Difference Between AMOLED and LCD


Generally, there are two types of mobile display technology in use these days, the AMOLED and LCD. Both of these Display technologies are based on completely different technologies.

We will get deep with this and look for the basic and technical difference between both the AMOLED and LCD displays.


Let’s start with AMOLED, to get to know with AMOLED we should probably start with OLED technology.

Coming to OLED it is hidden in the name of AMOLED but the key component of all these terms is the LED (Light Emitting Diode). With no doubt, the Electronics hobbyists have played around with these tiny lights before, but when it comes to the display panel, these tiny lights are even diminished greatly and lined as red, green and Blue bunch to create an individual pixel, these pixels will produce you white and tons of colors out. These little subpixels can slightly change the display’s performance.

OLED layers,OLED display

But with the OLED, the O stands for Organic. Simply saying, with OLED there are a series of thin organic material films placed between two conductors in each of the LED, this will then produce light when a current is applied to it.

Finally, when it comes to the AMOLED, the AM part stands for Active Matrix, instead of a passive matrix technology. This term tells us, that how each little OLED is controlled. When it comes to the passive matrix, a complicated framework system is used to control each individual pixels, this is where the integrated circuits control a charge that sent down for each column or row. But anyway, this system works slow and can be imperfect. Active Matrix systems is attached with a TFT (Thin Film Transistor) and a capacitor for each LED. This manner, when a row and column is activated to access a pixel, the capacitor, which is at the correct pixel can maintain its charge in between refresh cycles, this allows to perform faster and more exact control.


There is one other term you will notice with LED is the Super AMOLED. This term Super AMOLED comes in with Samsung’s marketing, where the displays incorporate the capacitive touchscreen all the way into the display, rather than keeping a separate layer on top of the display. This Super AMOLED makes the display even thinner.

The major advantage from the OLED is, these type of displays comes in with the huge level of control that can be applied to each pixel. Still the pixels can be completely switched off, this allows deep blacks and a high contrast ratio. Also, this allows to dim and turn off individual pixels to save on power. But the lack of other layers on top of the LEDs means that, the maximum amount of light reaches the display surface, this makes you out brighter images along with better viewing angles either.

Also the use of LEDs makes the displays be very thin and makes them ideal for mobile devices. With all that, the lack of a rigid backlight and innovations in flexible plastic substrates has already produced out some early generation flexible OLED displays. These are really promising for wearables and to create new form of displays.


The term LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. This reproduces colors quite differently than AMOLED. Rather than using individual light emitting components like AMOLED, the LCD displays depend on a backlight as the sole light source. However multiple backlights can be used across with the display to save power consumption, but this is more required on larger screens (TV).

When we consider things scientifically, the White light is not an individual wavelength. The white light is a mixture of all visible colors of the color spectrum. So the LCD backlights have to create a fake white light as effectively as possible, and then this will be filtered into vary of different colors via the liquid crystal element of the display. Most of LCDs depend on a blue LED backlight and this light is filtered with a yellow phosphor coating, and this produces a fake white light.

white LED vs RGB LED

The most complicated part of the action comes next, as the light is then polarised and passed through the crystal element. These crystal can be twisted to different degrees depending on the voltage applied to it, this will adjust the angle of the polarized light. Then the light passes through a second polarized filter that is already offset by 90 degrees compared with the previous one, this will attenuate the light based on its angle. Now finally, a red, green or blue color filter is applied to this light, and these sub-pixels are set into group as a pixel to adjust the specific color across the display.

With all this things combined, this allows the LCD display to control the sum of RGB light to reach the exterior by killing a backlight, rather than providing a colored light with each of the pixel. Also, Just like the AMOLED, LCD displays can either be active or passive matrix with the devices. Still all of the mobile phones are packed in with active TFT LCD displays.



The wide variation in the way that the light is produced has quite a deep difference when it comes to the user experience. The color gamut is mostly spoken about the difference between the Super AMOLED and the LCD display types. The AMOLED provides a greater and huge range of color options than the LCD displays, as the result the AMOLED puts out vibrant looking images.


The OLED displays are recognized for additional green and blue saturations, as these use to be the most powerful color in the subpixel order and the very little green light is required for the white light. Some of the observers find that this little extra saturation produces outputs that are slightly unnatural looking. Basically the LCDs use to overcompensate into the reds, and more with subdued greens. Even though it will not possess quite such a wide gamut, LCD displays commonly offer a very close match to the Standard FBG color gamut profile which is used by most of the image and video media.

Also the color accuracy is another remarkable difference, particularly when it comes to whites. With our testing the best and accurate outputs was offered with OLED displays, while the LCD display outputs are in a slight blue color. This was not that surprising though, as the LCD displays are based on a filtered blue backlight in common.

As already we mentioned, the lack of a backlight and the filtering layers also weighs a bit heavily on OLED over the LCD. The LCD displays mostly suffer from light bleed and a lower contrast ratio as the display backlight will not switch off even when the pixels are supposed to be black, while at this point the OLED can simply switch off the pixels. The LCD’s filtering layer also practically blocks some of the light and the extra depth means that the viewing angles are reduced when compared with the OLED.

But still the only downside of AMOLED is that the different LEDs have different life spans with it, this means at the end the individual RBG light components demean at minimal different rates. Also, the dreaded but comparably rare burn-in action, and over time the OLED display color balance can slip off very slightly.

End Summary

With both type of displays technologies there are pros and cons. Also, the choice depends on some of the reasonable user preferences between the different colors and contrast either. Despite the prevalence of the multiple display types available in the modern smartphones market makes this a less of an issue these days. Anyway, the additional benefits and the falling production costs of the OLED displays make it likely to be the technology to go forward and takes the future. As the LCD units are filling the gap in budget segments of the market.

Most of the display manufacturers, such like LG Display, are betting huge on OLED technology displays for the future. Also, they are making a huge investment to offer extra production facilities. According to statics, the AMOLED panel market would be around $30 billion in 2022, this is more than double its value today.

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