble related to visibility.
However, this might compromise accurate color representation, making them less competitive than OLED. Pictures with LCDs may appear whitish but generally look more natural.
Active Matrix OLED is similar to LCD since it uses TFT to regulate the current individual pixels received. Think of AMOLED as an improved version of LCD with lower battery usage and more vibrant displays but less bright.
AMOLED takes the lead regarding refresh rate as its pixels can be quickly activated. This display has a higher picture quality than OLED. It additionally has a new tech, Super AMOLED, which you can enjoy in the latest Samsung phones.
The main difference between the new model and its predecessor is that its touchscreen layer is not on top of the screen. This feature is directly in-built, making it easier to view in sunlight.
Other variations of this display include:
- Fluid and Dynamic AMOLED, used in OnePlus and Samsung phones. They can alternate between refresh rates.
- POLED (Plastic OLED) a term coined by Samsung. It has a plastic layer instead of glass present in AMOLED.
Retina refers to any display with a high pixel density that is impossible to see with the human eye from a distance. Apple trademarked the term intending to make a screen smoother than OLED, LED, and AMOLED combined.
Several retina variations have been developed over the years, and they include versions such as:
- Retina HD
- Super Retina HD and XDR
- Liquid Retina HD and XDR
- Retina 4K, 4.5K, 5K, and 6K
The evolution of mobile screen technologies is just starting, and we can expect to see even more advancements soon. With that said, always pay close attention to the model’s screen type when purchasing a smartphone to ensure it suits your needs.