AMOLED vs LCD vs TFT: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) displays offer vibrant colors, high contrast ratios, and deep black levels. They are known for their flexibility and energy efficiency, as each pixel emits its light, resulting in better device battery life.
  2. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screens use a backlight to illuminate pixels. They offer good color reproduction and brightness but may have slightly lower contrast than AMOLED. LCDs are widely used in smartphones, tablets, and computer monitors.
  3. TFT (Thin-Film Transistor) is a type of LCD technology that uses transistors to control individual pixels. TFT displays provide improved image quality and faster response times compared to older LCD technologies.

What is AMOLED?

AMOLED is a part of the OLED display technology but has more advanced features. The three components of AMOLED are “AM”, “O”, and “LED”. The first component, LED stands for “Light Emitting Diode”. The second one, O stands for “Organic” and the third AM is for “Active Matrix”.

The O in AMOLED means that organic material is placed with two conductors in each LED, which helps produce the light. The AM in AMOLED implies that it has the capability to increase the quality of a pixel.

The AMOLED display is similar to the OLED display including features like high brightness and sharpness, better battery life, color reproduction, and many more. A thin film transistor called TFT is attached to each LED with a capacitor.

What is an LCD?

LCD stands for “Liquid Crystal Display”. This type of display produces colors a lot different than an AMOLED. The LCD uses a dedicated backlight for the light source rather than using individual LED components.

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LCD display has a series of thin films, transparent mirrors, and an array of white LED lights that shine and distribute light across the back of the display. But on some lower-quality LCD screens, there might be some bright spots in the middle or on the perimeters of screens that are caused by uneven light distribution.

Generally, LCD screens have colors that more accurately reflect those of objects here in the real world versus through a viewfinder. LCD technology has been in the market for a long time and is well into the refinement stage of its development.

What is TFT?

TFT is a thin film transistor attached to each LED in an AMOLED with a capacitor. It helps to operate all the pixels in an AMOLED display. TFT is a type of display technology used in smartphones. It stands for “Thin Film Transistor”.

TFT displays use inorganic thin film transistors. They use a matrix of tiny transistors to control the flow of electricity to the display. TFT is a process of producing the displays which are also used by AMOLED displays, and they are used to refer to LCDs.

Difference Between AMOLED, LCD, and TFT

  1. AMOLED displays use organic materials, LCDs use thin film transistors, and TFT displays use inorganic materials.
  2. LCDs consume more energy and battery than AMOLED screens. Whereas AMOLED displays only last a fraction of the lifetime of the TFT screen.
  3. AMOLED generates its own light rather than relying on a backlight like TFT and LCDs.
  4. AMOLED displays produce very sharp and vibrant colors compared to LCD where a pure black color cannot be seen because of the backlight. In the case of TFT displays, the colors appear to be washed out and less vibrant.
  5. AMOLED displays are thinner than LCD and TFT displays as they require more volume because of the backlight.
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Comparison Between AMOLED, LCD, and TFT

Parameters of ComparisonAMOLEDLCDTFT
DefinitionA type of display used in devices where power consumption is a concern.A type of display used in devices where battery life is more important.A type of display used in devices where image quality is a higher priority.
Material usedIt uses organic materialsIt uses a series of TFTsIt uses inorganic materials
LightingProduces its own lightIt comes with a backlightProduces its light
Battery lifeIt has a shorter lifespanIt has more battery life than AMOLEDIt has the highest screen lifespan
Quality of colorsColors produced are sharp and vibrantColors produced are of lower quality than AMOLEDColors produced are washed out and less vibrant
References
  1. https://sid.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/j.2637-496X.2015.tb00780.x
  2. https://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO200809906438440.page

Last Updated : 14 October, 2023

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