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Which is better: OLED or LCD displays?

Which is better: OLED or LCD displays?

OLED Vs LCD Displays

For decades the battle between OLED and LCD screens has been the talk of the digital town. If you’re planning to purchase a new smartphone and are confused about which display to choose, then you’ve come to the right spot.


OLED and LCD screens are commonly sported across cameras, mobile phones, monitors, televisions, and many other digital devices. The most common type of display on the market has been light-emitting diode or LED. People often confuse LEDs with liquid crystal displays or LCDs.


If we talk about the display purpose of an LCD and LED, then they are necessarily the same thing when it comes to smartphones and television screens. An LED-labeled smartphone screen is an LCD screen where the light source is backlit with LEDs. On the other side of the display battle, we have the organic light-emitting diode or OLED screen, which is used in high-end televisions and flagship smartphones.


But what really is the difference between an OLED and an LCD screen? Let’s uncover it below!


What is the Difference Between OLED and LCD Screen?

If we talk about an LED or LCD display, then a backlight or diode is used to illuminate the pixels in this type of display. Whereas an OLED pixel can produce its own light and hence OLED display is regarded as a transmissible or self-emissive display.


Furthermore, the light that is emitted by an OLED display can be controlled by controlling the pixels, which is not the case with an LCD display.


Moreover, in cheaper smartphones and television screens, manufacturers often place the diode lighting at the side or edge of the display, which tempers the display quality. The light from such a diode is emitted through a matrix which then passes through green, blue, and red pixels and eventually strikes your eyes.


With a gist of the above-stated differences in mind, let’s try to understand the LCD vs OLED display battle further in detail with the help of the following points.

●     Brightness

You’d be surprised to learn that LCD screens can produce brighter images than OLED screens. This is of huge advantage when it comes to television screens but also for smartphones which require a higher brightness level when being used outdoors in bright sunlight.


The display brightness is measured as nits. This is nothing but a standard unit of luminance and is defined as candela per square meter. Brightness is not only an important factor for digital screens when using them outdoors but also for a factor called high dynamic range video.


HDR is majorly a photography term and is used to improve the quality of images and bring them to life. HDR videos effortlessly capture the image realism through immaculate display and pixel distribution. Therefore, you must consider this factor on priority while purchasing a brand-new smartphone.

●     Viewing Angles

The OLED technology is so unbelievably thin that it provides unbeatable viewing angles. The pixels are super close to the display surface, which ensures that the viewer does not lose out on image or color contrast while viewing the screen from different angles. This factor is critical when choosing a smartphone because we don’t hold our phones parallel to our faces.


Depending on the display technology used in an LCD display, the viewing angles can differ. The most basic technology used in budget-friendly smartphones, cheap replacement screens and other digital devices is twisted nematic (TN). A great way to detect this type of display is checking your screen from different viewing angles and try to notice any shadowy casts on the display.


That said, due to technological advancements, most of the LCD displays employ IPS ( In-Plane Switching) panels nowadays such as our IC3 screens. The IPS panels provide superior color performance and excellent viewing angles compared to previous LCD technologies.


Therefore, after considering all the technicalities, it is safe to say that when it comes to an immersive display experience through excellent viewing angles, OLED wins!

●     Contrast

Want to learn a little magic trick about assessing the display quality of your smartphone? If yes, then try to do this little activity.


Take your LCD display smartphone in a dark room, and you’ll notice that the jet black parts of an image aren’t purely black. The reason behind this is the diode edge lighting that shines through the display. The contrast of your smartphone or any other digital screen display can get affected due to unwanted backlighting.


A sharp color contrast is necessary to differentiate between the darkest black shadows and the brightest highlights. If you carefully look at the product specification of your newly purchased smartphone, you’ll notice a color contrast ratio mentioned on it.


Generally speaking, the color contrast ratio on OLED screens is significantly higher than on LCD screens. Therefore, when you perform the same activity as stated above with an OLED display, you will not notice any backlighting.

●     Colour

In contrast to the previous LCD display technologies, the newer ones are capable of producing impeccable and vibrant color displays. That said, just like the viewing angles, the color display also depends on the type of LCD technology used. Two LCD display technologies that offer the greatest color accuracy are - vertical alignment and IPS.


Compared to these two technologies, the older, cheaper LCD technologies like TN can look pretty washed-out. However, the flagship OLED displays can certainly amaze you with their color vibrancy and accuracy.


The only arena where OLED displays struggle is the color volume. This means that it can be difficult for OLED screens to maintain color saturation levels during bright color scenes. This is not the case with an LCD screen.


●     Power Efficiency

Because an LCD screen contains both the Liquid Crystal Diode display and an LED backlight, it stands to reason it is not as energy efficient as straight low power LEDs on an OLED display. This is of major benefit with manufacturers as battery technology has not made any large leaps in the past few years so lowering the power consumption of the most power hungry part of a phone allows designers to include new technology into the latest revisions while still being able to get at least a full day out of the battery


Final Thoughts

The benefits of the OLED displays align with the development direction manufacturers are heading in with the latest revisions of cellphones, so I expect we will continue to see OLED being the preferred choice for flagship models for some time now.


That being said, without a shadow of a doubt, display technologies are evolving at a fast pace and are tackling the limitations of the previous ones. While the newer OLED displays have become brighter and more affordable, the LCD technologies have evolved towards quantum dot technology too.


Hence, if you’re dealing with a tight budget, then an LCD display would be a better choice for you. However, if we take money out of the equation, both OLED and LCD displays have matured considerably, and the final choice totally depends on what factors, from the ones stated above you value more!


Checkout our range of LCD and OLED displays today and if you need any help deciding, get in contact with our team at iGadget