Is OLED Winning the Smartphone Display Battle?

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If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, then you may be torn between OLED and LCD. With so many new and emerging technologies coming onto the market, it’s never been more important for you to distinguish between the two, along with their advancements.

What Makes OLED Displays so Unique?

OLED screens work in a very specific way. When a pixel is off, it produces true blacks. No light is emitted, which results in deeper blacks and more vibrant colours when compared to LCD screens.

OLED screens also tend to be lighter, thinner and more flexible. If you’re a gamer, this can be a big deal. Those who like to play top book of slots games, including Book of Irish, Book of Rings and Rise of Merlin, may find that the vibrant colours pop with an OLED screen. This can result in a better gaming experience, and if the refresh rate is high, more fluid animations when the reels spin and when jackpots are awarded.

Other games, including classic animated hits, will look and feel better, and with the phones themselves being thinner, they’re ideal for gamers on the go. With that in mind, OLED screens tend to be more expensive, so you’ll usually see them being used on higher-end phones.

Should you Opt for an LCD Display?

Liquid crystal displays are very common in the tech market. LCDs work by using a backlight to illuminate pixels. The light will shine through the liquid crystals, with the arrangement of them determining how much light passes through, creating the image you see on the screen. Displays like this tend to be used for cheap smartphones, and they have a limited viewing angle. This means you won’t see true blacks, as there is always a backlight.

If you’re just using your phone for daily calls and texts, there’s little benefit to you paying out for an OLED display. Although OLED can provide a much more fluid experience, if you’re not gaming or using intensive applications then the difference will be negligible.

Factors that Influence the Display a Manufacturer Uses

Apple is one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world. They have openly stated that they monitor market trends, keeping an eye on users as well as competitors. By doing this, they can stay ahead of the curve and make solid choices regarding their displays. With that being said, cost is a factor. OLED displays are more expensive to create and therefore add to the cost of the phone. Apple primarily uses OLED in all of its newly-released models. It seems that even in the Android world, all flagship models have an OLED screen, signifying that eventually, LCD is going to be a thing of the past.

With that being said, OLED does have its downsides. While some manufacturers dispute the existence of burn-in, it has been revealed that some technologies burn in faster than others. True burn-in can be gradual, but when it happens, it is permanent.

This comes down to the physical properties of OLED screens. Each pixel will comprise blue, green and red sub-pixels. When these light up, they begin to decay. When sub-pixels lose their brightness at different rates, this can lead to burn-in. The most light-emitting sub-pixels, which are usually the ones used for status icons and navigation, tend to go first. The more you use your phone, the more burn-in you’ll experience. The more you display the same image, the more likely you are to see the image outline permanently.

Even though OLED does have its downsides, right now it’s winning the smartphone battle, purely because of its brightness and fluidity when displaying a multitude of games and applications. The only thing brighter than OLED would be QLED. which is yet to be licensed for smartphone use.

About the author


Jamie Davidson

Jamie Davidson is the Marketing Communications Manager for Vast Conference, a meeting solution providing HD-audio, video conferencing with screen sharing, and a mobile app to easily and reliably get work done."