Every month, well almost every month (thanks to the growing smartphone community), we see a new phone, which claims to be the best smartphone ever, hitting the market. One of the major USP of these smartphones is the display or what we know as the screen. With every new phone, comes a new name, be it AMOLED or retina display, the name in itself doesn’t explain much. So whats the fuss all about? Here we tell you everything you need to know.
What is OLED
It stands for “Organic light emitting diode”, and basically it is nothing but a LED(Light emitting diode). The layer in this which emits the light is basically made of organic compounds which emit light in response to an electric current. If we go in to the details, it a deep science but we don’t really need to know that, all that stuff can be left to the scientists. An OLED screen does not need a back light(form of illumination) and for this very reason it can display deep black levels. Black level is defined as the ‘darkest part’ of a visual image. Hence in dark rooms where the ambient light conditions are low, an OLED powered screen can achieve higher contrast ratios.
Some of the advantages of OLED display are, wider viewing angles, improved brightness and better power efficiency just to name a few. And like they say, every rose has its thorns, it is prone to water damage and also poor outdoor performance.
What is AMOLED
It is another type of OLED, and stands for “ Active matric organic light emitting diode”, and now as we already know is a technology which is used in mobile phones and also televisions. Refresh rates are higher in case of AMOLEDS as compared to their previous counterparts OLED. And it is also more efficient. That is, it consumes less power which is a very big advantage it has over OLED. And we all know how critical battery life is to a smartphone. And less power consumption means better battery life.
Again like OLED, AMOLED had higher contrast ratios. Although the maximum brightness has been reduced in order to compensate for the battery, and due to this AMOLED displays are difficult to view in direct sunlight. Another disadvantage is , the organic materials which are used in this technology degrade after a period of time. Following is a list of devices which use AMOLED display
- Dell Venue Pro
- Google Nexus One
- HTC Legend
- HTC Desire
- Nokia 700
- Nokia Lumia 800
- Nokia N79
- Nokia N8 andN85
- Samsung Omnia 2
- Samsung i7500 Galaxy
And there are many other devices but these are some common ones which all of us know about.
N 85 vs N 75 vs N95
What is Super AMOLED
“Super active matrix organic light emitting diode”. This again is a display technology and you can call an update to AMOLED, and this is generally used in just mobile phones. One thing which differentiates it from the other display technologies is that the layer which is responsible to detect the touch in integrated into the screen itself. The advantage which it has over AMOLED screen is , it is brighter, a lot brighter,clearer and has lesser sunlight reflection. In the end we get a superb image quality for both photos and videos. The following devices use SUPER AMOLED display.
- Samsung Galaxy S
- Samsung Focus
- Samsung Wave
- Samsung Omnia W
- Samsung Omnia 7
Galaxy S vs iPhone 4
What is Super AMOLED HD
This is next generation SUPER AMOLED, developed by none other than Samsung. Since what our eyes can see is limited, I can be eloquent enough to describe the display on this one but what shall we expect? Bright ,sharp, crisp ,higher contrast ratio etc etc? Yes it delivers all of the above. But how is it different from SUPER AMOLED? Why just add HD? Well the answer lies in the resolution. The first device to host this technology was Samsung galaxy note! The huge smartphone which has a resolution of 1280X800. And the second phone to incorporate it was Samsung galaxy nexus. I am not familiar with any other phone using this technology but as I have laid my hands on galaxy note, I can tell you the screen is very very very clear and has vivid colours.
And now coming to my favourite, The retina display, the one which made all the other displays famous. Otherwise there was never any light thrown on the display part of a cell phone, but call it the wonderful marketing techniques of Sir Steve jobs or whatever, Apple got successful with this technology. Retina display is just another jargon , basically used for a very bright and a clear screen, branding it under the name of retina display, it became a sensation. A USP in itself. But there is a science involved. Study says, if you hold a screen of a given resolution at about 10-12 inches from your eyes, the ability to distinguish the pixels diminishes. Hence the name RETINA display. Boasting a contrast ratio os 800:1, such high contrast ration for a mobile phone is a BIG THING. So all in all, retina display is nothing but a SUPER SHARP DISPLAY.
Clear Black Display
This technology belongs to our beloved Nokia. What it does is, it adds a reflection blocking polarizer between the layers of the display panel and the touch screen. And hence giving a better outdoor performance. Though its function is same as that of SUPER AMOLED( better outdoor performance) but it is not same as SUPER AMOLED itself. In the picture below, you can see the difference for yourself, on the left is a nokia c6 phone with CBD and on the right, without CBD.
Which is the best ? A very debatable topic. Each has their own pros and cons. SO cant fight it out in an article but yes one thing which I can assure you, with the display technologies we have today or the ones which we are going to have in future, buy any phone, you wont regret what you buy as far as the display part is concerned. Such cut throat is the competition that every smartphone manufacturer sees to it that their next product boasts of a bright and a sharp and a very competitive display.