What is OLED?
Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) are manufactured by putting organic thin sheets between two conductors. When electrical current is applied, a bright light is emitted. OLEDs don’t need a backlight, thus they’re slimmer and more efficient than LCDs (which do require a white backlight).
What is AMOLED display?
AMOLED technology was likely introduced to you on a high-end smartphone a few years ago. AMOLED laptop and PC monitors are very popular. What does it improve?
AMOLED displays work pixel-by-pixel, create brighter colours (and deeper, near-perfect blacks), consume less power, and are thinner and lighter than LED ones, which helped fuel the rise of larger, palm-size phone screens. As consumer interest in AMOLED grew, laptop makers introduced high-resolution variants. Lenovo announced a new 2-in-1 laptop featuring a 15.6-inch 4K AMOLED display at CES 2019.
OLED vs LCD
Benefits over LCD:
- Better contrast, brightness, viewing angle, colour range, and refresh rates.
- less Power consumption.
- Simpler design allows ultra-thin, flexible, foldable, transparent displays.
- OLEDs are robust and function in a wider temperature range.
OLED vs LED
Most TVs on the market now are LED TVs, which should have been named LED-backlit LCDs. OLED has increased performance and design. High costs and limited production hinder OLED TV adoption.
AMOLED users cite various benefits:
- Pixel-by-pixel illumination control for more colours and accurate colour reproduction
- High contrast (i.e., difference between the lightest and darkest parts of the screen)
- Less power consumption, especially when displaying gloomy PC gaming sceneries.
- Thinner, lighter, no LCD display or (in some variants) backlighting
- Wider viewing angles (no LCD to “block” light, limiting side views).
Despite their growing popularity, there are a few perceived down sides to AMOLED screens:
- Higher cost: At the time of writing, it’s still more expensive to manufacture large AMOLED displays than regular LED-LCD ones, limiting AMOLED to high-end laptops (for now). But PC manufacturers say the price will come down over time.
- Shorter lifespan: Some of the organic compounds responsible specific OLED colors are believed to lose their illuminating capabilities faster than the inorganic compounds in LED-LCD screens. To fight this, manufacturers are finding ways to use more of the longest-lasting OLED colors while using RGB or similar filters to achieve the other hues.
- Possible burn-in: One negative aspect of direct pixel-by-pixel illumination is that some OLEDs get used more and their performance degrades over time, resulting in a burn-in effect where common, very bright screen elements (navigation bars, etc.) never fully disappear. To combat this, many AMOLED display makers are introducing features to auto-dim parts of the screen when areas of long-duration brightness are detected.