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LCD vs AMOLED vs OLED: Which Smartphone Display is better and why? Let's Find Out

Updated on August 26, 2020
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Nikhil is a freelance tech writer and smartphone enthusiast. He is following the Indian smartphone industry for around four years now.

Do you know which type of display your smartphone has? Is it IPS LCD or AMOLED? Even if you know it, do you think it is good? Or you could have purchased a cheaper smartphone with a better display? Well, in this article, I’m going to tell you three different kinds of smartphone displays and which among them is the best for you.

So, without any further wait, let’s get on with it:

LCD vs OLED vs AMOLED: Display Technologies Comparison
LCD vs OLED vs AMOLED: Display Technologies Comparison | Source

1. LCD

LCD, or Liquid Crystal Display, is one of the widely-used display panels in the world. It is the technology that replaced the earlier version like CRT that we saw on bulky computers in the late ’90s.

LCDs come in several types, such as IPS (In-Plane Switching), or LED-backlit panels. However, these days, most smartphones come with IPS LCDs. Why? It is because it is affordable and is generally more durable than AMOLED.

When it comes to displaying quality, LCD produces good and accurate colors. But if you’re a person who likes vibrant or punchier display, then this might disappoint you a bit.

One of the major advantages of the IPS LCD is that it consumes less power. Hence, if you’re a heavy user, you might want to go for a smartphone having an LCD panel. Do note that this technology uses less power, but it also depends on several factors, like usage and the battery capacity of your smartphone.


  • Less power consumption
  • Natural color reproduction
  • Relatively cheaper
  • Provides good viewing angles


  • Comparatively less bright
  • Less deep blacks


OLED is the technology that stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode. It produces more rich and true-to-life colors. And how this display technology works? Well, let me explain it to you.

This display technology is based on pixel-specific lighting in which an organic material emits light when the current is passed through it. In OLED, each pixel has its own light. And this is why smartphones with OLED display are brighter than compared with LCD.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max's OLED Display
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max's OLED Display | Source

Smartphones with OLED displays have deeper blacks and whites. OLED displays are flexible, smaller, and thin. That is why they're now put in high-end TVs as well.

Due to their ability to produce deep darks, OLEDs usually consume more power and hence, they are expensive than LCD.

Today, OLEDs are used in manufacturing flexible wallpapers, transparent lighting, etc.

OLED is more volatile than LCD or AMOLED. Further, It is more prone to get damaged by water easily. You will generally find OLED smartphones quite expensive than LCD or AMOLED ones.


  • Great color reproduction due to pixel backlighting
  • Flexible and thin display
  • Generally brighter screen


  • Volatile in nature
  • High power consumption


AMOLED is short for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode. Well, don’t be confused with its complex name, I’ll help you understand how this display technology works and how is it different from LCD and OLED panels.

So, as the name suggests, AMOLED display technology works through an active matrix system that produces and controls the light in each pixel with thin-film transistors (TFTs).

Compared to LCD and OLED, AMOLED displays have saturated and punchier colors. Also, it is lighter and most flexible displays out there.

One can find AMOLED technology being put in the smallest as well as the biggest devices, such as tablets, gaming consoles, smartwatches, etc.

The color reproduction in AMOLED is quite great and generally offers a tad bit brighter screen than OLED. Further, it is the most expensive smartphone display technologies than both LCD and OLED.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20's AMOLED Display
Samsung Galaxy Note 20's AMOLED Display | Source

For the past few years, Samsung has been using AMOLED displays in almost all of the smartphones.

And this is one of many reasons why their smartphones are priced adequately higher.


  • Produces vibrant and rich colors
  • Average power consumption
  • More flexible displays than LCD and OLED


  • Viewing angles are not great
  • Expensive than OLED and LCD

Here's a Small Quiz for You

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List of Recent Smartphones with Various Display Technologies

  • Motorola One Fusion+: IPS LCD
  • Samsung Galaxy S20: AMOLED
  • OnePlus Nord: AMOLED
  • Oppo A53: LCD
  • Motorola G9: IPS LCD
  • Samsung Galaxy M31s: AMOLED
  • Google Pixel 4a: AMOLED
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: Retina Display (OLED)

Note: Due to the close properties of OLED and AMOLED, smartphone makers are calling OLED as AMOLED and vice-versa.


Which smartphone display technology do you think is best?

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So, coming back to the question I raised in the beginning, which display is better, and why? Well, it's not easy to answer this question as every display technology has its own pros and cons.

A display looks good and punchier while the same will consume more power. A display may produce natural colors, but it might not be very bright outdoors.

Some people might like punchier colors, while some may prefer natural, true-to-life colors. Therefore, it all boils down to your personal choice, budget, and requirements.

If you have any query related to smartphone displays, please feel free to drop your questions in the comments below. Also, do let me know which display technology does your smartphone has?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Nikhil Sharma


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