Types of Mobile Phone LCDs
In the mobile world, screen resolution is measured in pixels per inch (PPI). This standard is used to compare the quality of a phone’s display.
The first smartphones used black-and-white passive matrix LCD screens. Later, manufacturers began using active matrix technology. These are the LCDs you’ll find in most phones today.
1. IPS LCD
IPS stands for In-plane Switching and was developed to overcome limitations of older LCD technologies like TFT (thin-film transistor). It provides superior sunlight visibility, better off-axis viewing angles, more subdued colors and better image contrast. The screens on Apple iPhones use this technology, as do many other mobile devices.
Unlike other LCD technologies, IPS can offer true 8-bit color depth and boasts high contrast ratio. This makes it ideal for outdoor usage, as well as reducing image blurring when you are not looking directly at the display.
However, IPS LCD screens do not show deep blacks as it requires a backlight to illuminate the pixels. This can cause the whites to appear oversaturated and even yellowish in some cases. The screen is also quite thick, compared to Mobile phone LCDs other mobile phone LCDs, and the backlight does consume a lot of power. In this regard, it is still not as energy efficient as AMOLED screens. This is why AMOLED has been embraced by most manufacturers, including Samsung and Apple. It also offers better battery life and higher pixel resolution.
2. Super AMOLED
As the name suggests, this screen technology is found in premium smartphones made by Samsung. It’s a more advanced form of OLED and combines touch sensors and the screen into a single layer, meaning it can be thinner and lighter than LCD screens.
Super AMOLEDs are known for their vivid colors and the fact that they can show a true black color when needed without needing a backlight. But that’s not the only thing that sets them apart from other mobile phone LCDs.
They also consume less power and have a faster motion response than LCD screens, making them better for playing games. They also have great viewing angles and are very reliable.
But they have a few drawbacks as well. For one, they cannot be made as flexible as a curved LCD screen and also require a backlight which will take up space inside the phone limiting how thin and light it can be. They also can’t achieve the same brightness levels as an LCD display. But if battery consumption and high-end vibrant display is what you’re looking for then an AMOLED screen is definitely worth considering.
3. TFT LCD
TFT LCD screens are found on budget phones, feature phones and lower-end smartphones. TFT stands for Thin-Film-Transistor and they are an improvement over older mobile phone displays with better viewing angles, higher resolutions, and less power consumption which results in improved battery life.
Each pixel on a TFT LCD screen is connected to an amorphous silicon transistor which is resting directly on the glass panel. This allows each pixel to be given a charge which can be maintained until the screen is refreshed to produce a new image. This is because each pixel is considered an active matrix display.
TFT LCD technology is mature and is available in standard industry sizes, enabling innovative products to incorporate this display type without much difficulty. These displays also support a wide range of touch interfaces and are sunlight readable and can be made to operate at low temperatures.
LCD displays require a backlight which consumes more power than other display technologies. This could drain a phone’s battery faster. In addition, LCDs do not offer OLED’s excellent flexy display capabilities.
4. TN LCD
The TN (Twisted Nematic) effect was a major breakthrough that allowed LCDs to become practical. It allows the liquid crystals to be restructured into different molecular configurations that either let no light through or allow only specific sub-pixel colors of red, green and blue to pass.
The problem with TN is its low viewing angle and poor color contrast. It can also have inversion issues if the display is tilted slightly past 90 degrees, especially in the vertical direction.
Despite its drawbacks, TN LCDs are still widely used in low cost mobile phone LCD screens. However, they have been overtaken in quality by the IPS and VA technologies as well as micro LED displays.
The latest improvement is FSTN (Film compensated Super Twist Nematic). It adds a retardation layer Mobile phone LCDs to STN LCDs that improves the viewing angles and color performance, but does not affect the multiplexing ability. This is an effective alternative to IPS and VA displays that are often more expensive but offer better viewing angles, contrast and color reproduction.
5. LED backlight
A LED screen is an LCD that uses a light-emitting diode (LED) backlight instead of an electron-transistors (EIT). This technology requires less power than other types of mobile phone screens, which could help save your battery. LED-backlit displays also offer a wider color gamut, meaning they can display more colors than other types of mobile phone LCDs.
Most LED-backlit LCDs use a blue LED backlight that is then filtered with a yellow phosphor coating to create white light. This light is then passed through the liquid crystal elements to produce a black image on the screen.
However, this type of LED-backlit LCD can suffer from poor uniformity, with some areas appearing brighter than others. This is most common in the corners and edges of the screen, where light can leak from the frame and backlight. This is an issue that is more likely to occur in older smartphones with poor workmanship. Thankfully, newer devices have more reliable and consistent LED-backlit LCD screens. This is why most manufacturers rely on them in their top-end phones.