LCD, IPS or AMOLED screen smartphones – what to choose?
The quality of your smartphone screen is one of the main features that you should take into consideration when buying a smartphone or a tablet, as it is the main way in which you interact with this kind of gadgets.
However, there are many that reach a state of utter confusion when they start to explore the technical specs of a touchscreen. If size and resolution of the screen are easy to compare, for other models on the market – because we are talking about numbers – the built in technology differs from model to model, including in the range of devices of the same manufacturer.
LCD, IPS, AMOLED, Super AMOLED or Retina Display are just a couple of the most common names for screens, and hiding behind them are various production or marketing techniques.
In this article we will focus not on the different ways in which these types of screens work, but on the practical side of things such as answering questions like what type of screen is more suitable to display natural colors and what to choose if you want an intense black on your screen?
IPS (In-Plane Switching) – IPS type screens are among the most appreciated screens thanks to the extremely faithful rendition of colors and viewing angles. Their main shortcoming is the modest rendition of black, which more likely resembles a dark grey.
Retina Display – Retina Display is not another LCD type screen but only a marketing term introduced by Apple on products such as iPhone and iPad about which the manufacturer claims it offers a higher pixel density than the human eye can perceive from the typical distance of use.
Since the typical distance of use differs depending on the gadget (phone, tablet or laptop) there isn’t any standard minimum resolution for a screen to be called Retina Display. For instance, iPhone 5 has a density of 326 pixels per inch, and iPad has 264 pixels per inch. iPhone and iPad are actually using IPS screens.
OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode)
The other major technology used for the production of screens for gadgets is OLED, which has a completely different operating principle. In the case of smartphones and tablets several versions of OLED technology have emerged.
AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) is an OLED based screen technology that provides a significantly better contrast than LCD screens based technology. The main difference is the deep black displayed due to lower luminosity/brightness than in the case of LCD screens, but this causes a lower visibility in direct light sunlight.
Super AMOLED is an AMOLED version made by Samsung. The technology is the same, but the screen integrates a digitizer and reflects less sunlight than standard version.
Super AMOLED Plus – also developed by Samsung is also available.
Super AMOLED Plus screen borrows the technology from LCD screens for higher luminosity/brightness and lower power consumption, but has the disadvantage of a shorter life and higher production costs.
On a direct comparison between LCD and (AM) OLED screen technology we can say that LCD technology based screens provide us with more natural colors, better brightness and better visibility in natural sunlight.
Instead, (AM) OLED technology has the advantages of a deeper level of black and very good viewing angles at the cost of color oversaturation, but also lower power consumption.