A number of smartphones use IPS LCD screen panels with a more limited contrast ratio and “sober” color reproduction. If you want to experience a more pleasant screen visual experience, you should choose a device that offers an OLED panel.
OLED panels have a myriad of advantages, such as higher power efficiency, wider colors, and unmatched contrast ratios. OLED also has several “offspring”, namely AMOLED, Super AMOLED, Dynamic AMOLED, and also LTPO AMOLED. We also added about the Super Retina XDR OLED.
Each of these types of OLED panels has unique and diverse characteristics. If these names are not familiar to you, here we present the points of difference between the OLED panels.
OLED does have many and varied types of derived panels. But don’t worry, you only need to look at the points below to understand the difference.
OLED is an acronym for Organic Light Emitting Diode. Unlike IPS LCD panels which require a backlight as a light source, the pixels on an OLED panel can emit their own light when electrified.
The OLED panel itself consists of a layer of organic semiconductor material that is located between two electrodes. OLED can also be interpreted as an organic light diode that transforms as a semiconductor to emit light.
Thanks to its ability to emit light organically without the aid of a backlight, OLED panels are also considered more energy efficient than IPS LCDs. The advantage of OLED panels is also their production costs which tend to be cheaper than AMOLED or other types of OLED derivatives.
The OLED panel presents a wider viewing angle than LCD, is flexible, and can display true black which results in a high contrast ratio.
Despite its advantages, OLED panels have the potential to be affected by burn-in or image retention issues. When displaying a static visual element in the same place for a long duration, it will ghost and permanently imprint on the screen over time.
AMOLED is an update of the OLED panel. This panel has a number of improvements that make it able to provide better visuals. AMOLED stands for Active-Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode. AMOLED is a technology developed by Samsung.
Compared to OLED, you can enjoy various advantages of AMOLED such as a longer lifespan, more resistance to extreme weather, and a higher level of brightness or lighting.
Just like OLED, AMOLED also doesn’t need a backlight so it can maintain battery life so it doesn’t run out quickly. AMOLED contrast ratio is also very good, able to achieve the lowest lighting level at 0 nit ( true black ).
The response time that is presented is also faster than the majority of LCD panels. So, AMOLED panels tend to be suitable for playing games as well as enjoying beautiful visuals on the screen because of their good color accuracy.
Unfortunately, the production costs for AMOLED are indeed higher than IPS LCD or regular OLED. That’s why AMOLED was originally only owned by flagship phones.
As technology develops, affordable cellphones that use AMOLED are starting to appear. However, generally cheap phones with AMOLED will not offer high refresh rates at the same time. Oh yes, like OLED, AMOLED also has the risk of getting burned in if it displays the same color continuously on one pixel.
3. Super AMOLED
If AMOLED is a form of improvement from OLED, then Super AMOLED can be said to be an improvement form of AMOLED. Just like regular AMOLED, Super AMOLED can display unlimited contrast ratios due to the absence of a backlight layer in it.
Thus, each pixel displays its own light. When there is no electricity (when the screen displays a black part), the pixel really does not light up. That is why mobile phones with IPS LCD or TN TFT panels cannot implement the AOD ( Always On Display ) feature.
Compared to regular AMOLED, you can expect a 20% increase in terms of power consumption and screen brightness. Super AMOLED is also allegedly capable of reducing the reflection of sunlight by up to 80% compared to AMOLED, as claimed by Samsung.
Super AMOLED is a tier version that combines the touch sensor with the screen itself, rather than being layered on top of it. Therefore, Super AMOLED is also thinner when compared to regular OLED panels.
4. Dynamic AMOLED / Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Coming in 2019, the Dynamic AMOLED panel is an improvement from Super AMOLED. All the properties of Super AMOLED are also owned by this Dynamic AMOLED. The difference is that Samsung provides additional HDR10 + certification so that the colors, contrast and brightness levels are even better.
The Dynamic AMOLED panel also supports the DCI-P3 color gamut so that the screen will always display punchy colors at every brightness level.
As for other advantages, Dynamic AMOLED tends to produce less blue light emission. That way, the user’s eyes don’t get tired easily.
Dynamic AMOLED also often has the additional name “2X” behind it, indicating that the screen has twice the refresh rate, which is 120 Hz.
Apart from Dynamic AMOLED, Samsung also released another panel variant called E4 AMOLED. In short, it is the next generation of Super AMOLED which was launched in 2020. Like Dynamic AMOLED, E4 AMOLED also supports HDR10+ certification and DCI-P3 color gamut.
E4 AMOLED has also received a Display Mate A + certificate, carries a delta E color accuracy below 1, supports a refresh rate of 120 Hz and also a touch sampling rate of 240 Hz.
Uniquely, the E4 AMOLED is also supported by MEMC ( Motion Estimation Motion Compensation ) technology which can increase the frame rate of the videos you watch.
5. LTPO AMOLED
LTPO AMOLED is a panel technology developed by Apple. LTPO itself stands for Low Temperature Polycrystalline Oxid, specifically designed to be able to set the refresh rate as low as possible when no activity is detected on the screen.
LTPO AMOLED was originally used by Apple for its smartwatch product, which was named the Apple Watch. As we know, a smartwatch requires the highest possible power efficiency in order to last a long time without having to charge it too often.
With the use of LTPO AMOLED, the refresh rate on the Apple Watch screen can be lowered to 1 Hz when displaying a static image, and back to 60 Hz when the screen is used ( swiped ). Thus, the battery can last much longer than it should.
As technology develops, LTPO AMOLED is also used on high-end smartphones, such as OPPO Find X3 Pro, OPPO Find X5 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3, and many more. The drawback is that the production of this screen panel is very expensive, so it is only owned by flagship phones.
6. Super Retina XDR OLED
Apart from LTPO AMOLED, Apple also has another OLED panel variant called Super Retina XDR OLED. This panel, first applied to the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, has a wide dynamic range that is further enhanced, so that the blacks really look deep with whites that look so pure.
Not only that, Apple also claims that the Super Retina XDR OLED is the best OLED variant in the industry in terms of preventing burn-in issues. According to Apple, the phone has a special algorithm that can monitor the usage of each individual pixel to generate calibration data.
Then, the iPhone will also adjust the brightness level of each pixel automatically. This method is done so that the pixels do not display the same color for a long time.
Now that you know the differences between the various types of OLED panels, you can make a choice about which smartphone you want to buy. Now, Super AMOLED panels are owned by cellphones with a price class of 2 million.
Meanwhile, other OLED variants such as Dynamic AMOLED, E4 AMOLED, and LTPO AMOLED are still only owned by high-end cellphones.