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AMOLED vs OLED: A comprehensive display technology breakdown

In the current digital era, display technology plays a vital role in our everyday lives. From smartphones and tablets to smartwatches and televisions, the display is a crucial factor that contributes to the overall user experience. Amongst the numerous display technologies available today, AMOLED and OLED are two prominent ones that have gained significant attention due to their exceptional visual performance.

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In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricate details of AMOLED vs OLED, exploring their differences, similarities, advantages, and disadvantages. We aim to provide you with a clearer understanding of these technologies, enabling you to make an informed choice when purchasing your next gadget.

A brief overview of OLED technology

OLED, or Organic Light Emitting Diodes, is a type of display technology that uses organic compounds to emit a bright light when an electric current is applied. The term 'organic' in OLED refers to the organic materials used in the formation of the LED.

OLEDs are known for their ability to produce deeper blacks, higher contrast ratios, brighter whites, and wider colour gamut. This is due to the fact that each pixel in an OLED display can produce its own light, making it possible to achieve an 'infinite contrast ratio'.

The display's contrast is measured as the difference between the darkest and brightest points, and in an OLED display, this difference can be virtually infinite as the brightness level can go down to 0 nits when displaying true black.

A significant advantage of OLED technology is its power efficiency. As OLEDs can produce their own light, they typically consume less power compared to mainstream LCD display panels. However, OLEDs also have their share of disadvantages, with the most prominent ones being susceptibility to burn-in and degradation over time due to the organic materials used by the smartphone manufacturers.

An introduction to AMOLED displays

AMOLED, stands for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode, is a variant of OLED technology. Just like OLEDs, AMOLEDs use organic materials to produce light. However, AMOLED displays include an additional layer of thin-film transistors (TFTs) that control the charge of each pixel, making them more energy efficient.

AMOLED displays are widely recognized for their vibrant colours, high refresh rates, and superior power efficiency, making them an ideal choice for battery-powered devices such as smartphones. Apart from these, AMOLED displays are thinner, lighter, and more flexible than traditional OLED displays, contributing to their widespread use in portable electronics.

However, it's worth noting that AMOLED displays also have their downsides. The most significant of these are the gradual degradation of display quality over time and susceptibility to screen burn-in, which is a condition where static images leave a permanent ghost image on the screen.

Comparing AMOLED vs OLED: Key differences

While both AMOLED and OLED are based on the same fundamental concept of using organic materials to produce light, there are some key differences between the two technologies that you should be aware of.


The primary difference between OLED and AMOLED displays lies in the technology used. While OLED uses organic materials to emit light, AMOLED adds an active matrix layer that controls the current flowing through each pixel. This active matrix layer makes AMOLED displays more energy-efficient and versatile, resulting in brighter displays and more vibrant colours.

Power consumption

When it comes to power consumption, AMOLED displays have a clear edge over OLED displays. Thanks to their active matrix layer and storage capacitors, AMOLED displays are capable of maintaining pixel states and using power more efficiently. This makes AMOLED displays a more suitable choice for battery-powered devices such as smartphones and tablets.


In terms of cost, AMOLED displays are generally more expensive than OLED displays. The added complexity of the active matrix layer and the superior performance of AMOLED displays contribute to their higher price tag.

Display characteristics

AMOLED displays are widely appreciated for their brighter and more dynamic colours, making them an excellent choice for media consumption. Furthermore, due to their flexible nature, AMOLED displays can be embedded into a display of any size, offering more versatility than OLED displays.

On the other hand, OLED displays are known for their deep blacks and infinite contrast ratio, making them ideal for viewing content in a dark environment. However, OLED displays tend to produce duller and darker colours compared to AMOLED displays, making them less suitable for brightly lit environments.

Do Apple use OLED or AMOLED?

Initially, Apple relied on Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology for their mobile phones.

However, with the release of the iPhone X in 2017, Apple took a significant leap by incorporating Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology into its display screens.

The OLED screens offer several advantages over LCD display panels, including superior colour accuracy, better contrast ratios, higher brightness levels, and more flexibility in screen design.

As of now, Apple primarily uses OLED technology for its iPhone models starting from iPhone X onwards. However, it's worth noting that the company has not explicitly mentioned whether it is using an AMOLED display or a different type of OLED display.

Apple's official technical specifications for the iPhone simply refer to their displays as "Super Retina HD," "Super Retina XDR," or "ProMotion" displays, which are terms coined by Apple itself to describe its high-quality display technology.

Do Samsung use OLED or AMOLED?

Samsung's adoption of AMOLED technology has allowed them to create displays that offer vibrant colours, deep blacks, and a higher contrast ratio compared to standard LCD displays.

This technology is used across a majority of Samsung's product lines including smartphones, tablets, and televisions. Samsung's flagship smartphone series, the Galaxy S and Note series, are renowned for their use of AMOLED displays, which provide an unparalleled viewing experience for the user.

However, it's important to note that Samsung does not limit itself to just one type of display technology. While AMOLED displays are common in their mobile devices and some televisions, they also employ QLED technology in their premium television range.

QLED stands for Quantum-dot Light Emitting Diode which provides even better colour accuracy and brightness than traditional OLED.

Which is better: OLED or AMOLED or Qled?

The debate on which is better - OLED, AMOLED, or QLED - is one that is often discussed in tech forums and among gadget enthusiasts. Each of these display technologies has its strengths and weaknesses, and the choice of one over the other largely depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user.

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) are known for their excellent colour accuracy, superior contrast levels, and faster refresh rates. They offer deep black levels and a high degree of colour accuracy, which makes them a popular choice for high-end smartphones and televisions. However, they are more expensive to produce than other types of displays, which can make devices that use them more costly.

AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diodes) is a type of OLED display technology that adds an additional layer of semiconductors to control each pixel more accurately. This results in even better colour accuracy and contrast levels than standard OLED displays. However, AMOLED displays are also more expensive and can suffer from burn-in issues over time.

QLED (Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diodes), on the other hand, are based on quantum dot technology. They offer brighter display, wider colour gamut, and longer lifespan compared to OLED and AMOLED. However, they cannot produce absolute black levels like OLEDs can, which means their contrast ratio isn't as high.

AMOLED display types

  1. Super AMOLED: It is the most common type of AMOLED display used in modern smartphones. The term "super" refers to the integration of the touch sensor into the display itself, instead of being a separate layer. This makes the display thinner and more responsive. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S series uses Super AMOLED displays.
  2. Super AMOLED Plus: This is an improved version of the Super AMOLED display. It uses more subpixels than the regular Super AMOLED, which means that it can provide a sharper and more detailed image. An example of a phone that uses Super AMOLED Plus is the Samsung Galaxy S II.
  3. HD Super AMOLED: This variant enhances the resolution of the Super AMOLED display to HD or higher, leading to crisper images and better colour reproduction. Samsung’s Galaxy Note II is one of the first electronic devices to feature an HD Super AMOLED display.
  4. Dynamic AMOLED: This is a newer type of AMOLED display, first introduced by Samsung in the Samsung Galaxy S10 series. Dynamic AMOLED displays are designed to provide a more dynamic colour range, hence the name. They also reduce the amount of harmful blue light emitted by the screen while maintaining colour accuracy.
  5. AMOLED with Quantum Dot technology: These displays use tiny, semiconducting crystals called quantum dots to emit light. They provide better colour accuracy and energy efficiency compared to traditional AMOLED displays. A notable example of a device with this type of display is the Samsung QLED TV.
  6. Flexible AMOLED: This type of AMOLED display is designed to be bent and folded without damaging the display. They are used in devices with curved or foldable screens, such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X.
  7. Active-Matrix OLED (AMOLED): This is the most basic form of AMOLED display. It uses an active matrix system where each pixel is addressed individually, leading to faster refresh rates and better image quality. This type of display is commonly used in wearable devices, like the Apple Watch.

Is AMOLED good for eyes?

Yes, AMOLED displays are generally considered good for the eyes. This is because AMOLED displays have the ability to adjust their brightness and colour temperature based on the ambient light, reducing eye strain. However, it's important to take regular breaks and avoid excessive screen time to maintain good eye health.

How long do AMOLED displays last?

The lifespan of an AMOLED display can vary based on multiple factors, including the quality of the display, usage habits, and environmental conditions. However, with normal usage, an AMOLED display can typically last for several years before noticeable degradation in display quality occurs.

Can AMOLED screens be repaired?

Yes, AMOLED screens can be repaired if they get damaged. However, the repair process can be complex and costly due to the intricacies of AMOLED technology. It's always recommended to seek professional help for screen repairs to avoid further damage.

AMOLED vs OLED: The verdict

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Both AMOLED and OLED technologies have their unique strengths and weaknesses. If you prioritise vibrant colours, high refresh rates, and power efficiency, AMOLED displays might be the best choice for you. However, if you value deep blacks, high contrast ratios, and a more affordable price point, OLED displays are worth considering.

Ultimately, the choice between AMOLED vs OLED depends on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you are looking for a new smartphone, tablet, or television, understanding the differences between these technologies can help you make an informed decision that best aligns with your requirements.

To conclude, whether you're contemplating between amoled vs oled phone screen or seeking to understand the difference between amoled vs oled vs super amoled, this guide aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of these display technologies.

Remember, your choice should ultimately depend on your individual needs and preferences. So, take your time, weigh the pros and cons, and make an informed decision that best suits your specific requirements.

If you're in the UK and want to protect your new device, remember to check out Gadget Cover, where we offer three different levels of coverage that may suit your needs. Gold, Silver, and Bronze. For more information on our gadget insurance policies or to get a quote, you can do this through our website or get in touch with us over the phone on 0203 794 9294.

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