Amoled Displays

Advantages and disadvantages

14 December 2020

So why is AMOLED so good?

Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode or AMOLED is a display technology that has become popular in different electronic devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, digital cameras, media players, smartwatches, and even television sets.

Note that this display technology is a reapplication of organic light-emitting diode or OLED technology. OLED is a type of electroluminescent technology in which organic-based materials emit light in response to an electric current.

The application of OLED technology in display panels requires the simultaneous switching of individual organic compounds, each representing an individual picture element or pixel. An AMOLED display technology addresses this through active matrix switching, particularly by attaching each pixel to a transistor and capacitor to actively maintain the pixel state while addressing other pixels.

1. Consumes Less Power

Lower power consumption or better energy efficiency, when compared against other display technologies such as LED and LCD, is one of the advantages of AMOLED.

Note that each diode in an AMOLED panel emits light without generating too much heat. Thus, unlike LED and LCD, energy loss due to heat transfer is lesser in this display technology.

Furthermore, because each diode or pixel generates light itself, an AMOLED panel does not require backlighting for colors and images to become visible unlike in LCD. Remember that backlighting requires drawing additional power from an energy source.

Power consumption is also relatively uneven in this display technology, focusing mostly on active pixels as represented by visible colors. Darker colors consume less power. On the other hand, blacks do not consume power because they are actually representing inactive pixels.

The energy efficiency of AMOLED panels makes them suitable for use in portable and battery-operated electronic devices. This energy efficiency also means that eco-friendliness is another advantage of AMOLED.

2. Thinner Physical Profile

A conventional AMOLED panel has an organic plastic layer with thinness of about 100 to 500 nanometers. This is about 200 times thinner than the strand of human hair.

This thinness also translates to lightness and flexibility. To be specific, the organic plastic layer of AMOLED is thinner, lighter, and more flexible than the rigid crystalline layers of an LCD display. More light passes through because of this thinness, thus producing a brighter luminescence than a typical LED.

Nonetheless, this advantage leads to the design and development of innovative form factors. Using an AMOLED panel allows manufacturers to produce devices that are thinner. Several manufacturers have introduced curved displays and novel displays that are not only ultrathin but can also be rolled or folded.

3. High Contrast Ratio

High contrast ratio or the difference between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks is another advantage of AMOLED. This advantage is very evident when compared against other LCD display technologies such as in-plane switching or IPS and twisted nematic or TN technologies.

A typical AMOLED has a higher artificial contrast ratio because each of its diodes or pixels emits lights and produces color. Its deep blacks are also incomparable with other display technologies. These blacks are not artificially produced unlike in LCD because they are essentially a product of the absence of light.

4. Overall Display Quality

With deep blacks coupled with high contrast, the images displayed on an AMOLED panel are brighter and more vivid than the images displayed on typical IPS and TN panels.

This display technology also has a better viewing angle than high-end IPS panels. There are no noticeable color shifts and brightness and vibrancy remain unchanged even when viewed from extreme angles.

AMOLED panels also have better response time and refresh rates than conventional IPS panels. This means that moving images are more fluid and less straining to the eyes.