What is an AMOLED display?
Your first exposure to AMOLED technology was probably a few years ago on a high-end smartphone promising a bigger, more color-rich display. Now you’re hearing about AMOLED laptop screens and PC monitors and also you know what, maybe on smartwatches too. But what is AMOLED? How does it make screen viewing a better experience?
The advantages of AMOLED displays – they work pixel-by-pixel, produce brighter colors (and deeper, near-perfect blacks), can consume less power, and are thinner and lighter than conventional LED models – helped fuel the emergence of the bigger, palm-size phone screens we know today. And as consumer interest in the technology has grown, electrical gadgets and wearable manufacturers have responded with new, high-resolution AMOLED-based models.
Still confused as to what AMOLED is? Let’s delve deeper and know a little bit about OLED, LED, and TFT.
In conventional LED-LCD displays, the interior white LEDs are used simply to back-light a front-facing LCD panel where the colors are produced or the light is dimmed to control what’s seen on the screen. So what you see depends on the relative brightness of the LEDs and the light-influencing qualities of the LCD panel (for example, add or subtract LED light to brighten or darken the entire screen, or apply more or less LCD effect to do it to a specific region of pixels).
OLEDs improved on conventional LEDs by generating their light by applying current to a different kind of semi-conductive material — organic compounds that work at such a small scale that they enable pixel-by-pixel illumination and color control. Each pixel in a display can be made brighter or darker (or, absent any power at all, fully “black”). The result is very fine light and color control and extreme contrast ratios without an intervening LCD panel. Depending on the manufacturer, the color of each pixel you see is produced either by shining single-color OLED light through an RGB filter (as in regular LED-LCD models) or by using different organic compounds known to produce specific wavelengths.
AMOLED, in turn, improves basic OLED technology for larger televisions, monitors and laptop displays and even smartwatches by introducing a Thin Film Transistor (TFT) layer that enables greater control over the light emitted by the OLEDs. If TFT sounds familiar, it’s because the technology — which dedicates a current-controlling transistor to each pixel — is also important in conventional LED LCD displays. The TFT layer provides an enhanced, “active matrix” of light control, accounting for the “AM” in AMOLED (although it’s important to note that even displays labeled simply “OLED” also likely feature an active matrix of some kind; it’s just not always mentioned).
Advantages of AMOLED displays
AMOLED displays offer several benefits over regular LED-LCD screens. Here’s a quick rundown.
- More colors and truer color reproduction, with direct, pixel-by-pixel illumination control
- Greater contrast ratios (i.e., difference between the lightest and darkest parts of the screen)
- Less energy drain, especially when displaying dark scenes like those common in PC games
- Thinner, lighter construction, with no traditional LCD panel or (in some models) back-lighting
- Wider viewing angles (there’s no LCD “blocking” certain light, which tends to limit side views)
With technology becoming ubiquitous, AMOLED screens are now also being explored in wearables, especially smartwatches. What if you got such a smartwatch with surpassing quality and that won’t burn a hole in your pocket along with giving you unmatched screen quality?
Stay tuned and watch out this space for more as now we are sure you are already a big fan of AMOLED screens.
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